Nothing makes him happier than when I say "Do you want to go for a run?" (okay, except maybe "Time to eat!") For the past several years, he has always been the "chosen one" to go for runs. Lacey was unable to run, Xera is very reactive and requires too much of my focus and Izzie was just a pup. So that was always Skip's "job", and he does love his job! Now that Izzie is old enough, she is learning to be a good running partner, too, but I just don't have the heart to leave Skip behind when he is bouncing at the door. So my solution is to split my run into 2 parts so Skippy gets his time (whether it be 2 miles, 1 mile or eventually a walk around the block) and Izzie gets to build up her stamina, conditioning and distraction training until she can handle the longer runs.
And suddenly now I'm motivated again! Dogs make such awesome running partners. Nothing like barking, leaping, smiling dogs to get you to put those running shoes on! Skip starts me off on the first leg of the run at a nice, easy pace for a mile out and a mile back which is a great warm up for me and makes him happy. Then I switch into "dog training" mode when I trade dogs and grab Izzie, the youngster. She's figuring out that she has to run at my pace (and I'm motivated to run faster than I do with Skippy), she's learning to wait for my cue "okay-go sniff!" to pull over to check out that tree and learning that strange things (like remote-controlled lawn mowers!) are not going to eat her alive! She is doing great and will make a great running partner!