After walking past them, crossing the bridge, I was passed by a woman jogging towards them. Behind me, I could hear the dog start to give off slightly strangled barks, like you'd expect for a barking dog being restrained by a leash. The dog's owner started to shout to the jogging woman, "Hey! Stop running! He doesn't like it when people run!" (she had headphones on and couldn't hear him, but I couldn't exactly help out this situation -- also, I never heard any screams or clear-throated barks, so I figured it was safe to assume I couldn't have assisted).
You know that claim a while ago about how cats have a parasite thing in their droppings that makes folks go nuts in a way that turns them into crazy cat folks, thus making life easier for cats? I'm wondering if the same sort of thing should be looked for in dogs/dog-owners.
I hear situations like this far too frequently -- Oh yeah, the dog's perfectly friendly! [dramatic pause] ...unless you perform a fairly innocent action.
If only I could go back in time to the first attempt to domesticate wolves (thus leading to dogs) and instead point out a fox to the person. It'd only be a problem if you innocently had rodents and flightless birds running around your yard!