Therapy Run

In Dogs on November 21, 2011 at 12:37 am

I went for a 3 mile run today.   My first run in a couple of weeks or so it seems.  I’ve had this nagging chest cold that just won’t go away.  There is no fever, no runny nose, just a dry cough that comes on in fits.  The weather was perfect it was cold outside and not raining.  I think it’s a sin NOT to run in the Pacific Northwest in the winter when the sun is shining and there is no chance of rain.

So I leashed up both dogs, bundled up and headed out the door.  You see it was part therapy for me and part therapy for my dog Koda.  I have been away all week and with this chest cold I’ve haven’t run.  If I don’t run then Koda doesn’t run either. If Koda doesn’t run, he has the same anxieties and frustrations that humans are prone to should they not run.

Case in point, the dogs get left in the house when my wife goes to work and the kids go to school. It’s a part house protection and part dog comfort an agreement we have when the weather is ugly.   I went away, I was the only one away.  During that week I lost my favorite Under Armor running visor and calendar that I write down my training days on.  I lost it to a very frustrated Golden Retriever who is mad at me.  He chewed both of them up to bits.  He selectively picked out those two items out of the entire run of the house and chewed them to a barely recognizable pulp.  My stuff and no one else!

By the time I got back from my trip, the dogs were being crated, a regression back to their puppy days.  You know crating a dog is supposed to be comforting to a dog.  Less area to protect and fewer anxieties for the dog, I have been told it’s more humane.  Ruth has a crate and Koda has a big crate and we use them on occasion. But it is not without its frustrations. Ruth likes crating and Koda does not.  I will open up the crates and say ‘Get in!’, at which point Ruth  will always go in the big crate.  I can’t get her out and get Koda in with any sort of ease.  So it ends up the two dogs go in one crate.  They don’t seem to mind and almost seem to prefer this setup.  To me it looks weird!  Hence we gave up on crating as a standard practice.

I wish dogs could talk.  I wish they could voice their frustrations.  We as humans are left to pick up the clues (literally).  I’m more interested in the more subtle things they could tell you.

“I’m a little sore today! Can we only go for two?”

“Hey I’m feeling great let’s do two more”

“That hill was tough can you give me a second and I’ll be good for a couple”

“Dude! Where the f__k have you been? I ate your f__king hat because you haven’t run in a week! A__hole! WTF?”

Well our therapy run went well.  I took both dogs out.  Even my little Miniature Schnauzer Ruth kept up to our pace.  It wasn’t about pace it was more about getting therapy.  One mile was all it took. I dropped them off and went for another couple miles for my own therapy.  It’s amazing how much fitness you can lose in a couple of weeks.  I’m sure a lot of it is only perceived, couple that with a chest cold and it feels like running for the very first time.  It was a kind of discouraging but on the plus side it can only get better.  I just need more therapy.


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