Saturday, December 03, 2016

Running with a Dog

Anna and I have a running route that takes us by the house of a friend at our half-way point. Our friend has a small black lab type of dog that is getting along in years. She has decided that we are her running partners. When she started running with us, she would gasp mightly for breath, because she was in no running shape. As she has shed some pounds, she looks back at us as if to say; hey come on, why are you so slow. She's progressed in her running.

While she's progressed as a runner, she is not good about traffic. She thinks she owns the road. If we run on one side of the road, she'll run on the other. More often than not, she'll run right down the center of the road. We live in the country, thus the traffic is not as persistent as it could be in a village or  a city. But there is still traffic.

Recently I began to notice how automobiles react to her presence with us, and how autos behave around us when we're the only two on the road. When it's just humans, auto's seldom slow down, they just move over - it's the country and there is plenty of room. Sometimes, they might not move over much. Occasionally, as soon as the auto is past, the owner slams on the accelerator. A big plume of diesel smoke emerges from the tail pipe. I guess they are letting us know they are faster. Keep truckin' buddy.

When the dog is with us, the auto's slow down, way down. She can stay in the middle of the road and keep moving ahead and cars or trucks will come to crawl. Many times people will roll down their windows and say hello to the dog. Almost never does someone stop us to say hello; the exception is the dog's master. He says, "don't take her home, she knows the way."

This past week as the dog was in the middle of the road, a car window descended so it's driver could say hello to the dog; we were next to a cow pasture. It dawned on me. We treat dogs like people in India treat cattle. As cattle are protected so they can roam at will in India, dogs have that vaulted spot in America. We have deified dogs. I mentioned this observation to Anna and she said; "Well, they're a lot easier to get along with than people." And there you have it. 

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