"Man's best friend" is a catchphrase for tame dogs, generally referring to the category as a whole. The popularization of the term is said to have occurred in a courtroom speech byGeorge Graham Vest in Warrensburg, Missouri in 1870 who said, "The one absolutely unselfish friend that a man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him and the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog."
I love running with my dogs. The way they look when they know I am heading for a run is priceless. They really get "a look" on their faces. Eager, excited, and hopeful, with a smile. Yes, both of my dogs smile. With their teeth. True story!
It has been quite a while since I have taken either of them out on a run. I have been running...they have not. So this morning, in this gorgeous, crisp, fall weather, I decided to take them out.
I think even the mere "thinking" that I was going to take them, got them excited. They were running around, and leaping in the air. Tucker (our Golden) chatters his teeth when he gets excited. Actually audibly chatters. It is hilarious, and I wish I could get him on video doing it. He does this when he is excited for anything. If I buy him a new toy, and get home and tell him so, he sits with great anticipation, and chatters. When our older kids come home to visit, he chatters, and when he knows he is going running, he chatters. This morning...WOW!! He was excited!
Being that it has been a while, I was unsure of Tuck's mileage and pace. I decided that I needed to take each of the dogs on their own. They get ridonk-ulous when I try and take them at the same time. So Tucker was 1st, which meant that Greg was going to have to listen to our Yorkie, Ava, go holy-ape-$hit when I left. She runs laps around the inside of the house, barking and carrying on until I get home. (Not good on days when I am out running for 2-3 hours) She also climbs onto the dining room table, and onto the windowsill to watch and wait.
So off I went with Tucker in tow. I hook his leash through a race belt, or my Spibelt, so I can be hands free with him. I decided that he could easily do three miles, at maybe a 9 minute pace.
THIS DOG IS OUT OF SHAPE!!
His 1st mile, he did great! Stayed right by my side. Didn't worry about the other dogs running up to their fences. He is sometimes nervous when they run at him. I kept telling him, that they were cheering for him, and to keep up his good pace.
Next 1/2 mile, he is starting to slow down. Hmmm? At 1.5 miles, we turn around. I walk with him a little. I try and get him to let go of the leash he is insistent on running and walking with in his mouth. I tell him to drop it and breath a little bit. No luck. So we head back, he is doing pretty good, but his pace is falling. His 9 minute miles, have now dropped to about 9:45. Then we get to the last mile. This is the hill we live on. From the bottom, to my driveway is exactly one mile, and it is ALL uphill. I stop with Tuck, and give him a pep-talk. "This is it Buddy. Last mile. All hill. This is your Rocky Balboa moment. Now suck it up, and give it your all!!!"
Did I mention, THIS DOG IS OUT OF SHAPE!
He is really starting to drop his pace now...10 min mile, then 10:20. His bungee is tight, and I am looking like a sled-dog climbing the hill with my dog behind me. *What is wrong with this picture?*
I think to myself, Thank Goodness I have been doing all of this Insanity/Asylum. This is feeling just like one of those workouts. So up the hill we go. One mile, bungee tight, running, with me PULLING my 70lb Golden Retriever. Kick-Butt workout!! The quads definitely got burnt today.
I get Tuck home, get him water, and congratulate him on his awesome run!! He is a happy boy!
Tucker is ready to Run!
I hook up Ava to the same bungee.
This dog.....bullets out of the door. She is a Yorkie, but pretty sure she doesn't know it. I think in her mind, she is ALL Greyhound! She is my little Speedy girl. And she just never stops. So Ava is sprinting in front of me. She is fast and compact, and muscular. This dog is built for speed. She is ALL about sprinting. 1/2 mile, 3:10 Not too bad for a little 8 pounder.
We get home, and Greg looks at me like....well did you just got to the corner? Not when I am running with Allyson Felix I tell him.
**If this gives you any indication on these dogs' running styles...when I meet people, I often attach a theme song to them. I know, sound a little kooky, but I do it. I meet them, and the song pops into my mind. I think it is because a lot of times I see my life as an animated feature. Anyhow, I have also attached theme songs to our dogs.
Tucker's life theme some is: Click Link
Ava's life theme song is: Click Link
That may give you a little more of a clue as to how my running morning went!
I get back after my all out sprint with The Ava, and we take a little cool down (walking for me, and her running in circles and leaping into the air) before we come in to stretch. This is another time, when for some reason, these dogs go crazy. If they run with me or not, when I get home, I always say, "Ready to do some stretching." That's their cue. They looooove stretching. They will both sit in front of me on the floor, and go into Downward Facing Dog immediately. And then the rolling starts. Over and over they roll, then onto their backs for tummy scratches, then stretching into what I call "the long body" New Yoga term? Only in the doggy world. They growl, and smile, and roll and do Long Body over and over until they feel like they have had some successful stretching. Then they always feel like they need a little kibble. Recovery meal, right?
What a great way to recover from a run!
All ready "to do some stretching!"
And onto the back!
The Long Body
One very Happy & Tired Tucker after 3.35 miles!!