Jogging with your dog in the Netherlands
28th November 2011, 1 comment
As a dog writer, I have a bit of a professional 'third eye': I see dog diseases everywhere. So I indulged in my Munchausen's by proxy again (seeing diseases in someone else). This time, it was for lumps on my dog's rump. Completely unimpressed, the vet squarely told me, à la Dutch: "Your dog's too fat".
After getting over the frankly crushing humiliation, I figured I'd take the dog jogging with me as I go every couple of days anyway.
True to form, I had him tested for heart problems (predictably enough: negative). Looking good on paper. Didn't quite work out, though...
I start putting together a jogging survival kit (thirteen items on a good day):
For the dog:
Small treats (he IS on a diet)
Reflecting dog bandana: I want cars to see him
Flashing bike light on his collar: I want to see him myself
For me (it's winter in my Dutch village):
Two pairs of jogging trousers;
A fleece jacket;
My snazzy jogging shoes;
I-pod on a wrist wrap; and
i-pod headphones (yes, bright green).
The whole ordeal takes about twenty minutes, but, somehow, I am still roaring to go. The unsuspecting dog too: he still thinks he's going for a ‘regular' walk.
And then it happens: five quick steps to jogging abyss).
I start off in a trot to the sound of, say, Peggy Lee. Already the dog is trailing behind. After a few seconds, I have to kind of hop in one place until he's caught up every five meters.
Five minutes later, I get sick of the whole thing and move on to Abba (there, I said it), clipping the leash on. He grudgingly follows my pace, soon dragging behind like a trawler.
I quickly take pity on him (I always fall for his theatrics) and unclip him. I then start jogging (to Guns ‘n Roses, no less) in a zigzag, so that he has less distance to cover (yes, it is humiliating).
After ten minutes of this regime, utterly disgusted, I bring him back home to my very amused husband, so I can start my real jog.
It wouldn't be so bad if I didn't constantly have to take my earphones off to politely answer the well-meaning but Oh-so-Dutch question: "Hij heeft geen zin, he?" ("He doesn't feel like it, does he?") .
Jogging to keep fit? Definitely. Having a dog to keep fit? Mmmmmm. All I know at this stage is ... that dog will be the death of me.
Laure-Anne Visele is a pet photographer and dog writer. She also provides Dog services for expats in Holland. For more information, visit her website Canis bonus.
Photo credit: ceiling (jogging with dog).
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4th April 2012, 15:03:25 suzy posted:My dog Cathy comes with me jogging, so cute. Your story brought a smile to my face. I would like to know if you can help me with my other dog, Al, a Yorkshire Terrier. Cathy is a mix; lassie (collie), rottweiler and berne senna (not sure how to spell that). Al is very angry with life, always has been. He's 8 now. He brings so much stress on this house. He broke his leg at 16 weeks, a visitor (child) put him on the table and he jumped off. Broke his leg and has been traumatised ever since. It is getting worse and worse. Cathy our bigger dog, she is 3, is picking up on his aggressive behaviour now and whereas, Al's biting, barking, aggressive behaviour didn't really worry us, he's so small, now it is rubbing off on her it is becoming more worrying. Our whole house is ruled by this horrid little YT who runs from room to room following me and attacking any member of the family who gets in his way. We've all had enough. Cathy has now started to show signs of being more timid and aggressive and anxious when out walking, anyone who makes a sudden noise, any dog (sometimes small ones, sometime black ones, sometimes smelly ones) can spook her. I'm at a loss. We can't go on living under this pressure. Any suggestions?