Bodhi hits the trail

It was such a gorgeous day out today (64 big degrees!) so I took Bodhi out for a walk.

After last summer’s heat stroke, Bodhi’s vet said no more walking for him, that it would be too hard on his system, but for any of you that know Bodhi, you understand that he is pretty high energy and I couldn’t really imagine never walking him again. So when the weather got cold I started taking him on very short walks – half of a tenth of a mile (whatever that is in math terms, I have no idea), adding a little bit each time. At first I was only walking him once every 3 or 4 days – he would be completely worn out even by such short walks, and I didn’t want to risk his health. By last week I was taking him just over a tenth of a mile every other day, more or less.

But today, when we went outside, Bodhi became VERY enthusiastic, hopping and leaping and harumphing around trying to convince me to go for a walk – a real one. I know because on these short walks I always go out of the driveway to the left, onto the circle my house is on. It’s a calm area and has always been the signal that we were going for a short walk (even before the heat stroke). Today, he was leaping and lunging to go out the driveway and to the right, our old running route.

It was a gorgeous day, like I said, and I figured what the heck. We can walk a mere half mile to the “ice rink” (a boarded up oval that the city fills with water in the winter) and I can let Bodhi lope around a while before heading home. It isn’t a very long walk and we can go as slow as we like. And so I geared up (phone, headphones, gps watch – sheesh! I used to say I loved running because you could just put on your shoes and go…) and off we went.

I should have known things weren’t going to go well, as Bodhi was so excited right after that first right turn he could hardly stay beside me. Now, he has never done a perfect “heel” or anything, but he was pretty easy to walk last year. Today’s walk felt like the ones right after we got him from the rescue – pulling and jumping and moving right and left. I took a deep breath (or several) and tried to remind myself that I wasn’t in a hurry and that all this was good for him… It was a tough half mile. The least of my concerns were for his health or ability to make the walk. He was brimming with energy!

We got to the ice rink and I let him in. After a few lopes around I noticed that his collar seemed like it was going to fall off over his head so I slipped it off and into my pocket. I carefully locked the gate behind me and checked the other two, then stood back in the sun and watched him run. Bodhi really likes running and he looks so happy to me when he does. He stood up on the fence a couple of times and I said “Get off the wall…” and he got back down right away. See videos ———–>>>

I was thinking about how long I was going to let him run around and taking a little video when he stood up right where one of the gates are. I was thinking, “Huh, he’s pretty smart, remembering right where that gate is.” I issued my standard, “Hey!” and then watched, in horror, as the gate creaked forward, Bodhi’s front paws still on the top.

See more video ———->>>

I did not break into a run towards him, as I have learned from experience this will make him really put on the speed. I started walking, though and called his name in what I hoped was an enticing way, but once he figured out how to get his front feet down, he was out and gone.

So, there he was, running wild and free in an open area which is prone to having, you know, people all around, this big, Rottweiler colored dog with no collar… When he ran away before, it is usually from my yard. People in the neighborhood kind of know him and (except for the one lady that yelled at me for being in her yard AND for not retrieving my dog – why did she think I was in her yard in the first place?) most of them are pretty understanding. Also, I know that area pretty well now, and know which places I might be able to trap him in a corner. Further, I usually catch him by his collar…which was in my pocket.

Besides all of that, there was a little voice in the back of my mind saying, “Yeah, he could have another heat stroke and die out here, all the while, running away from me…”

He ran like the wind, around and around. I tried all my best tricks, including running away from him and then discovered a new one. I got out of sight and he came running…but not quite close enough to grab. Luckily he ran into a batting cage and I was able to corner him. By the time we got home, we had been out an hour – far more than I intended and I had gone almost 3 miles – which mean Bodhi must have covered at least 4. He’s tougher than he looks.



2 responses to this post.

  1. Glad you got him back, scary!!! I would freak if Sentry ran on me, she’s sweet but very fast and not always so smart… 🙂


  2. Bodhi has been a runner since we got him. In fact, that is how he ended up at the rescue place, he had run away and been picked up one too many times by the pound and his owner wouldn’t come and get him any more. But he has gotten better, he doesn’t bolt quite as furiously as he did when I first got him, and occasionally he’ll actually come when called. 🙂
    Sentry is so small, too! I think at least Bodhi might have a chance that the cars in the road would see him coming…


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