Thursday, January 20, 2011

My New Running Partner

Meet Raisin. We adopted her on April 14, 2010. Yes, I have been VERY neglectful of this blog, but I digress…

Raisin was found wandering in Whistler and turned in to the WAG (Whistler Animals Galore), which is the local shelter. Due to her persistent licking of any face that was in range she was quickly dubbed “Kisses”. With no tags or chips and nobody claiming her, Kisses became available for adoption….
One Friday afternoon, Ian and I stopped by the WAG on our weekly drive from Vancouver to Pemberton to see if there were any dogs that needed to be walked. The staff brought us back to meet the new pooch and off we went.

Ian was IN LOVE with ‘Kisses’ from the first second they met. She was so lovable and sweet and friendly with everyone .  I quickly fell for her too, and we decided to take her home for a trial run. It had been over a year since we had to put our beloved Rottweiler, Freddie, down, and we were starting to think seriously about a new dog.

Raisin is mostly Husky, with some Pomeranian, Akita, and Basenji mixed in (according to her DNA test). This makes her IDEAL for distance running. Here’s a breakdown of how each of her contributing breed genes make her born to run:

Siberian Husky:
According to Wikipedia:
The dog of choice for the modern Iditarod is a mixed-breed husky bred for speed, tough feet, endurance, good attitude, and most importantly the desire to run. The long distance runners are typically 45-55lbs (which happens to be Raisin’s size!)….

This race is approximately 1112 miles long, and takes over 3 weeks to complete. The VO2 max (aerobic capacity) of a typical Iditarod dog is about three times that of a human Olympic marathon runner!

One of the more athletic of the toy breeds, the Pomeranian was bred from larger Arctic Spitz breeds.

Used to hunt big game in ancient Japan, they move with cat-like grace.

One of the oldest breeds of dog, which were bred to assist in the hunt in Africa.

After a week in Pemberton and Vancouver, we decided to make it official, and we changed her name to Raisin.

What a life this girl has! Every morning I drop her off across the street from our loft to spend the day at VIA Architecture with my good friend, Mel. She has been the ‘official’ office dog for about 6 months now. Ashley the Dog Walker picks her up at work and takes her to the dog park on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Almost every weekend we go to our house in Pemberton (20 minutes north of Whistler) where she is free to frolic off leash in the deep snow and play with lots of other dogs.

Raisin LOVES to run with us. She is pretty good at staying on one side and keeping pace, although she does tend to pull a little at the beginning. I find that I run a little faster when she’s with me and the time flies by quicker than when I’m alone. We usually run at night, and she is always outfitted with a headlamp around her neck and one or two flashing lights for extra safety.

I never thought running with a dog would be so much fun, and having a dog that I could run with was never a high priority. But now that I have my new little Buddy, I find it hard not to run without her!

The longest run I’ve taken Raisin on was 8 miles, which she completed with ease. We usually stop for sips out of puddles (her not me), and so far she has never shown any desire to stop or slow down. I’m curious to see what she’s capable of with some training….

If you're interested in keeping track of Raisin's antics, you can follow her on Twitter at: