A Dog's Life

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Thomas

Trad climber
The Tilted World
Dec 4, 2007 - 10:08pm PT
Thanks for the info, Blinny.

Not to hijack the thread, but for those of you that have done a fair bit of trail running with your dogs, what can I expect over the years? He has done more 20 milers with me than I can count and a few runs that checked in at 30+ miles. Lately we have been staying near the 10-13 mile range and all seems fine. Cool temps, good water, and he is diggin' it.

Post up, runners with dogs--share your experiences!
Aya K

Trad climber
New York
Dec 4, 2007 - 11:26pm PT
I am not much of a trail runner any more, but we still go out a lot, and I think that the things that made the biggest difference in Stella (she's got a congenitally gimpy leg that started getting arthritic when she was around 6) were glucosamine/chondroitin (I get the huge bottles for like $12.99 at Costco; lots of clients at our hospital have lots of good results with Cosequin but honestly, I can't afford it and the Costco people-stuff seems to work) and with her diet.

As she got older (she's 12ish now; this was more like when she was 7-ish), I switched her to a senior food (lower cal, higher carb, but had glucosamine/chondroitin in it) and she got FAT despite exercise. Switched to prescription weight loss (even fewer calories and more fillers) food and she got even FATTER. All her joint problems got aggravated. Her energy level went way down. I switched her to a very restricted amount of a higher protein food (Canidae. I just bought a bag of Innova EVO and we're going to give that a whirl starting next week.) and the difference was amazing. At ~9 years old she started acting like a puppy again. She's definitely slowed down a bit the past couple of years, but she can still pretty much keep up with us on 15 mile hikes and on the big scrambles up talus fields and whatnot. I don't make her carry a pack anymore, and if it's cold out, she's got a little jacket (she's an old lady! Would you send your grandma out without a coat to keep her joints from going creaky?). I notice that she doesn't really run off anymore; if we're on the trail she'll pretty much just stick right by our side from the get-go, but she still really seems to enjoy it. I keep a close eye on her and if she seems tired or limpy at all we take breaks (I'm a slug, anyway, so I don't mind them).

It's still hard for me to leave her home alone when we go out, particularly when Rocky can come with us (he's only like 3 or 4ish) so I find that whether I do it consciously or not, a lot of times when deciding where to go for the day, I'll take her into account and e.g. pick trails that are flatter. On the other hand, the reality is that she really is getting older, so sometimes I'll make her a nice treat (she likes it when I take peanut butter, kibble and chicken stock and freeze it inside a big bone) and leave her on her big, cozy bed at home.
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 5, 2007 - 06:14pm PT
Swimming dogs ... puppy dogs ... snow dogs ... trail-running dogs.

It's no wonder so many of these critters show up in the Happy Threads too.
Thomas

Trad climber
The Tilted World
Dec 6, 2007 - 08:48pm PT
Aya, thanks so much for the detailed reply. My dog, Higgs, just received a clean bill of health on his annual check up, so let's hope that it stays that way.

Happy Thor'sday everyone--go do your pullups!

Gary

climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Dec 6, 2007 - 10:22pm PT
Lacey here made it to over 14,000'. She had enough SPS and HPS peaks to qualify for membership in both organizations. Knew the San Gabriels better than most people, loved to backpack and carcamp. Made a couple of 5.9 moves once trying to follow her Mom. She did the Baldy-Iron Mtn. traverse among other adventures.

Gary

climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Dec 6, 2007 - 11:42pm PT
Well eKat, you can tell which came first by looking at the condition of the davenport!

The sad part is that, as much as my gf wants a doggie, there isn't one for now. We go too many places where dogs can't go. It's cruel to leave a dog home by itself every weekend, so we don't feel justified getting another.
nita

climber
chica from chico, I don't claim to be a daisy
Dec 7, 2007 - 12:16am PT
Scout and Sydney.... Donner lake
dirtbag

climber
Dec 7, 2007 - 12:19am PT
Absolutely adorable Chiloe
Chaz

Trad climber
So. Cal.
Dec 7, 2007 - 01:42am PT
This one is happy as hell as long as she gets a run in the hills every night.

Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 7, 2007 - 09:15am PT
They'll do what ever you want them to do.
You'll do what ever you think they want you to do.
They'll learn to adjust to your whim.
They will please you to the death.
That's where WE come in. We have to be smarter than they are. We have to protect them from ourselves.


Wonderful post, eKat.

Great photos and stories from everyone. I hope we got more.
steelmnkey

climber
Vision man...ya gotta have vision...
Dec 7, 2007 - 09:24am PT
Classic doggie story...

My wife came home a couple nights ago after work. She'd read something during the day about bear encounters and how you should take your jacket or coat and hold it above your head all spread out to make yourself look bigger. So when she walks in the door (where she knew Riley would be looking for her when she came in), she runs a little experiment and holds her jacket up over her head all bear-style while coming down the hallway.

And my brave guard dog takes one look, then turns tail and runs...all the way through the bedroom and out his doggie door into the back yard. Didn't even bark.

What a weenie. But we love 'im to death.

Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 7, 2007 - 09:43am PT
And my brave guard dog takes one look, then turns tail and runs...all the way through the bedroom and out his doggie door into the back yard. Didn't even bark.

What a weenie. But we love 'im to death.


Heh, I'll bet that would work on my dog too. I've had other dogs who feared loud noises like gunshots, thunder, fireworks or sonic booms. Jack doesn't care about that stuff at all, but he freaks out when I chop firewood. Runs around to a back of the house, jumps up against a window sill and says "Please let me in now!"

He runs upstairs as soon as anybody bangs a pot in the kitchen, too. Comes back down when something smells good.
macalpin

climber
UT
Dec 7, 2007 - 10:11am PT
Gimme some turkey!

happiegrrrl

Trad climber
New York, NY
Dec 7, 2007 - 10:29am PT
Here's Teddy at the cliffs on the last day I was out this season. The weather was low 40's and I didn't want him to be cold.

bwancy1

Trad climber
Dec 7, 2007 - 10:43am PT
Busted getting into the garbage.

TwistedCrank

climber
Ideeho
Dec 7, 2007 - 11:06am PT
Jack digs the choss in Leslie Gulch.

bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, Ca.
Dec 7, 2007 - 11:29am PT
Bear/dog story...

So we're camped on the far side od Edison Lake in the Sierra's. It's nighttime, we're sitting around a nice fire chillin' with dog Maggie. Behind us, in the pitch-dark forest we here some twigs break repeatedly. We kinda joke that it's probably just a bear or something moving through, probing us. Maggie hears this too (she loves chasing rodents) and decides she's going to track it down. She trots off into to darkness and then starts barking furiously about 30 yards out of camp. I didn't like the sound of the bark so I grabbed a big stick and flashlight and went to investigate. I got a few paces out of camp and Maggie comes tear-assing past me to my wife. Maggie's got a horrified look on her and his shaking uncontrolably. Yep, probably a bear. I took a few more paces out of camp and I can hear a low grunting noise. I think Maggie surprised the bear and kindad pissed it off. I decide it's probably better to let him be. I figure if Maggie pissed him off that much he'd leave us alone, not wanting to deal with a small barking pest.

Maggie the bear pest.
bob d'antonio

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Dec 7, 2007 - 02:47pm PT
Not my Basset...but we have one just like this.

Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 7, 2007 - 02:52pm PT
Another true bear/dog story, starring Jack three Octobers ago.

Half an hour ago I was walking my dog in the woods. He suddenly took off like mad chasing a bear cub. Right after the dog chasing the cub comes mama bear chasing my dog. Yikes, I'm thinking, waiting to hear awful sounds, but the cub runs up a tree and the dog outruns mama, then suddenly it's just me and her. I walk backwards quickly, feeling like I'm on the corkscrew summit with no pro, calling loudly and clapping for my dog as I go. He's taking the Great Circle route home, I hear him barking bravely from a long way away. We both get back to the house safely and I tell my wife "You won't believe what just happened!"
nita

climber
chica from chico, I don't claim to be a daisy
Dec 10, 2007 - 02:45am PT
http://youtube.com/watch?v=uBqXGjBcTWg
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