Wild Things


Yes, I am alive. Sorry for my extended hiatus. That whole graduating from college thing was a bit of a distraction. But I'm back! Topic of the day: animals.

I love animals. Sometimes they love me too much. Sometimes they don't love me at all.

Example: last week I was out for a run with my dog, Ellie, minding my own business. I was totally in the zone blaring my intense workout playlist and only occasionally snapped out of my trance to yell at Ellie for running into oncoming traffic. Then, out of nowhere, something whacked my foot. I initially thought a blind person riding a bicycle had tried to run me over. Not so. I looked behind me to discover a small dog chasing me.

Now I'd like to be the type of good samaritan who helps a lost dog find its way home, but what can I do when I'm over a mile from my house with no cell phone and the dog doesn't have a collar? There were probably a lot of things I could have done, but I'll tell you what I did: I kept running. And so did the lost dog. For six blocks! Ellie and I were very confused.

I decided that I would try to figure something out if the dog made it home with me, but that plan was abandoned when the lost pup sprinted into a garage to make friends with another random guy. The random guy in question was just as puzzled by his new friend as I had been. What did I do to help? Shrugged my shoulders and ran on. Probably could have handled that situation more gracefully, but I'm an amateur jogger and was therefore struggling to get enough oxygen to my brain.

But that's not the end of it. Oh no. This morning during my run it happened again. TWICE.

A note to my neighbors: if you have an itty bitty white fluffy dog and a wrought iron fence with bars spaced a foot apart, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR DOG IN THE BACKYARD UNATTENDED. This was the problem Ellie and I came across this morning. I watched as FiFi (or a dog that looked like it would be named FiFi) leaped through the fence and scampered toward us with shocking speed. Ellie was unamused, and I had to chase the dog back into captivity. FiFi, you threw off my running groove.

Then, I kid you not, at the EXACT same place where the dog that started it all had made its original appearance, I had another dog chasing me. Possibly the same one from before. Sounds to me like someone needs a fence. Or one of those invisible fence shock collars. In any event, I successfully shook the dog off this time after about two blocks and spent the remainder of my run on full alert. Luckily, Ellie and I didn't have any more visitors.

Speaking of animals stalking me, I recently contracted a severe case of crow-phobia due to another stalking incident. Once again, I was attacked while minding my own business. This time, my attacker used an aerial route.

On this particular morning, I found myself running later than usual and therefore got one of the furthest parking spots in the Zoo employee lot that requires a long trek to reach the office. I was pulled from my zombie walking state when I felt something whoosh through my hair. My eyes focused on an evil crow that landed right in front of me with a smug look. I've always hated crows, but this one was especially creepy and evil. And this particular creepy and evil thing had just dive bombed me!

Slightly unnerved, I picked up my pace while keeping one eye on the crow and the thing flew at me AGAIN. This time I ducked to avoid contact. The devilish fiend took refuge in a tree but continued to stare. I doubled my pace again and the evil winged thing flew at me YET AGAIN. That's three times incase you lost count. Aka this is not a coincidence, this crow is out to get me.

So obviously, at this point I broke into a full-on sprint and checked behind me every millisecond to make sure Lucifer wasn't closing in again. Needless to say, I received some very strange looks from my fellow Zoo employees when I screeched up to the security base to clock in. I would have judged me, too.


I have no idea why animals enjoy taunting me, but it's a common theme. Last summer I was laying out at the lake and woke up from a dockside snooze to discover a duck chowing down on my finger. Excuse me? Do I look like duck food to you?

What's with all this animal talk? Well, my friends, I HAVE FOUND MY BABY PENGUIN. But the baby penguin isn't the animal I'm talking about. I'm talking about lots of animals, as in a zoo full of animals. That's right, my former part-time employer has now become my full-time employer. Say hello to the Fort Worth Zoo's new Communications Coordinator. Wohoo!

I will continue to tell people I work at the Zoo and they will continue to ask me if I shovel elephant dung (answer: no). What will I be doing if I'm not managing feces? A lot of what I've already been doing. Namely, keeping up with Safari Sam's Blog. Additionally, I'll get to do more writing as well as some research to help discover what the Zoo's "next big thing" should be. I'm excited! More details to come.

For now, I leave you with this thought: Stay away from crows.

They'll get ya.

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