The Troublesome X’s

As most of you know, I like to run.  Here in Amish country, I’ve learned the importance of drawing out maps for myself.  Not because I get lost, but because I have, through trial and error, found that some roads are much more treacherous than others.  On my happy little map, you will see roads, a few houses scattered along the roads, and little x’s with daily percentage marks.  These little x’s tend to dictate where I run depending on the time of day and the day of the week.  Why?  Because these annoying little x’s are dogs.  And, if you should so wonder, I don’t know the names of any of these dogs, so I name them for their looks and personalities. (Tip: NEVER, EVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, SHOULD YOU TURN YOUR BACK TO A DOG)
On Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 4-7:30, “Spot” is let out into his front yard to wander.  There is only a 30% chance that he will bark, follow and attempt to nip if, and only if, you are going south on the street.  However, if he catches you going north on his street, you have only a 15% chance that he will not bite you in the face.

Everyday of the week, from 12-3, “White Fang” awaits the casual passer-by.  He’s a gargantuan crafty one that you really have to watch out for (95%).  He likes to hide in nearby rusted-out cars and wait until you’re almost past him to come at you.  Then he leaps like a lioness at you with teeth bared.  I usually avoid his street unless it’s later.  I have been lucky enough to sneak past him while he’s not looking because I’m pretty sure he’s hard of hearing.

Along this same road, there are four other menaces.  “Shiva the white wonder,” “Bear,” “Tido,” and “Buster.”  “Shiva” is lovely but a terror.  Thankfully, “Bear” is always in a fence, and the other two are punting size.

On another street, there are two dogs, (20%) “Rover” and “Jed.”  They act mean as long as you give them the stare down (I have found that giving them the Davy Crockett stare works fairly well).  After you do, they keep barking and slowly back away.  Heh, a dog whisperer…

So today, as I was running, “Crème Puff” came up and ran with me.  For having such a disproportionate head to leg ratio, he was decently fast.  He chased every passing car as we went along.  Finally, a red car passed, slammed on its brakes, and backed up.  The passenger side door of the car swung open and I heard “How did you get out of the house?” ring out loud and clear.  I turned around to look and I got a cold stare from the woman who was now holding the beloved “Crème Puff.”  “He’s followed me now for about a mile,” I said, “ I’m glad you drove by.”   “Yes, me too,” she said as she held her dog in the You-can’t-steal-him-from-me pose.

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