Today was gorgeous outside!!! I needed to get some miles in for my Lazy IronMan March, and I thought what better way than to take my faithful, furry companion Mocha out with me to enjoy the sun. She walks beautifully on the treadmill downstaris, so I figured why not let her get some exercise with me outisde in the sun!
|My favorite pic of Mocha-- a couple years ago with the kidlets!|
Let me pause there for a minute. Do you ever have that foreboding feeling, telling you to turn back, run away and for Pete's sake STOP!!! I mile into the walk I wished that feeling had come only one house away from home.
As we continue walking up the street some dogs behind a fence start barking. Mocha pulled at the leash and whined and barked, begging to play. Suddenly I hear a screen door slam shut... "Drat," I think "A neighbor complaining about dog noise." Nope. A neighbor just let his dog out to join the ruckus. A yellow lab shot across the street strait toward my dog-- and stopped 2 feet short. I encouraged said lab to go back home, (Go away you dumb mutt), reprimanded my dog for trying to chase after said dog, and reached the top of the street without further harm.
Before I left the house I committed to 4 miles, and I was determined to succeed, come hell or high water. Want to know what hell might entail? Trying to walk peacefully in the sun with a dog determined to pull hard enough to dislocate your shoulder. I channeled the Dog Whisperer-- calm, dominate energy. I remembered that my dog must practice discipline during exercise. We practiced, She pulled. We stopped. Corrected behavior and continued. And Miraculously....
Two miles into the walk my dog relaxed. She walked next to me smiling, wagging her tail. Maybe this is what heaven is like. Success! Joy! Peace!
Things I learned:
- My dog thinks the grass next to the sidewalk is a free for all play zone. She does better if we walk in the road next to the sidewalk facing on coming traffic. She is walking in a smaller space and is more likely to be obedient and less distracted by the smells of other dogs on the grass.
- Having a dog pull you can really work the muscles in your back. Be prepared for muscle stiffness.
- SUNSCREEN! A four mile walk with a less obedient dog will take longer than a quick 4 mile run. Use the sunscreen and plan accordingly.
- Walking a dog takes mental and physical determination-- But the pay out is Immense!