Crazy Legs

By Michal Kapral Haul­ing Ass

Canadian Running - - Features -

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.

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