Learning to Run
One of the significant aspects of Louie’s training is adequate exercise. Louie is about 2 years old and has LOTS of energy. I have been suffering with an arthritic knee so could not run, even though I am an avid runner. In January, I finally was able to start running and Louie became my running partner. Louie was never walked on a leash until he lived with Sue from August- October. So learning to run on a leash was a challenge but really based on his hyperactivity, it is probably easier for him to run on a leash than walk. We started running in the middle of January and he has progressed very quickly.
The following is a log of the progress on some of our runs:
January 14, 2012 – Louie and I ran 2 miles. Once he got his zippies out, he trotted along like a pro! Just an FYI, his heartworms don’t affect his ability to run or play at all!!! We discussed his ability to run and play extensively with both the vet in New London and Coon Valley and both say with him being only Stage 1 and no detection of heart murmurs or issues, he is fine to run and play at will.
February 25, 2012 – Louie was a SUPERB running partner today! He had good running etiquette 90% of the time and only cut me off abruptly twice. Once an obnoxious bird flew across our path so he had to chase the bird and let the bird know that is not good etiquette to fly across our path. The second time, this guy on a bicycle came up along side of us and scared Louie! I do not think Louie had ever seen a bicycle before and he was terrified. He acted like a bucking bronco! Besides those two incidents, Louie seems to LOVE running! I wish we could run more days a week!
March 3, 2012 – Another big adventure this morning – we ran in big downtown La Crosse!!! We ran along the Mississippi River and saw ducks and boats and some really “smart” men who thought it was funny to drive up next to us and howl like dogs!!! Louie was so good, his tail was curled as tight as a corkscrew but he just looked at them and then sat at my feet while I tried to explain to the “gentlemen” that Louie was a stray and very scared. They seemed to catch on and drove away quietly. We then met the WHOLE Running Club – about 30 runners! Again Louie was very good, I had him stop and sit so he could watched them go by at a safe distance. They all ran by us and many said “Hi Pam” And Louie just sat by me and watched, no jumping, yipping or attempt to run away, he just watched on high alert. Once they passed, we continued on our run and all was good.
March 4, 2012 – Can you say “wound tight”? Louie’s tail was “wound tight”! I took Louie on an almost 2 hour walk today and his tail was a corkscrew the entire time!!! I met my friend Deb and her dog, Angus, near the marsh and went for a long walk through the marsh! It was a beautiful day so there was LOTS of stuff to look at!!! People, dogs, critters, water, birds. Louie had a lot to try and keep track of and while he was pretty good, he was extremely aroused the entire time! He finally calmed down once we started on the mile home which is through neighborhoods and an area he is used to. He immediately relaxed and we had a nice walk home. I think the combination of the marsh (which may have reminded him of his surroundings in Louisiana), the number of people, and walking with someone (we normally walk and run alone) may have been too much for him but he did very well considering all of that stimulation.
March 7, 2012 – Ran and encountered several bicycle and Louie seems to be getting used to them. His reactions were much less severe. We did encounter a new wheeled vehicle today that really set Louie off – skateboards! Two boys snuck up from behind and passed us Louie did NOT LIKE THEM at all!!!!!!
March 11, 2012 – First group run! Louie and I ran with two of my friends. This was the first time Louie has run with more than just me and he was pretty good. His main concern was trying to remove his gentle leader!! He kept stopping to try and rub it off. We ran around Pettibone Park along the river with Bald Eagles flying over head and then we ran OVER the big blue bridges!!! Very scary but he did it! These bridges go up and over the Mississippi River and you can see through the railing at the water WAY below! I am not sure who was more nervous Louie or me! I do not like the bridges because of my vertigo so we had to fight for the inside/solid wall lane! I won that spot, I decided Louie’s fear was less so he had to take the scary lane! We ran 5 miles!!! Did I say what a good running partner Louie is becoming? He even went up to one of the guys after the run and sniffed his hand!!!!
March 17, 2012 – Saturday morning run recap
1. Still obsessed with chasing squirrels – I guess that is ok it is a dog thing as long as isn’t rude and yanks my arm out it’s socket
2. Lots of bikes – no problem, yea Louie!
3. I stopped and talked to a few runners and Louie stood quietly and observed.
4. I stopped and talked to a lady in her yard – Louie did a few doggie sommersaults and rolled around her yard, Okay probably not polite, but he impressed her with his sommersaults (no foolin’, he can do a full front sommersault just like a human!)
5. Kids on scooters – Louie stopped and looked but didn’t freak, YEA Louie!!!
6. Sniffed a telephone pole and lifted his leg and peed on it! Louie NEVER lifts his leg and rarely pees while we are out running or walking!!
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