I thought that I would celebrate my thirtieth run with the dogs, on my return to fitness campaign, by taking them a little off their usual track. I do try to vary our running routes, although living in the Fens, where farmers are queuing up to shoot you for stepping off the public road, it's not really that easy.
So I took them (with the lurcher protesting that he needed to stop and sniff/piss even more than on normal runs) on an 8.1 mile linear there and back run down to Coldham Windfarm.
All went well, except when the dogs heard some nearby gun fire. The lurcher responded by having a panic attack, and hiding at the bottom of a deep ditch. Photo below:
I had to climb down the steeply cut banks through stinging nettles, and literally pull the quivering dog out. What a strange dog. The whippet wasn't at all bothered.
We had a good run back, passing through the village of Friday Bridge:
All photographs taken during the run using my Sony Z3 phone cam - unedited.
I made this Go Pro video today, on Running with dogs No.21. We ran the dog's default and favourite route again, around 4.6 miles long. Not a great average speed, but as you can see, we were also film making. I cut the video down to less than ten minutes this time, and I fitted the lurcher with the Go Pro dog harness, for when I ran him off leash. Otherwise, I used the chest harness.
I had no idea that naughty dog went into that drainage ditch until I watched the video at home.
Canicross Team Elmewych member Flint, is a three and a half year old saluki lurcher cross, bought from travelers working stock. A striking, elegant, tall, and well muscled smooth coated lurcher with more than a hint of saluki heritage in his physique. Flint is at his finest off the leash - he runs with incredible speed, jumps wide ditches with grace. It seems incredible that he is submissive to his young whippet team mate, but he certainly is!
In the house: A fearsome watch dog, constantly looking and listening for intruders. He can be grouchy, overly defensive, and I don't trust him on the leash with larger dogs. Smaller dogs on the other hand - he adores and fawns. Perhaps I should have socialised him as a pup with more friendly big dogs? He might be tall and muscled, but he never packs a gram of body fat - it all goes into muscle, and however much I feed him, his ridged cheetah-back and ribs still stand out as though he is half starved. Despite his grouchiness - he still likes a cuddle on the couch.
On the canicross line: certainly not a natural, he needs frequent commanding and shouting, otherwise he wants to sniff every lamppost, piss at every tree. He can be hard work on a line. What worries him? Maybe that he'll run out of urine, otherwise big dogs, wheel hub caps (see the below video), and bits of paper laying on the pavement.
Off lead in the field: This dog lives to run. A joy to watch, so much speed, moves through long grass with ease, jumps over ditches with ease.