If you have a dog, you will understand what I mean when I say my hound goes absolutely berserk when I unpeg his leash.  He knows it’s time for an outing and he circles in excited anticipation as I click the leash to his collar and open the door.  Then the two of us are off on one of our three-a-week 5 km runs.

You would think by the pre-excursion excitement that Hondo is enraptured by his time running at my side, but the opposite is true.  He is the most pathetic dog I’ve ever seen when we’re out for a jog. 

Hondo plods along, clearly not impressed with the pace or the scenery.  For the first kilometer or so he is at a heel, but by kilometer three he is as far back as his short leash allows.  I encourage him, and tug him up so he’s even with me, but no amount of cajoling seems to make a difference. 

It’s not that he can’t do it, it’s that he feels sorry for himself that I’ve submitted him to the indignation of running for the sake of running.  I’m sure if he could speak he would vote in favour of running to catch bad guys, or squirrels or a ball.

You would think by now my dog would have figured out that when I wear shorts, runners, sunglasses and an i-pod we are going for a run.  If we were going to the park to play fetch, I would be carrying the ‘Chuk-it’.  When we run, I do not carry the ‘Chuk-it’ – I’ve tried, but it’s hazardous to my health.  Try running with the ‘Chuk-it’ in one hand and the leash in the other.  It’s a recipe for disaster when you have a high-drive dog.  I’ve got the scars from a spectacular wipe-out to prove it.

The other day I tried something and it seemed to make a difference.  At about the two-thirds mark, I stopped at a field and let Hondo off the leash to go sniff and do doggy things for a couple minutes.  It was a double bonus, as that morning was very warm and I was really feeling the effects of the run.  Hondo ran around and watered every standing piece of flora in the area while I caught my breath.  When he was finished and I was no longer winded, we completed our run in record time with him at a heel for the remainder.

That said, I don’t think I’ll make stopping a habit, because then who would be training whom?

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4 Responses to "Running"

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