I have avoided taking Scout running on the roads with me. While I love running the trails with him, I didn't want to run with him on a leash. Scout tends to think of leash walking as an opporunity to sniff around and see what all the other neighborhood dogs and cats have been up to, causing multiple unplanned and sudden stops. Unpleasant while walking, but dangerous on the run. I am not a particularly graceful runner so it doesn't take much to trip me up. Another concern I had was that Scout is an overly-enthusiastic runner. For him, running involves sprints, jumping jacks, tail chasing, and hurdling over large obstacles. Since he and I weigh roughly the same, I pictured myself being dragged along through those various antics.
Tonight I decided to bite the bullet and try a road run with him. As soon as he saw that I had changed into running clothes, the above mentioned antics began. He jumped over Kitty twice and chased his tail for three full rotations before we even left the house. I snapped the leash onto his collar and hung on.
We headed down the sidewalk at about 5 minute mile pace. He was pulling for all he was worth and I was just along for the ride. I wasn't even breathing hard, he was doing all the work. I felt like Sandy Pittman being short-roped up Everest by Lopsang. There was a lot of flooding along the sides of the roads but Scout didn't care. He dragged me right through the deepest parts. Just as I decided we needed to stop and re-group he came upon a pile of horse crap and stopped dead in his tracks and dropped to the ground to roll in it. I jumped over him and came to an abrupt stop when the leash ran out of slack.
Once I got him away from the horse crap we had a heart to heart talk. "Go ahead and pull," I told him, "but not hard enough to injure me, please." He seemed to understand because he calmed down. We started up again and he was still pulling but not as hard as before. Now, it was fun because I could move faster than usual while putting in the same effort as I usually do. Now instead of feeling like Sandy Pittman, I felt like a skijorer. While being short-roped up Everest may not be good sportsmanship, Skijoring is perfectly legitimate. We did four very fast miles. Boy, did we fly around the neighborhoods!