Running with Shitzus

3 days a week Rene and I take our two scruffy dogs for a jog-this exercise is mostly for me and Rene as we’ve been trying to work towards a 5k run for a few months now. We have a beautiful trail close to home that leads us through the woods under a canopy of shade trees, next to a creek that stretches just over 2 kilometers down to the beach.

Sometimes if it’s too hot for them or due to timing, I’ll go out on my own.  While it’s definitely a more ‘focused’ run, it’s way more interesting to enjoy the personalities of the running squad and the friends we meet along the way.  I have many more laughs and smiles at the meet-ups with other dogs and their owners, and at the end of the trail, the reward of the beach where we can take off our running shoes and cool off our feet in the lake. When we get there they love to lie

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in the water or gallop along aside us, and often need to be chased away from trying to roll their backs into dead fish carcases (why, oh why must they do that??!). One time I got a shock when one jumped in the lake when  he’s never been in water before-after a pair of ducks casually coasting along-I was in disbelief at how good a swimmer he naturally is-it really is in the genes! Now they know when we put on running gear they start ‘dancing’ around and don’t leave our sides-knowing it’s jogging time-and we feel very guilty if we’re not bringing them this time or if they are mislead by our outfits as we aren’t going at all.

In the meantime for me,  I feel in myself the benefits of being in better condition-the breathing and agility improving, stronger and greater energy. As we get closer to being able to run 5k without stopping other than for the dogs to do some ‘sniffing’, I have asked my triathlete friend Paula to coach me (and Rene if he keeps going with it) for a 5k race.  For now, the company of the shitzus and their entertainment value are my biggest motivators.