Some dogs are born to run and to chase. It's in their nature, certainly, but it proposes danger to both chaser and chased should the operator of the vehicle react recklessly or be exposed on a motorcycle or bicycle. There are steps owners can take to modify and, or prevent such behavior. I've been chased on my bicycle and motorcycle multiple times. Scary. Not fun. On a motorcycle it's not so bad as it's easy to decelerate and then take off to throw off the dog's angle of pursuit. On a bicycle it goes against every instinct to slow down when being pursued. Once in the woods of Pennsylvania I had to jump off my bike and scramble up a tree as a Rottweiler got way too close for comfort. One thing each of these experiences has in common is that every time the owner acted as if this was completely surprising behavior on the part of their dog. I have a friend whose dog has a tendency to chase bicycles. When they're out for a walk she keeps him on a short leash when bicycles approach. Many people don't. The owner of the Rottweiler actually told me that her dog wouldn't hurt me as he growled and bared his fangs from the base of the tree in which I was seeking sanctuary. I would submit that she had an opinion of her dog that was unrealistic. She was delusional.
Yesterday I caught up with an old friend. We were very close in the late 90s. We were business partners and we traveled extensively together. Some of my favorite stories involve him. We lived life to the fullest during that time. Things happened to us that seem like tall tales. Since he and I didn't speak for the past ten years, many of those things started to feel more mythical than actual. There was no bad blood, we just lost touch -- he's definitely not the type for social media. So we talked and got caught up. He asked me what I was into these days. It's a question I expected from him. The basis of our relationship back then was he was Mr. Gerard and I was Wiseacre. We had pencil thin moustaches and wore spectator shoes. We got fitted for custom-made zoot suits and hats together by Valentino in Las Vegas. Everything we wore was either vintage or custom-tailored. Our pictures appeared in publications such as Life, Esquire and The New York Times. On Wednesday afternoons we got straight razor shaves from a barber. Before I could answer, he posed some guesses. And before I could reply with much depth, we were off on another tangent. At some point he said, "You're a chaser. You were always chasing something." He admitted he followed me when he could, but sometimes he couldn't keep up. I got a little tongue-tied. I wanted to deny his claim, but I thought about it and I told him he was probably right. I admitted that there always seems to be something that catches my attention. I'm a seeker. It wasn't easy to say it unapologetically. I think I've long equated being a seeker with being lost. It's a stretch for me to see that being curious and adventurous and sometimes reckless is part of my nature and that it's made me the worldly, sensual and sophisticated man that I am. I want to hold onto that -- to accept and embrace the multitude blessings in my life that have come about because of my nature. Because it's much better to be a seeker than to be delusional. Even though sometimes they feel like they're one in the same.