Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Dogs on Trails

I love, love running with my dog. I also love not study epileptic drugs (which I'm not doing right now). Running with a dog is a great way to have a fresh perspective on running. Here's a short list on why
1. They take potty breaks. You may have to clean up after them, but I love it when he's the one that gracefully bows out on hill intervals, you know, to "go potty". I can also assure you that he's had a few fake-outs, to get a blatant break. I love him for it.
2. Level of safety/assurance. I don't like it when the wife runs w/o the dog. He's very, very defensive of us (he's a rescue pooch, it happens) and I always feel secure when he's on board.
3. He's constantly happy. Running is by far the thing he loves most in the world. Belly rubs come in a close second.
4. He can drink from streams. I'm not going to lie, I'm jealous.

That being said, a quick discussion on dog ethics should be had.
1. I don't find it offensive to let your dog poop in the woods. I do find it uncalled for if the dog poops on some one's yard. Also, just flip the poop away from the actual trail.
2. Don't think that your dog is the most well behaved dog in the world. It's not. I met the most well behaved dog in the world, and it's not yours. That story to come.
3. LEASH YOUR DOG! Just yesterday, on our hill interval workout, a lady was walking on the trail with two dogs, unleashed. The ran uphill to us, I pulled Scoot off to the side and tried to call them off. The front mutt got aggressive towards me, which Scoot will have none of. Barely was a fight avoided, and trust me, the other dog is lucky. When it comes to protecting his owner's, Scoot (who is incredibly well behaved to ppl) will have NONE of it. Worse of all, the lady attempted to call her dogs back, showed absolutely no control over the dog, and didn't even bother to jog up to stop her dogs from confronting us. LEASH YOUR DOG!
4. Please, please don't forget that your dog is covered in fur, doesn't sweat, and does much poorer than you in hot weather. Treat them with respect. He can out-sprint you, but not out sweat you.

Perhaps the best training tip for running with your dog? Scoot knows that when my arm is held out to the side, at 90 degrees, he's supposed to jump up and let me hold him. This is very, very handy for crossing metal grate bridges (no broken paws here), and to avoid precarious situations (running into 5 coyotes this January comes to mind). I can't tell you how handy this trick has been.

Time to learn some more about Levetiracetam. I did have to look how to spell that word at least 3 times.

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