A blog about my life with dogs.......

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Everything in its place

The time is rushing by.

     Each morning I wake up and feed all the pets and myself as fast as I can. The sooner we can run together, Bugsy and I. An hour after our stomach's settle we drive to the trail. Me in my purple running shoes. Bugsy wearing his lupine green cow harness. I stretch and he pees on things. Bugsy has worked out at what marker on the trail we start to jog and he does me a favor and poops BEFORE we get to that spot on the trail. I bag his poo and toss it to the side of the trail where I will pick it up on our return trip. When we hit the marker we start to run. My ankles wobble with the first few strides. Bugsy struggles to ignore the smells rushing by us.By the time we pass the patch of purple flowers brightening the trail on the right of us, we are sailing smooth. We have doubled our distance since we started. We walk before, mid and after we run and we are making marked improvements. For a dog born to run Bugsy is incredibly patient with me. He runs just at my speed, which he could easily double, or triple. I am really enjoying myself each run, and if the days events don't give us time to hit the trail, I miss it. Could I be the same person who hadn't run half a mile in her life a few weeks ago? Still, the 5k is a marker yet to be hit, and I may do some walking (Lucky for me it's a walk/run so I wont feel bad about it if I do walk some) in the race, but I'm working towards not. On a hike today I found a flyer for another 5k and looking into running that one as well.

     Not rain, nor thunder, heat nor wind has kept us from our run yet. There is something about running in the rain against the wind that makes me feel like maybe there is a little super hero inside me. Should I find myself weeks or months from now uninspired I hope someone might remind me to read this blog as reminder, because I am loving our morning jogs!

     A jog with Bugsy. A walk with Captain-this is when the world starts to slow down. Captain slowly wondering down the road with me, sniffing every blade of grass, peeing on every mail box post. Both of us with the wind in our hair. Me searching the ditches for snakes, him searching for who knows what. Then, a hike with Comet.

     Oh! A hike with Comet! I have been avoiding the trails for months. First for back pain reasons (which have mostly subsided hooray!!! ) then to save on gas. I'm living frugally, and while I don't skimp on buying organic milk for me, or the raw meat for the dogs food, some things have had to be cut from the budget. Gas is so expensive and a regular jaunt to the woods adds up. But, after reading an article in Backpacker Magazine  (be still my wild heart, I will return you to the woods very soon!!!) about scientific evidence that hiking and camping, especially for 3 day trips, can actually make you smarter as well as calmer, I knew I had to break out. Comet and I hit the trail on this sunny day late morning when still no one else was in the park. I'm not sure who was more excited to be in the woods again, both Comet and I were ecstatic. Unlike Bugsy and I, who now-a-days easily find each others rhythm, Comet and I were continually raining on each others parade. Him launching himself forward in big happy romping leaps, getting ahead of me and choking himself. Me, decidedly slower then him despite my best efforts, continually stopping and waiting for him to remember that in fact I'm in the woods with him and my hand is indeed holding his leash. Despite this struggle, our happiness continued. Only a third through the hike I realized this, my dear enthusiastic Comet, must be my dryland mushing dog! Comet, so long as he is attached to me, stays to the trail, but yearns to move, move, move! By the time we climbed our third hill, I am dreaming about our future hikes together and any stress still on my shoulders slides away into the chirping forest. I can feel how much stronger my legs are since the last time I hiked here. The 5k training is paying off. Comet is much faster than me, but I am climbing the hills with greater ease than I remember. Once we reach the bench above the meadow I take a break to drink in the view. I sit on the bench and call Comet up to the bench with me. He sits up right looking out over the meadow with me. I see him fixate on this or that area, but can never see what he....smells?  The clouds are fluffy puffs of white, the trees are green and I am in love with nature. I want to sing a song but can't think of any happy enough to turn our pleasure into sound so I stay quiet. As we hike down the hill I make a mental note to remove the rabies tag and dog park tag from Comets collar and to find a better way to store my car keys. With all this jingle jangling its doubtful we will run into any wildlife today.. I can just imagine the sun bathing snakes sliding away from us and our jangling. Just writing this makes me want to run back to the forest. But here, back at home, I've plucked at least half a dozen ticks off of Comet and a few off myself too. The regular ticks you often see, the bigger ones, and the tiny deer ticks too. I should probably wear a hat next time. Right now, I don't even care. Ticks be damned, I am adding hiking (and the gas$ to get me there) to my list of priorities and camping plans are forming in my mind.

Today is a great day.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Officially a raw eater!

     Captain is officially a raw eater! He's come a long way, from starting by nibbling on boneless ground beef to devouring a meaty lamb breast bigger than his own head! The lamb breast bone took an hour for him to finish, and I didn't feed him much the next day to make up for his gorging. I'm so proud of him! In the last few weeks Captain has eaten buffalo tripe bone in ground chicken and beef, chicken gizzards and beef liver. Captain has chewed and eaten all or most of his lamb trotters, lamb femurs, lamb breast bones and beef chunks. Captain no longer looks at his food as if it is a puzzle he is too lazy to solve, instead he excitedly chews, pulls, drags and chews some more. Good boy, Captain!

To the left:
A meal for Captain-chicken necks and the last the of spinach and berries. He chewed and chomped like a champ!
In my neck of the woods....
I'm looking forward to some humane charity events sponsored by the local humane society including the Cedar Bend Humane Society Furry 5k and the Cedar Valley Humane Society Woof Walk.

     Today Bugsy and I went for a jog! We are planning to participate in the Furry 5K and while Bugsy is a pro at high speed foot work, I on the other hand have my work cut out for me. 3 cheers to setting goals and working towards them!! Woof !Woof! Horay! I have been stepping up my personal routine this week, and planned to begin my jogging when the new running shoes arrived. Today, the shoes arrived( I love them!!!). Along with the shoes I ordered a Skijor harness which I am super excited about. The plan was to have Bugsy wear the new harness when we run so he can give me an extra boost, and because I know he longs to go much faster than I am physically capable of! 

     I should back up,...Skijoring is the sport of skiing while attached to your dog who, wearing a harness, pulls you along. I recently read an article in BARK magazine about Dryland Mushing which follows the same principle, but in this case you are running on dry land not skiing threw snow. Upon receipt of the skijoring harness I realized in my haste and excitement I had overlooked some not so minor details. The harness does not provide the control it requires for us to navigate a narrow path with traffic, such as the bike/nature trail on a busy day, or the Furry 5k. I also will need some more equipment, BUT hey, this turn of events means that running with Bugsy may just be a regular part of our future, and less likely a passing single event with the Furry 5k. 

     After today, running on the trail together, Bugsy and I are both excited. Bugsy was so clearly thrilled to get one on one time outside, moving fast. He had a look of pride to him as we made our way home. So did I! Bugsy ran right beside me the whole time, keeping pace with me and never darting off. A passing walker even commented as she strolled by "What a good dog!". That's when the look of pride grew onto my face.

     On a good night, if you peaked into my window, you might see me running circles around my living room, playing tug of war with the dogs, dancing and singing to this song................sing it with me!
"I hope you could hear all the screams from the forest, all the ghosts in the trees and the love of a dog"