Monday, December 10, 2012

Running with the Pup and Tooting my own Horn

My training in the off season, along with my posting, has been minimal at best. I suppose I'm going for quality over quantity. I haven't swam in a month and I've biked 4 times since Branson at the end of September. Hopefully this will all change soon...Actually, it has to otherwise Triple-T is not going to happen. The one thing that has been decent is running, mostly with the pup. 

Our first big run was at the Chubb Trail which is arguably the toughest trail in the St. Louis area. I figured Loki needed some running boots for the trails. So, why not buy him the most expensive boots I can find...Ruff Wear's Bark'n Boots with a Vibram Sole for $70.

The night before our run, I struggled to put them on him then tried not to laugh at the "dog boot dance." He looked something like the video. Then we went for a walk. Apparently the boots turn him into a a psycho pup as he was constantly running back and forth, as far as his leash would let him, to the grass on either side of the sidewalks. That walk was a PITA. However, the picture below (posted on Facebook by Gear Junkie) made it all worth it. He had a blast running the trails and made me feel like a turtle. I managed to avoid being pulled over and smashing my head on a rock. 

Since he is still a puppy, and a Weimaraner, it's hard to keep him from sniffing EVERYTHING or from chasing after squirrels and rabbits. Hopefully, if the end of the world as we know it ever happens, I can count on Loki for rabbit stew. Anyway, all this makes it hard for good running form and I decided I need a hands free leash. After weeks of looking, I went with this one from Stunt Puppy. 

Clearly I bought it because of the awesome brand name but mainly because it's the shortest one I could find. Olly Dog has a great running leash but it can extend from 8 to 11 feet depending on which size you get. There are other leashes that also look good but extend way too far. I'm not sure why you would allow your dog to get that far away from you while running. 11 feet is enough for your dog to run in front of a car while you're on the sidewalk or wrap the leash around a tree on the trail. In Loki's case, enough to get a huge running start to chase a squirrel and pull me flat on my face. (Interesting side note: according to the St. Louis City ordinance, a leash longer than 6 feet on public sidewalks is against the law. Technically the Olly dog leash would be against the law. I wonder how many people with retractable leashes who let their dogs wander farther than 6 feet are aware of this...or how many city police are aware of this law. I haven't been clothes-lined yet so no complaints here. I imagine I'm one of the few people that has bothered to read it.) 

This leash works great, he generally stays by my side but in moments of excitement he can't get too far away. So far we're up to 3 miles without him stopping to lay in the grass. Hopefully someday I won't have to loop back to my house to drop him off so I can keep running. 

Now the tooting my own horn part:

Lately I've seen a lot of dog poop laying around and it bothers me but, I'm such a responsible pet owner. I only brought one bag on the run yesterday but Loki had to go twice, the second time being about 1.5 miles away at the park and the park dispensers were out of "mutt mitts." What did I do? I grabbed another bag when I dropped Loki off and ran the same loop to pick it up. Good job Brian!

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