Running on the back roads of southwest Wisconsin (admittedly, sometimes at dusk), I am often afraid that some critter will come out of nowhere and attack me. Granted, I know that many of you live in areas in which the “creatures” can be bigger, faster and even scarier! If you were out for a run, which of these five animals would you be most afraid of being chased by and why?

1. Stray Dog

Your first thought may be that a stray dog would be the least scary. After all, it could be someone’s pet. However, you don’t know the dog. Considering the fact that dogs are one of the fastest animals in this list (and they have big teeth)…hmmm…I am not THAT fast!

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2. Skunk

Small…yes. Do they typically chase? Not really. But if they feel threatened…possibly. Who wants to experiment with getting too close to Pepé Le Pew? I’d rather not have to take a post-run bath in tomato juice, thank you very much.

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3. Owl

Apparently, owls can be rather aggressive creatures and quite hazardous to runners! (See examples here and here.) Watch your ponytails, ladies!

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4. Coyote

Hearing coyotes howling is nothing new, but some people tend to comment that they sound close when they are actually miles away. Well, miles away or not, they are still near someone, and I RUN miles away!

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5. Geese

Aww, look at the birdies — they are as cute as ducks. Not. They are unfriendly. If you turn your back, they will charge at you, especially if they have goslings nearby (speaking from experience)! Admire these creatures from a distance!

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Keep your eyes open, runners! You never know what could be chasing you out there!