Dealing with Dogs on Your Daily Jog

 “Keep running after a dog and he will never bite you.”
Francois Rabelais

The other day my friend called me to tell this story about a dog following her on her morning run. She was running down an asphalt path behind her house and after a while she heard something behind her. Click, click, click, she turned around and there was a beautiful, well-kept Golden Retriever. The dog was keeping an even pace about two feet behind her. She stopped, startled, and looked around. There was no one around, except for her and the dog.  When she stopped, the dog stopped. For a moment, they stood there looking at each other.

“Shoo,” she said, “go home doggy.”

The dog didn’t move. In fact, the dog sat down and stared at her.

She turned and started running again and soon she heard the familiar click, click of the dogs nails hitting the pavement behind her.

She was worried that the dog would not be able to find its way home. For she was sure by his shiny coat and well-fed body, that he did indeed have a home. She turned and began running back the way she had come, hoping the dog would find where it belonged. And hopefully the dog did just that, for at one point he disappeared.

But how should you deal with finding a dog along your run? Whether the dog is friendly or not, there are some basic rules to follow when running into a pup on your path. The first thing you need to know is that dogs are, by nature, territorial. Seeing anything zip by them can trigger even the most pleasant pooch’s instinct to hunt.

If you see a dog without its owner, no matter how friendly it appears, ignore it.

•    No matter what, do not make eye contact. Any animal, dogs included, may see direct eye contact as a threat.
•    As soon as you see the dog, stop running and start walking. Move in the opposite direction and try to avoid entering its territory.
•    If the dog still comes toward you stop moving. Stand still, without making sudden movements or noise. Allow the dog to sniff you. Then, in a strong voice, simply say: “No,” “Sit,” or “Home.”
•    If the dog keeps coming and tries to jump on you push it off with your forearm.
•    Whatever you do, don’t run.
•    You may have to change your route if you continually encounter a dog that causes you problems.
•    If a friendly dog does follow you, look for its owner. If you can’t find one, stay in the area. While an owner which lets his or her dog run free is at fault, you can be the bigger person by making sure the dog does not become lost following you.
But what if the owner is present but still can’t, or even worse, won’t control his dog? I had a different friend who encountered a dog walking off leash with his owner and the dog chased after her, nipping at her feet. “He has a thing for shoes,” the owner said, laughing.

She had just bought a new pair of Saucony running shoes and the dog took out a big chunk out of the heel.

The owner laughed, but she found out who he was and sent him the bill for her sneakers.

She did the right thing. You do not want to confront an irresponsible dog owner with a dog, especially if you are alone on a path or trail. You don’t know how he will respond and you don’t want to be hurt. However, you can find out who the owner is and try to speak with him in a safer setting. If the owner will not control his or her dog, you can call animal control and report him or her. Yet, you should really try and work it out first.

However, if you encounter a dog owner who is walking his pup off leash yet apologizes upon seeing you and tells you the dog is friendly, you have some choices: you can either try to “meet” the dog or you can ask the owner to please leash him. If the owner agrees help him by remaining still while he does so.

Hopefully dog owners will be courteous enough to respect other people when walking their dogs. If not, you can always give him a swift kick—the owner, of course, not the dog.

Italy’s #1 Squash Player Suspended After Failing Drug Test

When it comes to playing the great squash game you have to be super competitive. You can’t mess around with drugs, not even recreational drugs.

Now, Stephane Galifi has tested positive for a recreational drug. According to Telegraph Sport, it was one of the substances he was busted for back in 2005. A 2005 article from Squash Talk said he tested positive for cocaine and cannabis. Therefore, I think we can safely assume that Galifi either tested positive for cocaine or cannabis.  Yeah, it didn’t take a genius to figure that one out.

After the 2005 bust he was banned for two years by both the World Squash Association (WSA) and the Professional Squash Association (PSA).

Galifi’s Italian teammates must be crushed. Italy finished sixth at the World Teams. Because of Galifi’s mistake they might be completely disqualified or placed last (#32).

Like many other pros, Stephane Galifi used the Dunlop Aerogel Pro GT squash racquet.

What do you think should happen? Should the entire Italian squash team be punished? Or just Stephane Galifi?

Exercise and Stress Relief

Exercise is one of the top stress relievers in the world. It may seem counterintuitive; after all, the physiological response of exercise is almost identical to the physiological response of stress. Yet, exercise is one of the best ways to reduce stress. For starters, it helps your brain produce endorphins, those neurotransmitters that make you feel good. It’s endorphins that produce the infamous runner’s high. (By the way, it’s not just running that can produce that high, anything that gets you moving can produce the same euphoric feeling. ) Exercise doesn’t just produce endorphins; it can also increase your self-confidence and lower your anxiety.

In addition, repeated movements can cause a sort of Zen feel. In fact, walking is one of the best kinds of meditation that you can do. Whether you’re walking, playing tennis or even swimming, the repetitive motions, and just concentrating on your body, can help you forget your stresses.

When you become stressed over a thousand biochemical reactions begin to happen to prepare the body for fight or flight; however, if your stress is mental, you don’t need to react by fight or flight and the byproducts of the stress response continue to circulate in the body. These can cause physical issues, especially after long periods of high stress, for example, cortisol can harm your thyroid function, lead to blood sugar imbalances, impair your mental ability, cause higher blood pressure, lower your immune response and cause stomach fat, among other things. Exercise also helps you deal with anger and hostility in a more healthy way.

The healthier you are the more you can fight off disease and the better your immune system will be.

Finally, exercise helps you sleep better, which helps you deal with, well, just about everything.

Severed Feet Last Longer in Athletic Shoes

Since August 2007, Canadian police have been making strange shoreline discoveries. Canada’s Pacific shore has been marred by an abundance of severed feet in athletic shoes. For example, in 2009 a severed foot in a white Nike running shoe, size 8.5, was discovered by two men walking on the beach in a suburb of Vancouver.

One foot has been identified as belonging to a missing man who was known to have been depressed. Two feet belonged to a woman missing since 2004. Many other feet have had their DNA tested, yet no matches have been made.

The police seem to believe that there is no evidence to support foul play. They believe that the limbs disarticulated “through a natural process.” However, it is relatively difficult to believe that these legs and feet could have naturally separated from their respective bodies; especially when some of the identified feet belong to people who were reported missing.

Yesterday, August 31, 2011, another human leg in a running shoe was found in British Columbia. This is the eleventh severed foot to have washed up in the Pacific Northwest since 2007.

So, why are all of these feet washing up in athletic shoes? According to scientists, the feet could have been in the water for years, drifting thousands of kilometers, because the athletic shoes protect them so well. The durable athletic shoes will keep the feet from decomposing while the rest of the leg may be worn away by the elements or nibbled away by marine life.

It’s just one more reason to buy good athletic shoes. If your feet do happen to naturally separate from your body and find their way into the Pacific Ocean, at least they won’t get eaten by marine animals.