Born to run.

One of the concerns I had about adopting dear ol’ Fenway was that border collies are known to be a hyper breed. They need lots of exercise and attention and training; a bored border collie is probably going to be a bit destructive. Also, at about a year old, Fen is still mostly puppy. So I was taking on an energetic puppy with a lot of fiesta! coursing through her veins. What was I thinking?!

Of course, I had a plan. And that plan involved exhausting my puppy. The girls help a lot. I asked the girls to take Fen outside and maybe work on training her. Fen knows “sit”, but is a little selective on “stay”, and only knows “lie down” because any time you get a little stern, she shows you her belly. That was what I had in mind. What the girls had in mind by “take the dog out and train her” was to build a giant obstacle course out of yard junk. Including a hula hoop on a string. And they were using her water bowl to tempt her through. Yes, my kids invented reverse water-boarding. Sigh.

The second – and grander – part of my plan was to take Fen running with me. Daring, isn’t it? But it’s gone great so far! Of course, Sunday morning when I slipped Fen into her harness collar and snapped on the leash, she refused to budge. You know toddlers who will go limp when they don’t want to do something? Yeah, that’s my dog. I had to first drag her out of the house, and then I had to drag her down the sidewalk for the entire first block, but with enough praise and encouragement, Fen decided I wasn’t taking her to her doom and she started running right by my side.

Fen was amazing, in fact! I’ve never seen a puppy heel so well on her first outing! The only time Fen even thought about leaving my side was when she saw that rat tiny dog a few blocks down, or when she saw the people who were running down the trail. (Fen thinks everyone was put on this planet to adore her and she wants to make it easier by running over so they can pet her. She might be right, but still…) There was also the small matter of the three times Fen stopped my run altogether. The first time she wandered into the tall grass by the trail, I stopped and waited because I figured she needed to potty. Maybe she did and she just didn’t know what the rules were (I refused to let her stop on any of the neighbors’ lawns), because she just stood there. So I made her start running with me again. A few minutes later, she did decorate the grass – twice – and then we were back to running right along.

Fen’s endurance was pretty good, too. She was a bit slow at first, dragging even my sluggish pace down a bit. Then she started keeping up just fine. I was worried that 1.5-2 miles would too long, especially for Fen’s first run. But my puppy surprised me, matching me stride for stride and never complaining – even though I somehow misplaced our water bottle in the craziness involved in getting everyone out of the house. In fact, I thought it was amusing that after my allotted time for the week was over and we were walking back home, Fen would automatically stop if she got more than half a length ahead of me, look back at me, and wait for me to catch up. While we were running, any time I had to make Fen catch up, or keep her focused (dog! people!), I would snap the button on the retractable leash and say “Heel!” while bringing her back to my side. [HA! Not “hell!” like I just typed. Though that would be amusing.] Apparently Fen caught on because I could just see the thought bubble over her head saying “Heel!” every time she had to wait for me.

Yep, I would say Fen and I are going to be a championship running duo if the first few outings are any indicators. Even untrained, Fen seems to get the hang of this thing. Here’s hoping the dynamic duo can only get better!


Tags: , , ,

One Response to “Born to run.”

  1. Agent Torklepants Says:

    And I shall call her bruuuuuuuuce. Bruce for short 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: