“When I was a little pup my dad Dalmatian took me to the side and said “Boy, you’ve got to be happy; smile and wag your tail a lot!”. My mum Husky added promptly “Boy, you’ve got to run!!” I said “I will try dad” and “OK mum” and off I went to make them proud.
I lived in a few places. I remember well a lovely spot called Borders Pet Rescue where I made lots of friends and where lady and man hoomans visited me for the first time. They became my friends too and I soon moved in with them. I was happy and I smiled and my tail wagged a lot.
They took me to school and showed me new interesting places and took bicycle out so I could run fast and free next to them. I gave them some serious frights though as often I would just run and run and run…and while I thought this is so much fun and I can do that for days they didn’t find it so amusing. Especially when I decided to play some epic chasing games…
Thats when lady hooman found out about canicross. One Saturday she took me to a place called Vogrie Park where we met with other dogs and people waiting for the run to start. She thought she will surprise me -silly hooman – did not know I’ve been canicrossing before! You see I had a friend in Borders Pet Rescue called Andrew. He was a hooman too and I think you could have met him before. He was and is taking dogs out for runs and it is just so so good.
So there we were lady hooman planning to take things slow and me kitted out, strong and…well…in front! I managed to pull her all the way through – god was she slow. Man hooman is better in running so I rather run with him thank you very much. And best is when my furry sister Kali gets to join us and we pull him along together!
I tell you pups canicross joins all the best bits into one. You get to run and be happy and you also get to belong. As we run together with other dogs and hoomans we all get to be a part of a team and we have to pay great attention to one another. It helped me to connect better with my hoomans and listen to them…a tiny tiny bit more and of course only when I want to. I learned very useful commands especially for dogs like me -who like to walk in front – which I now get to do most of the time! It also helps me to sleep better and I even stopped eating pillows from the couch when lady and man hooman go to work. To be honest with you I really like my day now. I run than I rest before I eat then I get some peace and quiet. What more can you wish for?!”
“OK. There are few bits you need to know about me first. I like to pull. A lot. I like to run. A lot. I don’t like many other dogs. A lot. I just never know which ones are the scary ones so I bark at all of them just in case. Now that doesn’t really make me the easiest dog in the world, does it? That also doesn’t make me very unusual or different from many others. We are often nervous, loud and strong on a lead. What makes me special is this: I wear a harness. I get to run with my furry brother
and lady and man hooman that live with us. And I get to be in front and lead the way. And I like it. A lot.
There is more. When we go for a club run we run within many other dogs and hoomans that I would normally be really afraid off. Sure I bark a lot but only as I can’t wait for the run to start. Once we start moving I can run past other dogs with no bother at all. And to tell you the truth it makes me feel very good about myself so I wag my tail and stamp my feet and off we go again.
After a club run hoomans and dogs often stay for a bit of a catch up (and to catch their breaths). I see other dogs that were running and they seem to be tired and happy. I managed to make few friends there. I still bark at few dogs that I always barked at but lady and man hooman tell me to keep close and tell me lovely things about myself and how hard did I work and they are happy with me so I soon forget I got upset in the first place.
I saved the best bit for last. I went to my first canicross race in Foxlake in November. I walked past the stalls and past many dogs and hoomans and I looked at all of them. We did run together: Oscar, man hooman and me and we did splendidly well. But can you imagine that I only barked at the starting line when I couldn’t control my excitement any longer?! And then I walked past the stalls and past many happy dogs and laughing hoomans and I looked at all of them. And I felt too tired to pull. And I thought about this lovely run that I just shared with all of them. And in that moment I didn’t feel afraid. At all.”