Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Can you teach a Bichon Frise to pace herself?

Sophie has started running with me and Rebecka when we do our weekly run/bike in the neighborhood. She starts off with an amazing sprint (impossible to keep up with) and slowly loses her energy throughout the run to the point where her little head is drooping and her tongue is hanging so far out of her mouth that I feel compelled to carry her.

Today, she went with me as I did an easy run to warm up for weightlifting. Same thing: crazy sprint -> tired Sophie. So, the question is:

Can you teach a Bichon Frise to pace herself?

The only thing I could find on the www (granted I spent tops 5 1/2 minutes looking) was that you can teach dogs to pace themselves on the agility course. That's encouraging. (Hmmm, I think taking Sophie for agility training was one of my goals for 2007. I'd better get on that.)

I also found out that there is a dog running company in New York called Running Paws. They run dogs as a service. In fact, they train dogs to be better runners (and better dogs). Can you imagine getting paid while running!?!?

Actually, I read about a psychologist who offers to see his clients during a run instead of on the couch. My guess is that the simple act of running takes care of 50% of his clients' problems. When I told Todd about this, he said that he is thinking about having some of his office hours on the track once he becomes a professor. I can just see Todd running with a crowd of college students around him, discussing the latest on the secularization theory...

Maybe I can do running design sessions...?

Ultimately, I learned that Bichons don't really need that much exercise. Oh well. We'll still bring her along. When the day comes that she does not jump for joy at the sight of the leash, we'll know that she has over trained. Until then, it's hill workouts and interval training for Sophie every week. Hopefully, she is smart enough eventually to realize that going all out at the beginning of a run is not the best of strategies.

PS. She is currently lying next to me on the floor on her side and breathing contently. It's good to be a runner.

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