Bark + Ride event

What can be better than a nice 15 degrees and a sunny day? This weekend I have decided to make the dogs just to be dogs. Last year I did a bit MTB with Laferra off lead and she loved it, so since the weather is spot on we were back.

Bark and ride Buddies at Carron Valley

My dear friend organizes events for humans and their dogs. She promotes MTB with trail dogs. Here’s description:

Come and join us for a fun morning at Carron Valley mountain bike trails! Whether your used to taking your dog with you out on the bike or whether you’ve never taken them before this is the ride for you! Reasonable level of fitness required. This is a fun event not a competition and our aim is to grow a community of #barkandridebuddies to share the fun of mountain biking and the love of dogs together! We will be doing a mini loop of the flatter trails around the forest to get the dogs used to running alongside the bikes. After that we will be doing to 9km loop of the red trails around Carron Valley with the option of doing the adrenaline rushing Orange run at the end with lots of fun berms, table tops and little jumps. Everything is rideable and you are in control of your own ride. Adventures are for sharing so take some pics and share your photos with us here on the page to be in with a chance of winning some goodies!!
Bring your helmet, a lead some water for you and your dog and what you would normally take with you when out with your dog. A towel is advisable if it’s wet.
See you there!

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Ride itself

I did MTB with Laferra before but never in the group, as I am always worried she can get loose from me and start to panic. I prepared myself and had my whistle with me and make sure I was keeping an eye on her. I put a bell on her so I could hear her too. Totally didn’t know what to expect from the ride.

We have arrived at the Carron Valley, I like this place, as it is usually very quiet and trails are just great for my abilities. I saw some dogs at the car park already, so I let Laferra just go and say hi if she wanted. At first she wasn’t really sure.

However, eventually she went out there said hi and came back with a happy face. I knew it will be a good day and she will love it.

Mini loop

We are off for a short loop of 4-5km. Laferra loves it and keeps checking in to make sure we both know where we are. I am super chuffed and even managed to have relaxed chats with other riders. It is great to hear why people want to do this. Laferra was really good in a group, very aware of the bikes which make riders life easy and not worry that they will ride over her 😀

We are back from the mini loop as this one was just warm up for us, but for younger dogs, it was a great introduction to trails and bikes.

Longer loop

We are off again, time for a bit harder uphills and faster downhill. Laferra is just brilliant, she waits for me on uphills and sticks in front or behind on downhills. I am super chuffed with her, she is having a blast. She went off to woods for a wee adventures during stops, but she kept most of the time with the rest of the dogs. What a fantastic way to spend time with your dog.

Few pointers

If you are planning to attend these great events, please bare that in mind:

  • your dog is good with recall
  • your dog is aware of the bike (it is group ride so your dog cant just run into others riders wheels)
  • your dog is fit enough
  • you cant show off your fast mtb skills 🙂
  • be aware of other dogs too
  • be aware of other riders on the trails not with the group

I loved it, Laferra had blast with other dogs and she really proved she is great trails dog. We had awesome fun and I would defo recommend this kind of meet up group for you and your dog.

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Why am I so motivated to start my day so early in the morning?

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As you may know, I am not a big fan of running and in past, I really used to hate it. However recently things changed and I am more into it, even train every day. A few folks asked me how do I do it that I am so motivated to wake up early and just go out there in the dark and do my training. So here are my thoughts on that:

Why early morning

I am an individual that likes to be on her own, a lot of people make me tired 🙂 Recently also a lot of people started asking me how I trained my dogs that they are so well behaved. During training I don’t have time for chatting, I like to go out there and smash my training in 30min! Early morning it is usually me and the dogs, which means I can totally focus on training and don’t need to shout after Laferra to not approach other dogs and of course no people keen for chat. Easy life for everyone: I can run, dogs can run!

Stunning morning

Usually, in the morning I can see the sunrise, which in Scotland is just stunning.

Food fuel

In the morning I can also feel I can go quickly do the training without worrying about food, I can just fuel my body straight after the run and during the day at work. I am always worried to get a stitch if I run after work due to that when I finish work I am hungry for light dinner already. The only minus of this is that if you work hard (most of the time for me) you will get a headache after a good training session and you feel like you can eat the whole fridge 😀

Consistent morning and increases discipline

I am always up early in the morning even at the weekends, so keeping the consistency in waking up makes it easy for the whole week. Also, it means training is done and nothing interrupted it as it the is always the same time. If I decided to do it in the afternoon, my workout time frequently ends up at the bottom of my to-do list and by day’s end, I might not even do it. So I rather hit the trails first thing in the morning and I am able to enjoy it and be fully focused on training. This also means I have a free evening and can spend it on catching up on tv shows or reading books.

Metabolism

I have noticed that morning start helps keep metabolism elevated for hours. Why not get your engines running as soon as possible- the earliest the better hehe?! In this way, my increased metabolism will be working — and burning more calories — while I am, instead of when my body is at rest. If you are like many people who sit at a desk all day, you know that this is reason enough to train in the morning.

Clears your mind

We all know that training really helps clear our head and put us in a healthy mindset. According to literature training before your day officially begins allows you to start each day with a fresh perspective as you destroy the stresses of the previous day with a run on the trails. It would help you to decrease the chance to become stressed or upset during the day. Of course, it also depends on individuals but it defo works for me.

Energy for the day

Early morning… yes it is hard to move from nice and cozy bed when it rains outside. The weather and accumulated fatigue can make you feel a bit lazy, however, if I go out and do the training first thing in the morning I am buzzing for the day. Doing so will release endorphins and other hormones to give you a much-appreciated boost that often lasts all day. In other words, it’ll give you the required energy to work all day and party all night if you desire.

 Sleep better and increase mental awareness

I have noticed that I feel more alert and ready to take on whatever challenge or curveball life throws my way after a good workout. I am ready for the day. As my body learns the pattern I started to sleep very well too. My sleeping patterns are consistent and I feel like I am resting/recovering much better and quicker.

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So stay focused and disciplined yourself! Get your “ass” out of bed early morning and enjoy the rest of the day. Happy training.

 

 

 

Equipment that will make you a “Pro” Canicrosser or Bikejorer!

I have decided to write a post about equipment as there are a lot of posts on facebook where people are asking for what is the best!

I am not an expert but I have learnt a lot in last few months being involved in the sport. So here’s my experience and only my opinion (you don’t need to agree).

Canicross

Let’s start with canicross. As of yourself, you will need something comfy for running:

It is an easy choice for people as there are a lot of different running companies that sell the right gear, but when it comes to dogs gear that’s another story. When I started my adventures with canicross, I couldn’t find much or I found information that now I know they were misleading. A lot of companies are trying to say their equipment is right for running with dogs, but I have learnt that a lot of them are purely business and money orientated and know nothing about canicross, and not talking here about faster pace sports like bikejor or scooter.

Dogs equipment

I struggled to understand and find something that will be good for Roger. He has an unusual shape. So I made him run in his walking harness (what a stupid idea that was, note on that my own gear wasn’t good either). I have decided to buy my first equipment back in Poland. DC Grizzly belt for myself, manmat bungee line and Roger had his walking harness. We were very slow but we enjoyed the runs (as per photo above).

Eventually, I have learnt that it is very important to have the right equipment:

  • A dog can get injured, if harness is incorrect for pulling.
  • Dogs should be able to use their shoulders without any restrictions.
  • The harness shouldn’t be too high on their throats.
  • Bungee line has a different length for different sports.

So my first equipment was a wrong choice. My belt hurt my lower back. Now I use this belt for hiking and it is just perfect. My bungee lead was too long (bikejor line) and it was harder to work together as a team. Also, Roger harness made restrictions on his running style and choked him.

Right choice

I still struggled to find the right equipment. I thought I went in the right directions and ordered a customised harness for Roger. Well, once again wrong decision. I was close to giving up when I decided to go and ask for recommendations from folks who do the sport for years. They know the sport and they know what is right for the sport and why.

My old equipment ended up in a bag. Roger got his brand new harness from Dragratten. How surprised I was on our next run, his pull was stronger. I noticed that more often when he saw his harness he got super excited. Note from me: his harness was tight, it wasn’t loose, it worked really well with his running style.

I have changed my belt for the lightweight and it was sitting on my hips too. Amazing, no more pain in my lower back. Bungee line was a bit shorter and the whole experience of canicross has changed. We started to progress with our times and I could see it helped as to become stronger.

My younger dog got her pro harness straight away. She will probably grow up from it soon, but it is defo worth the money as she learns in the right equipment from the start. She was 10 months when she got her first proper sled dog harness. 

Why use a collar?

I decided to keep Roger as he pulls a lot during a walk in a harness, but it is a different one than his running. Laferra walks on the collar, which helps before races that I can keep her on the collar when she is trying to be mental. Also during training, it is handy with her to have the collar to cool her down or walk her to start point. When I am nearly starting running I clip her on harness so she knows she needs to pull.

Bikejor and scooter equipment

Ok with caniross you can make mistakes and learn from it, but when it comes to faster speed sports you better with the right equipment. So what do you need here:

  • MTB bike or scooter.
  • Helmet and gloves.
  • Bikejor/Scooter bungee lead (longer than canicross).
  • Dog harness.
  • Arm antenna to keep the lead away from wheels.

People ask why do you have arm antenna on your bike. Ok on the photo above you can see lead is a bit slack as Roger slowed down due to big stones and hill. Arm kept the line away from wheels so I didn’t have an accident. I tried bikejor and scootering without the arm and instead of having fun I was thinking about line and brakes all the time.

Once again a lot of money if you think, but again it changed the way we train and how much we enjoy all this. I use same arm antenna for my scooter.

Equipment is very important

I have learnt: it is all worth the money! The dogs love it more and you can really push your team at training and races.

There are a lot of companies who say they are great for canicross, but think twice. In last couple months, I have managed to stay injury free and my dogs got excited when they see harnesses.

Think twice about your dog health! Use the right equipment, ask experienced folks for advises! It changed my experience and I hope you will find the right path to the right equipment yourself!

I am not an expert but been to may races in UK, I watched and observed, I have learnt out of my own mistakes!.Be happy, enjoy your running with furry friends.

 

Good shop with equipment: https://www.k9trailtime.com/shop/

 

 

 

Highland Fling Canicross Race

I don’t really know where to start with this post. Probably because my head is still buzzing after the weekend and I am still shattered.

Aviemore

I always thought that Aviemore is further than it actually is. I have packed the car in the morning and then we went away. If you don’t know what to pack remember to read my post: Camping with dogs.

Anyways traveling up there was amazing. All those views with purple everywhere. I think it is the best time of the year to go up North. Sooo pretty. I was driving so I haven’t taken any photos. But thanks to my friend Catherine there is one photo how pretty it was. I love Scotland and hopefully one day I can live up north.

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The road up to Aviemore is nice even tho one line most of the time. I felt the traffic was busy, but it didn’t make me tired. We arrived at the Dalraddy Holiday Park after 2.5h driving. Dogs were way fast asleep. Women at the reception were very welcomed and gave us a map how to get to our pitch. Unfortunately, there were no more strawberries left, but they told me there will be more tomorrow (those strawberries are just the best).

Campsite

A lovely park set in 97 acres of mixed native pine & birch woodland with spectacular views of the Cairngorm Mountains range, which now forms part of the Cairngorm National Park. It is only 3 miles south of Aviemore, close to Loch Insh for a superb variety of all water sports activities. An excellent location for walking along the Badenoch Way, taking in the breathtaking scenery starting from holiday park, with some stunning sights along the 16km walk following a path through the lovely village of Kincraig, leading you to Ruthven Barracks in Kingussie.

So there we are driving to search for our pitch. We found out that it was between start and finish line so actually perfect spot. We have arrived and noticed our canicross friends around on other pitches, which was awesome. Dalraddy campsite is dog friendly (only 2 dogs allowed), but you need to keep your dog under control and on lead all the time. The pitches are separated by trees from each other, so my dogs couldn’t really see other dogs. Roger and Laferra really chilled and played tug game at our pitch, not bother with what’s happening around.

It was nice and sunny, so we managed to set up our camp very fast. The pop-up tent is amazing, a few minutes later that’s tent up. A wee walks around to say hi to everyone and few fixes to the bike. All sorted couple minutes later. Great to see everyone again after summer break.

Pre-race night sleep

I was worried that Laferra won’t settle in as this was her first time in a tent, although she camped before with Roger and me in a car. How surprised I was when I zipped tent and took their collars off to see them getting comfy in their bed. Not moving or barking during the night. A very warm and good night sleep for us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Race day- morning

I felt a bit nervous even tho I did this racing thing for a year now. It was new to me to do two dogs and there wasn’t much time between classes. Dogs walked and hydrated back in the crate and there was me putting and planning ahead my comfy outfits for running and bikejoring. I did help at the registration and then off to prepare dogs for the race. Here is our schedule for preparation (always same routine):

7:30 am Last wee hydration for dog

7:40 am Clothes on, Greeprs fasten

7:50 am Quick walk for pees and poops

8 am Wee energy snack for race

8:05 am Quick run for me including toilet (stress pee) 🙂

8:15 am Another quick walk for dog

8:25 am Harness on

8:26 am Fitline drink for me

8:27 am Laferra’s warm-up

8:30 am Long course starting

8:35 am Standing near start line in a queue

8:46 am Off we go

During race

I think I was more stressed than Laferra as it was her first race. All the time that she was with me since a puppy around races probably helped her to get the right attitude and knowing what will happen. First “haw” and first “gee”: she is amazing on first two corners, which is unusual as she is a wee bugger when it comes to directions. First straight, car passing behind the fence and she doesn’t bother with it. Laferra keeps doing what she supposed to. Approaching the first marshal and I can see it is James, the person she likes a lot. I am calm and shouting: “on by” and she pass without even looking at James. He cheered us too, but she was just keen to continue the run.

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Half way through

I feel so good with her and keep encouraging her. She was fantastic until after single track around 3km, she was a bit confused with tarmac, but she found a nice soft path to run on. Next turn and she is back again on a single track: so focused, but she is terrified of a tape. I reassured her that we just need to pass it and let her go back to front, she is back on track. I didn’t need to encourage her to pull, she was on a mission. We have passed another marshal and once again she didn’t even look. Approaching chalets, difficult crossing, and a marshal, I shout “haw” and there is my girl keen to say hi to marshal (as she does all the time). Somehow we have managed to continue. Around 4.2km I needed to remind her to “get on” with it and start pulling again. Almost at the finish on a nice single track again she picks up the pace. Amazing finish for my girl although she was a bit confused with people standing before the finish line!

She knocked out 1.5min off the time I had last year with Roger. I am super proud and there is a lot of space for improvement. Quick back to the car, water out with some sardine’s oil in, harness off and a lot of praise. Time to get ready for Bikejor.

Race number 2

Same schedule as before. I always have the same routine so my body and my dogs know what we are doing. In the meantime, 20 minutes after canicross I gave Laferra Fastdog- recovery biscuit. 10 am approaching so time for another race.

Start line and as always Roger is super calm. Sniffing around and saying hi to marshals. Oh, I love this boy such a change from last year. The new bike was amazing, it felt so easy to pedal for this wee boy. So much fun riding and shouting in the woods with my favorite. He was as always running his socks off.

Oh how much I love him. We have managed to do our target time, so I am very pleased with him. Back to finish line and he is one happy dog. Got his sardines and water. Harness off and back to the crate. 20 minutes after the run he gets his recover biscuits while I walk Laferra.

Human recovery

Oh, I can feel having two dogs will be hard work, but at the same time, it will be so much fun this season. Right, so I needed to recover fast for my evening races. I felt tired actually very tired, after not doing much in last few weeks due to my business trips.

I have decided to check if the best strawberries are still in a wee shop at the campsite. How chuffed I was when I saw still few boxes left. Quickly ate one box (fine gave 4 to the dogs). I also had some soup and decided to have a nap in a tent. So put the dogs on leads and snooze a bit while they could have fun outside.

Dogs recovered super fast

How surprised I was when I saw them back full beans again just 2 hours after the races. It must have been the biscuits. I was hoping I have something like this for myself. Drunk a bit of my Fitline drink and went to snooze.

Around 4 pm I had a chicken pasta which really filled me and I was ready to go again (well that what I thought).

Evening race time- bikejor

Here we go again. Even tho I thought I feel fine, I felt tired but didn’t want disappoint my dogs, so I kept thinking I can do it. Roger was so excited to be first out in the evening. There we go again. As Rogerowski is cross Staffie and Border collie, he is a good thinker. Sometimes I wish he isn’t that smart. 2nd run: he is doing fine and I feel pain and heavy muscles. He pulls and keeps going, smart boy slowing down at bits with sharp bigger stones, but I am totally fine with it (we are here to have fun). Passing the marshal and stones and he is back pullying like a train. I am super proud and putting as much as I can on the bike. Last single track and he still pulls. There we are at the finish line and Roger is one happy pup rolling all over the grass. Quick hydration and change of clothes. Time for last race of the day.

Canicross in the evening

Last race, I feel really tired. I am hoping for nice and easy run as Laferra never canicross for that long. She does long distance off the lead with me on a bike (MTB), but never canicross.

Start line and there she is, again keen to go and can’t wait for her turn. First “haw” and I am thinking: oh gosh she is great again! First “gee”, I am thinking I am not going to skip training ever again, no excuses. Half way through I hear the noise and thinking: oh no train. Once again she didn’t bother with noise and continue her running. My girl did well. Two races in one day is a lot for such a young dog without experience, but she did it without looking that she struggled.

Wearing Merrells helped my legs for sure. Super light, super comfy was definitely what I needed for my tired feet.

The last corner to run to the single track through the trees, I feel my legs are saying no and I feel awful cramps. I think: Laferra must feel same! I can do it. She sees trees and picks up a strong pull. I cheer her as I really need her help. We did it. We did it again and I have an amazing dog.

From rescues to best pets

Lafie and Rogerowski had a tough start of their lives, they have ended up with me. Every day I am thankful how lucky I am to be able to rescue both. Such a different dogs, but both amazing. Roger is natural at canicross and bikejor. Laferra started from basic, but she has potential with all the hard work we put in she is amazing already. From being homeless and hopeless they become my pets and my life the best. They do everything you ask them for. They are Champions to me no matter what!

Weekend

This weekend was great, so much fun with dogs and friends. Time to rest before more hard training. Couple days off for the dogs, but not for me. Yin Yoga on Mondays is spot on for all those stiff muscles and today I am ready to go again. I will make sure next time I can do as much as those two without a pain in my legs. I am so ready for it. Let’s the fun begins.

I hope you had a great weekend too.

If you have any questions or comments messaged me.

 

 

Hello August.

Beach before the rain

I chose a right weekend to work, as it was heavy rain here. However, we have managed to have a good run at the beach just before it came.

There was no one else there, so I let Laferra off for a first time after some time being on the lead. You wouldn’t believe how much happiness that brought to her. She was crazy hunting seagulls. Such a happy pup!

The best Saturday morning, as Portobello beach isn’t that far away and not meeting anyone there is just a bonus. What do I mean by morning? Before 7 am.

MTB

Another day another beach walk before I could go and enjoy riding a bike.This time I was trying another 7 Stanes trail centre at Newcastleton. Surprisingly after Glentress and Innerleithen, those red routes were very easy and not challenging at all. A good fun day of 30km, which I definitely feel today. Dogs enjoyed the day walking near the river. I must say I liked it that there were no people. Nice trails if you are planning to have a trail dog, as nice and soft surface for their pads. Even tho it was a bit longer drive than normally, I have a good day out.

August

I really can’t believe it is already August and it seems very busy time ahead. Luckily Laferra’s “heat” almost finished so we can go back and enjoy our runs with the group. So it is a month to go until our first race of the season. I am really looking forward to the weekend away in Aviemore, although my car doesn’t seem to make that happen easier (stuck at the garage). Yes I said racing time, which means we need to push this month to make Lafie focus during 5km not just 2-3km like she does. So we have plenty classes booked and also Ruff Dugger, but I haven’t decided yet which dog will do it (probably Laferra, as to see how she is in a race environment, even it isn’t a race).

I know she looks great in a harness, but I wish she can run as good as she looks. Haha do I sound like a mean mum?! I am so looking forward to race season as that means most weekends away with the dogs to some great locations in the middle of nowhere!

Wee social run

For a change, we went to the social club for canicross to Almondell and Calderwood Country Park. It is located in West Lothian near river Almond. A lot of natural woodland with a home to a wealth of wildlife such as deer, foxes, herons and woodpecker.

 

 

 

 

Oh! What an evening. I lost Laferra, as she was a bit crazy running around. I actually didn’t stress and started running to the car while using a whistle. It was maybe around 10minutes and I could see happy Laferra running back to us from the car park. She got lost and ran to the car, which is fantastic (after all I must be a good mum for her). Rest of the evening she stayed with me the rest of the run. Another test for princess Laferra and another pass for her. She is seriously the easiest dog I could ever rescue.

Bike bike

At least my bike doesn’t break as much as my car! (touch wood). I was back with Dirt School for some MTB on a Friday night, as this is the best way to spend your Friday night right?! Another amazing dog free evening (well I missed them a lot). A wee 17km around Glentress on Friday night is the best way to start your weekend. I was lucky to be captured by Brodie Hood Photography.  

This is my first MTB photo and I must I am chuffed looking at it, as I look confident on a bike. Just after 3 months riding that’s not bad at all, but it is time for the new bike.

Beach is like a heaven

My dogs love the beach. Roger was taken out of the shelter for his first walk to the beach, Laferra was found as a puppy at the beach. You can see how much they love it, when they run free like crazy hounds.

First time ever we have travelled to Tentsmuir Forest. Just a 1.5h drive from Edinburgh, you are taken to a pine-scented forest and windswept sands. I really didn’t know it is such an amazing place with single trails for a canicross or a bikejor but also amazing pretty massive beach for dogs to be off lead. It also has fantastic facilities such as picnic tables so ideal for having BBQ and a massive car park. A fantastic day spent with our canicross friends on a social run.

Another day of the weekend and another beach. We were back to Yellowcraigs. I was gutted that I didn’t take my wetsuit as it was hot and no wind at all. It would be ideal for me to have a swim as I think I pulled my muscle so time for few days rests. I have decided we will be going swimming every day this week. Wish me luck as it isn’t fully light at 5 am.

I must say I am so happy it is August already! Just a month to go and we are back to our racing season! I would normally say let’s the hard training bein, but in my case let’s it heal quickly.

Have a good week People. 🙂

 

All about Roger

Roger

Next few days it is all about Roger in my household. I didn’t realise until a few days ago that 21st July is approaching very fast. This will be always my special date as 21st July 2015 Roger came to my life as my pet. You can read more about how he planned to be my dog in a post: stories about the team.

He is a rescue who changed my life and finally I feel I am on good path feeling happy. As a rescue, he had a lot of behaviour problems including worst ever separation anxiety (he wouldn’t stay for 30sec by himself). I felt really bad about all that and especially knowing that one day I need to go back to do my full-time job. Luckily, when I took him I didn’t work so we had plenty time to train. I started from day one. I was hoping to teach him to stay in the crate, he totally refused and as we know it just doesn’t work for some dogs.

So we gave up on a crate, but I kept it so he knew it is his space if ever we go on holidays together then it will travel with us. Eventually, we progressed from the 30 seconds staying alone to more time. I gradually increased the time for him to be left alone, but I kept training him all day long. He chewed and collected all my clothes or shoes. I felt bad but I wanted to make sure he is ready.

Happy dog

A month later he wasn’t but I needed to go back to work. Somehow we managed. Then we have moved to a lovely flat and this has totally changed the game. Roger relaxed more and was one chilled dog. I found dog walker so he could walk him during lunch time. Two years later I see all that was so worth it. Roger stays at home for max up 7h without chewing or destroying the house (usually he stays max 5h alone). I have also started watching him on camera, while I am at work and he just sleeps and barks at strangers at the corridor. Super proud of him. Ohhh I should have mentioned exercised dog= tired dog= no problem to stay alone.

Training

So we were back to Blairadam Forest for some social run with friends. As Laferra is “in heat” and it is all about Roger week, it was a perfect choice, as I mentioned before he just loves it. A nice wee 6km jaunt around was just a great fun.It was all about the start and stop and a lot of water stops due to very high temperature. I still think it was better than the day before when it was very humid.

Girls problem

All girls dogs’ owners have this problem. Once or twice a year bitches are in heat if not spayed. A personal decision: I am going to spey Laferra as when she is fully grown so still some time to wait for that. However, until then we need to deal with her hormones jumping up and down and make sure she is away from male dogs. This is the time that I started to think even more about canicross and how thankful I am to find it. This is the only way to exercise Laferra and get rid of her energy. Nothing like a big training, just small short 2km jaunt around the park. She is safe with me and has time to enjoy time running. A problem at home?! Yeah, girls can be messy, I spend 5 pounds on adjustable and washable female pet pantie (Amazon). I think that money was the best money I have ever spend.

You would think she looks awful. She doesn’t and actually it is great to keep the mess away from my carpets. Also, it comes in different colours and patterns and even better: she doesn’t try to take it off. I would definitely recommend those to any female dog owners.

Rest weekend

My rest weekend turned into MTB weekend and rest for dogs. Friday I have spent riding my bike around Glentress with Dirt School, which was awesome and a big boost for my MTB ego. I have been eaten by midgies and really suffering now, but sudocream does the magic.

The weekend brought an exciting trip to a new destination, where I took my bike only. It was Yair Forest.  I was gutted that Laferra couldn’t come as this place… Wow amazing and very quiet. but also not many sheep around. This forest is near Selkirk and has proper climbs for MTB. No shame in walking, right? Located just an hour away from Edinburgh, near Innerleithen and Glentress is a very nice treat for a new adventure.

It totally pushed me out of my comfort zone and those single tracks proved me that my hard work on MTB technique is worth. I didn’t manage to go off the bike at all. Nice day off and wee break away from dogs and my usual weekend’s routine. I am going back there for sure.

Time off- dog free evenings

I love my dogs a lot but sometimes I need a rest from them and focus just on me.

I started doing meditation and it helped me to clear head and be relaxed. This week our Yoga teacher decided to move the class outside. What an amazing idea that was.

It happened in Holyrood Park,  the temperature was high so a lot of people, but we managed to hear birds and it was just spot on what I need after a busy day at work. Also, remember Yin Yoga increases your flexibility and as I learnt and experienced it Yin Yoga reduces stress and anxiety. Try it yourself!

Big day coming

It might sound lame but I am really super excited about 21st July. I think Roger is delighted that it is all about him this week. Another agility classes and wow we have managed to have Roger off a lead. Yes, I said we had him off a lead and Yes, he doesn’t have any recall when surrounded by livestock. I have doubts if this will ever be possible to teach that boy a recall around sheep or horses. Yesterday he proved that when he has job to do, he will do anything to please! Even out agility mentor said he is much more focus on me. Does this mean he enjoys agility?

I also realised that going to school for dogs is worth too. Last year we attended to Paw Skills Edinburgh for tricks course. I thought tricks class will be ideal as his brain will work and he will learn funny things. Well how wrong I was, funny things maybe yes but how helpful they are on a daily basis and also very helpful at agility. If you have any doubts? Just do it, do one block it will change your dog and your life. The most importantly it will create amazing bonding between you two.

I know this post is all about Roger and I promise I didn’t have tears when I was writing it. He changed my life. Happy Gotcha Day Roger.

“A dog will teach you unconditional love. If you can have that in your life, things won’t be too bad.”- Robert Wagner.

 

Super busy Gang

Last couple days have been very busy for our gang.

Roger and Laferra could spend a day with Roger’s previous owners and it looks they all had a great adventure out in Edinburgh. Lucky for them it was nice and sunny, so long walk along Restalrig railway path was ideal. The path takes you all the way to Portobello if you wish to do 2.5 miles walk. It mainly is cycle path but why not use it for a walk with dogs.

On Saturday, I was out in Glentress to do my mountain biking beginner course with Ridelines. The day was amazing. Why MTB course? As you know by now I am planning to compete in bikejor with Roger and I thought I will learn proper skills so I am strong and ready for a season. Now MTB is a part almost every day of our training. I can’t wait to put those skills into practice with Roger. Unfortunately, temperatures are too high at the moment to do it.

Unfortunately, temperatures are too high at the moment to do bikejor, so we only canicross. What temperature is too high? It differs for different dogs, and how well your dog can cope with the heat. Usually, you should stick temperature x humidity <1000 you are fine to go. As I mentioned before you are the one who knows your dog. I still would go for a short and easy pace jaunt on a bike with Roger even 17 degrees, however, I would watch humidity and make sure he has enough water prior during and after a run. I never realised that during summer when playing fetch with dogs you can still overheat them. The best is to stay close to the water on a hot day as dogs can run in and cool down. Please keep an eye on your dog. Here are some of the symptoms:

  • heavy panting or rapid breathing
  • elevated body temperature
  • excessive thirst
  • weakness, collapse
  • glazed eyes
  • increased pulse and heartbeat
  • vomiting, bloody diarrhoea
  • seizures
  • bright or dark tongue, gums
  • excessive drooling
  • staggering, stumbling
  • unconsciousness

As we live in Scotland rain is a normal thing and it doesn’t stop us to enjoy time outdoor. For a change, I decided we go East for our canicross training. Dalkeith Country Park is gorgeous and full of nice trails. However, dogs are not allowed in Restoration Yard or Fort Douglas and must be kept on a lead in the Palace Field area until across Montagu Bridge. Park is full of things to do for families too. Beautiful scenery is just a jolly for training. Even tho rain was very heavy in woods you didn’t really feel how wet it was out there.

Nice trails with a lot of stops as you can walk or run along the river. Laferra and Roger loved the scent and running deer. As you can imagine no one was there during this awful rain.

Saturday night was very exciting for my friends and me. I bought a ticket for a raffle as my friends are going to World Championship and are trying to get funds for their expensive trip (you can still support them, but raffle is finished: https://www.pledgesports.org/projects/sled-dog-world-championships-November-2017/ ). So they did raffle draw on Saturday, and by the look on live video I have won a Kick Bike Scooter. So here is to more adventures for me and dogs and of course a tougher training. I have never won such an amazing prize, so looking forward to it.

On another note, sometime ago our gang had an opportunity to have a photoshoot with Barbara Ostrowska at https://www.facebook.com/BarbaraOstrowskaphotography/. My dear friend Kinga organised all and also thank you to her and Fitline for all the support. My dogs loved it and were superstars. I will leave it for you to judge but here are some of the results: