Follow rules when running with dogs
July 30, 2010
There are rules I try to abide by when I bring my dogs running with me. Most importantly, there has to be several creeks along the trail and, if youand#8217;re lucky, some lingering patches of snow. Iand#8217;m going to focus on the latter.
I recently brought my dog Slink on the Judah loop. We cruised along at a decent pace and luckily, we hit either a creek or a patch of snow every 10 minutes or so. Something I learned from my wife, the snow is key. He stands on the snow for a minute to cool his pads and then weand#8217;re off. He always feels more rejuvenated after a snow patch than he does from a creek.
The point is, we had a good time running together because I didnand#8217;t have to worry about him overheating or getting dehydrated.
The snow is pretty much gone now so I donand#8217;t take him up there anymore. However, there are still other options within the vicinity. The Warren Lake trail and the Pacific Crest Trail to Peter Grub Hut both have several creeks still running, but the Warren Lake trail still has some good patches of snow.
For a really great loop, Iand#8217;ll link up both trails for an approximate 12 miles. Slink doesnand#8217;t get to do that until mid fall when the temps are much cooler.
The other part of this story is probably going to piss some people off, including friends. Here it goes: If your dog doesnand#8217;t respond to voice command, I encourage you to run with your dog on a leash. The leash is for your petand#8217;s well-being, the other trail usersand#8217; well-being and overall safety.
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I wish Slinkand#8217;s actions were predictable, but since theyand#8217;re not, I often find myself in difficult situations as people are trying to get their dog before it approaches mine. I care for all animals and the last thing I want to deal with when Iand#8217;m several miles deep into a run is a dog fight. Itand#8217;s not fair to anyone involved, especially the dog.
I do seek out less popular trails when Iand#8217;m with him or midweek mornings when fewer people are in town. But if you must let your dogs run loose, I suppose thatand#8217;s just the way it is.
and#8212; Peter Fain is a local trail runner who competes regularly in regional trail races and snowshoe runs in the winter. He may be contacted at email@example.com.