Tales of Rigby

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Rigby

I had never been a dog person, and I had not been able to put my finger on what was so beneficial about running with a dog - until Rigby came along. My wife wanted a dog to go trail running with for some time, but we couldn’t agree on what breed to get. That changed one morning when Rebecca stumbled across a post on Facebook for a four month old red and tan Australian Working Kelpie who was looking for a new home.

After a rigorous application process Rigby arrived just before Christmas 2016 and since that moment we’ve been in the forest nearly every day. First we rambled, then we walked, then we hiked, now we run.

Now that we own a trail dog, I see his happiness when he is out with us, the satisfaction he gets from doing his job (being our trail companion) and the wonder he experiences from the myriad of smells and tastes on the single track.

For my part, it has been a wonderful feeling knowing that he looks to me as the big dog, the guy who takes him on his daily runs. Having a Kelpie has certainly cut down on sneaky rest days.

To be honest, I had always inwardly rolled my eyes when I heard someone talking about being in tune with an animal to the point where you can communicate non verbally. But I see that now, I’ve experienced it often on the trails and it is deeply satisfying.

Finally, we now have the awesome responsibility to bear that even though Rigby will only be a part of our experience, owing to our differing life spans, we will be one hundred percent of his. So while he is able, fit, and pain-free I am going to give him the best life I can. He won’t be around forever which inspires me to make every run I can with him the best one he has had.

Just like it has been a process introducing Rigby to the trails and a process in learning about his personality and his near limitless energy levels, it has been a process finding a food that suits Rigby and more importantly, one that he will eat regularly - as it turns out, he is not especially food driven.  

I mean, he is a dog, he won’t turn down roast chicken if the opportunity avails itself, but it has been a struggle finding a diet that keeps him full, and more importantly that he enjoys. Our experiments veered all over the map, from raw, to a mixed diet, to goodness knows what else. For the last three months we have had Rigby on Eukanuba™ Premium Performance and we finally feel that he is onto a winner.

Rigby can run from anywhere between 80-160 kilometres a week with us, and in between times he is active in his main role as our beloved family pet, tearing around the house with our three children, going for walks and chasing his favourite thing, a ball. Since starting him on Eukanuba™ Premium Performance we’ve noticed that he’s maintained an excellent weight and his coat is shiny and in great condition. Rigby has not experienced any gut distress and he has joined the clean bowl club for the first time in his life. Happily, he appears satiated in the mornings, which helps markedly with reducing the ‘Kelpie Energy Bomb’ that can go off when we let him out of his crate. 

Having a food like Eukanuba™ Premium Performance that we know Rigby will eat and one that is high in protein and fat for his energy levels and work rate is a major stress reduction in our lives, as trying to feed ourselves and our children when life is busy can be hectic enough let alone trying to deal with a finicky hound.

As Rigby and I work towards the Eukanuba™ Tails & Trails 10km in October, I will be interested to see how the food suits him when we are putting in some focused efforts. I will be sure to check in and let you know how he is doing.

~ Photo via Chris McKeen