Mon 6 Jun 2011
I have run The Slacker twice now. It was my very first half-marathon. I also ran the 4 mile race a year later.
Once thing that impressed me about this particular race is that you can run it with your dog. Everyone that registers does know that dogs are allowed. The race benefits an animal clinic. There will be dog water stations with small pools along the way. There will also be water sprinkler for both runners and animals along the route.
There are shuttles that transport runners from Georgetown to the Loveland Ski Area. Dogs will only be allowed on one shuttle bus.
I am not worried about the race and that dogs and runners are comfortable with the half. I am more worried about my dog, Sami!
First of all, her Vet has passed her for the run. She is current with her medical.
She has learned to drink her water from a sports bottle. That is important as I run with an Amphipod Belt system. It is an adjustable system that you can add to or subtract from. I carry the same amount of water for her that I carry for me.
Why do I like a belt? It keeps my hands free. I like that. Which brings me to “Dog needs to be under owner’s control.”
I’ve been working on this control system for a while now. How to keep my hands free, while keeping Ms. Muttly under control?
I knew she had a harness. I bought it to keep her in a seat belt in the car. I went out to the car for it, but, of course, it was not there. So, I searched every where else. Nope. I still didn’t find it!
So, it became necessary to find/buy another one. Talking with some friends online, I found out about “The Sporn.” This harness was designed to control a dog that pulls on the leash. I ordered one. It came, it was fit to the dog, and Sami and I started to run together using it.
The Sporn does not go around the neck. It goes on the chest and under the dog’s front legs. There is padding where the legs meet the body. It is worn as a loose system for easy control.
I added an additional Water bottle ‘connector’ to my running belt. I ran a 5 foot 1 inch wide leash through that connector essentially making that a leash holder. I connect that to the harness leash connector, and “Voila!” I have a hands free system.
Sami and I have been running in this for a few weeks now. It works and it works effortlessly. It feels to me that she is not leashed. She has some freedom and so do I! She knows we are going for a run when I get it from where it is kept and I approach her with it. So excited at first, but she handles it much better now being patient with me as we put it on her. You can see it in the picture above.
A friend asked me, “What if she runs after something, such as a tree sheep (squirrel) or a harebit (rabbit)?” Well, she has. After all, Sami is a dog! She has great interest in things of that nature. With one start from her, I found myself re-sewing my Amphipod belt. I used a stretch stitch and the belt is holding up now. I have to be somewhat attentive, and watch for/feel for her interests in her environment. Then, the quick command, “Leave it!” and things go runningly!
My treadmill is broken now. One day, I got on it like most other days, and nothing happened. Well, that’s not entirely true as it will incline. But the main tread belt is not moving!
There are wildfires in Arizona and Southwest Colorado now. Weather conditions are hot and the smoky haze from those fires is funneling in to the front range of Colorado. I’m trying to get out as early as I can, to beat the heat (and hopefully not breathe in too much of the hazy conditions.
Less than three weeks to go! Will Sami be ready?