There are a number of things that I do or want to do with Tierce, activity-wise. I’m compiling a bunch of things I can do with him that will encourage me to exercise more effectively more often.
This is generally what we do – or what my boyfriend and Tierce do – most often. Walking burns a decent amount of calories if you do it for an hour or more. There are a lot of places in Nanaimo to walk a Shiba, which is why I started my blog Places to Take a Shiba in Nanaimo (currently derailed due to family issues that are largely being resolved, fortunately).
This is a variant of walking where you’re following a GPS unit to find caches hidden by other geocachers. Depending on the terrain, this can be anything from a stroll to a hiking expedition.
Hardier form of walking that Shibas take to very well. They are little mountain dogs and like nothing better than scrambling up and down mountains, stopping to cock a leg along the way.
I am an avid long-distance cyclist, but a bicycle going at full speed – or even a speed suitable for long distance touring – is too fast for Tierce to keep up with. I therefore have set up my trailer to accommodate him. Drawbacks include slower speed and a harder time securing everything if we want to hop off and explore without dragging the bike/trailer around. I have been looking into getting an adult tricycle with a back basket large enough to accommodate a Shiba or that would support modification so that Tierce’s crate could fit on it.
I have been running with Tierce regularly this summer, but shin splints have laid me low. I’m starting out again, but it’s slow going and I wonder if I’ll ever be able to run without pain. Which brings me to:
Not something I have tried with Tierce. I’m on the lookout for a modestly priced pair of inline skates and protective gear. I also keep having nightmares about Tierce dragging me off balance while I’m going full-tilt. But I’m going to try it anyway; maybe I’ll learn how to skate first and then try taking Tierce out.
Tierce has his own little sled dog harness and, if he put his mind to it, could actually pull me down a gentle slope. But no, he wants to jump into the nearest snow drift. In Nanaimo, snow falls about once a year, so every year I grease up the skis and go out to enjoy the winter weather and yelling at Tierce for pulling me off balance.
Tierce’s harness is better for him pulling my plastic sled up hills (yes, I’m 32 and yes I still sled, dammit). He’s happy: he can pull it and bounce uphill. I’m happy; I don’t have to pull the sled. Sliding down the hill with Tierce running beside me is fun, too.
I have a couple of photos of Tierce actually letting water touch his shoulders and back as he swam after a stick for about 7 seconds. He’s repeated the experience only under protest.
And that’s all I can think of that Tierce does with me. I need to make this more of an inclusion in my daily routine to get a lot of cardio benefits from it – leisurely walks or letting Tierce run around in the yard don’t count!
Still cleaning up after Family Business; hopefully I will have more shining prose in the coming week.
Me: Hey, want to go for a walk?
Friend: I wouldn’t mind.
Me & friend: Yadda yadda yadda.
Tierce: Sniff sniff sniff.
Tierce: OH HEY IS THAT A RABBIT OVER THERE?!
Me: Forget it!
Little plastic thingy: THWAP!
Friend: Here Tierce! Good puppy… just stay there…
Tierce: THERE WAS A RABBIT IN THAT HOLE! I only need to dig for six more hours and I can get through to chase it!
Tierce: Oh, poo.
Friend: Are you okay?
Me: Just… fine… mind if I lie here for a while?
Friend: Uh, sure. Are you sure you’re okay.
Me: Never better… oh gods.
Friend: Um, try seeing if you can walk.
Ground: Seeya. Drop in again some time.
Me: Fuck you.
Tierce: Oh HEY! THERE WAS A RABBIT AND I CHASED IT AND IT WENT THROUGH THIS HOLE-
Me: Shut up.
Friend: Okay, how are you doing now?
Me: I think I’ll live. Shall we?
Friend: We shall.
With the improvement in the weather, Tierce and I have been sallying forth and going geocaching. Geocaching is an awesome hobby for Shibas, requiring only a GPS unit and an owner with a leash. We’ve been out and about a fair amount, including up in Courtenay, where the city is just riddled with the things.
Tierce is pretty good about the geocaching, but when one wants to be subtle and not advertise that there’s a cache out there, a purebred Shiba isn’t the best dog to take along.
“What kind of dog is that?”
“It’s sooo cute!”
and, of course,
“It looks like a little fox!”