Hazardous Duty

Happy Thorsday, little friday and Thankful Thursday!  I have up a quickie review of a new to us dog food on the girls’ blog.   For this post though, I’m going to talk about the calculated risks I take to share my fitness routine with my dogs.


  1. Two leashes.   Just walking two dogs at the same time requires an extra layer of attention.  I favor the one leash per hand method, because both of my girls are active hunters and are apt to be moving in different directions at different speeds at any given  moment.
  2. Retractable leashes.  I realize they’re controversial.  I’ve had one serious “leash burn” from Gretchen’s wee wire-like cord on the back of my leg, and they seem to delight in wrapping up their prey when we do stop to visit with another human.  However, I understand that my girls are high energy dogs with hunting instincts, and part of the joy for me is sharing the woods with them, so… I choose to give them the added freedom of a longer leash, even though it is sometimes at my expense.
  3. Mixed terrain.  On an average day, we walk on gravel, tar and gravel, cement, grass, dirt, and even ford a little stream.  Tree roots and other natural obstacles are everywhere.   I’m still in search of the perfect shoe for all surfaces, and for my own orthopedic needs.
  4. Living, breathing, moving distractions.  Gretchen is getting better about not being so highly reactive, so it’s not as stressful – or as physically challenging for me – to encounter other dogs, people, horses, etc. on our walks. 
  5. Vehicles.  I wish I could say that everyone who travels our little dead-end road is considerate and alert… but they aren’t, so we have to be.  One of the first commands I’ve taught all of my dogs is “out of the road!” and that means race up the bank to the left and STAY.  HURRY!  is another important command, because not all drivers obey speed limits.  Hem.
  6. I am proud to say we’ve had no serious injuries in well over a year of walking at least 6 days a week, usually around 30+ miles per week.  We’ve had slow walks because Gretchen got a thorn in her paw, we’ve turned around early because Sissy stepped on a wasp, and I’ve had a charlie horse and just last week, a sprained ankle, but nothing has kept us sidelined for more than a day here or there!

photo.JPGThat’s the thankful part!  I’m so grateful that while we’ve encountered snakes, a raccoon in the daytime, countless deer, etc., it’s all been without any real incident.  Sissy has gotten plenty hot, Gretchen has had to be carried both because she was terrified and because her paw hurt, and I’ve pushed through and walked on home with my own ailments. 

Oh.  Well.  I suppose ringworm and Lymes Disease probably count against me somehow, but both responded well to treatment and neither put me on the disabled list.  I wouldn’t trade my walking with the girls for anything.  While I do like a class in a nice, climate controlled studio, and I do go run on the elliptical for my speed training, my favorite exercise involves the great outdoors, the kindness of generous neighbors, two leashes, and the best workout partners ever.

What are you thankful for today?

14 comments on “Hazardous Duty

  1. gmariesews says:

    My thankfuls are always the same but today let’s add a big red-headed dog who is jumping on counters looking for more food. 😀 g

  2. AlisonH says:

    Oh I tell you. Yes. A good walk outdoors beats any other kind of exercise inside. I’m so glad you get to do those!

  3. Katherine says:

    I adore your exercise partners, and Gretchen looks tres chic in her PANK sweater!! I also love the outdoors with the fur-babies and Max is a dream to walk with, but Macy is a typical JRT and must rule the world within the time it takes for a mile walk. Not fun!! We are trying, and I have hope because you seem to have been able to convince Gretchen that a walk is not a hunting expedition. You are an inspiration!!

  4. Nancy says:

    No four-legged walking buddies here, but sometimes I accompany a friend and her two Shih Tzu for a walk. One is like Gretchen – he doesn’t like other dogs on his path. Keeping him in line is a challenge, so Sheila and I trade leashes often. The other likes to stop short and is quite stubborn about moving.

  5. Sue says:

    I’m thankful that I’m back in touch with the rest of the world and that Sebastian has made such an easy transition into the family. It’s been a busy week, but now he’s one of the pack and we see a big change in him.

  6. Marjie says:

    No matter what the momentary stresses are, walking around your own little corner of the world with your dogs has to be a big stress reliever overall. So don’t sweat the small stuff, and just keep enjoying the walkies. And double hooray for Gretchen getting to be less of a scaredy-cat!

  7. Kathy says:

    We saw a coyote on our walk the other week. I was really surprised because this is a completely urban area. But a bayou (or river to most of the rest of the world) cuts through the area and the coyote came out of and returned to the woods surrounding it.

    In the same area a couple weeks earlier we saw a peacock.

    Despite nearly two whole weeks of rain, I’m thankful for it after the drought last year.

  8. km says:

    Today we completed 2 weeks of swimming lessons…and my little one has finally learned to swim! My oldest has a beautiful butterfly stroke and can tread water for 2 minutes! And my middle one learned to dive! It’s been a great 2 weeks at the pool…even if that cut into our morning puppy walks.

  9. Kathy b says:

    Love this post Channon! I’m thankful for great storms last night
    For having the best quiche recipe ever
    For my nooka watch

  10. Blond Duck says:

    Injury free is the way to be!

  11. Ruth says:

    Thankful for many, many things…today a friend who is a contractor tops the list. She installed the tricky new faucet in the kitchen with much less fuss and “blue” language than would otherwise have been the case!

  12. Natalie Rush says:

    Love walks with the dogs but those hazards can be an issue. I am thankful today that there is a bigger picture involved. 🙂

  13. Walden121 says:

    I use a retractable leash with Wookie, but it’s one that is a little heavy duty and has the thick ribbon leash instead of the rope. I have been burned badly by those rope ones on the back of the knee, not only are they painful, but they take forever to heal.

  14. Oh Lord…I hate leash burns. Micro is awful about wrapping around my legs when we’re outside. Snakes are one of my biggest fears. Micro thinks that everything should want to play with him, regardless of how threatening they look. >.<

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