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Make a Rainy Run Fun

After a short week of playing in the snow, we were back to our usual Oregon winter: rainy, but not too cold. It’s the kind of weather that makes a lot of people complain and run for their full-spectrum lamps, but I like it.

Danny does not.

We went for our morning run in a steady rain with a goal of 4.5 miles, the quicker the better. Danny disagreed. He wanted to smell every shrub, mark every tree, and walk … slowly, slowly … while he searched for just the right place to poop. It’s his “Danny Drag Chute” routine, which he does when he’s feeling surly about the run.

So for the first mile, I did what I usually do. I struggled against the leash at the other end, I groaned and yelled, “Come on!” and “Keep up, Danny!” Danny basically told me to fuck off.

Then I heard myself. I wouldn’t want to run in the rain with me either. The weather was miserable to Danny, and on top of that, I was telling him he sucked. If I were Danny, what would make this fun?

For the remaining 3.5 miles, I was the head of Team Cheerful. I said things like, “Let’s go, Danny! We can do it! You’re awesome!” When he pulled up next to me with a smile on his face, I gave him a treat. He ran in his usual position at my heels, leash loose, the whole way — with the occasional pit stop.

People assume that our dogs worship us no matter what we do, but it’s not true. They’re hip to us being jerks, and they’ll call us on it by dragging on the leash and being surly. And really, is it so bad for both of us to buck up and be happy to run in the rain?


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