DOGS: Perilous for us runners

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As a runner, I have suffered numerous attacks by dogs.

The spectrum of responses by the owners ranges from genuine regret to amusement and abuse, with physical threats.

Recently, while running along the pavement of the Broadway, a very busy road, as I approached the Beach Road roundabout, I glimpsed a doberman. I was apprehensive.

The owner immediately whistled, at which the dog came to him and sat perfectly still. The owner explained that he would not tolerate the animal attacking runners and had trained it to sit still until the runner was out of sight. I congratulated him on his sense of social responsibility, although allowing the dog to be off the lead was wrong.

A woman told me that she had been walking in Northumberland Park, which was recently extensively restored at public expense. She met a man who was clearly upset. He explained that while his dog was off the lead, “harmlessly” disporting itself among the restored flower beds and shrubbery, a runner had warned him that if the dog came near him, he would give it “a good kicking”.

At least the runner did not trip or bite the dog owner.

Douglas Fulthorpe

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