DISTANCE: 6.87 km DURATION: 1:01:01
Wowza! Even though it was the hottest it's been so far this year, Leo was the most game for a run than he ever has been so far! He was soooooo good on his leash, even with millions of distractions on the pathways this afternoon including: bikes, babies, dogs, runners, ducks, geese and much more. The only thing that seemed to really catch his attention were skateboarders. The pathway along the river was beautiful, and there were hundreds of people out who all seemed very happy to see such a handsome dog out running. Though, for the future, we will find a path with a bit more shade! Leo sure did want to head down into the river, probably to cool off and chase the ducks. Leo set a real good pace going pretty much the whole time. On our last stretch, we took it real slow to give us a good cool down. 1 poop, 8 pees.
DISTANCE: 6.45 km DURATION: 1:00:08
It was a wet one today. I think this explains Leo's reluctance to get running. He plopped himself down and made like he wasn't gonna go anywhere. But all it took was a yummy treat to coax him up and get him going. Despite the continued showers, Leo was a good sport, as long as the treats came often. There were quite a few little critters on our route today, much to Leo's excitement. But there were also a lot of trees for them to escape up. Darn! It was a zigzag and all-around random little journey that we took as we looked at the fancy houses climbing up the hills. I think it is safe to safe we were both pooped by the end! 1 poop, 5 pees.
DISTANCE: 7.34 km DURATION: 1:06:13
What a beautiful day for a run, Leo seemed a lot more amenable to the idea of running today (likely because of the treats). We got up to quite a good speed when I realized Leo was lagging behind. His legs are just a smidge too short to comfortably keep up sometimes. He showed me what pace he likes and we continued on with very little interruption; save for the squirrel that darted past. Leo got so excited trying to catch the squirrel he bumped himself into a tree! What a goofball. Every so often he'd boop me with his little pink nose, and a smile on his face to ask for a treat, who could say no? We ended off with a nice little stroll home, Leo seemed real bummed when he realized it was over. Until next time! 1 poop, 4 pees.
DISTANCE: 5.81 km . DURATION: 1:02:13
Hello Leo! It was a pleasure to meet you. Though I'm not sure you were as quick to befriend me! That's okay, we have lots of time to get to know each other. Our first few blocks were awesome, Leo is so light on his feet I had to keep checking to make sure I was still attached to a dog! However, as we got farther from home and closer to the river, our run was a little less smooth. There were too many excited animals to look at and so many smells to smell. Leo was a bit reluctant to run, so we settled on a slower pace for much of the time, but we got up to a pretty good speed at kilometer 3. When it was time to head back home, you knew exactly where we were going, any deviation from the most direct route would not be tolerated. Leo made his opinions known by laying down and refusing to go anywhere but his way. What a goof! 1 poop, 3 pees.
DISTANCE: 4.07 km . DURATION: 58:54
Well, it's so nice to meet you Leo! Leo and I had a grand old time today getting to know each other in the splendid sunny weather. ☀ Today was my first run with you and I was so excited to meet you. It was great! About 10 minutes in, we ran into a grumpy loud Chihuahua that annoyed Leo a little, which didn't help the fact that Leo seemed a little shy about me to begin with as his new runner. He seemed to wanna head home the whole time, so, instead of forcing him to run reluctantly (even though I really wanted to, it was all about Leo today!). We settled into a mild jogging/walking pace to get him warming up to me. Leo took plenty of breaks to lay on the slushy, splashy snow puddles and sniff around. He was super happy to act silly and finally, he seemed more comfortable by the end. Leo, I hope to see you again soon. Scoop: 1 poop and too many pees to count.
DISTANCE: 7.36 km DURATION: 59:34
Leo was such a great boy today. After an extremely stressful day, the sun was shining and Leo was in the mood to run! With the snow melting, there were lots of smells and things to explore. Leo also received a bunch of compliments from a passers-by and met a couple of furry friends along the way. What a fun hour with Leo! Just what we both needed! The scoop: 1 poop and 4 pees.
DISTANCE: 5.95 km DURATION: 56:48
Hello from Leo and me!! Leo was very excited to get going! We decided to go down by Elbow River for our run today. Leo met some friendly dogs and might’ve fallen in love with a Golden Retriever. We had quite a few sniff breaks since Leo loves to be aware on his adventures!! We didn’t have much sun today but it wasn’t too cold. Leo did very well when running by other people and dogs. By the end, Leo was getting tired and took a few breaks in the snow but it was nothing a couple treats couldn’t fix. We reached just about 6km and drove back home to get back to some toys! The sun started to peak out a bit and Leo was excited to be home to sit in the sun!! Scoop: 4-5 pees and 1 poop.
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.