DISTANCE: 7.37 km DURATION: 1:14:29
Leo had no idea who was walking into his house this afternoon! After a few minutes of warming up to each other, we headed out for our run! I was surprised when he went straight for the snow bank to have a lay down! After about 20 minutes of sniffing and finishing his business, Leo was ready to run! We met some rabbits along the way, and Leo was VERY interested in playing with them. We trekked on though, and made our way to Ramsay where we realized we had lost track of time! We decided to head home and by this time Leo was very attentive and happy to run alongside me. What a great run! The scoop: 1 poop and countless pees.
DISTANCE: 8.35 km . DURATION: 1:03:57
The sun was out and warming the fresh snow on the ground. And that means that it was a snowbank day for Leo. Well, most days are snowbank days for Leo, but today seemed even more acute. We ran from one snowbank to the other; from one fluffy white bed to the next. He attempted to chase the odd bunny or magpie in the park, but for the most part, Leo tried very hard (I'm sure) to keep his focus. We found another Black Lab named Blue to bounce with for a moment. And not long after, I did note that Leo didn't seem to be as interested in dropped food as much as he once was. I wasn't yanked to the side when we passed a pizza crust. Maybe that should count as our win together? But I'm not sure anyone will ever win over Leo's desire to jump into the snow. But as long as his leaps are broken up with runs, then we both win. The scoop: 1 poop, far too many markings to count.
DISTANCE: 8.03 km DURATION: 1:01:59
One would think that any dog who spent too much time indoors lately would be itching to race outside. But then you have to realize that this is Leo. And Leo isn't a racer, he's an appreciator. When he runs, he goes for the fun. Leo explores, savours and lingers; it isn't often that he's out to crush a distance. Today was no different. Instead of leaping out the door and spending all the time he could in the (relatively) warm sunshine, Leo trotted down the street and stretched out in the snow. And fair enough! Doing precisely that two days ago could have been dangerous. So how could I not but indulge him? Of course, we ran. But Leo also paused, scratched, and sniffed, and he found a fantastic stick. Leo and I took the time to appreciate our surroundings a little more, and smile when we saw a face staring back at us in the snow. We may not have crushed any speed records, but we had a great lunch run in the sun. The scoop: 1 poop, 7 pees.
DISTANCE: 8.25 km DURATION: 1:02:07
If you're inside while reading this blog, stop immediately and get outside. Winter is coming with a wallop this weekend so Leo and I took every opportunity to enjoy the mild weather while we could. I told Leo we were earning the right to sit underneath a blanket with a good book, with family at our side. And possibly as an ominous sign, Leo took it upon himself to linger in a few snowbanks likely not knowing that he won't have to work hard to find another next week. But keeping my focus on today, Leo and I took in our usual route not far from waddling geese and the river. There were quite a few runners and dog walkers out today, and I think Leo was a little disappointed we didn't linger and make friends. As usual, Leo was more of the mind to stop and take in all the wonder around him. We returned to his door filthy again, but a towel fixed that problem in a pinch. Stay warm, Leo. See you next week. The scoop: 1 poop, 7 pees.
DISTANCE: 8.01 km DURATION: 1:05:55
Two pictures sum up pretty much everything about Leo's run today. First, the weather was glorious. It's not often we have a day in January where I can run in a t-shirt. The patios along 17th Ave featured socializing Calgarians, and the streets featured dropped pizza crusts and fries. It was a day that was full of distractions for my run partner. And distracted Leo was. I think he found it quite difficult to run when every cell in his body was probably telling him to stretch out in the sunshine. He glanced up at me several times with a pleading look "please, can we stop?" And while I adore running, I also adore Leo's sweet face. I sometimes find it difficult to coax him forward when he so clearly would prefer to sit down on a patio. But with all of the sunshine and stretching in melting snow, Leo returned to his door dirtier than I have ever seen him. An extended towel-off session ensued. Rest well, Leo. The scoop: 2 poops, far too many markings to count.
DISTANCE: 8.11 km . DURATION: 1:02:24
I recognize the irony behind our photos and the name of this company. Yes, I run with Dog Gone Running, but all of Leo's photos feature him lying in the snow. With the sun shining so brightly after such a cold day yesterday, it seemed goofy to rush through our lunch hour. And sure enough, as the name of the company indicates, we pushed our mileage into respectable territory. But as a consequence for our time spent into snow banks, Leo arrived back at his door completely filthy. I've told my kids in the past that the level of dirt was always directly proportional to the fun enjoyed. I'm sure Leo would agree. It was a fantastic, easy going run in the sun. The scoop: 2 poops, 5 pees.
DISTANCE: 8.31 km DURATION: 1:06:49
Well, this is embarrassing. Pausing to take a picture of geese on the river was intended to show the beautiful winter wonderland outside. It was not meant to destroy a phone. So I will have to set the scene. Imagine Leo and I shuffling through freshly fallen snow. Imagine ice crystals slowly developing on our cheeks (me) and whiskers (Leo). Imagine geese soaring above, and the gentle scratch of my running cleats on the pavement. And because it's Leo, don't forget to imagine him stopping every half kilometre to smell every perfect post, tree, and streetlamp. Bless you, Leo. You never fail to warm my heart on a chilly winter day. Garmin helped to track our run when the phone failed. The scoop: 1 poop, 7 pees.
DISTANCE: 8.06 km DURATION: 1:03:37
I will admit to holiday feasting over the break, and I suspect Leo was guilty of the same. Throughout our run today, he seemed to nudge my left side (a.k.a. the magic liver pocket) continually as if he was asking if he was doing enough good work to earn a treat. I tried to tell him that we needed to make it to at least 6K before we could consider snacks. But I'm not sure Leo agreed. Tossing himself into several snowbanks, I wondered if Leo was purposely stopping so I would reward his forward movement. At 5K, I relented. Liver in exchange for running. And there we went. Break after break, snowbank after snowbank. Only dipping into the left pocket when it was earned. Oh, Leo. I appreciate we were in a time where my family and yours were celebrating the season with amazing feasts, but now is the season of health and renewal. Sigh. When we returned to Leo's door, he looked at me with his gorgeous eyes. Such a handsome man deserved a treat. I couldn't resist, and he earned it. The scoop: 2 poops, 6 pees.
DISTANCE: 11.01 km DURATION: 1:22:23
Well, I can’t believe this is the last night with my friend Leo! Time flies by; especially when we have so much fun. Last night, Leo behaved and there was no toy in my face in the middle of the night... haha! Since I had to go for a run, we got up early today to go to Fish Creek. Leo loved it there. There were so many ducks. It is funny how he knows the difference between ducks and geese. He doesn’t care much about geese, but when he sees a duck - my oh my!! We did our fave loop and stopped for photos as well as watched all those wild birds. Since it was a bit icy. we went easy. We had a couple pee breaks throughout the day. Our last outing will be around 8pm today before hitting the sack. Leo and I have to get up early tomorrow as we are planning on going to the mountains.. Hurray! So far, Leo has had 2 poops as well as multiple pees.
Pet Sitter: Fab
DISTANCE: 8.00 km DURATION: 1:06:19
Today was all about the snacks. I was hoping we would get in a focused, hard run to combat the festive snacks I was having at home. Leo figured otherwise. He was focused on the smorgasbord of discarded food that cluttered and slowed our run. We found decaying corn cobs, crusts of sandwiches, and bits of pizza. There were orange peels and apple cores. And who could forget, the ultimate snack, that fluffy rabbit in the park who always hops a little too close to my run partner. With all these tasty morsels along our path, it's not surprising that Leo was a little distracted. Feeling frustrated, he tossed himself into snowbank after snowbank possibly trying to devise a strategy to get to the snacks before I could run from them. Our second picture surely shows the wheels in Leo's mind in full turn. So we plodded on, only earning a liver treat for running at my side. Ah ha! A snack at last. Merry Christmas to you and yours Leo. Feast and be merry. The scoop: 7 pees, 2 poops.
DISTANCE: 8.01 km DURATION: 1:02:23
Angels come in all shapes and sizes. And Leo proved that they also come with varying dispositions. And that isn't to say that Leo is crusty, far from it. He's just far too smart to accept an outing that isn't to his specifications. Is Leo a steady and focused runner? Not exactly. As always, he found too many good things to smell today (and I'm sure he really would have loved to eat that discarded taco). Is he fast? Well, that depends. If he could chase a bunny or that squirrel that seemed to follow us in Roxboro, I'm sure he could be. We squeezed in a few speed intervals, but too many just wasn't what Leo wanted today. Yes, he likes to rest periodically in snowbanks, and stop at trees and hydrants to sniff and investigate. But he's unquestionably an angel to me. Thanks, Leo for brightening my holiday season. The scoop: 1 poop, 9 pees.
DISTANCE: 8.01 km DURATION: 1:05:00
A bit of a fun mixed bag for my friend Leo today. For starters, I absolutely woke Leo up as he gave a good stretch and massive yawn upon my arrival. Undaunted, we started out with a good and steady pace and I think we made our company's name proud; Dog Gone Running, indeed. But I think Leo suggested that the name of the company should change at about the 4k mark to Dog Gone Resting. Doesn't sound too catchy and quite frankly, I'm not sure I would invest a great deal of time in a company like that either. So with a delicious liver treat, I coaxed Leo up from his stretch in the sun. Sensing a pattern, Leo then insisted that we repeat that cycle for the balance of our time together. Apparently the company should be renamed to Dog Gone Snacking. Either way, we achieved my overall mileage target and I'm hoping that Leo enjoyed the running, resting and snacking. The scoop: 2 poops, 8 pees.
DISTANCE: 8.71 km DURATION: 1:04:22
Great to see you again, Leo. I found him in a deep sleep on the couch and he gave the impression that running was the last thing on his mind. So rather than push it, I did leave the auto-pause on Runkeeper so we could keep our reunion on the more relaxing side. But as it turns out, it wasn't really necessary. While Leo did take his typical stops, he resumed his pace reasonably quickly. And on we went like that except for two small moments when he began to look as if he wished he was back on the couch relaxing and contemplating the day. Leo was always quickly swayed back into movement however with a liver treat. Well done, Leo! It didn't take me long to remember how much Leo loves squirrels, bunnies, magpies, and Tim Horton's wrappers. But we also remembered to 'Smile and have a good day'. Great run, Leo. Great to see you again. The scoop: 1 poop, 10 pees.
DISTANCE: 4.89 km DURATION: 47:32
Dear little Leo, what a terrific running partner you are! I’m sorry you got spooked by the skateboard! Yet it seems spiders and skulls don’t phase you at all. You mister are very smart, I learned that when we got a few km in. You would lay down until I would offer you a treat. I get that, I’m pretty treat motivated too. Also I hope you are ok after running into that pole when you went to chase after a squirrel! Silly Boy. I am glad you enjoyed playing with sticks with me and eating the bacon treats I brought you, but when we were in the elevator after the run and I went to give you the last one, you knocked it with your nose causing it to slide under the elevator door and then when you couldn’t understand how it disappeared, you were so disappointed that you let the last one slip away.
Welcome back Leo! It was great to see you again. I've missed you and I've missed how smart you are. Just as your humans warned me, you HATE (yes, all caps are warranted) going into your kennel. Glad to say that happened only once this weekend. You love walks outside and stimulation in the warm sunshine. Also glad to say that we covered that off everyday as the warm weather was far too enticing to pass up. You are still very treat motivated as I noticed that I could get you to come and go as I needed whenever I gently shook the treat jar. Murphy and Leo played a continuous game of 'chase the stuffed pig' this weekend. And when ever that game wrapped up, they would fall asleep wherever it ended - in the kitchen, backyard, or even in the hall. I'm afraid Leo may have a few extra bits of tree sap in his paws as the game also ended once underneath a big fir tree. We had a fairly lazy weekend by human standards, but I think a pretty decent one from the perspective of a dog. Sun. Walk. Play. Sleep. Repeat. Good times. Thanks for coming over, Leo.
Pet Sitter: Sheri