The rain stopped this morning just long enough for the 2010 Madison Dog Jog. The event is an annual fundraiser for the UW School of Veterinary Medicine. The funds go to humane organizations that participate in the vet school's spay/neuter program for shelter animals. It's also the very first organized running event that my wife Andrea and I have participated in.
The dog jog is a nice little two mile run/walk around the park north of the UW hospital near University Bay. The fun, and challenging, part is that it's an event most people do with their dog(s). That means that the course also includes speeding labrador avoidance exercises, poop stops, and detours so your dog can mark every vertical surface along the route. We brought our two Shiba Inus, Hachiko and Inari with us (Hachi's on the right) . After some thought I gave Hachi to Andie because he knows how to walk and run properly on a leash so she wouldn't have to fight him the whole way. That meant that I got Inari, our almost 8 month old puppy who has boundless energy and doesn't quite understand "heel" yet. For just a two miler I found running it out fairly challenging because I had to devote so much concentration and energy to controlling the 15 pound pinball I had on the end of my leash, that I had a hard time running with good form. Also not helping was the fact that I forgot to attach my Nike+ sensor to my huaraches so as it was bouncing around in my jacket pocket it was only recording half the distance travelled, leading me to believe that we had waaaay farther to go that we actually did. I know this affected Andrea's mood a bit, but she stuck it out and pushed hard all the way to the end. I found the finish line a pleasant surprise as I had downshifted to conserve energy. When I was told by one of the volunteers along the route that we were almost done I managed to find the energy to sprint the last 100 meters across the finish line.
Lessons learned: take the time to set up any gear you're brining along, and train the little one to run properly on a leash before the next dog friendly event.
All in all, a good time and I am so proud of Andrea for how well she did. Thanks to all the other participants and I'm sorry if my dog was a little shit to your dog.
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