BELLY-RUB POTENTIAL: 3 out of 4
My People and I have different notions of what “running” means. The Lady’s concept of running is going straight from point A to point B without stopping to look at or smell anything. I don’t think She truly enjoys running, but it is exercise, and it is free, so She does it now and then.
In the early days of our relationship, I used to try to accompany Her, thinking that maybe I could teach her to enjoy running more. Unfortunately, she did not go fast enough for me and proved unable to adapt to my program:
I do sometimes run short distances with the Guy. These outings are a little more successful, because he is faster than the Lady. But they are rare, since the Guy likes to run at the gym on a treadmill, a strange instrument that allows humans to run without any of the pleasures of changing scenery and smells whizzing by. The Guy prefers this torture device to the outdoors, even in balmy weather.
You wouldn’t guess it to look at him, but it seems the Guy is the world’s first known man-hamster hybrid.
Given the obstacles I’ve faced when running with my People, it was with great anticipation that I accompanied the Lady to JackRabbit Sports last week. In addition to selling running shoes and gear for humans, JackRabbit offers a variety of training programs to help humans learn how to run better. I hoped they might be able to help my People learn how to run more like a dog, thus enabling all of us to enjoy running together.
Sadly, a dog-style running class is absent from their otherwise robust curriculum, which includes beginner running, marathon and triathlon training, cycling, and swimming. In addition to selling running products for humans, they also offer yoga and swimming gear.
Upon entering the shop, I was politely greeted. Although they sell many kinds of bars, gels, and powders with which humans can re-fuel their tummies while training for their next half-marathon, I was dismayed to discover there were no dog treats on offer. But then a very warm belly-rub/ear-scratch combo from a JackRabbit human went some way towards assuaging my disappointment.
Near the back of the store we found a bank of
hamster wheels treadmills. JackRabbit uses these to record runners’ running gaits so they can help humans select a suitable pair of shoes from their curated inventory.
The Lady did not use the treadmill during this visit. She said that she didn’t need a new pair of running shoes yet, but I think She just was just feeling self-conscious about people looking at and evaluating Her while She is running.
I understand this reluctance. Why, just the other day a lady on the sidewalk said that I walk like a wind-up toy. I was highly offended, because as you probably can tell from my photos, I walk with the gait of a majestic and fearsome leader.
Thankfully, the JackRabbit humans did not mistake me for a wind-up toy. In the end, we left with a pair of warm running tights that the Lady will no doubt find necessary during the cold week ahead of us.
Should JackRabbit ever decide to expand their educational offerings, I have several ideas for classes to help humans learn to run more like dogs. We would cover techniques such as chasing, running away, barking while chasing, ducking under benches for cover, recognizing a good spot to pee, and rolling in the grass.
I have no doubt these classes would become the next hot workout among New York’s fitness glitterati.
In the meantime, I continue to ponder the strange running habits of humans. Human readers, do you run with your dog companions? If so, did they train you how to run like a dog, or did you teach them how to run like a human?
Reviews are based on visits to the specific location listed at the time the review is posted. Please note that businesses with multiple locations may often have differing policies regarding dogs depending on the individual locations. We recommend that you call any store or business to check its dog policy before visiting.