DISTANCE: 7.01 km DURATION: 59:29
Hey Zeke! Happy Monday! I hope you had a nice weekend! We drove off to our run start, with plowed pathways in mind. Alas, we found a favourite path, the Sarcee Corridor was still snow covered but I think I was more dismayed than Zeke was. I think when snow covers up smells, dogs like the extra challenge of sniffing things out. That was definitely the case for Zeke. The cute thing about it is when Zeke wants something, instead of jumping up for it, he immediately goes right down and puts on these puppy dog eyes! He did try to mouth the leash today, but when I commanded him to drop it, he listened instantly. Both instances show what a good boy Zeke is! Scoop: one pee and a very watery poop.
DISTANCE: 8.19 km DURATION: 59:13
Oh Zeke, I'm not gonna lie... As I was driving to your house and the snow started to fall on my windshield, my heart sank a little. And I did not want to run for one more hour at the end of this very busy week. But as soon as I opened the door to your home and your nose came peeking through, my heart lifted a little. And then watching your backside wiggle, it lifted more. And then you leaned into your harness instead of going upstairs I was smiling big time. You ran to my truck and as we drove away, you were singing, and Zeke, you made my heart sing! We had our best run to date. You were so focused on the run, and maybe sniffing for snacks under the dusting of snow. I wish my legs were lifted as much as my spirits, because I definitely felt like the limiting factor to this 8K run. And to think I didn't even want to run. Many thanks sir for this superb run! Scoop: one of each.
DISTANCE: 7.34 km. DURATION: 59:03
Hey Zeke! I hope you had a fab staycation with your family last week! But I missed you! Dad showed me how your supposed to sit on your mat when people come, but you jumped up to give me a kiss! I tried to be stern but was happy you were happy to see me too. Today was all about "Stop, Drop (it), and Sit." I was really pleased with Zeke today. While he did try to mouth the leash, if we stopped, and I told him to drop it, every time he listened instantly! Other times, he would be very distracted by another dog or a magpie, but if I asked him to sit (and yep, it helps to look him in the eye when you ask!) and shake a paw, his focus came right back to me. So interspersed with some decent running, that was all we worked on today. His reward? I gave him many leisurely sniff and snow breaks. My reward? A big ole' kiss once we were back in the truck! Thanks Zeke!! Scoop: just one pee.
DISTANCE: 7.30 km DURATION: 1:08:20
Hey Zeke! I brought your new friend along again today! He was very happy to see both me and Juno. We started with a longer run today before hitting Edworthy Park. This all went really well. At the off-leash park, Zeke was clearly very happy. But what I think starts to happen is that his adrenaline gets going, and maybe a little bit of testosterone, and his playful nipping started to get a little too rough today. This happened a few times during the remainder of our run. And when I kept him from nipping at Juno, he then thought I would be a good buddy to play this game with. I put him in a sit, then asked him to lie down, both of which he did beautifully. We followed this with periods of walking to see if that would keep Zeke a little more calm, which it did for the most part. Oh Zeke! I still adore you! We are all a work in progress. Have a great week off from running buddy! I'll see you in a week and a half! Scoop: one of each. PS: I included a picture of one of your favourite snacks... crabapples!
DISTANCE: 6.54 km DURATION: 1:07:02
Well Zeke, our runs just keep getting better and better, don't they? Today Zeke met my dog, Juno and it went really well! Zeke, despite his size, is still a puppy at heart and definitely plays like a puppy. It was kind of like it was their first date, and when Zeke would get a little too physical, she clearly told him when it was too much. He backed off appropriately. They didn't really need me to be their chaperone as they seemed to work out their boundaries beautifully. The run to Edworthy Park from my house went really smoothly. There we met up with Ruth and Teddy. And if there's a place where three's never a crowd, it's at this wide open off-leash park. Juno and Zeke took turns stealing Teddy's ball, but he was pretty jovial about it. We finished with some squirrel inspired sprint work home. But I didn't get dragged or clotheslined against a tree so I would say today was a huge success! Scoop: one of each.
DISTANCE: 6.69 km DURATION: 1:03:07
Well Zeke, I've been looking forward to our Friday run all week! What better way to round off the week than... ROAD TRIP! He was game! And when we got to a parking spot, and started with a run down the path, he seemed to say, "Well this is okay I guess." And then when we hit Edworthy Park and found a friend as soon as we got there, he was over the moon happy! He met a little rescue named Alfred, and they played so well! He found a few other friends, and each time I said, "Okay Zeke, let's go. It's time to run!" He galloped with me. Then as if it couldn't get any better, I showed Zeke a favourite urban hiking spot of mine, the Douglas Fir Trail. He thought that was pretty cool too. I think we had such a good time, that when we were running on sidewalks, his endorphins were going and he was happy to trot along with me. Of course, he deserved a few sniffing breaks, but it certainly didn't break our stride for long today. Thanks for an amazing run today Zeke! Scoop: one of each.
DISTANCE: 5.65 km DURATION; 1:01:08
So four of these pictures of Zeke have something in common and two of them are different. If you said that he is smiling in four, and not in two that would be correct. But what else do you notice? Well, what I noticed today is that Zeke prefers running on pathways and trails. He thinks sidewalks are the edges of ultimate sniff and snack zones. And while my snacks are marginally successful in encouraging him to move forward; it’s not enough to make him smile. A couple of times I gave in and just gave him some good cuddles and scratches behind the ear until his tail was wagging again. But the smile came out in earnest when we found some good paths to run on. Okay Zeke. Let’s see what we can get done with that knowledge on Friday! Scoop: just one pee.
DISTANCE: 6.33 km DURATION: 1:02:03
Hey Zeke! I’m so happy to be your run buddy today and hopefully for the next little while. He waited patiently for me to find his harness and we were off. We had a bit of a slow start as Zeke tried to munch on fallen crabapples or choose a particular route. But he also is very treat motivated! But like most of us, he needed to move to earn treats. And there established our pattern for the next part of our run. He only got that kibble if he was moving towards it. Then we popped onto some trails and no treats were required. Zeke was the picture of happiness with a big smile and his cute ears flapping up and down as he ran. We discovered this happy place was “Jasper’s Trail”. So we paid tribute at the sign and gave thanks to Jasper, thinking it was probably his happy place too! The icing to Zeke’s happiness was discovering mud puddles! I reminded him about this as I was giving him a thorough wipe down of the feet, asking him if it was worth it now. As he trotted away from me with his kibble ball, I swear I heard him say ...”You bet!” Scoop: one of each.
DISTANCE: 5.16 km DURATION: 53:42
Zeke and I zigged and zagged on this beautiful afternoon. Zeke isn't the most enthusiastic pup when it comes to running but he tried his best. We did a lot of walking which kept him calm. Sometimes, he would get too excited and nip at my legs, so I just got him to stop, sit and chill a bit before we continued. On the way home, we were in a great rhythm going down a hill, but unfortunately for me, my phone flew out of my pocket and upon hitting the pavement... well it's functional but not pretty. Oh well! Until next time Zeke. 1 poo, 5 pees.
DISTANCE: 6.03 km DURATION: 55:23
Happy Fri-yay! It was more stunning weather for our run - a shorts and t-shirt kind of day, but Zeke opted for just a halter. Zeke was a bit anxious when I picked him up. It didn’t help when we encountered another large and small dog (both on leash) right off the hop. Due to Zeke’s height, the other owner was a bit uncomfortable and turned down a different street. I think he was frustrated because he couldn’t go say “hello” to his new friends. From there, it was smooth sailing. Zeke and I completed our longest run together - just over 6km! He and I work well as a team when we are climbing hills and navigating pathways. We even managed to get an action shot of Zeke receiving a treat when we practiced sitting at a crosswalk! The scoop: 1 poo, 1 pee.
DISTANCE: 4.54 km DURATION: 1:04:33
Today was one of the best weather run days we've had so far! (but I think Zeke was more focused on sunbathing in the park, than going for a run... as you can see in the photos!) Since the snow has melted and it was around 18 degrees during our run today, poor Zeke was tempted by the scent of every crabapple that lay on the ground or front lawn. Although he wasn't the most attentive, our "tricks" from last time seemed to work well to get him motivated -- eye contact, kibble as a reward, and lots of pats. Zeke also loves to interact with people. Whenever we pass by someone in the neighborhood, a family in the park, or another dog, he is always keen to stop and say "hi"! The hot weather always tires Zeke out pretty quickly, so we did a lot of brisk walking and little breaks for roadside snow. The scoop: 1 poop, 1 pee.
DISTANCE: 4.45 km DURATION: 49:36
I loved meeting Zeke today. He is such a fun big pup! I will say he was reluctant to run for the first bit, but after a few treats he would give in for a while. He LOVES bobbing for apples despite my efforts to stop him. Another way to get him going was snowballs! He loved chasing after them by the park. At the end of our run, he wouldn’t stop licking my hands and would try to stop me from leaving by covering the door! Such a sweetie. The scoop: 2 pees, 1 poo.
DISTANCE: 5.00 km DURATION: 54:00
I think Zeke and I are getting the hang of things! We tried three new communication tactics on our run today. 1) No open snowy areas (too slippery and Zeke is way too fast for me and I can't keep up!) 2) I made eye contact when I need his attention (he will sit and wait when I make a conscious effort to look him in the eye when I give a command). 3) I gave motivational praise throughout the walk/run (he responded well to me telling him he was doing a great job and it kept him and me more focused on each other). Initially, I thought Zeke and I could go on a nice brisk walk today, but Zeke had other plans -- he was in the mood for interval runs...up every single hill! #GettingMeInShape See you next week, Z! The scoop: 1 pee, 0 poops.
DISTANCE: 5.68 km DURATION: 56:52
Today was an eventful day with Zeke. I'm pretty sure he was a reindeer in a previous life! He loved playing, eating and prancing in the snow (as my photos may suggest). It was our second run as new friends and we seem to be getting more comfortable with each other. I am learning so much about him, what he likes, and also what frustrates him. I wish I could run as fast as Zeke does, so I can keep up to him as he majestically trots through the snow. I am looking forward to our run on Friday when we can experiment with new running paths and ways to communicate with each other! #StillLearning. The scoop: 1 pee only.
DISTANCE: 7.08 km DURATION: 59:36
Zeke, you were a super champ today. Mr. Focus, Mr. Speed (in places), Mr. Run-Perfectly- Out-Front. Gone was the puppy who had trouble focusing two weeks ago, and hello smart young man that I've heard too much about. But was Zeke's puppy-ness completely gone? There were a few times Zeke decided to take a quick flop in a snowbank or bounce into a play-bow trying to get me to follow. And with something so sweet in front of you, it's hard not to bounce into a lunge and reciprocate. Hey, I may be comfortably in my 40's but I guess I haven't completely shaken my puppy roots either. But maybe that's the lesson from today. Let's get our business done. Let's shake our stress away and exercise our muscles. But let's not forget to have just a little bit of bounce and fun along the way. Great work today, Zeke. I am looking forward to another bounce soon. The scoop: no poops, 2 pees.