Just Jack, the great protector.
I’m training Just Jack to be a good running dog. He’s a little exuberant and aggressive at this point, but I’m confident that if I keep working with him, he’ll be the perfect running companion.
For now, though… it’s a little stressful running with him.
Dog out for a walk? Jack thinks they should rough-house.
Man strolling by? Jack wants to rip his throat out.
While this is frustrating 99% of the time, the other day on my morning run, I was extremely grateful for my protector doggie.
My friend Annie and I were running at 5:30 a.m. It was (obviously) still dark, and Jack started focusing on something very seriously off to my right. When he sees a dog or a man, he usually gets all growly and jumpy. But this time, he was icy calm, supremely focused on this street corner. Annie and I noticed a man coming out of the shadows, with a big backpack or cello case or something on his back. I’ve never seen Jack so focused and intent and… well, serious.
The man in the shadows halted and stepped behind a tree. Weird, right?
We really think that guy was up to no good. And I’m convinced that the presence of Just Jack prevented something bad from happening to Annie and I.
I know women who run with mace or pepper spray, and I’d certainly do that if I didn’t have a dog. But I’m feeling so grateful for my pup, even though he’s still a bit … ahem… untrained. I’d rather put the time in to training him to not rip the throat out of normal guys walking by, knowing that he’ll gladly rip the throat out of anyone trying to cause me or my running mamas any harm.
***Update: December 27, 2011***
I’ve been working with Jack diligently, as has Brian, and I’m proud and happy to report that Jack now completely ignores other runners! Mostly he ignores strange men lurking in the dark, and he still has a hard time with other dogs. The funny thing is, though, that when we’re off leash at the dog park, he is so meek and timid. He approaches other dogs 100% submissive, and plays really well with them. We’ll continue to work with him, I know he can do it!