Heather seemed to be dragging a little bit around the 2 mile mark on our run today. It was a little warmer than usual so I was worried she was too hot. So I stopped in the shade to give her some of my endurance drink. I usually don’t bring a lot of water on a 6 miler but thought I’d try it today to see if it improved my performance (it did).
So I wondered if Heather would drink it. She didn’t. I didn’t know if she didn’t drink it because she wasn’t thirsty or if it was because it wasn’t her regular water. But we kept running.
I had taken her to the vet for a check up before we started taking her on our runs to make sure she was ok to start running and to make sure I knew what I needed know to be a good steward of her on the road. We discussed the fact that Heather is a long haired dog and may have more trouble with heat than short hairs and reviewed the symptoms of over heating and exhaustion.
We usually don’t take water on our runs because they are relatively short. But I was second guessing myself about not bringing water specifically for Heather since it was slightly warmer than it usually is when we run. I started looking for a water fountain on the trail we were running. But there wasn’t one.
I saw a puddle and let her sniff it in case she wanted to drink. I don’t normally let her drink out of puddles. But I thought if she needed it, it was better than nothing. She was not interested. I kept my eye out for other symptoms of over heating (heavy panting, diarrhea). No signs. Good.
But I wondered why she was dragging. Kris thinks she gets bored running. She’d rather run all over the place sniffing every leaf and blade of grass. I can believe that. So we kept running and I kept my eye on her.
As the mileage crawled by, the day heated up just slightly. At the four mile mark
we ran past another puddle and this time she stopped to drink. I let her. When we had just a mile to go, I felt like the temperature had creeped up again. I stopped for a drink and Heather looked at me like she wanted some. I had half a bottle left. I unscrewed the cap and I poured some of the drink into it. It’s my usual way to share my water with Heather. This time she drank it up! So I kept pouring more in as she lapped it up. I was really happy she was drinking. I took one big slug and let Heather drink all the rest. I guess she just wasn’t thirsty the first time I offered.
We had less than a mile to go. I knew we’d make it just fine. But Kris and I talked about it later that day wand decided a 10k is as far as we should run her, especially now that the weather is getting warmer. She can still go on the short mid-week runs. But as our mileage increases on the weekends, Heather will hang out at home and we’ll take her out for a shorter outing to the dog park or some other fun place. :) But until I can discuss her running program further with her vet, I’m not chancing it.