Tag Archives: dog

Running With The Cows 5k, 2018

Oh my gosh you guys! This race is just so much fun!! I think I might have to do it for a 3rd time next year because I had an absolute blast on Saturday! Haha I told Luke that, and he told me that he’s going to sign me up for the half instead of the 5k without telling me, just to force me to do the half marathon. And while I do love half marathons, I know for a fact that I wouldn’t like to run one in the weather conditions we had on Saturday.

The half marathon was supposed to start at 7:30 am on May 12th, but there were a scattered showers in the area and some of those little pockets of rain were producing lightning. They actually had someone there from one of the local news stations who had to check in with their meteorologist to make sure it was safe enough for the runners to go out.Β  According to the news station’s meteorologist it was though, and just a few minutes past 7:30 am the half marathoners took off. It was raining a little bit, but oh boy was it humid! And the temperatures were in the 70’s and it was only supposed to go up from there. Gross. I really feel for those runners doing the half. I feel like running 13.1 miles in that kinda sticky, heavy feeling, heat would have been terrible.

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Half Marathoners lining up at the starting line.

Which is exactly why I’m so hesitant to do this particular half marathon! The weather around this time of year in the Midwest can be unpredictable. Back in 2016 when I did this 5k for the first time it was cold enough for me to comfortable run in a hoodie. This year I would have absolutely baked in anything heavier than a light tank top haha. I think I’m just gonna stick with my fall half marathons, thank you very much. πŸ˜‰

Anyway that’s enough talk about the gross weather and why I’ve only run half marathons in the fall, and lets back track a little bit!

So, on Friday night I had laid out all of my gear, made sure my bib was pinned to my tank top, and my timing chip was secured to my shoe. I had my coffee maker ready to go and knew exactly what I was going to eat for breakfast the following morning. Haha I like to be prepared and have to do as little thinking as possible in the morning. πŸ˜‰

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Coach Bubbles helping me assemble my running gear.

When my alarm went off at 6 am on Saturday I was ready to roll! I got up, let the dogs out, started my coffee maker, ate, drank some water and my coffee, got dressed, applied a little bit of sunscreen, drank some more water, woke Luke up, and by 6:40 am we were ready to leave! At the last second Luke decided to take Dean with us. We always see other spectators at races with dogs so he figured why not? Plus Dean is the most calm out of all 3 dogs we have and is the only one that wouldn’t obsess over the livestock that they have at the starting area of this race. So the three of us loaded up into the truck and we were on our way.

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Normally it would take us about 20 minutes for us to get to Bucyrus. Kansas, where the race is held, but since we had to drive on part of the half marathon race course to get there it took a little bit longer because there were police officers already out directing traffic and getting ready to shut down the road. That wasn’t a big deal though, we had left early for that very reason. Well, that and I wanted to pet the cows and goats before the 5k started haha. But anyway, we got there and got parked quickly and without any trouble. The volunteers who were directing traffic were very efficient! Then Luke, Dean, and I started walking towards all of the fun stuff they have set up near the start/finish line.

Honestly at first we were a little nervous. We weren’t exactly sure if dogs were aloud to be there. Especially since they had livestock set up in pins there. But we saw several other people with dogs so we figured it was ok. And as it turns out, Dean was probably one of the most well behaved dogs there. Luke and I were both very proud of him. All of the people kind of made him nervous, but for the most part he took it really well. He wasn’t in the least bit interested in the cows and goats that were there (ha, some border collie he is πŸ˜‰ ), but they were very interested in him! We brought him up near the goat pin so I could pet them, and he didn’t care one way or the other about them. They were very curious about him though! One came right up to the fence to investigate the whole situation. They didn’t seem too afraid of him though. I bet they’ve been around dogs before.

The cow, on the other hand, wasn’t a fan of Dean. You could tell he was making her nervous. Probably because she had a calf. So Luke backed off with Dean so I could pet them haha. One of the little kids who were manning the cow pin (I guess they belonged to their parents) even gave me a treat to give her. She was still keeping an eye on Dean though and wouldn’t take it. Her calf did come up to the fence and let me pet it though, so that was neat!!

Once a bunch of people started crowding around the pens we left and stared meandering around near the starting area while the half marathoners started to line up. Once most of them were the race directer said a prayer, they played the national anthem, aaaand then the half marathoners had to wait for the weather update before they could take off. But like I said, that only took a few minutes. So Luke and I watched them start and cheered them on along with the other 5kers and spectators. After they took off we still had half an hour to kill, so we wandered around a little more, Luke took a picture of me and Dean in front of a giant cow, and then I got in line to use a port-o-potty. That was probably one of the worst port-o-potty experiences in my life! The urinal was literally almost over flowing with urine. It was absolutely disgusting sitting mere inches away from that disaster. Luckily I was quick and didn’t have to be in there with that mess for too long.

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Me, Dean, and a giant cow.

After I had finished up in the nasty port-o-potty we started making our way to the corral. Before I actually lined up Luke and I ended up talking to another lady about border collies haha. Dean really liked her (I guess he knew she had a border collie at home πŸ˜‰ ) and kept walking over to sniff her. So she started petting him and told us about her border collie. She was worried that she wouldn’t do well with all of the people so the lady had to leave her at home. After we had talked to her for a little bit I bid Luke and Dean farewell and started making my way into the corral and lined up near the back, since I’m a slow runner and all. πŸ˜‰ Plus with the heat and humidity and the lack of speed work I’ve been doing, I wasn’t sure how this race was going to end up going. But as the countdown on the timer got closer and closer to “0” I started getting kinda nervous and realized I still wanted to go for my time goal of 38 minutes.

The countdown hit 10 seconds. The announcer started counting us down. “3, 2, 1, 0, go!!!” Then we were off!! There was lots of cheering, cowbells, and the loudspeakers that were playing music were also playing cow sound effects too, which I though was pretty neat!

So I tried to go out conservatively for about the first mile. I mean, that’s what you’re supposed to do right? πŸ˜‰ But I found that my legs wanted to go and apparently my brain wasn’t about to stop them I kept telling myself that I was going to end up regretting that, but weirdly enough that didn’t happen! And although I ended up going out a little faster that I had originally planned, I spent probably about the first mile just taking in the sights, sounds, and enjoying the excitement of race day that was going on around me. The course is an out and back, so you don’t really get to see a lot in just 3.1 miles, but it’s still really pretty. It’s basically just a bunch of cow pastures out in the middle of nowhere Kansas which I think is super awesome. πŸ™‚

This course is also a little bit hilly. Nothing too crazy but still, those hills could be challenging if you aren’t careful or prepared for them. As I was getting closer to the water station which was also the turnaround point, I started noticing a very interesting pattern that quite a few of my fellow racers where doing. Some of them would fly on the downhills and then slow down a lot or even start to walk on the uphills. Now, I’m a big fan of running downhill with reckless abandon and I tend to do that around my neighborhood for shits and giggles. But in the almost 5 years that I’ve been a runner I’ve learned and am just now finally admitting to myself is that when I put my mind to it, running uphill can actually be a strong point for me! So once I noted that some people were wearing themselves out on the downhills (and probably trashing their quads in the process. Trust me, I’ve been there) and hardcore slowing down on the uphills I decided to take the opposite approach. I started to run the downhills a bit more conservatively. “Recover!” I’d tell myself in my head. And I starting to hit the uphills pretty hard!

Once I’d made it through the water station (I’ve yet to master the art of the aid station and have trouble drinking while on the move, so that whole process slowed me down a bit. If it wasn’t for all of that I probably could have negative split this whole race haha. But my last mile was my fastest, so at least there’s that. πŸ˜‰ ), made it around the turn around point, and I went fishing! If you don’t know, “going fishing” is when you pick out a person in front of you “reel” them in, pick another person in front of you, and repeat. All while continuing my pattern of going easy on the downhills and harder on the uphills. So I ended up getting passed by people I had reeled in. I yo-yoed with a couple of people for a while, but going up the final hill, right before we turned back onto the road (well, I guess it’s actually the school’s driveway. This race is held at a Catholic school haha), that took us to the finish line, I had left most of the people I had “fished” for behind me and crossed the finish line with the timer reading 39 minutes and some change. So I knew I probably hadn’tΒ  hit my goal of 38 minutes but I probably semi close.

So I crossed the finish line, stopped my watch, got my timing chip clipped off, got a water bottle and a cowbell from very nice volunteers, spotted Luke and Dean in the crowed, and started making my way towards them, while checking my time on my Garmin. It read that I have covered 3.15 miles in 38:54, which is about a 12:22 pace. Not bad! considering the heat and humidity! I know I made it sound like I was feeling super strong, especially on the uphills, and at some points I was! But there were also times when I felt like I couldn’t catch my breath, was suffocating because of the humidity, and just felt like general shit because of the heat. But still, I felt like I ran strong, I didn’t wimp out because of the weather, and man I felt like a badass running up those hills! All in all, I’m very happy with how this race went. Plus I kinda figured my chip time would a few less seconds. πŸ˜‰

Once I had made it to Luke and knew what my time roughly was, I started excitedly recapping all of this to him, while we made our way to the buffet. On our way there we passed theΒ Chick-fil-A tent that was set up just outside the school where the rest of the food was. They were handing out sandwiches so obviously I had to grab one of those! But it turned out to be a chicken/bacon/biscuit sandwich. I don’t likeΒ biscuit so I gave that to Luke and headed inside to get me something tasty! Haha but once I saw all of the food I realized just how not hungry I was. That was slightly disapointing because there was so much awesome looking food that I normally would have wanted to try, but running in the heat makes me kinda nauseous, so I just ended up grabbing a super cute cow cookie. It was slightly smashed, and to be honest with you I didn’t even want a cookie at that point, but it was adorable and I had to take it haha. I’m glad I did though, it was very tasty! I also got half a Panera bagel, a banana, and a turkey sub from subway. Haha I actually took my sandwich home and ended up eating it for lunch.

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You cannot tell me that that kinda smashed cow cookie is not adorable!

After I had gotten my food all 3 of us were pretty much over the big crowed of people, so we made our way back to the truck and then headed home. On the way I told Luke that nothing in the world sounded better to me at that moment than a watermelon. So he stopped at a store and got me one. He is literally the best. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

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A very good race, an (almost) John Deer green cowbell, and a watermelon. Ashley was one very happy camper.

On the way home I also got my chip time: 38:51! I knew it had to of been just a few second faster than what my watch read. πŸ˜‰ Either way though, I was very happy with how I did.

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Once we got home we got the other 2 dogs and took the 3 of them to the dog park for a little bit. Haha I was getting kinda tired, but walking around a little bit was probably good for me. After we were done there I finally got to shower and then take a nice nap with Bubbles. That was a nice way to end this whole adventure. πŸ™‚

Whew! That was kind of a long recap for just a 5k, but whatever haha. Unfortunately I don’t have any photos of me running or crossing the finish line. I saw some photographers at the start and it looked like they were taking photos, but if there are photos of the 5k then they haven’t posted them online yet. Not like that’s a big deal or anything though. πŸ™‚

So there you have it! Running With The Cows 5k, 2018. If you actually stuck around to the very end and read this whole post, then I thank you very much!

Have a wonderful week!!

~Ashley

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I’m So Fucking Tired Of People Not Training Their Dogs!!!!

Oh my gosh you guys, I’m absolutely fucking livid right now!!! Because, yet again, some asshole had their dog out running loose and it ended up causing problems for Lily and I.

https://vid.me/waWXz

(^^ I uploaded a whole rant onto Vidme if you wanna here me curse about 8 billion times πŸ˜‰ )

But anyway, I was out walking Lily like I do every morning, when some littleΒ sheltie decided to come running across the street, teeth bared, hackles raised, and growling/barking. So obviously Lily starts active aggressive, and why wouldn’t she? This dog is coming at us in a very aggressive manner and we’re attached to each other by a leash, so she feels kinda trapped but also wants to protect me and herself. So I had to grab my 35 pound border collie, who was now thrashing and barking and baring her teeth, up by the scruff of her neck and pick her up before she could get her mouth around this other dog, because if she did, she probably would have killed it. All while this dogs owner stood by and did absolutely nothing…..

So yeah, Lily ended up ruining my hoodie and scratching the hell out of me because she was super pissed and didn’t want me picking her up. Which is totally understandable. Like I said, she wanted to protect us both from a dog who was acting aggressive and being a threat.

 

 

 

Ugh, I’m just so fucking tired of always having to be the responsible one in these situations, because it never ends well for me. We had a similar situation happen at the dog park a few weeks ago and I got bit by the dog who was causing problems. Luckily once he realized he had his mouth around me and not one of my dogs he stopped and I didn’t even end up with teeth marks, but still…I’m just so fucking done with people not training their dogs, their dogs causing problems, and then not doing anything about it.

Honestly at this point I really want to stop intervening and just letting my dogs do whatever it is they’re gonna do (which probably means the other dog is gonna end up really hurt or really dead, especially if all three of mine are together). But the only thing that stops me from doing that is worrying that they’ll end up hurt too, or that the asshole who’s dog is the one causing problems will call animal control and have my dogs taken away and euthanized. Which would be the most unfair thing ever, because at the end of the day it’s not my dogs fault. It’s not mine or Luke’s fault. Hell, it’s not even the other dogs fault. The fault lies with the person who failed to properly train their dog.

So here’s a little tip for everyone out there; these are three basic commands I think all dogs should know and be able to do infallibly, especially if you plan on taking them out in public.

1. Your dog should be able to come on command.Β 

This is honestly the most important command you will ever teach your dog, because you never know. They may slip out of their collar, or some how get out of your house or yard, or whatever. If you can call your dog and they come back right away, it will save you a lot of heartache and get your dog out of potentially dangerous situations. Plus it’s not even that hard of a command to teach. It just requires patients and persistence.

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Luke and I don’t have to worry about how far away they get from us at the off leash dog park, because they come back when they’re called. Always.

2. Sit.

I like to think of sit as the doggy version of “please”. They should have to sit for their leash, their food, for treats, for pets/attention, whatever. Trust me, this is super important because it can help calm your dog down and get it’s attention on you. It also helps prevent your dog from jumping on people they probably shouldn’t jump on. I can have my little 3 year old neighbor running around my back yard with all 3 of my dogs safely, because they know not to jump for attention. Even Finn, who is young and dumb will plop his ass down into a sit right in front of her if he wants her to pet him. SIT IS IMPORTANT!! It’s also one of the easiest commands to teach a dog and is super easy to reinforce and get them to be able to do it perfectly. One of my favorite things to do is take one of my dogs out for a walk and just randomly tell them to sit, because it helps reinforce the command, ensures that they’re always listening and ready to comply with any command you might have for them, and its very amusing to watch the reactions from people when I tell one of them to sit and they automatically plop down.

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This photo was taken during the little game that I mentioned above. Finn was a little bit worried about a dog that was barking at him from someone’s yard. But he still sat there until I gave the release command.

3. Leave it.Β 

This one is definitely important for your dogs safety. You don’t want them eating or playing with something they just find laying in the street. But I’ve also found that once your dog has this command you can use it for just about anything you want your dog to ignore. You don’t want your dog bothering a cat? Tell them to leave it. Tired of your dog barking at a squirrel? Tell them to leave it. Are trying to walk past another dog and they’re ripping your arm out of socket trying to interact with the other dog? Tell them to leave it. Trust me, once your dog understands the command it really works. Although I’m constantly having to remind my dogs to stop trying to chase squirrels and rabbits while we’re walking, but after a couple of “leave its” they usually listen haha.

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Before this photo was taken, Lily was trying to be sneaky and go after a squirrel that was across the street. But she was told to leave it, so she sat and stared longigly at it instead.

And before I get off my soapbox let me just say that dogs are a lot of work. Training a dog isn’t always easy, but it’s something that absolutely needs to be done, for it’s safety and the safety of other people and animals. Remember that at the end of the day, dogs are predators. They have sharp teeth and claws for a reason and can do some pretty bad damage with them if they want to or feel that they need to. They can really seriously hurt or even kill another dog, or animal, or even a person, and I think a lot of people forget that. Dog ownership is not something that should be taken lightly. Or at least I think so. Train your freaking dogs people!!!

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This photo was accomplished with a “sit” and “stay” command. Just sayin.

Alright. I’m done for now.

~Ashley and her decently mannered (and very weird) dogs

 

 

The Story Of How I Ended Up With Lily

Today on Vidme I told the story of how I ended up with Lily. It’s an interesting story! You should go check it out!! πŸ˜‰

Here’s the link (I really wish the video would just show up in the post like it does when you add a YouTube link, but whatever.):

https://vid.me/5gj8

And here’s a little video montage of some of my favorite photos of Lily. πŸ™‚

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Just Call Me Ashley, Dog Catcher Extrodinare

Saving the world one loose dog at a time! πŸ˜‰

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This is most definitely my super hero pose.

I guess it’s officially that time of year again; the sun is shining, the air is warm, all of the warm weather runner and cyclists are coming out of hibernation, kids are flooding the city parks, and people are out in droves walking their dogs. And I guess a lot of those dogs are super excited to be out and about, because it seems to me like this is the time of year when I see a bunch of dogs running loose while their owners desperately run after said loose dogs, holding their leashes, and calling the dogs name to no avail.

That was exactly the situation I witnessed this morning while on my run. A lady’s dog had gotten loose and was running through the street and she was chasing after her, trying to catch her. So once I got close enough, I stopped running, started acting super excited, and called the dog to me. She saw me get super excited, so she got super excited too and came running right at me. So I was able to grab her and hang onto her, while her owner walked over and put the dogs collar back on her. The lady thanked me and told me that they were going to the dog park and the dog had slipped right out of her collar and bolted. I told her it was no problem, and asked if she had just gotten a little too excited about going to the park. The lady said she guessed so, thanked me again, and managed to get the dog safely into her car. Crisis averted. πŸ˜‰

So most every time I see situations like this unfolding I try to stop and help. Mostly because I feel really bad for the person chasing after the dog. Seeing your beloved pet running around on the street and in some situations seeing them almost get hurt is super stressful. Plus, I grew up working in a kennel, so I know how to catch a dog that’s a little too excited and running amok. So anyone wanna hear Ashley’s tips for catching a loose dog? Because here they are;

The first mistake people make when their dogs bolt is running after them. I guess it’s kind of instinctual for people to try to run after their dogs when they get away from them, but that’s actually the worst thing you can do. When you chase after your dog that just gets them excited and turns into a fun game for them. Think about it this way, most dogsΒ loveΒ a good game of chase. Whether it be chasing a tennis ball, squirrel, car, other dog, or a person, most dogs have an absolute blast chasing things. So what could be more fun than chasing something? Well being chased of course!

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Thank you for the photo Jessica!Β 

So if your dog takes off on you DO NOT try to run after him! Instead, stand in one place and call him. Also, offering treats, toys, or to go bye bye in the car never hurts. Sometimes sitting or laying down on the ground works too. Some dogs will be really confused about this strange behavior and come right to you to investigate. And if that doesn’t work, try running in the opposite direction. Seriously! I know that can seem counter intuitive, but remember how we just talked about how much fun a good game of chase is? Most dogs will start running after you and then usually once they “catch” you, you can get a hold of them. I swear, this works like 98% of the time. (That’s just a random number I pulled out of thin air, I don’t actually know the percentage of how often this works, but it’s always worked for me).

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The second mistake people tend to make us getting frustrated or angry. Don’t get me wrong, I totally understand why! Seeing your dog running around somewhere that can be potentially unsafe and then not listening to you can be scary and really frustrating, but you need to do your best to remain upbeat and happy. In a situation like this, your dog probably isn’t going to want to come to you if you seem angry, or they think that they’re in trouble. Instead, act super excited and happy, and in your most obnoxious, high pitched baby voice (for some reason that seems to work really well), call the dog to you, ask if they want a treat, to go for a ride in the car, whatever gets them super excited, and they’ll usually come running.

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If all else fails, actually go get a treat, or their favorite toy, or if you’re still near your car, open the door. I’ve seen that method work really well for some people. When the dog sees the car door open they come running and jump right inside.

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So honestly that’s pretty much all there is too it. I’ve used these methods a countless number of times and they’ve never failed me before. πŸ™‚

Disclaimer: I am not a dog trainer/any kind of animal expert. I just have a plethora of experience handling/training/working with dogs.

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Do you have any tips to add? If you do I’d love to hear them!!