Have you ever had one of those runs where absolutely everything goes wrong? Well today was one of those days!
For those thinking of getting a dog to run with here's a few things to bear in mind first!
I love running with Loki. It’s fun. He offers a distraction so I don’t focus on how far I’ve run or how I feel. I have an excuse to stop and walk. He’s good company. He is also very protective and makes me feel secure.
For me, Running is a stress relief. Sometimes I dread going out but I always (well nearly always feel better after I’ve been out).
Today started relatively well. I thought we would head around the trails of the uni and get a bit muddy and have some fun. All was going well for perhaps half a mile. We came across another dog walker. Normally, this isn’t too much of a problem. Loki gets a little distracted but knows he is out for a run and usually just continues (looking back many times as he runs). Today, Loki decided that being a pain in the arse would be more fun. I put him on his short lead as we approached. He pulled a bit but we managed to pass and then I extended his lead again and then we should have been on our way. Loki had other ideas. He stood his ground and wouldn’t move. The other dog owner misread the situation and thought it was a good idea to approach and try and introduce his dog. Please note, Loki does not like either dogs or people he doesn't know. As anticipated Loki reacted and growled. We then had to stand at the top the hill and wait until the other dog owner was no longer in sight before we could run on. Sadly, he chose to go the same way I had planned so I had to change route.
On we went again. Not running too badly. Loki stopped to do his business. You have to wait a few minutes after he's finished - if you bend down too early to pick it up, you end up with your face being sprayed with grass as he does his stupid kicking thing after!
Like the responsible dog owner I am, I continued, poo bag in hand. I thought we'd head up to Warmgate Stray before it got dark and have a run around there. Off we went. I could see another runner approaching in the distance - heading towards us. I put Loki on his short lead and kept him close. The approaching runner, in his wisdom, thought it would be a good decision to pick up his speed and sprint towards us. Now, if you ever see anyone out walking/running their dog. I do not recommend running towards them at high speed! Again, Loki reacted and growled, obviously thinking I was in danger. I apologised to the runner - absolutely no idea why as he was the one running high speed towards me and then we were back on our way. Loki was running well up to the Uni track - he stayed on the pavements, stayed close and was relatively well behaved. We got on to Warmgate Stray and it just went pear shaped.
It was great running - plenty of mud and lots of fun. There were so many creatures out though - rabbits, ducks and Loki was in one of those playful moods where he decided to chase everything in sight. He also decided to stop, sniff and pee on every mole hill he came across. So running across the stray we were stop/starting every few minutes and then he would randomly run off in the opposite direction (whilst still attached to me), nearly decapitating me in the process as he tried to chase the ducks and the rabbits. Half way across the stray I could smell something unsavoury! Wondering if I had stood in something, I looked down and no lie, the poo bag had exploded and it had gone everywhere. Yay! I did my best to clean up and double bagged the mess. How come, you can never find a poo bin when you need one? I had to run another mile before I could find one.
The stray had been pretty muddy, the handle to his lead sometimes trails so it ended up soaked in puddle water and being covered in mud, so I was now covered in poo and mud. Mmm nice.
As we were still out and I was getting a bit grumpy, I thought I would continue and hope the run would improve and I would get home in a fabulous mood. So on we went, me covered in poo and mud, the dog without a care in the world. With all the stopping and starting and the chasing of rabbits, we ended up going down by the army barracks when it was a tad too dark for my liking. Feeling a bit spooked, I tried to continue to run for as long as I could dragging Loki along as he wanted to stop and sniff every 2 minutes.
Up onto Fulford Road and the stopping/starting continued. They say that running is bad for your knees. I personally feel that this is nonsense and just a myth. However, I can say without a doubt that running with a dog is most definitely bad for your knees. You can be going a fine pace and then bam - your dog stops dead, tries to decapitate you and you come to an abrupt stop too. I have a proper running lead and harness too so it does have a bit of give. It doesn't always help though!
After having a few words with Loki, I decided to head home but go the long way back and try and get up to about 7 miles (not the 9 miles planned but it was better than the 3.5 I had done). Loki had other ideas. Part way along the Fulford Road, Loki's lead felt slack. I looked down and he had wangled his way out of his harness. Absolutely no idea how he had managed this. Luckily he hadn't strayed and was by my side. I put his harness on and on we went. We turned left and started to head home. For some reason, Loki turned in front of me, causing me to trip and kick him. This was the sign I needed. I called my husband to ask for a lift home. He didn't answer.
I called my kids and told them what had happened. They couldn't stop laughing. Evils sods.
They wouldn't let my husband know and just continued to laugh until Jon called me back and I hung up on them. He laughed hysterically too but agreed to come and get me.
We got in the car. Loki kindly spent the trip home standing on my legs and as we went round the corner, his claw scraped down the inside of my thigh - that's going to leave a bugger of a bruise.
I was so pleased to get home. My kids were still laughing hysterically at me. I stripped off straight away - my clothes went in the washer and I went straight in the shower. I've been told I will see the funny side of this. Not today though - I am still scarred by the memories and physically scarred by the cut to my thigh!
So for those thinking that running with your dog is all niceness and fun - it can be, but not always. Hopefully next time will go a tad more smoothly with more fun and less poo!
Soundly asleep now!