The New Year Ekiden is a 100K relay race in Gunma Prefecture, Japan. At this year's race, held last Friday, Kenya's Paul Kuira was in second position as the lead pack neared the finish.
Oh yeah? thought a nearby dog. Not if I can help it.
And then the dog did what needed to be done:
Kuira recovered and went on to finish in 12th place.
As is so often the case, this story raises more questions than it answers. Questions like...
- If a runner had spotted the dog in advance and shouted at it, would the dog have understood what he was hearing? Or do Japanese dogs only understand Japanese?
- Where is the owner in all of this? Is there some way we can identify him and then proceed to crucify him on social media with a relentless campaign of self-righteous contempt and shame with the stated aim of "ruining his life"?
- Are we certain that Mr. Kuira is actually tripping over the dog? If you look closely at the video, it appears he vaults the canine, then stumbles and falls only after the dog is behind him.
- If that is indeed the case, can the dog sue for defamation? (I am unfamiliar with Japanese law.)
- Isn't this the sort of thing you would practice in training? If not, it should be. Because you never know when a little dog might— LOOK OUT! DOG!
- Not really. Just trying to keep you on your toes.
- Does seeing the word prefecture instantly remind anyone else of this bit from the Mr. Sparkle episode of The Simpsons? Or is it just me?
While we mull these questions, this video offers an important lesson for us all:
LOOK OUT! DOG!