Dog Days of Summer

Anxiety in dogs

The dog days of summer are upon us. They have been, I suppose, for just over a month now, according to the expression, and there are still a few days left.


We’ve certainly noticed the heat. With a full week in the 90s, the grass turned brittle, the trees drooped and the dogs were less than eager to move around. There was a considerable amount of lounging in the house these past few weeks.

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We have had a few visitors, including a couple of our closest friends and my parents. Though the weather seemed to break for them. And Banjo, especially, was ready to get back to what she does best — playing.

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I was taking July easy as well and not just because of the heat. About a month ago, Ivan and I took a 10-mile run. We ran on the Farmington Canal Trail — a very flat, paved path that cuts through amazing greenery and stretches all the way to Massachusetts. We did our usual leisurely pace, far from straining or overexerting ourselves. The idea of these long runs is distance, not speed, not acrobatics. So I was stumped when I discovered the next day that my ankle was hurt. Badly.

I’m not sure what I did, but the good doctor believes it was muscular. A strain or sprain or whatever it is people do to injure their joint muscles. The remedy was, sadly, rest — something I struggle with.

I don’t struggle with it because I am an admirable athlete, intent on perfecting my stride or anything. I just really like food. I eat a ton and I resolutely refuse to count calories. I don’t eat really unhealthily. Most of my meals are vegetarian and many are vegan. I eat hummus for lunch. But I want to be able to eat as much hummus as I want. And I also like craft beers, which are calorie-dense. So the only way I manage to continue squeezing into my pants is by running 20 or more miles each week. So taking a break was hard.

I managed to hurt my ankle again by pushing through a couple long runs twice before finally giving up. Unfortunately I wasn’t the only one to suffer without the exercise. Banjo, who’s become used to 4 or more runs per week, was going bonkers without that exercise.

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I’m happy to say that I’m back at it this week. I eased in with a 2-miler on Wednesday, 2.6 miles yesterday and 3 miles today. I hope to get in a 5-miler this weekend to really test out my ankle. Cross your fingers it’s had ample time to recover!


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