Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Who let the dogs out?

Those of you who have been following along for a while will know I usually run with my dog Max.

The hound in all his furry glory!

When I started out on this running gig (the first time) I took Max with me, but he was a shocker on the lead - pulling ahead, jumpy when cars and bikes went past, chasing other dogs and getting all super-excited and boundy when he saw them. He tripped me up more than a few times and hurt my shoulder, so after a couple of weeks, I ditched him and concentrated on just lugging my own ass up and down the pavement.

And I did it! Finished Couch to 5K and ran in the Sydney Running Festival. All without Maxy-doodles.

After that I hurt my hip, got lazy, got fat(ter) and then had to kick-start myself again. I started by walking the dog. I read about training and watched Cesar Milan. The walks were INSTANTLY better - it was like he knew I was in charge. I got a Halti Collar for him and then we were set! It is not a muzzle, but puts you in control of the walk and stops pulling.

When I started up running again, Maxy was with me every step of the way, working our way up from 30 second running intervals to running the entire 5km! Rain, hail or shine. Except not hail.

We have our little morning run routine going - into the car, drive to the beach, he whines while I fiddle with my iPhone, out of the car for a little sniff, wee and poo (him, not me; I went before we left), stop at the garbage so I don't have to run carrying dog poo, 5 minute walk warm-up and then we are off! I now carry an extra poo-bag up my compression shorts so we don't have a repeat of the "unexpected second poo" incident. Back to the car for stretches and licks.

He trots along nicely beside me now. I "run" and he looks like he's out for a Sunday stroll. I've only taken him for one lot of sprints and he had no idea what was going on, I had to drag/encourage him to keep up - thank goodness it was only for 1 minute! He'll get used to them and so will I!

He has lost weight too! I've given him a haircut for summer, but he was getting a little on the skinny side, so on run days he gets a bit of extra dry food in the morning. We do not feed him treats! Not because he might get fat, but because his sensitive stomach reacts badly and then we have repeats of the "unable to pick up liquid poo" incident where I used all my post-run water trying to wash the offending mess away. Too much information? Sorry - we keep it real around here!

One of my favourite blogs is Shut Up and Run - she also tells it how it is and has a lovely JFDI attitude. She also blogs about all of life, and just yesterday she had me at "Lucky" - I dare you to read that post and not shed a tear. I'll wait while you cry...

Back now? Need a tissue or three? Here you go...

I will digress and mention, however, the annoyance I feel at fellow dog owners who can't do the right thing:

  • Dog owners who let their dogs poo on the footpath and either don't have poo-bags with them or don't even bother to kick it off the concrete where everyone is walking and onto the grass. Just defies belief.
  • Dog owners who have no control over their dogs on or off-leash. I get annoyed with people who let their dogs run around and set mine off with excitement.
  • I have a spent a lot of time and effort getting my dog to heel next to my left side. I understand that not everyone has trained their dog like this, but people - I'm trying to run, and it's bloody hard work! I am not here for your puppy to have a little 'socialisation' with my my puppy while we stand around and have chat. Keep your dogs close to you and not under my feet!

On the whole though, running has been fantastic for me and for Max. We are both much fitter and healthier. Max gets his exercise and discipline before he gets his affection. We have a much better human/dog relationship now and he knows who is boss (me!).

Do you run with your dog?
Have you ever had an "incident" that you'd care to repeat here?
Or you could just tell me how much you love your dog :-)
Cat-lovers, I'm sure you love your cats too, but you can't run with them! (or can you?)


  1. Oh my goodness, how timely! We are having wonderful weather and I ran for 30 minutes yesterday really enjoying not having to wear 4 layers. Got into the car all nice and sweaty and then, phew, is that me? I finally realized I stepped in "something". Damn stupid people. There are signs posted all over this park and they even provide numerous trash cans AND doggy doo bags. It just isn't that hard.

    1. Well, exactly Jane! Especially if they supply the baggies too!! What is their problem? I mean, it really is not my favourite thing in the world to picking up dog poo, but you don't have touch it, so just do it!

      Nice to hear you have pleasant weather! I don't think I've ever run in 4 layers - just cannot imagine it getting that cold. Brrr.