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Monday, March 26, 2012

2nd Annual Dog Jog

This past Saturday was the 2nd annual Dog Jog to benefit the local University's Pet Trust.  In a nutshell, because it's a teaching vet University, it helps provide funding for specialized machines and so on to help spread the research to keep our furry little friends healthier.  The University has a special place in my heart because when Gimli was a puppy, we were referred there in an attempt to figure out Gimli's strange illness.  We never did receive a diagnosis, mainly because he stopped exhibiting symptoms and he has been fine ever since, but I was glad we had the University to turn to just in case.

Their goal was $2,000 and they were able to raise $7,000. Not to shabby huh?

Gimli and I participated in the Dog Jog last year, you can read about it here: First Annual Dog Jog.

This year, following our training we took last summer, I was a bit more relaxed with Gimli.  I was sure our bond had become stronger and I was excited to see how much he had changed in terms of dealing with other dogs.  This time around, Gimli was the only corgi in attendance.

Unlike last year, which was below freezing with snow on the ground, with our mild winter the weather was a bit better.  It was still cold and windy, but there was a "high" chance of rain.  Initially, Mike was going to come with us and hang out at the starting area while we did the walk, but because he was just getting over the cold and the rain was threatening, he only stayed with us for a little while.

I thought I was being smart and decided to start the walk with the intermediate group so that we'd fall back and it would be just Gimli and I walking in our little bubble.  Gimli had other ideas.  Right as the walk started, he went off to the side to poo.  The time it took me to clean it up and start moving again, we were at the back of the group.  I swear he does this on purpose!

Being at the back wasn't so bad initially.  We were walking behind a Sheltie and it helped Gimli to focus on me and keep moving forward.  He didn't try to get ahead to the Sheltie, which was a great help to me.  We continued on for a while, until the Sheltie had to poo.  This enabled us to move past them, but then we were stuck behind other people, which was starting to irk me.

See, I have a stride and when we get into our stride, we can maintain it for a while.  However, when we are stuck behind people who are a little slower than we are, my stride slows down and I become frustrated that I've lost my pace.  The nature of the trails were such that it was difficult to overtake any of the participants.  We risked going into mud or a creek or down small embankments and back up again.  I preferred a straightaway to make our move, but none came.

We arrived at a checkpoint and had some water.  Gimli had to meet the vet students manning the station, cheeky little corgi.  But we were off again and this time we were a little ahead of the group.  This went well, until the people behind us with a miniature Schnauzer kept allowing the dog to move up to Gimli to sniff his butt.  Each time the dog came up, Gimli would turn around and throw me off. I finally had to step aside, correct him and restart the walk... at.the.back.

Originally, I had planned to do 5k with Gimli.  The bulk of the path required us to walk the trail twice to account for 4k and then the walk back to the start was the remaining portion. However, part way through the walk, I started to feel a few raindrops.  Couple that with a muddy-in-some-spots path and I decided not to do the path again.  I'm a little disappointed that we didn't do the full circuit, but now that I've done the path, it's something Gimli and I will do again later on in the year once the ground solidifies a bit.

We returned to the starting area and had some water and orange slices and cookies.  Well, Gimli did, I didn't.  At one point, we walked through a gauntlet of larger dogs and Gimli didn't pull me to them, he didn't act out.  I told him to "Follow me" and off we went.  The other dogs sniffing at Gimli and he ignored them. We were a team and I loved every minute of it.  It proved to me that we could do it.  I knew it was possible, but there was that stupid fear in my head always making me second guess our bond.  Now I have to remember to push that fear away and keep moving forward.

I'm ready to go, when do we go???

This Beagle was so excited to see another dog, she kept baying. Gimli couldn't understand why she kept baying and proceeded to "talk back" to her.

The large group of Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers. One of these days I'd like to take Gimli to a corgi meetup.

Gimli thinks he can be a working dog, doesn't he know he's a herding dog?

Here we are after the event. Notice my new favorite shirt, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi skeleton, along with my favorite corgi. Please excuse the lack of makeup and crazy corgi lady hair. It was windy...

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