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MOSES - Tribute to a great dog

Monday, November 28, 2011

MOSES 1999 - 2011 , picture taken at 10 months

I found him at a local shelter, together with his brother. They were about 6 months old and, as we found out after some research, the result of an accidental breeding of a local breeder. They had been placed in pet homes but the owner must have gotten tired of them and dumped them at the shelter. We never knew if they were all Akita and just not that typey or if there was something else mixed in. I had been rescuing dogs off and on and these two were very gentle souls, not always the case with this breed. After a few weeks at our house we found a fantastic home for one of them on an island off the Washington coast.
The other one grew on my husband, who had always been partial to northern breeds.
So we named him Moses, because the way we rescued him seemed to parallel the Biblical story of the Pharoaoh's daughter rescuing baby Moses and saving his life by bringing him home. To me Moses also seemed like a nice-sounding Biblical name which fit his gentle disposition. Moses became my husband's exercise partner, requiring two long walks for the first two or three years of his life and getting at least one long walk for most of the rest of his life. The total number of miles that my husband walked or ran with him must have been at least 10.000 miles, even though he claimed and still does that he does not like running with dogs. Well, let's say that whenever my husband was not running regularly he was still exercising Moses regularly and a good part of that was running with him. The way I see it Moses was taking him to the promised land of long-term health and fitness because less than 2 months ago we ran our first half-marathon together. Don't get me wrong, my husband has never been overweight, not even close, but there is a family history of heart disease.
Moses provided a reason to get out on the trail and de-stress plus he has been a faithful friend.
Just 3 days before Thanksgiving he suddenly stopped eating. We had some blood work done which revealed severe liver dysfunction. Three days later he was unable to walk in spite of supportive care. He did not have to suffer long and we know he is in a better place now.
He will be missed by all of us and we are thankful for having had him for 12 good years. We will never forget him.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BLESSED2BEME 11/30/2011 11:52AM

    Such a beautiful tribute and his name...wow...that touched me down to the bottom of my soul.

Thank you for rescuing and thank you for giving him such a wonderful home and existance. He awaits you at the Rainbow Bridge to run again by your side one day!


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HOUNDLOVER1 11/30/2011 11:18AM

    Thank you all so much! I am amazed at all the support. Spark People are a great group to be a part of. emoticon

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NAVYMOM133 11/30/2011 9:43AM

    What a wonderful tribute to Moses. Great name with real meaning, and a wonderful life for dog and owners alike!
As one commenter said, "No matter how long we have them, it's never enough."
Thanks for sharing his story, hugs to you!

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WALKZWDOGZ 11/30/2011 1:35AM

    Thank you for sharing such a touching tribute. He looks like such a regal, faithful dog. No matter how long we have them, it's never long enough. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DOGSRFIT 11/29/2011 10:36PM

    emoticonSo sorry for your loss. What a beautiful tribute.

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PONYFARMER 11/29/2011 8:49PM

    God bless you for taking in two large breed dogs. They often do not find homes. I have one myself. An Anatolia Shepard who weights 91 pounds. Love her to bits.

Moses is/was a beautiful boy. Very striking. And yes he does look Akita mixed with something, you were blessed he took the characteristics of the other breed as Akitas can be a handful and usally like to eat anything that moves. They also are hard to keep in any kind of fence you can build.

You have honored his with this tribue and I am sorry for your loss but clearly you are better for having known and been owned by him.

Moses is in a better place!

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NDTEACHER1 11/29/2011 8:18PM

    Gorgeous dog and a beautiful tribute to him. I know how hard it is to let go of our beloved pets because they become a member of our family and they ALWAYS love and accept us, no matter what.

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THINBUCKEYE 11/29/2011 8:18PM

    So sorry to hear of your loss of Moses. What a wonderful dog he must have been...and so beautiful, too. He definitely left this world knowing how loved he was. You'll all be together with him again someday.
God bless...

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HOPE2011 11/29/2011 7:30PM

    What a beautiful dog! I am so sorry for your loss - you and yours are in my thoughts and prayers. emoticon

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CRAZYDOGLADYBO 11/29/2011 5:17PM

    What a beautiful tribute to Moses. I am sorry for your loss.

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GETFIT2LIVE 11/29/2011 2:59PM

    What a beautiful boy--and wonderful memories to share. Losing a pet is losing a family member in many ways; they hold a very special place in our hearts that only other animal lovers understand.


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HOUNDLOVER1 11/29/2011 2:46PM

    Thank so much for reading and sharing! It means a lot. emoticon

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MSPRIS3 11/29/2011 2:15PM

    I'm sorry to hear your dog has passed on. The picture you posted is stunning, what a beautiful animal

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KRNMAC 11/29/2011 12:53PM

    I'm so sorry. Thanks for sharing a part of Moses with us. Praying for healing and peace for you.

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MARTHASPARKS 11/29/2011 11:43AM

    Losing a good dog is losing part of your heart. I am so sorry.

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KATHYKIM 11/29/2011 9:11AM

    So sorry to hear about Moses, I lost my 15 1/2 year old black lab just this past Sunday, so I am feeling the same sorrow. They both had good, long lives. Our worlds now have one less joy in them. Take care.


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HEATHHILL 11/29/2011 7:48AM

    What a lovely tribute to your beautiful Moses. Dogs bring such joy to our lives. I hope the memories console you in your loss.

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MAGGIE101857 11/29/2011 6:46AM

    Beautiful memories of a beautiful and beloved pet - I'm sorry for your loss. You made his time of this Earth very special!

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HOUNDLOVER1 11/29/2011 12:48AM

    Thank you all for all the kind words. emoticon emoticon

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TWEETYKC00 11/29/2011 12:45AM

    I know Moses was a great pup and he must be missed dearly. I am so sorry for your loss. Sometimes only animal lovers and other pet owners can really understand the pain of losing a good pet like this.

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HICKOK-HALEY 11/29/2011 12:39AM

    Aww, he was just beautiful. What a face. I bet he was so thankful to have a home like yours. Hugs to you and your Hubby!! emoticon

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YJNANA 11/28/2011 11:00PM

    Sorry to hear of your loss, they are Family
we have always had dogs and their love is Unconditional.
He had a marvelous 12 years :)


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MY4DOGS2580 11/28/2011 10:55PM

    Sorry for your loss. the Akita is a misunderstood breed. I had a lab/Akita mix and who had the most gentle soul to him, which was good thing at 100#. your Moses looks much like my Bear. I lost him to mass cell cancer, broke my husband's heart.

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SUNSHINE99999 11/28/2011 10:17PM

  That was a good blog so thanks for sharing. I still have some fond memories of times spent with my dog(s) during my growing up days.

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Short run

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Today I ran out of time again getting ready for Thanksgiving. My husband was back later from work so I only had about half an hour to work out. I ran 2 miles on the treadmill in the early evening. Fortunately I had also spent about an hour walking the dogs and done some cleaning at the barn. My calf muscles are a little sore from running in the boots yesterday so it was good to have a shorter workout.
Tomorrow I'll do another MAF test.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARCH_ 11/23/2011 3:58PM

    ..."calf" muscles.. HaHaHaHa!! Barns are full of great work/exercise!

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MOBYCARP 11/23/2011 3:42PM

    Your calves hurt from running in boots . . . and you've been a regular runner for a long time. Hmm. Gives me something to look forward to when I have to change my footwear to run in the snow. Thanks for the heads up!

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KRISZTA11 11/23/2011 2:47PM

    That's a lot of exercise, well done!
The barn seems to be an inexhaustible source of upper body strength training : )

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Running in snow boots

Monday, November 21, 2011

I decided to try my fairly lightweight snow boots for running today since I need something for when the snow gets really thick and my minimalist shoes won't work. I started with 2 miles since the weight of the boots worked like ankle weights and I could feel my hamstrings a little more than usual afterwards. Overall my form felt similar to me as what I do in my water shoes, except for the heel touching down earlier. The boots have about a 1/2 inch heel but have a flexible sole with some tread but without any arch support, lots of toe room.
Feedback on running form welcome! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OFGREENGABLES 12/22/2012 1:01PM

    thanks for posting - i'm about to try this

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SUNONMAPLES 12/12/2011 9:53PM

  Coming in late on this but, considering that they're boots, it looks to me like your form is terrific! (I think I can tell occasionally, that they are heavier than your regular shoes, that's all). I am no expert though. I like the idea of gaiters and "real" running shoes too. Maryland doesn't get very much snow so I'm pretty safe, but I'm gonna have to google for snowshoes made for running! So cool!

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JSPEED4 11/26/2011 6:17AM

    With a heel, you may need to use a shorter stride; icy patches on the ground can make it important to be more upright! Oh, well. Life happens.

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MCCOURTT 11/23/2011 12:16PM

    Facing the same issue, in terms of what to wear this winter. Right now I'm looking at three options, switch to trail running shoe, treadmill :-(, and indoor running track. I'm some what luck that we don't get a lot of snow, in southern Ohio. Hoping I will only need to deal with the snow few times this winter.
I'm think the boot idea, is a good idea, and since you already do minimalist shoe, other than the tops of the boot rubbing, that is nice solution.
(Be safe)

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TRULYVISIBLE 11/22/2011 5:28PM

  Good aerobics. Looks like fun running in the snow.

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PDQ1203 11/22/2011 9:53AM


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HOUNDLOVER1 11/21/2011 8:09PM

I can only imagine what it would feel like to have to run in combat boots, I bet I would get shin splints, too. They are probably 2-3 times as heavy as my snow boots, LOL, I guess I have nothing to complain about. emoticon

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ROBINC821 11/21/2011 7:49PM

    I also am not an expert by far in form. I am an expert in running in boots.... Combat boots to be exact. I developed shin splints related to running in combat boots. Those of course were not built for comfort but function. Just make sure your boots fit well and offer proper support to keep any injury away. Not that shin splints were any big deal just got sore.... I kept running anyhow emoticon

Congrats on finding a good cold weather solution to keeping up the outdoor runs!!

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MARTHASPARKS 11/21/2011 7:48PM

    You looked like your form was good to me. You are really dedicated to run in the snow!

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HOUNDLOVER1 11/21/2011 7:35PM

thanks for checking in. Hope you'll find something that works for you. It just occurred to me that it's probably possible to run in regular trail running shoes with gaiters. Someone also gave me the suggestion of running in snowshoes that are made for running.

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MOBYCARP 11/21/2011 7:19PM

    I'm not an experienced enough runner to have anything constructive to say about your form. I hope the boots work out for you, and I hope I find something that works for me when the snow arrives here.

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HOUNDLOVER1 11/21/2011 7:00PM

    GETFITTOLIVE, Thanks for your input. The boots have deep tread and very good traction on snow and when it gets icy I put my winter spikes on as well.

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GETFIT2LIVE 11/21/2011 6:44PM

    You definitely are a brave soul to run in boots! I hope they have good traction--I worry about slipping when I'm out in snow as there is often ice underneath. From what I saw, your form looks pretty good; just be careful when you're out there under those conditions.

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HOUNDLOVER1 11/21/2011 6:06PM

    Thanks! I'm going slowly, only did 2 miles in these boots today and will do the other miles in my regular minimalist shoes.

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YA_YAYA 11/21/2011 5:54PM

    You are brave to wear boots to run. I would caution you to make sure you have the proper support. Running takes a toll on your joints and muscles so you want to have the best support possible.

Your form looks good but make sure you tuck your butt in and lift your knees. It will increase your stride and help prevent injuries.

Good luck!

Comment edited on: 11/21/2011 5:55:04 PM

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Still no running

Sunday, November 20, 2011

This is the longest break that I've had from running since I started the Maffetone method, 4 days without running. I'm not sure if it's the weather or just busyness but I feel physically tired. I was on my feet all day moving bags of feed, walking dogs, cleaning out at the barn, cleaning the duck barn and planting some tulips before the ground freezes solid so I've had no lack of exercise, just nothing to get my pulse up. Yesterday there was no ice skating lesson because of Thanksgiving break so my daughter and I walked around the mall for a couple of hours.
I've done better making sure I drink enough and got myself a large insulated mug to take on car trips.
Tomorrow is my day off so hopefully I'll finally get a good run in.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHAPEUPNOW1 11/24/2011 10:02PM

    I still have to congratulate you for your activity!! So don't beat yourself up!! emoticon

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HOUNDLOVER1 11/21/2011 1:35PM

    Thanks Tweety, Kriszta and Martha, I'm gearing up for a run today. Still trying to figure out how many clothes to layer with the snow and cold. emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/21/2011 1:36:12 PM

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MARTHASPARKS 11/21/2011 10:45AM

    I hope that you get a good run in soon! I know you miss it!

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KRISZTA11 11/21/2011 3:21AM

    But you had a nice day, with a lot of walking and physical activity - good for you : )

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TWEETYKC00 11/21/2011 12:21AM

    I bet you can't wait for your run. Sometimes things just happen that can keep us from the exercising that we want, but as long as you're getting in some kind of exercise, that is alright.

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Reflections on running and races

Saturday, November 19, 2011

I was much too busy to do any running the last two days. I did a lot of thinking about running, though, especially the fact that running, like almost any enjoyable activity, can become addictive.
It may not even be the running itself that's addictive in some cases, but rather the feelings of success that comes with winning races. I hear of people who go from one race to the next without regard to recovery and they know better. This reminds me of the addictive quality of video games. You win (or at least you feel you won) and you move up to the next level. Winning or improving one's time can be all-consuming to the point where people neglect their job, their friends and their families. When running and/or racing becomes addictive it hurts everyone, the runner and people around him/her.
Now that I'm a runner I wonder at what point passion for a hobby ends and obsession or addiction starts. Are there cases where I want to discourage people from running even if I know they want me to cheer them on? Can my running a certain number of miles or my participation in races be seen as encouragement by some people to give in to their addictive behaviors in the same way that I might influence an alcoholic by drinking alcohol in front of them? Of course everyone is responsible for their own choices but I still want to encourage others to do things that are good for their health.
I feel the same about eating. If someone is normal weight but maintains their weight through abnormal eating patterns I don't want to cheer them on, I want to help them get healthier.
Some people are reluctant to start an exercise program because they associate it with pain or at least discomfort. There is a lot of language among runners that justifies that expectation. Just read a couple of race reports and there will be more talk about pain, struggle, exhaustion and fear of bonking than the joy of running, the exhilaration of feeling one's body move smoothly over the ground. Usually these race reports end on a good note, but sometimes barely so. They almost remind me more of some stories I've read of people who beat cancer (and the treatment that goes with it) than of stories of adventurers who found something beautiful they want to share with people. There are quite a few exceptions of course but I'm talking about the typical experience. There is no question that we can learn a lot from adversity in our lives, but to create that adversity ourselves, in our free time?

Maybe most runners don't enter races, maybe they just go out and enjoy nature. Some of them run because of the beneficial effect running has on weight reduction and weight maintenance. I personally use races more as markers that give me feedback on my running ability from time to time. I also enjoy seeing other people run and can learn from watching them.
I guess I'm wondering if we are truly "Born to Run", benefitting physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually from moving forward at a faster pace than walking. If we are, then it seems to me that many people who have covered a lot of miles have not learned yet what joys running has to offer. But maybe I'm just an addict in the making. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HOUNDLOVER1 11/19/2011 12:22PM

    Thanks everyone for the comments. emoticon
I don't do a lot of races. 2 half-marathons, maybe a marathon this year and probably a couple of shorter ones. For me none of them are really races as I go at the same easy pace I use in training for first 1/2 of it and then, if I feel like it, I'll go a little faster to see what I can do. I'm also too slow to win anything anyhow so there's no temptation there at least for the next couple of years. emoticon
My favorite is trail running for sightseeing, in the same way that people go hiking for the nice views.
I'm not so sure that injuries stop people from competing enough. I've read and heard many stories of people who run for years through pain, sometimes medicated, until one day their injuries are so debilitating that they have to stop. Many stresses on the body are not visible to the eye. Joint problems can be ignored for years, a chronic rise in cortisol levels will affect the whole body and increase risks for many diseases including cardiovascular and endocrine.
I thank God that I can run but I won't let running become my God.
Happy Trails to everyone emoticon

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MOBYCARP 11/19/2011 11:53AM

    I wrestle with similar issues. I know I have a tendency to push harder, which results in burnout, fatigue, and/or injury. Walking is no problem, because time limits keep me from overdoing it; but now I'm a newly minted adult-onset runner. I need to be mindful of the fact that enough is enough, and more isn't always better. I don't know where the sweet spot is for me yet; but I envision getting to a point where I run 3 or 4 times a week, and the times/distances are fairly consistent.

I've got one 5K under my belt, and I've signed up for a 10K. At this point, I don't know whether I'm going to like organized races enough to make them a regular habit. Your cautionary tale argues that I should not attempt them every week, and perhaps no more than one a month. But I'll probably find out how many I should do by overdoing it and having to back off.

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PASTAFARIAN 11/19/2011 11:36AM

    I think you're speculating about non-existent people. I don't know anyone addicted to winning races - and I'm in a running club with 4000 people. Anyway, anyone who becomes compulsive quickly gets injured. Hence the consequences would quickly break the cycle.

Are you seriously thinking you personally are obsessed? You're neglecting important things? What's your racing schedule like?

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INTHELOOP 11/19/2011 10:04AM

    I go to "runs" for the energy of the crowd and to be a part of it all...and like you mentioned, to check my progress.
Im planning my first HM next May - I think I am addicted to the endorphins.

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PEACOCK15 11/19/2011 8:15AM

    I agree with a lot of your sentiments. I've done some races simply because of the views or what my running buddy calls the Fun Factor! There aren't too many times I get to be with my thoughts and have me time and that's what hooked me was the freedom I have when I run. I love to challenge myself and also just get out when I can. Wise words, thanks for sharing. Gonna go for a run now! Enjoy your Saturday.

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    Thanks for sharing -Good luck with staying focused and reaching your goals...

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KRISZTA11 11/19/2011 5:26AM

    I agree. Running is addictive.
I find myself running almost every day.
If weather is sunny and warm, then I run because it's ideal conditions.
If it's cold, or windy, then I run so that I can I don't miss the opportunity to adapt to winter conditions : )
So often there is no rest day.

I guess I'm on the right side: 30-45 minutes 4-5 times per week, because it is fun and makes me feel good; and it does not compromise my work and family life, and never attended a any real life races.

But indeed it is bad if running takes over and endangers health, working performance and personal relationships, and we all should beware early signs.

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DIDMIS 11/19/2011 2:47AM

    I wish I could run. I do good to walk some. Run while you can.

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