Hi, Toby. Your Gotcha Day is coming up next month, so that means we've been walking and running together for nearly a year. As your coach, I thought this would be a good time to give you a few performance tips that will undoubtedly make things go more smoothly from now on for us both.
Let's start with etiquette, which could use a little refinement in your case. When we encounter a jogger, I know you find it very inspiring. However, you can take my word for it that it makes people uncomfortable when you strain at your leash and try to chase after them. I'm sure your bark is meant as a jaunty "Good morning!" but it usually only serves to startle them.
Then there are the other dogs. While I imagine that your episodes of leaping about and barking furiously are very aerobic, they are really not appropriate behavior in a residential area at the crack of dawn. Also, you weigh 20 pounds and almost every dog we see could eat you for breakfast, which is something you should really have realized on your own by now.
Jogging is something we both enjoy - at least until you abruptly stop to smell something. Our route is 3.4 miles at minimum, so I'd appreciate it if you would consider skipping just a few of the olfactory signatures along the way when we're going full speed. If you trip me and I fall on you, you'd better hope I have my cell phone on me and someone we know is awake to come and scrape us off the pavement. Either way, it would be bad on all counts.
Finally, there are your pit stops. I certainly don't begrudge you the opportunity to avail yourself of them; after all, that's one of the reasons we're out and about. However, it would be great if you could do a little advance planning and get your biological business taken care of when we're either in a neighborhood that has trash pickup that day or downtown where there are plenty of trash cans.
Otherwise, I think we're both getting a lot out of our walks. They're good bonding time, although I understand that as a sighthound you have other priorities while we're outdoors that take precedence over interacting with me. The exercise is great, though, and I think we both enjoy getting to know the neighborhood, the neighbors and their dogs.
Thanks for being my workout buddy and I look forward to traversing the area with you for years to come.