Monday, April 27, 2015

I'm not certain how this was scored, but I believe we won

Park? Hot dog? Definitely the park!
Kilo and I did a fun run over the weekend at the Bark In The Park Top Dog Festival. The schedule included Ultimate Air competitions that I've seen on Animal Planet and displays from several pet adoption shelters. After the fun run, we got treats at every other table and this cute little frisbee that's in bitty shards at the house. Nonetheless, it was pouring rain and 56F, and attendance was thin. I didn't see more than a dozen dogs with families at the hour the events should have started, and we were all spectators.

So, I've seen Kilo get bored of ordinary jogging until there's someone to follow. I've seen him run half a mile alongside a perfect stranger. I thought running with a pack out in the grass would be great fun. There were pits and labs and hounds, all eagerly play-bowing and trading wild strings of slobber, but only one other obvious human runner with a happy-looking cattle dog at the starting line. The course was a simple 1mi path around the farm, which we were welcome to lap as many times as we wanted. I expected maybe two laps.

The boy took off at a gallop, pulling me by the waist. I stopped him once to pee and poop and let the pack catch up. Thank God for the water buckets and waste baskets at every corner; you don't know volunteers until you know volunteers manning a dog poop station in the rain. By the first mile marker, we had passed the crowd. I believe we finished first, not that it was timed or rewarded in any way. Kilo got pets and cheers and a little textile travel bowl that barely accommodated his muzzle. The lady and the cattle dog wheeled into a second lap, so I cheered Kilo back onto the path.

This was where it got interesting. We had resumed a little late, and the first quarter-mile was clear. By 1.5mi, we had lapped this festive little white foofie and started to reel in that cattle dog again. There was a brief exchange of greetings, canine and human, and Kilo pulled me on. He had no interest in running "with" the cattle dog; he wanted to outrun the cattle dog! We finished clearly out front on that second lap, greeted by more cheers and petting, and he was finally done.

I had no idea Kilo had such a competitive streak. He is his mama's boy. I'm sure the Dog Whisperer would have volumes to say about the whole thing. He's enthusiastically social, fearless, and tolerant within certain limits that he firmly defends. He clearly had the highest play-energy of the dogs in the fun run, matched only by this one enormous lab mix that wanted to wrestle in a familiar way (made its owner REALLY nervous) but couldn't run worth a darn. There was a blue pit bull terrier that wanted to play but wasn't allowed to join the run, which was a shame. It would've been hilarious to see those two dragging me laps around the field by a leash.

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