Once a week I usually take my dog, Fudge, on one of my runs. Typically a shorter run (between 10-15k’s) on some trails that are very close to home. I was inspired by that Salomon Running Video ‘Trail Dog’ (https://youtu.be/05sUhlxFBk0), besides, Fudge loves to run and she loves going with me. Where I go there usually isn’t anyone else around so she isn’t on a leash and that has been causing me some issues lately. As the days have been getting shorter I’m running in the dark more often, running in areas where kangaroos are plentiful. As it turns out, kangaroos love dusk; which is when I run, and Fudge loves chasing kangaroos. So she darts off the trail and into scrub and towering pine trees while I continue running along the trail. Most of the time she comes back to me, but more and more regularly she doesn’t and I have to stop and call out to her, interrupting my rhythm. And there have even been a couple times where I have had to backtrack so she can find me. If it wasn’t dark, this probably wouldn’t be a problem but just recently on Saturday I took Fudge for a run during the day. She does what she always does, darts off the trail and when she came back she was unable to stand, as if bitten by something. I’m not sure what happened but it made me stop my run in an exposed area (it was cold) and hope that she got better. After about 5 minutes she was able to stand again and I was able to continue my run, but it interrupted my rhythm. (Fudge seems fine now)
I take her with me as I know she really enjoys it and where I go is deserted. I like having her as a bit of security as she can hear and see things that I can’t, so if anything is abnormal she can let me know. Also, she’s a great training partner. She is much fitter and faster than I am over the distance I take her on, so I challenge myself to keep up with her over the course of the run. She also is starting realise what I'm doing is a regular thing, and anticipates it towards the end of the week. She has this excitement when I mention the word 'run' to her, and in turn that makes me excited. She has an appreciation for the little things that make life great, which is contagious.
I’m wondering though if the cons are starting to outweigh the pros, and putting her on a leash is out of the question as I need my arms to balance when I’m out on the trails. Do any of you run with your dogs on the trails? What are your experiences? I think I'll stick with her.