Running with dogs - canicross


I just can't understand how some people go out running for fitness - and leave their dogs sitting at home.  It seems perfect logic to me, that you can exercise yourself and your pooches at the same time.  It also gives you the chance to bond with your dogs, in a way that benefits all.

Canicross (Cani-X), is the activity of simply cross country running with a dog or two, harnessed to your body.  The dogs wear suitable activity harnesses (I swear by the Manmat H harnesses over the X back style), attached via a bungee enforced line, with clips to a runner's canicross belt.  The trick is to train the dogs to trot ahead at your comfortable running pace.  Strictly speaking, it is organised as a competitive event, but there is no reason that it cannot be enjoyed purely for pleasure and fitness.

I first started running (and competing) canicross, years ago with a Siberian husky, and also later, with a dalmatian.  I ran this style for around four years.  Things happened in my Life, and I became separated from my dogs.  Without them, I lost my pack, my confidence to run, and slowly, my fitness.  Over the past four years, my health has started to go, I'm aging, and I'm overweight.

I started canicross running again at the beginning of December.  We've completed twelve runs now - each three and a half to a little over four miles long.  I'm feeling so much fitter - and younger!  With a healthy living plan, I've so far lost 22 pounds of weight. Meanwhile - the dogs are looking fit and happy.

The above far too lengthy GoPro video was recorded last week on Run.11.

April 4th, 1984.

I'm not here to solicit likes or follows.  I've been there done that, and I'm sick of how the Internet is being used to clicker train us.  This blog is for me, and maybe for the future.  I'm going to use it to record my activities, measure performance, and to put thoughts into text.  If you somehow stumble on this blog, then imagine that it is a long lost journal.  The diary left behind by a stranger that has moved on.

Before I started typing, I looked for guidance on writing a successful blog.  It seems that the Internet norm for "successful" is measure in how many likes, follows, and even ad-sponsor money that you make out of it.  Success is apparently popularity.  Stuff that.

If this blog is to be successful, I need to enjoy writing it, and keeping it up.  Regardless of clicks, hits, or licks.

Why have I given this blog the description  Journals of a Nonconformist Left libertarianism, b/w film photography, running with dogs, anthropology, and mandolins?  Not because I am some sort of Christian or other religious non-conformist, but because as I've matured (I'm now in my mid fifties), I've found tastes, interests, and views to be outside of the mainstream.  My political views are regarded as radical.  I love photography, but I do not like modern digital photography, and what it is going to become.  I like running, but I can't run without a dog or two harnessed canicross style.  I enjoy studying about biological evolution, British prehistory, archaeology, and anthropology. With perhaps the exception of the latter few science interests, most of my interests are not found in the magazine racks of high street newsagents.  I play a mandolin rather than a guitar.  I shoot on old film cameras rather than with a DSLR.  I don't do these things in order to try to be different.  I just am.  I don't like football, I don't like soap operas.

Why have I given this very first post the title April 4th, 1984?  Because that was the first line that Winston wrote in his journal, in the novel Nineteen Eighty Four.  George Orwell's dystopian view of a possible (probable?) future world.  That book is my Bible.  I relate to it like no other.  Everyone should read it, think, then read it again.