4 Deserts Race – Queenstown, NZ March ’19

Hello family, friends and colleagues.

In less than three weeks from now I will be participating in an ultramarathon, part of the 4 Deserts Race series – the world’s leading rough-country endurance footrace series.
This year’s ‘Racing the Planet’ event will be held in Queenstown New Zealand, where all competitors will race the 250 km distance while carrying all their own equipment and food.

As part of this challenge I have decided to raise funds to support the work of Assistance Dogs Australia by asking family, friends and colleagues to make a donation.

CLICK HERE TO DONATE

Assistance Dogs Australia train and place dogs with people in need (free of charge to the individual). It costs in excess of $35,000 to train each dog; everything from purchasing a puppy, to food, vaccinations, training, and placement of dog with client.

Assistance Dogs do not receive any government funding and therefore rely on the generosity of individuals, corporate and philanthropic organisations to provide their vital services to the community.

The services that these dogs are trained to provide are listed at the end of this message, but in addition to these services they provide love and companionship to people who might otherwise be lonely or isolated from the community. This of course comes naturally to dogs – no training required for unconditional friendship.

Please help Assistance Dogs Australia by giving whatever you can using the ‘Donate Now’ button, and please also spread the word by sharing my page with your friends and family.

Thank you in advance for your generosity, it’ll make a huge difference to the life of an adult or child living with a disability.

CLICK HERE TO DONATE

https://www.assistancedogs.org.au/

Services and benefits provided by assistance dogs:
• Open and close doors, drawers and cupboards
• Retrieve dropped items and fridge
• Retrieved dropped items
• Press the button at the traffic lights
• Take the washing out of the machine
• Remove items of clothing
• Pay the cashier at the shops
• Alert bark if their owner is in danger
• Assist with the development and improvement of motor skills
• Provide greater freedom and independence
• Reduce the need for a carer
• Improve self-esteem and confidence

CLICK HERE TO DONATE

Get a workout by running free with your dog

This writer lives in a wonderful range: almost exactly halfway between the city and the wild foothills and mountains that surround it. Dogs in the city are walked sedately, on a leash, along the concrete surfaces. In the wilderness of the foothills, they often run free. This gives canines a heart-thumping workout as they scramble up the trails of the resorts, along with their human companions.

The only reason I give you this information now, instead of months ago, is because it’s ideal weather for hiking with an energetic dog.

Exercise with a buddy.

But there are many caveats to keep in mind if you are letting your dog run off leash, especially along wilderness trails and meadows. The first, and most important, is that your voice should be an absolute magnet to your pet. Train your dog so that if you call, he or she will come immediately. This must be very strict training. But that’s only part one.

Part two is that you’re also there to get a workout. You are running with your dog. That means your heart is pounding as well. Your pooch should never be more than three feet away. If you can’t run fast enough to keep up, leash up the dog and run together. You’ll be pulled along by the leash, so you’ll easily run faster with less effort.

Part three: are you running up a meadow, like a wide run at a snow resort that has not yet opened for the season? There’s usually so much room that you can see if other dogs or people are nearby, and take necessary precautions. Or are you running up a narrow trail with a hill on one side and a cliff, or steep drop-off, on the other? That’s a dangerous kind of trail to take with your furry best friend. Another dog may come along and start barking or acting aggressively. Your pooch may be frightened enough to run off the trail and fall over the cliff, leading to injuries or even death. The sad part is that you’ll have to find a way down to it, and perhaps also find a way to carry your pet back to your vehicle if it’s injured.

If your dog tends to aggressively vocalise with stranger dogs, a muzzle may be a good idea. That way, your dog can’t bark or bite.

At the same time, another important thing to remember is that even though temperatures may be cool, both your dog and you will eventually need water after getting heated up by a hard run. Carry a water bottle for you in your backpack, carry a foldable water bowl for your dog, and enough water to fill it several times for your canine.

Running in the wilderness is a wonderful way to spend a day bonding with your dog. Afterwards, you’ll both love each other even more than you do now.

Adventure Sports Weekly

Original Article] Wina Sturgeon