Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Day 34 - My dog the runner.

My best running buddy is my dog, Mandee.

Good running dogs are, by definition, high energy dogs. They need exercise. If they don't get exercise, they will go crazy and take you with them.

This morning, I was faced with a dog that was bordering on insanity. She was jumping and twirling and generally behaving like an ADHD kid on a meth and Red Bull cocktail.

I'd hoped to run with my bipedal running buds at work, but this could not be ignored. Faced with a full day in her crate, if I didn't take her out for a run, she might quite possibly vibrate to the point of exploding. And that's a mess nobody wants to clean up.

So we geared up and off we went into the cold and the dark and the morning commuters with their high-beams on and their travel mugs topped off. I was a blast.

She's a great, great running dog. She can go for ever. Hot, cold, whatever. Bring it on. The beep from my GPS watch as I power it on to find it's place in the world sends her into an anticipatory frenzy. At stop lights she sits patiently. She mostly behaves when dogs pass. She's always disappointed when the run ends.

I love that my dog loves to run with me. She never complains about the weather. She's never late. She wags her tail every step of the way.

I don't have a great running dog by accident.

  • First, I chose her well. She's genetically predisposed to run. She's sturdy stock, svelte, and strong. (Shar-Pei, Golden Lab mix)
  • Second, she loves it. Not all dogs do.
  • Third, she's been trained. We went through obedience training. She knows to heal. She wears a training collar. More importantly, she knows I'm in charge. THAT my friends is critical. You do NOT want to be running with a dog that you can't walk without them trying to separate your shoulder.

Having a dog that can run, that loves to run, is a treat, and a responsibility. If you're considering getting a running dog, remember that they need to run, often. And please check the animal shelters first. They are full of dogs that are ready to run as often and for as long as you want.

Good Running,
Doug (and Mandee)

Numbers: 3 miles that felt fantastic. My legs were actually springy. Springy!