I recently took up trail running at a park near my apartment with my dog. His name is Tip and he is an 11 year old beagle mix. He basically looks like a beagle with the brown, black and white colors in all the right beagle places but his bone structure kind of resembles a short snouted short legged lab. See below:
It always looked like fun to run with your dog. Cute dog, plus cute running outfit and you got yourself the perfect Instagram moment. So you hand a stranger your phone and proceed to fake run past them as they snap images of you. This was not my day yesterday.
Tip is rather quick when it comes to running. The problem is he is much faster than me in the beginning. Being as old as his is, his energy level is shockingly high. But he doesn’t know how to pace himself…because he’s a dog.
So at the start of the run I have to pull back the reigns to keep him from dragging my ass down the trail. He likes to launch himself down hills covered in tree roots, sand ( I live near Lake Michigan), and rocks. Pretty dangerous situation when I’m attached to the other end of the leash.
The when it’s walking time, his type of walking is straight up jogging lightly. I never get to rest. Which is good for me but the problem comes when we get 1.5 miles out into the woods and fields. Suddenly he’s depleted his energy and I have to drag him back home.
He’s naturally a hunting dog so he likes to sniff out small animals like squirrels, mice, and cats. It took 4 months to get him to stop hunting our new kitten this summer. He doesn’t EAT them when he catches them though which is why we weren’t too worried about the cat. He pulls them out of their hiding place and plops them on the ground like “Here you go mom! I caught you dinner. You can have the honors of killing it.” No thank you, Tip. I’m good.
Naturally, in the middle of a sprint in the middle of the woods, the dog detours suddenly launching himself into the trees after a squirrel at full speed. I run passed him with no time to change direction or speed. And suddenly I’m on my ass cursing his name and nursing my arm socket.
He also HATES other dogs. He hates other people too. Overall, he thinks everyone and everything is out to get us. Especially the squirrels. I usually take him out to the trails early Saturday/Sunday morning to avoid the dog and people crowds. This week I took him out after 5:00 pm on a Wednesday. Bad decision. So bad.
We got 1 mile out and ran into a dog. When that happens we either go back in the other direction and take another route or turn off the path if possible. It’s not the other dog’s fault that mine is psycho.
This time, right after turning back we instantly ran into another dog. I took him down a side path and we ran into two more. We saw 4 dogs in a matter of 3-5 minutes. Tip was in a straight up panic attack. He was phantum peeing on everything (when a dog tries to mark his territory but ran out of pee). He was so mad at me for not letting him hunt the dogs that he just beagle whined at me the entire walk back to the car.
And yet through it all, I continue to take him out in public. It’s either real dog love or it’s the selfish runner inside me who doesn’t want to run alone.