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  • Vihaan Reddy

Dog Chase!

It’s the morning of January 8, 2021, and I was running for a continuous 20 minutes at John Muir Elementary School. But in the grass field around which I was jogging, there was a dog. “There’s a dog, there’s a dog, there’s a dog. I passed it. Phew!” I was thinking to myself. The thought made a home in my mind every time I jogged past the dog. A few seconds after the 20-minute mark (the twenty-minute completion still unknown to me), I heard running. “Why do I hear footsteps?” I was thinking worriedly. I glanced to the side, and I saw the dog that I was so scared of barreling towards me. “Holy crap! Holy crap! What do I do?!!!” I was so scared that I couldn’t think straight. I had never been this panicked in my entire life.

Run! Run! Run!” I screamed in my head as I ran faster than I ever have before. “What do I do? It’s catching up to me!” I told myself, “Wait, I have an idea.” I started to juke it every 5 seconds because it was faster than me. No doubt about that statistic. But I doubted it had the same speed when it changed direction often. So, I started to juke it. “ Ha! This is actually pretty cool! My friends would be amazed if they saw that I juked the dog so much! Juke! Juke! Juke! Juke! Take that, dog!” I was talking in my mind. At one point, I slipped and fell while changing direction, but I still got back to my feet, and the dog still couldn’t get me. “Stop! Stop!” the owner called out to both the dog and me. However, the dog didn’t stop, and neither did I.

The owner finally reached me, and stood in front of me, trying to block the dog from reaching me. I kept running since I was super scared. The owner shouted, “Stop! Only if you stop, the dog will stop, too!” I stopped suddenly, but the dog was still after me. Luckily, the owner caught the dog before it reached me. After that, I rushed to the other side of the grass field where my dad was, spectating the entire incident. We walked to the car, and headed for tennis practice. Even five minutes after that, I was still traumatized. I was also shaking in fear.

“Did I complete 20 minutes?” I asked my dad, unaware if I even completed 15 minutes. “Yes, you did. Right when the dog started chasing you, the twenty minutes was over. Are you still traumatized?” my dad responded. “Yeah,” I replied, smiling in fear, relief, and pride. On one side, I was so scared by that incident, but on the other, I was so proud of myself that I escaped a creature much faster than me without it even letting it touch me. I was also amazed that this happened on my very first day of jogging for 20 minutes in a row.

So, since then, my fear of dogs has doubled and whenever I run close to one, I pretend to be walking while technically jogging. I’ve also learned that whenever I pass a dog, I need to go slow, so it doesn’t see me as some sort of threat. So, I now remember to go really slow and pretend to be walking when I go near a dog.

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