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Irony and Dog Bites

Posted Mar 09 2012 1:03am
Earlier this week I posted about the joys of running with dogs.  Which makes today's adventure an odd turn of events.

This morning, I went running.  When my dogs see me put on running shoes, they get excited, wag their tails, jump and chase me around the house.  So, for my tempo runs, I'll take the dogs with me for my 10-20 minute warm-up, then put them in the house and finish my workout on my own.  And that's what I did this morning.

I started my tempo portion of my run, heading down the sidewalk along Ventura Boulevard.  I turned onto a side street and ran toward a man and his dog on a leash. I was at least three feet away, when the dog lunged toward me and bit my leg.

I stopped, stunned.  The older man holding the leash fell silent.  I looked down at my left leg, a couple inches below the knee, and saw the puncture wound of the dog's tooth.  It was a bit less than a centimeter wide, but there was some depth to the wound because I could see a couple granules of fat tissue.  Blood was flowing down my leg, and I used my black crop pants to try to blot the bleeding.

The man remained silent.  His dog stood still, perhaps even shaking a bit.

I said, "Do you see what your dog just did?  Do you see this?"

He finally said, "I'm sorry." 

My first thought was that I'd look odd finishing up my run with blood dripping down my leg, since ideally I would have had about another 30 minutes to go.  Then reality hit:  I should not be running with a dog bite, I need to get this wound looked at.

I didn't have my phone with me, which I often do since I do a lot of my running when I'm on call.  But, fortunately I have a good memory, and fortunately this was an honest man who gave me his real name and his real address, which I was able to confirm later on the internet.  In retrospect, it would have been good to have the dog's license number as well.  The information that I did obtain was useful for the report that I filed later that day to the Los Angeles Department of Public Health.

I ran home, quickly showered, washed off the wound a bit, covered it in a band aid, and went to Urgent Care.  There, the wound was cleaned up well after some local anesthesia.

Since the Los Angeles Marathon is only 10 days away, I was worried that I might not be able to participate.  But, the physician recommended a few days off my feet for the wound to heal.

I worry about tripping and falling, twisting an ankle, or straining my IT band as the events that can derail my running.  I never thought a dog would get in the way.
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