This spring as the snow melted quickly I decided it was the perfect time to get back into running. It also occurred to me that it would be a great opportunity to exercise my two year old , 90 lb., black and white American Bulldog who had been cooped up all spring semester.
It sounded so much easier than it was.
For the first five or so runs through our neighborhood we looked uncoordinated to say the least; me trying to run while he thought we were playing, trying to attack the leash and bark at me. There were more than a few tripping incidents.
We have finally gotten the hang of it and run regularly. Looking back there are some very important things I have learned from running with my dog.
Firstly, I feel ten times safer running in Anchorage with my dog. After the Koenig case and having incidences with sketch people in our neighborhood, I already knew that running by myself was out of the question. I know that one of the most important things is to be aware of your surroundings but I feel like two sets of eyes and a way better nose than mine helps me notice things I might otherwise overlook.
The second thing I have learned is that taking my companion on runs with me, it feeds two birds with one scone (I don’t believe in stoning birds): we both get exercise and I do not get annoyed by his excessive energy at home. Every time I see or hear about someone who must get rid of their dog because they cannot get them to stop chewing on things they aren’t supposed to or because they don’t have time for the dog, it seems like some exercise would definitely help. Most people workout, why not just take the dog running instead of running on a treadmill at the gym? Not only does running with your dog decrease their energy, it forms a bond of trust between an owner and dog, which decreases separation anxiety also. That bond of trust is an integral part to any team.
The last and probably best thing about running with my dog is that whenever I decide it is a perfect time for a run, his schedule is wide open.