Dog Friendly Races in Cleveland, Ohio

*This post has been updated and republished for 2014. It includes all 2014 dates, links and a few new races too!

Are you a runner? Do you race? Do you already run with your dog at home? Maybe it’s time to consider a dog friendly road race. I ran my first 5K last year with my dog Lulu. This year I am hoping to run another. We don’t run for competition, but just for fun. If you are looking for some tips on how to get your dog started with running, first check out my post on How to Prepare Your Dog for a Race.

I wasn’t able to find any cohesive website listing dog-friendly races in Cleveland, so instead I gathered my own list of races. I hope this can be a resource to anyone wanting to race with their pet this year. This list includes races in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio – along with a few dog friendly organized hikes and walks.

All of these races are also open to those who do not own or race with their pet. Pets are required to be leashed at these races – and on their best behavior. Many of these races support pet adoption causes too.

Dog Friendly Races in Cleveland, Ohio

Dog Friendly Races in Cleveland OhioLove A Stray Fur Fun 5K
Sunday – April 27, 2014
Avon Lake, Ohio

Ranger K-9 5K Race & 1-Mile Pooch Parade
Saturday – May 3, 2014
Cleveland, Ohio

Run Puritas 5K & 1-Mile Fun Run
Saturday – May 3, 2014
Cleveland, Ohio

Freedom Dog Fest 5K Run and 1.75-Mile Mutt Strut
Sunday – June 1, 2014
Aurora, Ohio

The Greyt Race 5K Run and 1-Mile Dog Walk
Sunday – June 1, 2014
Rocky River, Ohio

Marlene Watt Memorial Event (5K, 2-Mile & 1-Mile Dog Walk)
Thursday – June 13, 2013 (2014 date not confirmed yet)
Ravenna, Ohio

Muddy Paws (10-Mile, 5-Mile & 2-Mile Run Dog Run)
Saturday – July 5, 2014
Peninsula, Ohio

Dirty Dog Run, Walk or Wash (5K, 1-Mile Dog Walk & Dog Wash)
Saturday – July 19, 2014
Avon Lake, Ohio

Nature Center Hike & Run 
5K & 1-Mile Pet-Friendly Hike
Sunday – September 21, 2014
Cleveland, Ohio

Tom Madzy Short Run & Family Dog Walk
Sunday – September 28, 2014
Berea, Ohio

Monster Mutt Dash (5K Run & 1-Mile Fun Walk)
Sunday – October 12, 2014
Berea, Ohio

Eaton-Euclid 5K Walk/Run and 1.5-Mile Doggie Dash
Saturday – November 1, 2014
Euclid, Ohio

Am I missing any Dog Friendly Races in Cleveland, Ohio?
Please let me know in the comments and I will add to the list.

Is Your Pet Stubborn?

When we adopted Lulu I read several books about the characteristics of the Lhasa Apso breed. They live longer than many dogs – up to 20 years – they are loyal, protective and… stubborn. Today, a little more than a year since her adoption, I know what those authors were talking about!

I can’t believe how stubborn and moody Lulu can be, even though she is an adult dog and fully grown. You would think she would settle in and things would be pretty routine. Nope. Instead she constantly tries to find ways to push the boundaries.

Her latest schtick is throwing her food out of her bowl (when she eats… more on that in a second). This has earned her the nickname “little piglet.” I thought I should share some of her other antics. They seem to change on a weekly or monthly basis. I never know what is next.

Is Your Pet Stubborn? Mine is.

Dog Tossing Food Out of Bowl

  • Tossing her food. She used to simply eat out of the bowl. Now she needs to toss – then pick it up and eat.
  • Refusing her food. After being on the same family of kibble for a year and loving it, she’s suddenly become incredibly picky. I took her drama to Facebook and received a few suggestions that I plan to try out.
  • Jumping on furniture. A few months back we went through a bout where she was trying to get on our futon any chance she had. This was after she had been successfully (or so I thought) trained her not to jump on furniture.
  • Hating her bed. Remember that video I posted? Yeah… now she will do anything she can to avoid going to bed when we tell her. What a strange dog!
  • Hating her antler. And what about her loving her natural chew? She won’t even touch it anymore.

Despite all the drama she likes to cause, I’ll count my blessings that she hasn’t regressed on her housetraining. And, for the most part, she remains cooperative during her at-home grooming sessions.

Is your pet stubborn? Does he or she have any strange or changing habits?

The Time My Dog Ate Bread Dough

Well we had a little scare here over the weekend. I’ve been making that sourdough bread I told you all about on a weekly basis now. Recipes often call for the raw dough to sit on top of the fridge to rise. I don’t know why because the top of my fridge is not warm. I found that placing a covered bread bowl by a heater duct worked wonders for rising, so that’s what I’ve been doing. Until now.

The Time My Dog Ate Bread Dough

Dog Ate Bread DoughWe are at a point now where Lulu has gained a good deal of trust around the house. Our living space remains dog-proofed but she is able to roam, rest where she wants and overall just hang out – and so far she’s done a great job of not getting into trouble. Until she found my bread bowl.

Yes, it’s totally my fault. I should not have had the bread bowl at her level, nor assumed she wouldn’t get into it. She rang her bell to go out late Sunday and I noticed the towels on the bread bowl were disheveled. I immediately thought she got into it but was having a difficult time finding evidence. It looked almost like the towel just fell in the bowl, messing up the top of the dough.

About 30 minutes later Lulu started gagging. Then we knew. Unfortunately she hacked right on the middle of our living room rug. Yuck. Then she hacked a second time on a towel we rushed to throw in front of her. After she seemed better I took her out for a walk and she seemed in good spirits. I was worried though because I had read before about the dangers of dogs eating yeast dough. Basically the raw dough can rise inside their bellies, causing bloating, block their digestive track and worse. It’s very serious.

We kept an eye on her the rest of Sunday. She was walking fine but just didn’t have the normal pep in her step she has. Later we noticed her tummy was a little bloated. Then at 4 a.m. morning she woke us up hacking again. This time a false alarm. She went to the bathroom a ton during the 24-hours this took place (I have to assume a side-effect of the dough) but by Monday night she seemed 100% normal again. She ate dinner and was running around like usual.

I’m so thankful she is OK. While we were prepared to take her to the vet, if needed, I’m glad we didn’t have to. But I did want to write this post as a serious warning to other dog owners. And also as a reminder to myself to not sit the bread bowl at dog level again, and to keep a much better eye on Lulu – even though she has gained “some” of our trust.

*While on this note, here’s a helpful article: Dangerous Foods That Dogs Should Never Eat