Cyclists have to be wary of a number of things when riding, the condition of the road itself, the weather, the location of other vehicles from 2 to 4 to 18 wheels, and …. dogs. I’m definitely a dog person, but I must admit I become slightly less of a fan of Man’s Best Friend when on the bike. Each time I ride a new route out in the country, I get to know not only where the tough hills and great descents might be, but also, where the dogs live.
As you approach, the vast majority of dogs will jump up and say, “Buddy, this is my yard, what do you think you are doing here?!” I also suspect many might be saying, “Why are you dressed like that”, and in my case especially, “Why are you going so slow?”.
Some give just a few barks from the cool shade of their front porches, or take a couple of steps out towards you but soon turn around and head back to resume their nap. These are usually big dogs. The heat of summer has convinced them that they really aren’t worried about me passing their property.
The little dogs are another story.
Little dogs generally have the energy and ego to try and run you down. They are the ones that I count on each time, morning or afternoon, summer or winter, to come bolting off their property and follow me for a fair distance with a great show of teeth and barking. Sometimes they are pretty sneaky. They might come silently darting out of the bushes or corn fields and then letting loose a round of growls and yaps that makes you think a pack of wolves are so close they are flossing their teeth on your bike chain. Little dogs, don’t tire easily, they don’t seem to nap much, and each time I come by their territory, I know they’ll be a part of my ride experience that day.
In the interest of full disclosure, two things….(1) I am admittedly a big dog person and (2) I’ve been bitten once by a little dog. (My good friend was once bitten by a 3-legged dog, but that story deserves its own blog entry.)
Childhood Apraxia of Speech is a little dog in my way of thinking. Right now we count on it being a part of our lives every day. We know it will make our ride/life challenging and some days downright tough. However, our family and many others are in the process of taming this particular dog, taking away the bark and making it less of a disruption. CASANA and all the professionals it helps educate and support are helping families like ours deal with the little dog.