Kona has been bursting at the seams with energy. She hasn't gotten out for a real run in over two weeks now. Add in my pre-race taper, when we spent less time on the trails, and you get a steaming fuse. Unfortunately, I did a real number on my body by making a couple big marathon training mistakes, one being running very few miles on the road. I'm doing what I can to speed up my recovery, but I'm worried that it may be weeks before we run again or even go for a proper hike.
To try and give Kona a good workout, we packed up on Monday and drove to the beach.
This was Kona's third beach visit and she enjoyed it as much as her previous trips. True to Kona form, she was a nervous wreck getting out of the car and down to the water, but once there, she relaxed quickly.
Kona doesn't pay much attention to birds at home but they're the most exciting thing in the world at the beach. She tore up and down the sand, in desperate pursuit, always coming up empty handed.
I picked the quiet corner of the shoreline to let Kona run on her long line. Despite being midday during the work week, other beach goers walked by our spot continuously. I signaled Kona away from the water to create space between us and the potentially scary strangers.
Kona became nervous a few times when families or groups of people walked by but she never had a problem recovering. (The birds help tremendously).
The return to the car turned Kona into a runaway freight train. She was more nervous than she's been in a long time. To my surprise, she did eat all the treats I gave her after she jumped into her crate.
Instead of fighting afternoon traffic, I decided to take Kona to a friend's apartment to wait out rush hour. I also thought it would be a good challenge, without a lot of pressure, for Kona. Nobody was home and the building was quiet. Unfortunately, Kona did not take the new environment well. I packed fun toys, treats, a kong with canned dog food, a bone and her coveted stuffed lobster. Nothing helped calm or distract her. While in her crate, she kept a close eye on me. Any movement from me brought her to her feet, eyes huge, worried about me leaving.
After an hour and a half with Kona becoming progressively more nervous, I decided it was better to deal with traffic than to keep Kona so stressed. On the way out, she pulled on her leash like death itself was after us. The trip reminded me just how much Kona cannot handle people environments. I felt sad and frustrated. I don't like being reminded how challenging fearful dogs can be and how way out of the ballpark Kona's fears are.
On the drive home, I reminded myself that we did have fun,
but we might just stick to the beach next time.