Sarah’s Monday Motivational Story

Tell us a bit about you and your dog/s

I am nearly 30 and started running to manage my mental health when I was in uni. I work in conservation in mid Wales (trying to save the most southerly mainland red Squirrel population in the UK!). I’ve always had collies but my last collie opened my eyes to dog training and dog behaviour. My current girl, Lily, is a reactive rescue. I picked her up from the shelter 6 days before her 1st birthday. She’d never been walked, never been allowed to meet dogs, never learned what was normal in the world. She has been a LOT of work, but 2 years later and the amount of progress is incredible.

Tell us a bit about your canicross experience so far…

I started running with Lily 6 months after adopting her. We ran on our own for another 6 months and this year have gradually started running with people locally. We love it. It gives her the chance to spend time around dogs in a safe way, and gets me out of bed earlier on a Thursday than I would have thought possible! We recently attended a canicross bootcamp and she did so so well. We even managed to spend some time in the middle of the group, which historically has never been possible as she finds dogs running behind her overwhelming! We’ve just registered for our first canicross race in a few weeks. I’m nervous but excited. Everyone has been so kind and supportive, we’re starting 10 minutes ahead of everyone else with a couple of other nervous dogs so we can see how we do and get used to the atmosphere.

Tell us about how canicross has helped you and your dog/s and your biggest achievements

Our biggest achievement so far has definitely been the bootcamp we attended last weekend. I’ve rewatched the video I took of us walking calmly in the middle of a group of dogs hundreds of times already! It’s helped me get the exercise my brain craves and gives boggles (Lily) an outlet and a safe way to be around dogs.

What are your goals and plans for the future?

I’m really excited to attend our first canicross race. I’d love to take part in the fur nations in the future. Closer to home, I’d like to work on Lily’s focus so we don’t always have to be at the back of the group and can go for runs with friends.

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