Tuesday is the weekly trash collection day for our neighbourhood and residents leave the orange Taunton city council 'approved' trash bags on the street in front of their houses. It wouldn't have meant too much to me if I wasn't prompted by rather cruel comments on social networking sites about the insignificant kilos I have put on to take up running. On Tuesday mornings, I find myself the focus of unwanted attention from all the residents of the 'hood who are really protective of what is the gold and diamonds of their household - the pet dogs and their trash.
Initially it was only the tiny Skye terrier next door who voiced his disapproval of my trying to steal his trash even though I tried to explain to him to the best of my ability that I had no such intention. But he remains thoroughly convinced otherwise and comes tumbling down the stairs of his house to stand guard next to his precious pile of vegetable cuttings and milk containers and chase me as far as his little legs could keep up. As the weeks go by, I discover new security agents. A Dobermann here, a pit bull there, a furry white ball of undistinguishable breed in the house at the end of the street - all bay, woof or growl their warnings as I huff and pant by.
I am really very fond of dogs but I find it rather discomforting when one of them suddenly pelts out of the house compound and escorts me till I am out of the visible range of their home steads. Every Tuesday I begin my run with a prayer that these are dogs whose bark is worse than their bite. Haven't ever been bitten by a dog yet, and I hope that in this case the adage "There is always a first time" doesn't hold true. If it does hold true though I'd prefer the furry white thing over the Dobermann anyday.