Today my friend and I were heading back to our car when all of a sudden we spotted a jogger retreating into the bushes from our dogs (I had four pooches as did my friend). Evidently this jogger has threatened another walker a few weeks back when her two dogs came within 20 or so feet of him. He threatened her by stating he would stab the dogs.
As he was in the bushes he screamed at us to put our dogs on leashes (not all of them were). We called the dogs to come over to us, told the man not to worry that they were all friendly, and apologized to him, asking him to please stay where he was while we did so. Before we could act any further he grabbed a very large branch from the woods and began violently swinging it at the dogs' heads and bodies. Naturally some of the dogs got defensive and began barking at the man, backing away as he swung at them. My friend & I thought it best to put all the dogs in our cars so we proceeded to the vehicles. We though it was over......
Until the man picked up two or more smaller thick branches (he still had the six foot branch in his hand) and began charging at us and throwing the smaller pieces of wood at us and the dogs, hitting one dog in the head and my friend in the shoulder (all are ok). We got all but three dogs into the cars. One Lab mix and two Yorkies slipped out of their collars and ran for dear life. The man in the meantime chased after them in the hopes of seriously harming them. They got away so he turned his attention of us. I acted on impulse and approached him quite angrily telling him to be so bold as to attempt to attack me rather than the defenseless dogs and my friend (who by the way is a smaller younger lady). He started to leave so I tuned my back on him (I know, not a good idea, nor was telling him off) and proceeded to call the police. He ran back toward me ready to hit me (along with another female walker who was now a witness.....thank you so so much Linda for your assistance!)), but when I turned around he stopped. I informed him I was talking to the police and that they could hear his every word and threat. When he heard me describing his appearance over the phone, he ran away very quickly (he IS a jogger after all).
The police came, searched the area and took our statements. Meanwhile for a little over an hour the three of us were desperately and frantically searching for the three dogs who ran out of fear. Long story short, they all actually ran to their homes (dogs are AMAZING!!!).
So here's the deal.....if you see a jogger of foreign descent (I thought he might be Italian while my friend believes he may have been from Eastern Europe....shows you how cultured I am) with average build, white knee socks, and blue jogging shorts in the park or area, be very careful. The authorities now have him on record even though the three dispatched cars were unsuccessful in finding him.
So......how was your day?
A quick update :
Today I heard from a friend who was talking to a man who regularly walks in the Sherwood park off-leash area. He said that a year ago, the same individual chose to jog through the off leash area and when the man's Lab came within 20 feet of him, the jogger picked up a rock and threw it at the Lab. I'm not making this point to "excuse" myself from NOT being in an off-leash area yesterday (feel free to lash out at me in the comments, as a few others have...), I'm making it to demonstrate that clearly this individual is one who goes to efforts to instigate any conflict with a dog handler (be it walker or parent). I would recommend that anyone who runs into this individual in the future to immediately call the police.