Archives for posts with tag: Ruffwear

About six months ago we reached a point where the long leisurely walks I had been taking Bardia on stopped being enough to quell his excess of energy.  I’ve long been inspired by Aimee over at so I decided to start my own regimen with the gang.  It’s been a tremendous success for us so far so I wanted to talk a little bit about our experiences.DSC_4988Let me just start by saying it sucks…at first.  Especially if you have crazy dogs like mine.  I used to get so frustrated I would have to sit down on a park bench and count to ten before I could keep going.  It took us months to really get into a groove and to this day it can take almost a whole mile for them to get out their crazies and for us all to match eachothers’ pace.  But it gets really great, so don’t quit!DSC_4992Runner’s high: It’s a real and beautiful thing.  And when both you and your dog get it, the bond you already shared is going to get even stronger.  It’s also a very dangerous thing because you’re going to reach a point in your mileage where you don’t feel any pain.  Seriously.  Which means you, or your dog, could very well have an injury that you don’t notice while you trot on in ignorant bliss.  Don’t let the high fool you into going extra miles that you aren’t ready for and fall victim to TMTS (too much too soon) syndrome.  Some days it’s going to be hard to stop and you may want to head out on your “off” days but give your bodies breaks, especially when you are just starting out.  Know your limits and your dog’s.  Remember that you’re bigger than they are (usually) and what feels right for you may not feel right for them.   This is where knowing your dog is really important.  Take mental notes before and after every run.  Learn to read the signs and act accordingly.  DSC_5040Gear: The waist jogger that we use is the Buddy System (  It’s really affordable and customizable with options for large or small dogs, reflective or non reflective nylon, and the option to add a “lunge buster” which is basically just a bungee that absorbs some of the shock when your dog pulls.  Though I bought the longer leash for Elsa we ultimately went back to her regular leash.  The Buddy System small dog leash was just too long and would get all tangled in my legs if she pulled back at any point.  The regular dog leash with the lunge buster is just perfect for Bardia.  It’s adjustable too so I can keep him closer if we’re running through town and let him run a little farther ahead when we  hit the trails.

We use Ruffwear’s Approach Pack ( on Bardia in cooler temperatures because the excess weight(we just put his pick-up bags in it PSA PLEASE PICK UP AFTER YOUR DOGS) tires him out a little more and also gives him a sense of duty which helps with the crazies I mentioned earlier.  It utilizes the Webmaster Harness as it’s base so I know he’s nice and comfortable and secure in it as well.  As for myself, I wear whatever is comfortable and for the most part moisture wicking.  On my feet I wear Vibram five fingers.

DSC_5100Advice: Turn your headphones down.  I know it can be rough to listen to your feet pounding but for your own safety and your dog’s, you need to be aware of your surroundings.  That means oncoming vehicles, wild animals, your own breathing etc.  I heard Elsa whimpering once and when I stopped to check her I found she had accumulated big snow balls under her belly and the cold must have been irritating her skin.  I would have never known by how fast she was running, so I was grateful she let me know somehow.

Most importantly though, lighten up.  You’re dog doesn’t care about beating your best pace, they don’t care if it’s raining or if the temperature is in the single digits.  They just want to run with you.  Enjoy it!DSC_5061

Elsa isn’t pictured because it was really muddy outside and she JUST had a bath.  Ok fine, here’s one because she’s just the cutest.      DSC_5116


Elsa has only switched harnesses once in her life because she outgrew her first one.  Bardia, at 11 months old, has had about 7.  He grew out of a few of them, sure.  He chewed through a couple others- one while we were driving through the mountains of upstate New York, with no place to pull over.   While he enjoyed the freedom of nonchalantly hopping around the Explorer, we prayed to our maker.  The most recent rotation of harnesses, though, has been due to the fact that my main man over here has become quite the escape artist.  He’s discovered that if I’m not looking, say picking up after Elsa on a walk, he can bow down and back out of it in a hot second.  What’s more is he tends to execute this stunt at most unsafe and inopportune places, i.e. at busy intersections, crowded parks, etc.  taking years off my life and putting me right on the path to some early gray hairs.  Luckily though, we seem to have found THE ONE.


The Ruffwear Webmaster Harness.  This harness not only wraps around the chest and rib-cage, like most, but the belly area as well, really hugging the dog.  Meant for assisting dogs over obstacles while hiking, the secure fit discourages any escape.  Since we do use it for hiking as well, the bright red color is ideal for this time of year when hunters are about.  The straps are well cushioned also for the comfort of dogs (like mine) who pull or perform vigorous activities such as running or biking alongside their master and the handle gives me extra control if he gets rowdy at the sight of prey.  As the description on the website says “It makes everything easier”.  I can’t begin to describe the relief of being able to just walk my dog and enjoy the walk- worry free. DSC_2146