July 2, 2010

Dog + Bicycle + Summer.

Running your dog around in the Hot Summer? Be mindful.

For more tips: read the comments in this here thread on Reddit: People who bicycle with their dogs – when did you start, what breed, how far, how fast? (self.Dogtraining

There’s two schools of dog ownership, both of them fine in different ways. One is, you’re with your dog all the time, and they get tired (which, when young, is essential to their state of happiness) just by running about with you, socializing, having fun out on the town all day.

The other school: you leave your dog at home, and give them a good walk once, or hopefully twice, or even better three times, a day.

While I firmly belong to the first school, it’s technically illegal to leave your dog leashed in front of a café or restaurant unless your hand is on the leash…so I often think about leaving my rescue mutt, Redford, at home. Still, being a social animal myself, I don’t like leaving him at home for more than a few hours…he’s such a happy, friendly pooch, the unending boredom makes him hyper, tense, and over-energetic.

So, biking around Boulder, you can often see him running along with me. Often, he’s running almost faster than I’m biking. But sometimes, when it’s hot, I have to bike slowly, and even then his tongue his hanging and he’s eager for a jump into the creek.

I sometimes imagine that folks who see us biking and running about feel sorry for him, when really I take him with me for his sake, not against his will. Recently, I received a gentle question from a Boulderite, below:

On Jun 30, 2010, at 5:16 PM, mike wrote:

Waylon:  Hello.  Saw you riding your bike today–and I just wanted to offer some friendly advice–would you consider not taking your dog out on the streets with you in such hot weather?  Imagine running on hot asphalt in 95 degree weather with bare feet and a fur coat and I think you’d probably change your mind about taking your pooch out on errands–it’s also pretty dangerous for the dog in traffic…sorry, not trying to be preachy, but we are concerned for your dog!

Thanks for considering and doing great things with your journal and activism…


Mike and Joanna

— On Wed, 6/30/10, Waylon Lewis wrote:

From: Waylon Lewis
Subject: Re: your pooch
To: “mike p”
Date: Wednesday, June 30, 2010, 5:24 PM

He had just been swimming in the creek, depending on when you saw me (I went from 15th and Pearl straight to creek on 21st I think it is), then down Walnut after he’d been swimming for awhile), and we try and run him in the shade [and grass] on sidewalks as much as can ’cause I have to imagine the pavement is crazy hot. He’d just been napping for hours on Pearl, and is full of juice, so he also needs the exercise, that’s why we hang together just about all day every day. But I agree, that pavement is hot! I’m careful about it, and he lets me know if he’s tired or whatever…he really is in charge when we bike, I know it could hurt him when it’s so hot.

I fully appreciate and agree with your concern–I’m sure many folks who see us running in hot weather share your concern, so I don’t blame you at all, rather the opposite.


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Waylon:  Great!  Thanks for the kind response…and the care of your dog…I should have suspected you were fully aware of what you were doing…great to have the dialogue…


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