Monday, December 5, 2011

Run with a Jolt?

I have added a couple of short jogs to my workout schedule, mostly as a warmup for the stretching core strength exercises which I now do after each run. Another beneficiary of these early morning activities is Mellie, who loves going for a run with the master, especially when it includes some off-leash time.

As the weather has turned colder and the sidewalks slipperier for my faithful canine companion and me, we had a strange adventure on the Snelling Ave bridge S of the Fair Grounds. It started when Mellie yipped in pain and anguish as we were heading north across the bridge, just after crossing the first BNSF tracks. I was jure I hadn't stepped on her toes, which sometimes happens when she inadvertantly runs into my path. She was really disturbed and kept looking over her shoulder. A few days later we were closing in on that spot from the north and as we were approaching she started to be nervous. She yipped again, this time I saw it clearly: she stepped on a large metal plate covering a bridge expansion joint. In my mind there must be an electric current in that plate.

We ran across the bridge on the opposite sidewalk, albeit she was nervous she did not cry out. This morning we came from the north again and while she was a little scared she did not seem to feel anything. I'm guessing that the snow-deicer mix probably grounds the plate and disperses most of the current. I am going to take my volt meter out there to check it out. I am chronicling my training on a website frequented by my orienteering club mates (Attackpoint). One of them, Todd, read my log and replied with a link to a Strib article form 2009 mentioning that some light-post-watering pooches were rudely jolted when doing so in Minneapolis. The city started an effort to check light posts for faulty wiring and eliminated further canine sterilization by electrocution. I will be keeping a close eye on that particular spot and figure out whom to let know about this.

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