When is the last time you had an adventure?

Posted on 1st Mar 2018 at 10:05 am | by George Swainson

We live such rushed lives. I often find myself caught up in the routine of running a business, co-ordinating home life, serving on committees and so many other commitments. Simply rushing at breakneck speed from one activity to another. When I heard about the inaugural Paws Trail Run in the Western Cape, it just sounded like fun and quite frankly combines two of my favourite things – dogs and running. I had not really thought through that we would need to travel over 1900kms over two days to get there and then the same back. It just seemed like a great idea… and it was.

 

As we approached the 22nd of February, the reality of the distances we had to travel suddenly dawned on me. I got slightly stressed as I would be out of the office and there would be no cell phone reception. (My delusions of grandeur played havoc – how would anyone survive without being able to speak to me for 4 days!) Putting my misgivings aside, we packed up all we needed (the kitchen sink almost came with us) and set off on this adventure. Two friends, travelling 4000kms with 3 dogs (Kassidy, Nelson and Gracie) was bound to be a laugh.

 

Road tripping with dogs means multiple wee and poop stops. This generally means that the humans also land up weeing along the route, in bushes and deserted farm roads. The R94 is now scattered with many “wee mails” for the next adventurers who happen to stop along the same route. We travelled through the little towns that time seems to have forgotten, through Graaff-Reinet and up over the Outeniqua Pass. We finally arrived at the Gourikwa Nature reserve late on a Friday night, just in time to quickly marvel at the beautiful scenery and then dash into to race to brief. The dog participants greeted one another with a good bum sniff, while the humans grabbed a drink and introduced themselves. Instantly the drive was worth it and I just knew that this was going to be a great weekend.

 

For most trail runners 10km distances per day would be laughed at and you certainly wouldn’t travel 4000km with 3 dogs. But don’t get distracted by the distance or you will miss the whole point. This was a very rare opportunity to do a trial run with our four-legged running partners in one of the most beautiful, unspoiled places in South Africa. A friend always says, “Make sure your dog thinks the best time of their life is right by your side”. This could not have been truer, seeing Nelson smile as he charged into the bushes hunting down his next smell, while petite Gracie (who was homeless 6 months ago) trotted right next to me having the time of her life.

 

When was the last time you had an adventure image

Photo credit: Trisport – Hano Otto

Day one dawned with overcast skies and a slight chill in the air. All human and dog participants lined up raring to go. Let me interject and give you some context. Most inaugural events start off small and this one was no different. We have to thank Trisport for taking the plunge and choosing to go ahead, regardless of the small number of entries. I have no doubt that this event will grow from strength to strength but this time we were an intimate group. This actually made it even more special as we got to know all the participants. Attending from the Pawfect Pack were Nelson and Gracie. Then there was Steve from Hilton with Shinga, the big handsome male Ridgeback, who took a fancy to Areo the chocolate lab. Areo’s humans were Louise, Dave and Granny Estelle. All the dogs soon learnt that Granny Estelle was the “Weakest Link” and if you showed her puppy dog eyes, you were guaranteed treats, pieces of toast from the lunch table and no doubt many other nibbles when no one was looking. Areo’s sister Zoe (Zozo), a little Jack Russell, and my Gracie hatched one of those pawsome friendships made in heaven. Bringing up the smaller four-legged contingent was Megan and her Daxie Cross called Ben. Ben is a rescue and, although he was slightly intimidated by all these big dogs, he kept his cool. He is simply the cutest thing you have ever seen. His little legs could be seen scampering alongside his mom. Lastly there were the Sonja and Hano’s Trisport mascots, the muscled Jack Russels, Buddy and Milo. They say dynamite comes in small packages; well this is so true for these two as they barked out their instructions, keeping everyone in check while loyally sticking to mom Sonja’s legs.

 

Related Posts

Choosing the right water bowl for your dog
Choosing the right water bowl for your dog
DID YOU KNOW: The third most contaminated item is a dog water bowl! It contains the perfect conditions for dangerous ...
Read More
6 Ways your dog is saying ‘I love you’ in dog language
6 Ways your dog is saying ‘I love you’ in dog language
Most humans are not fluent in “dog” so let me translate some of the ways us canines express our love.   Gazing lovin...
Read More
Masterclass – Behaviour economics taught by dogs
Masterclass – Behaviour economics taught by dogs
Posted on 15th Sep 2021 at 3:10 pm | by George Swainson Lesson 1: Work and exercise are good for you Often when dog...
Read More