The reason we wake up so early for runs is because Mom finds it “difficult” to negotiate the rules of people and dogs at the same time. For example, people prefer to ignore each other and stay to their respective “lanes” when they pass each other. Dogs prefer to body check or at the very least give a thorough and considerate sniff to the crotches of passers by, regardless of species. People tend to put baffling emphasis on calling trails “on leash only” and “no dogs” which, if we were law abiding runners in the strictest sense would mean that we would be very bored indeed with the 3 dog friendly loops within an hour’s drive.
So we get up early to abide by Schrödinger’s Dog’s Law: a dog is neither off leash nor on leash/neither on a “no dogs” nor a “yes dogs” trail unless observed there. If a dog runs in the woods and no one is there to observe it, it may not have happened at all. But this morning when we tried to sneak off before sunrise, Mom’s car wouldn’t start. Two would-be murderers came to the house and peeled our car open like a tin can. After an hour and a half of shouting threats through the door, we finally scared them away and could get on with our adventure. But by then the Schrödinger’s hour had passed and Mom would have to negotiate the most technical and muddy trail we know with 2 leashes.
We dragged her through the mud, and took right of way through the rocky single track. “Can’t you just leap and figure out how to land on slippery roots and rock outcroppings later?” Bodie asked, aggravated at being yelled at once again for taking the sandy smooth line trough a turn and forcing Mom through a rock field or puddle.
This trail has one thing the others do not, though. It has the only woodsy off leash area on the whole peninsula. After 3 miles of tug of war, we were rewarded with a couple of free laps of the few acres of legal off leash running in the whole world.
When we got back to the car, Mom was covered in mud. ‘Are you sure you want to get in the car like that?” I asked. Then, to my sister, “Dude, you’re filthy. She’s totally going to make you take a bath… Sucks to be you!”
“Um, your face was right next to her calves, Smug McSmuggerson. You might want to look in a mirror yourself… Suckah!”
–Oscar the Pooch