Jogging with your dog: He doesn’t feel like it?

Article about jogging with your dog in the Netherlands
By Laure-Anne Viselé, November 2010

As a dog writer, I have a bit of a professional deformation: I see dog diseases everywhere. So I indulged in my Munchausen’s by proxy again (seeing diseases in someone else). This time, it was for lumps on my dog’s rump. Completely unimpressed, the vet squarely told me, à la Dutch: “Your dog’s too fat” (shame I can’t do the European accent in writing).

After getting over the frankly crushing humiliation, I figured I’d take the dog jogging with me as I go every couple of days anyway.

True to form, I had him tested for heart problems (predictably enough: negative). Looking good on paper. Didn’t quite work out, though…

So there’s me putting together a jogging survival kit (thirteen items on a good day):

For the dog:

  • Scooper bags
  • Small treats (he IS on a diet)
  • Reflecting dog bandana: I want cars to see him
  • Flashing bike light on his collar: I want to see him myself
  • Leash

For me (it’s winter in my Dutch village):

  • Woolly hat;
  • Two pairs of jogging trousers;
  • Two sweaters;
  • A fleece jacket;
  • High-visibility vest;
  • My snazzy jogging shoes;
  • i-pod on a wrist wrap; and
  • i-pod headphones (yes, bright green).

The whole ordeal takes about twenty minutes, but, somehow, I am still roaring to go. The unsuspecting dog too: he still thinks he’s going for a ‘regular’ walk.

And then it happens: five quick steps to jogging abyss).

  1. I start off in a trot to the sound of, say, Peggy Lee. Already the dog is trailing behind.
  2. After a few seconds, I have to kind of hop in one place until he’s caught up every five meters.
  3. Five minutes later, I get sick of the whole thing and move on to Abba (there, I said it), clipping the leash on. He grudgingly follows my pace, soon dragging behind like a trawler.
  4. I quickly take pity on him (always fall for his theatrics) and unclip him. I then start jogging (to Guns ‘n Roses, no less) in a zig-zag, so that he has less distance to cover (yes, it IS humiliating).
  5. After ten minutes of this regime, utterly disgusted, I bring him back home to my very amused husband, so I can start my real jog.

It wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t constantly have to take my earphones off to politely answer the well-meaning but Oh-so-Dutch question: “Hij heeft geen zin, he?” (“He doesn’t feel like it, does he?”) .

Jogging to keep fit? Definitely. Having a dog to keep fit? Mmmmmmhhh. All I know at this stage is … that dog will be the death of me.

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  1. Posted 2 December 2010 at 00:58 | Permalink

    Okay, I have to admit (simply because of my blogging strike!) this article… is the kind I live for! I LOOOVE these sorts of articles: It’s a funny, absolutely adorable story about girl and dog. That’s it. It’s so freaking cute it kills me.

    He really *didn’t* feel like it, did he? Yikes! Kind of silly, considering that Koda would love you more than me because you do jog, and I think your dog would prefer my preferred pace. Hehe. (I switched walking styles – 30ft drag line, dog, and open field. She runs circles around me, literally, and twenty minutes later she’s ready for a two hour nap. Don’t worry, we still practice nice walking and heeling…just not when she needs to run her puppy energy away…)

    This really is pissin cute. I like how you admitted your music styles and cringed about it. That’s just funny. (I would do the same!)

    I am not even ready for winter walking… I don’t have rain boots yet. o_o and I am NOT walking out there in regular shoes or boots. I’d ruin them and my feet would be cold!!

    Does your doggie wear shoes? What do you think of those? I think I might get Koda some because I worry about her paws if we’re going to be out there for a while. I certainly wouldn’t want to walk barefoot (but…that is uncritical anthropomorphism, and I’m not sure how a dog would feel about shoes or about paws on snow. maybe I should ask the vet! lmao)

    Oops. Ranting because you put me in a good mood. =^-^=

    Again, FUUUUN article. I love it!

    • Posted 2 December 2010 at 23:08 | Permalink

      Aaaaaaw so sweeeeet, JJ!

      I’ve been wondering about boots for dogs. Never tried it but he was limping this morning (for 2 secs, I knew to remove the hardened bit of ice between his pads), so I reckon it’s time I looked into this seriously.

      But the whole jogging thing: he does it come rain or shine. He is just plain lazy, lol.

      Re: music style, I haven’t admitted the worst: my grand finale, last little stretch before I get to the door….
      Fame! “Remember my name. FAAAAAME. I wanna live foreeeever…”. To think my husband is a punk drummer!

  2. Alexandra
    Posted 8 December 2010 at 13:49 | Permalink

    So, so funny!

    I have no trouble imagining these people saying, Hij heeft geen zin hè….
    or the, no doubt, indignant look on his face while trailing behind on his leash.

    • Posted 10 December 2010 at 11:42 | Permalink

      hi hi, you’re imagining right. And what’s frustrating is that I have to fiddle with my ear things for about a minute to hear that same old tune each time…

  3. Mariana
    Posted 6 January 2011 at 12:13 | Permalink

    Hahahaha very funny your story. Perhaps you could borrow a second dog to stimulate yours? I have two dogs and one is not very athletic but when her good friend starts to run she goes after her and the game begins!
    Here we don’t jog because of the impact on my week knees I’d rather bike where the impact is much less, so they follow me.
    I must confess that when I’m with them I have to go much slower as they have very short legs (dachshunds) but they love it and try all the time to go faster and faster but I control them and we have a good biki/walk time, around a hour sometimes more.
    This is my first time visiting your blog and I’m already a fan, very good indeed!

    • Posted 6 January 2011 at 16:29 | Permalink

      Thank you so much for your comment, Mariana, and for the compliment!

      Sounds like my dog could take some lessons from your Dachshund. Talking of which, had you heard that story? They found one who was trapped in the sewage for days!

      Riding my bike with my dog has been on my list of things to do, as I live in the Netherlands and I feel I should integrate to Dutch habits more, but that would involve getting me on a bike ; )

      How fabulous that your dog sticks with you for 1-hour bike rides! Rodger would trail along for four minutes, max, then he would stage a sitting protest!

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