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Tag: running

Dachshund’s blindness doesn’t slow him down

Here’s a quick video update on Ace’s old neighborhood walking buddy, Frank, who went blind a couple of months ago from diabetes.

When first they met, the dachsund’s only problem was being a bit overweight. With exercise and dieting he was trimming down nicely when he was diagnosed with diabetes and, almost overnight, lost his eyesight.

That made him a little hesitant, especially when he was outside, and wary about taking that next step — but only for a few days.

Now, he he tears up the nature trail when he comes over my way for a visit. And, as you can see from this outing to a soccer field, recorded by his owner, he bounds as much as he ever did, if not more. These days, he doesn’t hesitate to go full speed ahead, even when he’s not sure what’s ahead.

Running with dogs: All you need to know

Runner’s World magazine isn’t on my list of must-reads, anymore than jogging is on my list of must-dos, but I’m tempted to slowly walk out and get the latest issue right now — for it has gone (you guessed it) to the dogs.

Everything you ever wanted to know about dogs and running with them seems to be covered — from the top running breeds to how to avoid dangerous run-ins with dogs. It also has an interesting debate on whether dogs should be allowed off leash on running trails.

What are the top running breeds? Depends on the type of running you are doing. Runner’s World recommends weimaraners, goldendoodles, German shorthaired pointers, vizslas and Jack Russell terriers for long steady runs of more than 10 miles.

If you’re into shorter, speedier jaunts, go with a pit bull, greyhound, retriever or beagle.

If you’re running through more rugged terrain, or obstacles, choose a border collie, vizsla or Belgian sheepdog.

The magazine also suggests certain breeds for hot weather runs and cold weather runs.

Being Runner’s World, the magazine doesn’t suggest what type of dog is best for laying around and watching TV. But I can help you out there. Bulldog!

You can find links to all the dog-related articles in the issue here.

Scary, smelly, germy: The scourge of joggers

I had hoped it wouldn’t come to this.

But after a little opinion piece that appeared yesterday in a Baltimore Sun feature called Second Opinion – one that opined all dogs should always be on leashes because some of them interfere with joggers — I have no choice.

I’m coming out against joggers.

The Sun editorial blurb begins this way: “The city is fining people who let their dogs roam off-leash $1,000. I say good.

“I’m a runner, and I can’t count the number of times dogs have snapped, lurched and barked at me as I went past. Perhaps even more galling than the canine response in these situations is the human one. Almost without fail the dog’s owner will look at me with wonder and bewilderment, as if I must have done something wrong to elicit such a mysterious reaction. You may think your furry friend is cute and harmless, but I’ve got news for you: He or she is almost never quite so well behaved as you think … I object to many dog advocates’ apparent belief that leash laws should merely be a suggestion.”

Typical jogger logic, or lack thereof. The consistent jarring of the brain that occurs while jogging is the culprit, leading joggers to think they have dominion, not just over animals, but over non-jogging man, not to mention motor vehicle and bicyclist.

Joggers annoy me. Joggers scare me. Joggers get in my way and, more often, make me feel I am in their’s. They leave foul scents in their wake, and often fling off little sweat particles, which assuredly contain swine flu or other germs, as they churn their arms and pant, interfering with my God-given (but city taken away) right to enjoy tobacco products. Worse yet, they make me feel fat, lazy and unhealthy, which, even though I am, there’s no reason to so relentlessly pound that point in.

Joggers tend to eat only healthy and fibrous food, and as a result have no sense of humor.

Most irksome though, they think they are above everyone else. They — though I must admit some dog people fit this one too — often come across as holier than thou, or at least skinnier than thou.

Joggers like everything to be predictable. Dogs are not. That’s what makes them more interesting than joggers. True, humans are more intelligent, meaning they should have the brains to maybe adjust their path or swerve out of the way when nearing dogs. But joggers don’t, because they don’t want to vary their monotonous route and run the risk of seeing something new.

They are a hazard, traveling at an unsafe speed, often while tuning everything out except the music pumping through their ear buds, thus endangering small children, and the elderly.

On the sidewalks, they get impatient if someone is so crass as to be walking in front of them at a normal rate of speed, forcing them to slow their all-important pace. If they run up against a traffic signal, they tend to either violate the law and jayrun, or, far more annoying yet, do that little running in place thing they do while they wait for the signal to change.

There is, I’m told, something called a runner’s high. While I would not interfere with a joggers’ right to achieve this state of euphoria, I think it should be done in the privacy of their homes, or in a stinky gym on a treadmill – not out in public, and certainly not, in their intoxicated state, on the roadways and sidewalks.

It doesn’t seem right that dogs are taking all the heat when it comes to park issues — least of all from joggers. There are far more annoying things at the park — any park — on any given day. Joggers, as I believe I’ve mentioned, but also operators of little remote control cars that make an awful whiny noise, annoying to both humans and dogs. Also people who drop the f-bomb every third or fourth word, often with their children alongside them. Also skateboarders. Also drug dealers. Also spitters. Also people playing music louder than any dog could ever bark. I could go on, but the point is, should we criminalize all of them?

Of course not.

Only the joggers.

Bark now, or forever hold your leash

 

Dogs bark when something’s amiss. We humans sign petitions. The time has come to do a little of both.

Not to many working people have the leeway to attend a 10 a.m. City Council meeting, but for those who can, Tuesday’s meeting in city hall represents a rare opportunity to let city leaders know not just that their $1,000 fine for an off leash dog is out of line, but that the time has come to make this a more dog-friendly city.

How? By coming through with promised dog parks, by instituting off leash hours, at least on an experimental basis at a city park or two, and by not dumping on that substantial population of voters that has dogs.

Petitions calling upon the city to reduce the recently imposed $1,000 fine for letting a dog off its leash are now circulating around town and online. You can find, and sign, the online version here.

At tomorrow’s meeting the city will take up a proposal to reduce the fine. Also introduced will be an amendment authored by council member William Cole that would allow the city’s director of recreation and parks to enact off leash hours at city parks — something that currently can’t be done because of the leash law. Cole’s amendment would exempt city-approved off leash hours from the law.

Of course, that doesn’t mean off leash hours will be approved, only that they can be.

Cole said he expects the fine reduction and the off-leash authorization to eventually be approved by the council.

“Yes, I believe that both will get support for a majority of the Council,” he said. “There appears to be rather broad support for the off-leash language, but I haven’t started counting votes.”

Tuesday’s meeting is a hearing (on Bill 09-0322) before the Judiciary & Legislative Investigations Committee. The committee is chaired by Councilman Jim Kraft, and its other members are Robert Curran, Rikki Spector, Agnes Welch and Cole.

The meeting is in the City Council Chambers on the 4th floor of City Hall. (A picture ID required for admission to City Hall.)

Bridge bling berated in Berkeley

The base of a statue on a pedestrian bridge in Berkeley has been decorated with medallions of dogs doing what they do best — playing, running, sniffing and more.

It’s the “more” that seems to be bothering some people.

Artist Scott Donahue of Emeryville, Calif., was paid $196,000 by the Berkeley Civic Arts Commission to create two large statues, one at each end of the bridge. At the base of one, he attached medallions showing humans engaged in human activities, such as kite flying. At the base of the other, he attached medallions of dogs doing the things dog do.

Those, as you may have guessed by now, include dogs-a-pooping and dogs-a-humping.

Some citizens are grumbling about the taxpayer-funded artwork, the designs for which didn’t reflect the objectionable — to some — dog activities, according to a Fox News report.

Berkeley civic arts coordinator Mary Ann Marker doesn’t seem fazed.

“You know they’re only 5 inches – the piece is 28 feet,” she says. “They’re just part of the bottom of the base as extra decoration. They are by no means the main thrust of the piece.”

Donahue says he stands by his work — the, uh, thrust of which is ”celebrating life’s vitality.”

“The sculpture is on the one hand serious — you’ve got these big sculptures — and on the other hand it’s playful. It’s both serious and playful simultaneously.”

The pedestrian bridge spans Interstate 80 in Berkeley, and the artwork — about 1.5 percent of the bridge’s total cost — was part of what taxpayers paid for its construction.

Paw-tickle physics

I admit I’ve tormented my dozing dog with my own version of the paw tickle — ever so lightly touching his pads to make them jerk and quiver, until he finally wakes up to see what’s going on.

It’s not only a rebellious act, running counter as it does to the conventional wisdom about what we’re supposed to do with sleeping dogs — but it’s also one of those mindless wastes of time that are so important in life

The only thing that might be even more mind-numbing than paw tickling is watching someone else do it, for three minutes and 22 seconds, on a Youtube video.

Enjoy!