On Hal’s running forum, there was a post asking about running with dogs. The forum is difficult to post a photo to because of the limits regarding photo size so I posted here to get the picture in a post-friendly size. Here is the response (with a few edits/improvements) that I wrote to the forum, and thought I would share it with you all in case you run with dogs.
I rescued Lucky from the pound 4 years ago. He was a gift for BoBo’s 10th Birthday but has become more of the family dog. He will be 10 year old on October 13th.
When we first got Lucky, he was about 65 pounds. He was eager to go anywhere that I, his life saver, would go. This initially upset BoBo A LOT, but that’s another story (sorry).
Because of his eagerness to go where I would go, running was naturally in the picture. We started slow and he would have lots of energy wanting to go FASTER than I wanted to.
At that time, I used a regular leash and insisted that he stay to my left right at “heal” position. I would let him have free wandering on the retractable type leash for walks though. After a while, we got comfortable with each other and Lucky was allowed the same freedom on runs. Eventually, I allowed him to run off lead for stretches. I used to live by some railroad tracks so he would go off lead in the sections between street crossings.
In those days, Lucky was good for about 6 miles. He is now slowing down and I can take him for about 2 miles, but either I have gotten faster or he has gotten much slower. He likes the idea of running, but he is more of a walk-runner, now. It’s sad. We’ve tried. I feel like a dog abuser when he is “gallowing” his way home. And when I say “gallowing,” I mean the type of gallower that walks more than runs (not the opposite – I know there are runners who use the Galloway tecnique as a way to run injury free).
I agree, and laugh, regarding the references posted in Hal’s forum about emptying the GI track about 3 times in the first 1/2 mile. Just let your dog get it over with, and toss that bag. But ALWAYS have a back up for the occasional surprise pit stop. Water? Yes, bring it, or run when the sprinklers are going. They like to lie in front of the sprinklers to drink. Lucky just refuses to drink without getting soaked too. Even better is running where there is a place to swim along the way. We *had* to do that on one occasion when I took him too far on too hot of a day. I was still learning then and hoped that I would be forgiven by the home owner’s society of that community where I let him go in for a swim in their pond/fountain area. We didn’t seem to get noticed. I was desperate.
I sometimes feel guilty as I grab my running shoes and head out the door with him. He gives me that longing for run look and I just ignore it. Sorry, Lucky, my runs are longer than you can go these days; we’ll go for a walk later.