Monday, September 22, 2008

Tiring a Well-Bred Dog

One of the things that I’ve always enjoyed about having well-bred dogs is their athleticism. I’m not completely comfortable with ignoring all those homeless dogs out there when we make additions to our family, but watching a Golden from champion stock sail effortlessly over a log is a pretty special thing.

Now, whenever I see a log mid-trail, if the lighting is at all compliant, I’ll take a knee, get out the camera, and whistle for the dogs to see what kind of picture I can get. Shameless.

Running hundreds of feet ahead, then sprinting back, whether you’re called or not, seems like a pretty serious workout. It is, but even though the dogs are working that much harder than we are, it still takes us all about the same amount of time to really need a break.

Sometimes you just have to lie out on the cool grass, drink some water packed by one of your thoughtful dads, and let that tongue hang out.

Gus, ever the over-achiever, typically won’t just sit and rest. Usually, he’ll roll around in the grass like a demented armadillo, but today he chose to mulch a twig in his spare time.

Even this degree of stillness is only possible because Andy and I are sitting quietly. If we packed up or stood up, Gus would come over and stare as if to say, “When are we getting going!?”

If we didn’t get them out for this kind of exercise with some serious regularity, we’d have antsy, vibrating dogs at the house instead of the mostly mellow fellows we’re used to. These competition Goldens don’t make good indoor companions if they don’t get regular, substantial exercise. There is, of course, some rollicking keep-away played in the house no matter how tired we keep them.