Hi there Blog Gone Runners! Today I had a chance to take the dog Juno out for a walk and bathroom break. I was not able to use the RunKeeper app for this walk, so I’ve provided an approximate map to the left.. My walk with Juno began at a casual pace as she explored the local block, presumably looking for a place to pee. She had her nose to the ground and was doing an excellent job of sniffing for any clues or tracks. This sniffing was suddenly interrupted, however, when we encountered a large porcupine lumbering across our path! It did not appear phased by us, but Juno immediately started barking at the porcupine and tugging at her leash. I tried to explain to Juno that the porcupine meant no harm to us, and I did not want her to scare the animal. The porcupine, un-intimidated, started walking away from us to take cover below the large branches of a spruce tree. Juno then pursued the animal, fiercely barking and determined to scare it away. At this point, I tried to explain to Juno that the sharp quills covering the porcupine’s back could potentially injure her if she were to come into contact with them, so she returned to await my further commands.. We left the porcupine to continue about his business, and I apologized for the dog’s inappropriate behaviour and wished him all the best. At this point, Juno found a place that she found suitable for her bathroom break, and left a #1. I was pleased that I did not have to pick anything up, however this was to be only the first of Juno’s waste deposits! Juno and I continued on our walk, now heading west on Spruce Drive. We only made it one block, however, before Juno wanted to turn back in the other direction, towards home. Juno ran at a Fartlek pace, punctuating short dashes at 90% with medium-length rests at a 30% jog. I could definitely see the 1500m in her future, given a change of species and a strict training regimen! After reaching the other end of the street, Juno needed to take a #2. As it was quite dark out at this time, I could not see the precise location of her droppings and had to use my keen sense of smell to locate them. After picking up her doo-doo (using the tried-and-true “Inside-Out Glove” method) and making note of the texture and viscosity, I left the bag in a municipally-provided trash can and we began to head back home. Heading home proved to be a longer endeavor than planned, as Juno was clearly enjoying her time outdoors, and wanted to take in many more of the scents of nature. She enjoyed the pleasant odours of many grasses, flowers, and even some rubbery old chewing gum on the asphalt. I made sure to also sniff everything that Juno found interesting, in order to ensure her safety in case we encountered some ammonia or another dangerous chemical. Eventually, Juno and I made it home and she had a long drink of water. I rewarded her training with a new favourite snack of hers, the marrow of a caribou antler. Altogether this was an acceptable walk for Juno. I am pleased with her natural eagerness toward the Fartlek style of training, and am glad that she is keeping her nose fine-tuned as well. Additionally, the smooth, slightly grainy texture of her feces indicates that her health is a thumbs-up. I hope to see her become a skilled dog-gone runner in the near future!