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I got bit by a dog!

Lisa Sygutek

Mar 8, 2023

I have had dogs all my life. I love dogs. I’ve never feared a dog in my entire life. Now I’m scared of dogs.

We have a dog leash by-law in the community. I’ve never really thought about why we have it, I just acknowledged that we do. 

Now I understand. 

Here is my story:

Last Monday I was running up and down the Pass Powderkeg Ski Hill Road. I have signed up for the Minotaur race in June, so I’m doing a lot of back country trail running.

It was cold and I was bundled up pretty good. I had on two wool sweaters, a down jacket and a wind proof outer layer. 

I was coming down the road, the first of four laps when I noticed a man walking with two dogs, neither on a leash. I remember thinking, “wow, the one dog is hobbling pretty bad, he/she must be old”. 

When I run, I usually have earphones in with music playing so I wasn’t actively listening to my surroundings.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw something golden in colour barrelling towards me. The dog came down the hill beside me and it was moving fast. I turned my back to the dog as it approached and started jumping on me. This is no little dog; it was big enough that when it jumped it was level with my head!

This was a big dog and it was jumping up and down on me. I looked over at the owner who was just standing there watching, doing nothing to leash his dog. 

I started screaming, “get your dog on a leash”. Again, he did nothing. I started trying to move away and the dog followed me, still jumping up and down on me. Again, the owner was doing nothing. I stopped and started screaming for him to get his dog. Nothing. 

When I stopped the dog did another lunge and bit my elbow. He bit hard. Now I was screaming that his dog bit me. He looked me straight in the face, turned and moved down the hill towards the entrance to the kid’s bike park. He yelled at the dog to follow, which it finally did. I stood there with a throbbing elbow; I think in shock. 

Then the dog came back and just stood there looking at me, while the owner yelled at it to come. 

I turned and started running up the hill, hoping it wouldn’t follow. I’m not sure why I did that, other than I didn’t want to be going in the same direction as the owner and his dogs. 

When I got home, I looked at my elbow and although it was severely bruised, the dog didn’t break the skin. I think my jacket and layers saved me.

I have contacted the peace officer and have laid a formal complaint against the owner. I did go to Spry and bought some dog and coyote spray, but honestly, I shouldn’t have to.

I have since ran up the hill several days in a row and have run into four sets of people on the road without their dogs leashed.

I get that people want to give their dogs an outdoor run, I used to do the same thing, but it only takes one situation where a dog gets too excited to hurt someone.

I truly believe that we don’t have bad dogs, but have some really bad owners. This man was obviously a terrible owner.

The dog is now in trouble, the owner will get fined, and I am now terrified of unleashed dogs. No one wins in these situations. 

So please, leash your dogs. 

If your dog needs exercise and you are in the backcountry, then at least have a leash close by and have your dog trained to come back at command. 

Remember, we do have a dog park, please use it. 

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