Your dog greats you in the morning with so much enthusiasm that you know he needs a good long walk. You grab some breakfast and head out, walking for a couple of hours which leaves you exhausted for the rest of the day with the bonus of sore feet. Your dog? He is playing in the back yard as if he had never left.
I think all large-dog owners have experienced this little scenario at one point or other much to their chagrin. I know I certainly have and I don’t even own a dog!
As many of our friends, family and blog followers know, we are living in the full basement of Seth’s brother’s house in Portland, and Andrew has a dog. A beautiful well-behaved loving dog who lets the neighborhood children pull his tail, ears and climb on him. Despite how mellow he acts though, he is a bundle of energy that needs to vent every day. With other things on my to-do list I often have a hard time getting him out for as long as he really needs, especially as Andrew and the kids are still away on holidays and so there are fewer people to walk him through the day.
But I discovered a great fix to all that! We have a bicycle that attached to a special stroller similar to a Chariot, turning it into a trike with 2 wheels up front and one in the back. One of Marin’s car seats has been affixed into the stroller from which she has a great view of the passing scenery as we roll along. The whole contraption is quite sturdy, so I decided that with little effort I could take both the baby and the dog out for fresh air by making the dog trot along beside us.
For bike rides it certainly doesn’t get you anywhere very fast, but it gets the dog moving a lot faster than if we were all walking, which was the point behind it all. It worked so incredibly well that after cycling up to Mount Tabor, letting Lorax play with the other dogs at the park and then rolling back home, even with dog-piss breaks, he was well-worn out for at least the next 4 hours. But having a couple of hours of knowing the dog had gotten a good work out was wonderful!!
I know most people do not have trikes on which they can roll along slow enough for their dogs, but for those that do, it is worth a shot to try taking your dog out with it and see if you can’t outlast your canine friend!