By Michal Kapral Hauling Ass
Our late dog Cayman had a beautiful stride. He was a Chinese crested, a lean but muscular little guy with no fur on his body, just a f lowing mane of white hair on his head and tufts on his tail and paws. When he broke into a run, he looked happy and relaxed, his mane f lying in the wind like Ed Whitlock. But his running was always short-lived. Every half a block, he insisted on stopping to sniff and pee.
My friend Mike also had a Chinese crested, but his dog would run with him for regular 10k or 15k training runs, and even up to a half-marathon distance. Because they were the same breed, I was convinced I could train Cayman to become a runner. I took him out for long walk-runs thinking that once his bladder was empty, he would be ready to run without stopping. But no matter how long we run-walked, Cayman kept stopping, sniffing and peeing. And when his tank was dry, he would still lift his leg to mark his territory with ghost pee.
I eventually gave up on Cayman as a running companion and looked enviously at other runners on the trail with their dogs dutifully jogging along next to them. The 5:41:08 6:23:57 only running Cayman was really good at was running away. If we let him outside without a leash, he would tear down the street without stopping and usually ended up in someone’s backyard.
Last year in Alabama, a woman let her dog outside of her house to do her business and the hound ended up jumping into a half-marathon, finishing the entire 21.1k course in a speedy 1:32. And in December at the Santa 5k in Burlington, Ont., I watched a guy and his dog (who was officially registered and chip-timed in the boys’ 2–10-year-old age category) zip through the course in 16:33.
These amazing running dogs made me think about my experience with Cayman. I imagined how funny and torturous it would have been to get him to run a Michal Kapral has been called the Michael Jordan of joggling. Read his column in each issue of Canadian Running.