DISTANCE: 10.13 km. DURATION: 53 minutes
Billy is Bahrain bound tonight so this morning was our official last run. I knew despite cougar warnings in Fish Creek that this was the route we should take on our last run together as we have had so many good memories here. Billy sure was ready to turn and burn and we had a few sub 5 min/km. There was a lot of activity on the trails but I also talked loudly to Billy so the cougar would stay away from us. Billy has been my Monday workout buddy and I accredit him for helping me with my speed-work for marathon training. Thanks speedy guy! He has made huge strides in his recall and ability to stay focused on my commands and I am so proud of him. But what I will miss most is his quirky sweet personality. We have had many adventures and I will cherish them. Yes, a few tears were shed in my car. As the saying goes, "How lucky am I to have someone (Billy) that makes saying goodbye so hard! The Scoop: 1 pee and 1 poo (a bit runny due to perhaps some travel stress). Safe journey Billy. Keep in touch!
DISTANCE: 13.03 km. DURATION: 1 hour 9 minutes
Saying goodbye to a dog you have bonded with
(like Billy) is really challenging! As a Foster Mom to several dogs, you would think I am used to it but it does not get easier. I am really going to miss Billy and his lovely family. I have enjoyed my runs with this fast Brittany Springer Spaniel who is an amazing athlete and gives me a fantastic workouts!. Today's plan was to savour every kilometre with him and go a touch further (as I did not want to say goodbye). We stayed on the ridge of Fish Creek Park before heading down toward's Glenmore Park. I let Billy have a quick mud bath to cool off as we were pushing the pace. Everyone we passed kept saying, look at that muddy, happy dog! We have so much fun together! Billy has made huge progress with his listening skills and I am really proud of his growth. He will stop on a dime at the crosswalks and be attentive to my commands. It is so great that he can contain his big energy and then when I say let's go, he is full speed ahead with unbridled enthusiasm!. We got a few fun summer shots today, one next to a moose statue and one next to the neighbour's ice cream truck. The Scoop: 1 poo and 4 pees. Billy is off to Bahrain! Keep in touch and tell your family to send me an update. XOXO!
DISTANCE: 12.06 km DURATION: 1 hour 4 minutes
There were several signs of summer on this morning's run with Billy. #1) In Calgary, there is a saying that there are 2 seasons: winter and construction season. It was exciting as the dog pathway that has been closed for the past months has now reopened so we got to run on nice smooth blacktop. This meant we could run even faster! #2) We ran past sidewalk art including a hopscotch. This brings back memories! #3) The Alberta wild roses are in full bloom so we took a quick photo and sniff. #4) Billy got quite hot so we found a pond for him to cool-off. #5) Mud, mud and more mud! I really cherished this run with Billy as I only have a few more with him until he moves to Bahrain. For now, let's just enjoy each other and summer! The Scoop: 1 poop and a record 7 pees.
DISTANCE: 10.01 km DURATION: 53 minutes
Here are some of things that make Billy want to run fast. #1: Billy had to wait patiently while I chatted with his mom so when we finally got out the door, Billy was raring to go. #2: Going to Fish Creek Park always makes Billy's adrenaline spike because there is lots of wildlife there. #3: We actually came very close to a deer and Billy was ready to chase it so that took his speed to a whole new level. #4: The chance to go for a quick swim. #5: Does Billy ever go slow? What makes Ruth go fast? #1) Billy. #2) Seeing a sign that there is a cougar in the area. What a fast run with this amazing boy! The Scoop: 2 poops, 2 pees.
DISTANCE: 11.31 km DURATION: 1 hour 1 minute
If I were going on an expedition, I'd pick Billy to come with me! Billy & I took our usual route today which includes passing schools and day cares and therefore lots of kids in the neighbourhood, a trail-like path that leads to a big overpass bridge and then a popular off leash park. We enjoyed each stage of our route and as usual met lots of people and dogs! First, a little boy jumped out of his van on the way to daycare and with his cute voice said, "Hey, he's Fluffy!" At the dog park, Billy met a a Husky named Teddy and a mutt named Rover. He also met a Sheltie puppy whose owner was trying to give him a nice walk and some play time before his appointment to be neutered....poor pup! (I'm sure Billy told him it would be okay via dog communication). I also had to take the opportunity to brag about Billy's big Doggy Dash win as the Sheltie owner said he'd heard Brittany Spaniels are very fast As usual Billy was fabulous with all people and pups and gave me sweet smiles over his shoulder periodically along the way. Have a great day today, Billy boy, I sure enjoyed our time together! You do so well in all conditions. The Scoop: 1 poop, several pees.
DISTANCE: 11.09 km DURATION: 57 minutes
A last minute run with Billy on a Friday is my idea of pure joy! I love ending the week with a great workout and an inspiring workout buddy. Billy recently won the 2nd Annual Doggy Dash (as I predicted) so he wanted to show me how he did it was a sub 5 minute first kilometre. The conditions were ideal with perfect Albertan blue skies, a light breeze and beautiful trails in Fish Creek. I almost have to pinch myself to believe it is real as this run was true perfection. Billy had one stop in the river for a lie down to cool off before resuming full speed. His second stop was to see his adoring fans Teri and Karen who we met when Billy escaped in his Houdini days. These days, Billy just likes to go fast and stay close; my kind of dog. The Scoop: 1 poop, 2 pees.
DISTANCE: 11.51 km DURATION: 1 hour 2 minutes
Billy & I sure seem to luck out with the weather for our runs lately. Yet again this morning was perfectly beautiful! Today in our travels we met some extremely nice people and dogs. First was a dog that was loose and approached us as Billy was nicely sitting prior to crossing the road. He was a very friendly and energetic Blue Heeler. He had a collar but he wouldn't let me check it for an address or phone number. Then there was a lady waking her kids to school who said she would watch him and try to catch his collar so Billy and I could continue on our way. I hope she was able to help him home! It was so nice she offered because this dog was very excitable around Billy. At the park Billy said hello to some more nice pups too (see pic). Next we met a man who was running at exactly our same pace who suggested that the three of us would sure make a compatible running group. We shared a laugh as we've seen him before. We enjoyed a nice visit and a few hundred meters together and then Billy stopped to do some business and he coasted ahead. THEN a lady walking on the path insisted she take our poop bag, saying she runs too and knows how tough it is to carry and said she would be by a bin very soon. How incredibly nice! Then I had a nice quick visit with Billy's mom and grandparents when we got back. Thanks for the fantastic outing this morning Billy, I greatly enjoyed it! So glad we live in such a kind and helpful community. The Scoop: 2 poops, lots of pees.
DISTANCE: 11.55 km DURATION: 1:02:33
This morning was one of those perfect times for a run. Billy agreed as he let out an excited howl when I opened his crate. The weather was perfect; sunny but not too hot, fresh but not raining and with a nice gentle breeze to top it off. Other people and dogs must have agreed because I bet we met over 25 dogs and 25 people along the dog path. Billy was fabulous with all of them and was happy to keep it to a brief hello and we kept running. What did throw him off though, was a white rock he was POSITIVE was a bunny. Sorry for the disappointment Billy! When we got back he was very thirsty but wasn't quite ready to eat yet. He had a pepperoni appetizer and is just getting through his kibble as I create this post. Thanks for the amazing run as usual Billy! The scoop - 2 poops, tons of pees.
DISTANCE: 10.94 km DURATION: 1:05:39
There was a 3 runners to 1 dog ratio this morning for Billy's run. Prospective DGR Runners Nik and Sarah joined me to learn the ropes with DGR speedster Billy. Our run started with a 4:30 min/km dash and then we slowed it down to chat and work on some of Billy's new commands. Next I led the team off-course into the bushes and down into Fish Creek Park. Billy thought this was fabulous and I am sure Nik and Sarah thought I was crazy. Once we hit the paved pathway system, we met a Greyhound named Zeke and his owner. It made me realize that Billy could easily be nicknamed The Greyhound. We took turns sprinting with Billy and all 3 of us commented on how much easier it is to run with a fast dog attached at our waist than all alone. With the heat, Billy had 2 water stops. One was a little stream where Sarah held a strong squat to keep from joining Billy in the water. The other water stop was close to home where a friendly dog family left a dog sign and bubbling water fountain for the dogs to use. What kind people! The scoop: 1 middle of the road (literally) poo and 2 pees.
Runners; Ruth, Sarah, Nik (and of course, Billy)
DISTANCE: 11.92 km DURATION: 1:04:38
I'm telling you, there's no better way to start off a week than with a Monday morning run with Billy! Due to recent cougar sightings in Bebo Grove, Fish Creek, we took a different route today and went North along the dog park. It was fantastic when Billy decided to do his business literally right beside a garbage bin for me! As we were running along the path, a lady getting out of her car yelled "Hello Cooper!!!" Billy and I went over to say hi and I explained that this handsome and energetic boy is actually named Billy and we chatted for a few minutes. Then as we headed off, she said "Goodbye Cooper!" yet again. There must be a Billy-look-alike named Cooper in the neighbourhood!! We had a great run as usual and it was so inspiring the way Billy had his tongue flailing and was panting, yet was bounding up the hills and loving every second of it. I wish he could come with me to races. He was even better than last time at sitting before crossing and obeying the "leave it" command and I also got some nice kisses from him when we get back home (I'm sure I was salty!). He's a wonderful boy. Are you sure you have to move away Billy??! The scoop - 1 poop, several pees.
DISTANCE: 11.60 km DURATION: 1:01:15
It was a perfect day for us to head into Fish Creek Park and then around Woodbine! Before we crossed any road, I encouraged Billy to sit first and he did really well with this. A couple times he sat and then schooched over closer to me on his own; it was really cute. Of course, in the park we encountered squirrels and bunnies, which he instinctively raced to, but was responsive when I said "leave it". This also worked when we met a huge cat near Woodbine Blvd. I didn't end up using the electronic remote or whistle and kept him on leash today because although he's made such progress, I didn't want to take any chances plus we were doing so well together on leash! He is such an excellent running buddy and a big sweetie. Look how long his tongue is in one of his photos! A big thanks to his sister for helping us get organized to head out!! Have a great day today Billy The scoop: 2 poops, 2 pees.
DISTANCE: 11 km DURATION: 1 hour 2 minutes
Mondays are my legs day as I teach a 6 a.m. Spin class and then grab my coffee and head to Billy's for our run. Just like my participants at Urban Athlete, Billy is hardcore and they are both what motivates me to bring my best. With today's snowy/rainy drizzle and my chest cold, I needed the push of a fast dog like Billy. I was also pretty excited as a cyclist in my class made me some borscht so the thought of that yummy, hot soup for lunch also kept me going. Billy was ready from the get go and actual paced inside his house for me. I got a cute pose of his unique sitting position on the step and we were ready to take on Monday. We ran into some ladies we know who commented on how attentive and well-trained Billy is since his Bootcamp. I agreed. He really is remarkable. We also ran into some deer in the woods in Fish Creek and Billy was quite vocal with them. The other dogs we passed did not interest Billy as he was all about the running. It must be his leg day too. The scoop: 1 poop and 1 long, long pee.
DISTANCE: 12.14 km DURATION: 1:08:40
Today is Patriot's Day or Boston Marathon Monday so who better to run with than my fast friend Billy. We decided to go a little further today because I was thinking about all the inspiring runners who were pounding the pavement in Beantown. Billy, of course, could probably run 26.2 miles as he is built for running and has amazing stamina. We ran mostly in Fish Creek with a combo or paved and dirt pathways but we were able to find a "Heartbreak Hill" to climb up in honour of the Boston Marathon. We did find time to practice commands as well and Billy truly stops on a dime when I call him to heel, sit and stay. He truly deserved a medal for finishing this run with such speed, style and grace. The scoop: 1 poop and 2 pee.
DISTANCE: 10.51 km DURATION: 1:00:45
These are some of the "B" components that make a fantastic run: beautiful weather, best behavior and Billy. Today was my first run since Billy went away for some extra training to help with his recall. I decided to keep him on-leash and do some training for the first few blocks and last few blocks. Most of our run was fast and free without a care in the world which was a reward for him focusing so well on his training. He truly has made some remarkable progress and was so great at listening for the "Sit, "Heel" and "Stay" commands when we got to any curb. I really enjoyed every single moment of this run and I think Billy did too! The scoop: 2 poops and 1 pee. Thanks Billy Boy!
DISTANCE: 4.5 km (estimate) DURATION: 1 hour
Today was a really joyful day as I was going to see Billy after about 6 weeks without our regular Monday runs. Billy went to a bootcamp/training facility of sorts to improve his off-leash behaviour as he had a knack of escaping. He had definitely earned the nickname Houdini. I met with his lovely mom who walked me through the steps and cues of how to work with him on and off-leash. Billy has a soft spot on my heart but seeing this new and improved version made me melt. I can tell he has worked really hard and as a result seems like a more settled and happier pooch. His mom is continuing to a do a great job with him and I am so impressed and amazed how far he has come in this short time. I took a video of him off-leash being called back to sit. You can see how he is more attentive as he keeps checking in. He definitely has honed his listening skills and wants to please. His reward is pats and praise. He understand "Heel", "Sit", "Stay" and "Come.." Next week we are going to give running a go combined with some more leash training. I am excited to be brought back into his inner circle of care. Love this boy! The scoop: 1 poop and 1 pee (if memory serves).