Posted by: Bob McMichael | July 23, 2010

Running with dogs

Angus running free

Angus running free

In my oh so valiant effort to “stay fit” (an exaggeration of what really is a vain, terror-filled, half-assed attempt to keep the hounds of flab at bay), sometimes I choose to “run.” This is another exaggeration, based on my inability to forget that I was once, decades ago, a decent runner of longer distances. Now, “jog” would be a generous word to describe the plodding, death-shuffle reluctantly executed by the fat and minimal muscle hanging onto my skeleton for dear life.

Regardless of how it may be described, once or twice a week I do this thing. The dogs play a part in it. Guilt continues to be a great motivator of mediocre action. I could say that I do it for the dogs. They probably need exercise more than I do, although I’m not certain about that. There’s really no way to know, and it doesn’t matter anyhow. The running with dogs happens, sort of, of its own volition.

Glenna on leash

Glenna on leash

Dogs is plural. Running with a certain one dog, Angus, would negate any reason for writing this post. It’s Glenna’s part of this stupid equation that makes me want to complain about all this. And I must make it clear that I do not blame her for any of this; anything any dog does is wholly the responsibility of its owner. Glenna is smart, knows this, and takes full advantage of it.

I drive up to a trail in the foothills to get away from cars and to let Angus run free off leash. Glenna comes along but must stay on the leash because she is a chronic disappearer. You never know when she’ll come back. Sometimes I have to go find her, hours after I last saw her.

Each time I do this I wonder why in the hell I’m doing it. Running hurts. Then there’s the added annoyance of Glenna exacting a constant strain on my arm by straining to go faster than I can run. I end up screaming at her to “heel,” which sometimes causes her to slow slightly and very briefly. By the time I get back to the truck my thirty minutes of exercise has so stressed me out that I wonder if it would have been better to stay home and eat several cubes of butter while watching Jerry Springer.

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