21 April 2008

Can dogs count?

19 04 08 -
18 km - 1 h 38,52
A perfect running day - light refreshing drizzle, no wind, cool.

Over the years I've developed several routes - 6 miles for daily runs, 12 km for longer weekday runs with two stretches going along unpaved country lanes with gravel, mud and overarched with brambles, 18 km for relaxing weekend runs with a long stretch on a busy road, but with wide verges, 20 km longer weekend run with long steep rises and fast horizontal stretches and a 21,5 km half-marathon circuit. I just alternate the routes depending on how I feel and what the weather is like.

What amazed me today was that dogs seem to know which route I am going to take even before I'd decided myself.

It is Saturday today, so I am going for a longer run. There is a right turning for the 6 mile route and if I take left it is for either the 12 or the 18 km route. I don't say anything, don't pull the lead, but Nala and Strelka confidently go over the crossroads and bear to the left. How did they know? Can they count days - five days of short runs, long one on the sixth? Can they do telepathy?

I think and wonder for another 3 km and as we reach a crossing of two lanes, right for the 12 km circuit and left for the 18km, the dogs again take the left for the longer circuit. Now I stop wondering and just follow what the dogs are suggesting. Six kilometres later, though I have to tell them to turn right - back home...

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