Posts Tagged ‘dogs’


Since Rocket got adopted so quickly, I’ve been rotating my runs around with several dogs at Animal House. Most are in various stages of training and evaluation but this last week I had a chance to take Misty out for a run.

Misty is already fairly well behaved and sits very well.

I was pleasantly surprised with how well Misty behaved on our run. I usually expect that any young shelter dog will have some sort of issues to work with. But as far as I can tell, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with Misty. There really isn’t anything that she even needs to improve on. It really makes me wonder how such great dogs end up in shelters.

She definitely shows a lot of curiosity towards people, other dogs, and birds …especially birds. But it’s mostly a playful curiosity rather than an intense fixation. She responds to voice commands and is very easy to control and redirect with just a slight tug on her leash. She definitely has a lot of puppy left in her so she needs someone to consistently set an example to teach her proper manners. But it shouldn’t be too difficult. It only took a few minutes for her to figure out that she was supposed to run with me on my right side. I didn’t have to make any effort to “train” her. I just got her positioned where I wanted her to run, she eventually followed my lead, and off we went.

Misty is a great little runner.

We stopped midway through our run to take a break and play and she got a wild burst of the puppy zooms and ran circles around me like the tasmanian devil. But as soon as it was time to move on, she settled down and trotted along right beside me.

Zoom, zoom, zoom...

Time out.

She’s fairly small for a shepherd mix so she’s very agile and athletic but still easy to manage. She’d make a great all around companion to travel around running, hiking, and camping. As long as Misty is still at the shelter, I’d love to keep running with her but there are other dogs who really need the extra exercise, socialization, and training. Misty is ready to go home and live with a family right now so I really doubt she’ll be available much longer.

Relaxing after a good run.

Contact Animal House for more info about Misty and feel free to email me with any questions.

March Madness Weekend

Wow, what a way to start the spring season! We couldn’t have had a better weekend with fantastic weather, great trails, and good company to run with.

I started the weekend with a nice run along the Poudre river with Rocket from Animal House on Friday evening. And I just heard today that there is an adoption application pending and possibly one more family interested in him. I plan to take him out on the Tuesday evening social run at Reservoir Ridge again but am crossing my fingers that he won’t be there when I stop by the shelter tomorrow. There are plenty of other dogs who need help and it’ll be great to know that Rocket has a permanent home.

Rocket taking a short break at Lyons park by the Poudre river.

On Saturday, Alex hosted our first FCTR March Madness run around Horsetooth Reservoir. I took the long way around and got in a really good 36.5 mile run followed by a fantastic cookout at Alex’s and beers with the trail runners. The map of the long route is online here and Alex’s report from the day is online here.

Top of the first climb of the day on Horsetooth. Drew, Ross, Brian, me, and Sam.

And to top off the weekend, I headed down to Boulder to rack up some vertical feet with a few repeats up Bear with Eric and Tressa. We finished 3 full laps up Fern plus another trip about 3/4 of the way up to get to my goal of 20,000 vertical feet for the week. In 2010 I only had 3 weeks where I exceeded 20,000 feet of climbing and that included the Wasatch 100. This week was my second week over 20,000 in a row so I’m feeling pretty good about the start of my Hardrock training. And despite the fact that trudging up Fern on Bear peak is ridiculously difficult, spending the day with friends with gorgeous weather and spectacular views made the time fly by. I had no idea how long we were out until I got back to my car. It took almost as long to run 18.5 miles on Bear on Sunday as it did to run the full 36.5 mile loop around Horsetooth on Saturday! I was pretty wiped out from the effort but in a good way. After 2 hard weeks of training, I’m a bit worn out and tired but nothing is hurting and I feel pretty good about tackling one more big push through the end of the month.

View of Longs from the top of Bear.

Running with Rocket

I went out on my first volunteer run for Animal House ( and met Rocket today. Until he finds a permanent home, I plan to take Rocket out running at least once or twice per week.

My dogs are the reason that I originally started running and over the past few years, I’ve found that regular exercise has significantly improved their behavior and temperament. But Baxter and Sheba are getting a bit too old to keep up with me every day and only join me for a few short, easy recovery jogs around our local natural areas. So volunteering for the Animal House shelter seemed like a great way to put some of my running time to good use. The shelter dogs are all well taken care of and get to go out on regular walks. But for many dogs, a simple walk just isn’t enough exercise. Getting them out for a real run a couple times per week should help them cope with the stress of living at the shelter. And with more handling and exposure to the outside world, I hope to help improve their manners and behavior and ultimately make it easier to find them a permanent home.

Rocket is an awesome running dog. He’s a medium sized Greyhound/Collie mix and is built for serious running – large enough to go the distance but thin and not too heavy to (hopefully) avoid problems with joins and pads. And he has a medium coat which should be ideal for running year round in our cold winters and hot summers. He’s a gorgeous brown brindle with a very sweet, friendly personality.

I let Rocket take the lead long enough to get a full photo here.

We ran 7.5 miles today around the ponds behind the shelter and out and back on the Poudre bike path. As his name suggests, he took off like a rocket from the start. And I won’t lie, my right arm is a bit tired. But after a couple miles he finally settled into pace to run with me and by the end of the run he was running right next to me or slightly behind me on a slack leash. He’ll need an owner who can offer both exercise and firm leadership but he learns quickly and was very easy to work with. He does get distracted easily by bikers, hikers, dogs, cars, or good looking sticks. But a quick reminder and a tug on the leash usually gets him back on track. If that fails, he is very good at sitting. Halfway through the run, he was extremely excited about some horses on the other side of the fence so we stopped for a short break and I had him sit facing away from the horses. After a short sitting break and scratch behind the ear, he completely lost interest in the horses and we continued on our run.

Rocket is very good at sitting.

As far as I could tell, there really isn’t anything wrong with Rocket. He needs some regular exercise to reduce his energy and anxiety levels and just like any other dog, he’ll need some consistent leadership to learn proper manners. But he didn’t have any noticeable issues that I’m used to seeing from almost every rescue I’ve owned in the past. The shelter says that his isn’t good with children but we ran past several children on the bike path without any reaction.

After a couple miles Rocket ran right beside me on a slack leash. He pays attention very well and is easy to work with.

At the end of our run, Rocket was slightly tired but I suspect he could have gone out and run another 10 miles without any problem. We ran at a brisk pace along the bike path and a 7-8min mile was a pretty comfortable cruise for him. Hopefully Rocket will find a permanent home very soon. But if he’s still at the shelter next month, I’d love to race him for a PR at the Fast and the Furriest 5k.

If anyone wants to meet Rocket, I plan on bringing him out to our next Tuesday social run at Reservoir Ridge. Otherwise you can stop in or contact Animal House for more info. His adoption profile is online here: