I adopted Berlin, a Belgian Malinois (Mal-in-wah) mix, from the North Central L.A. Animal Shelter in July 2010. She is a constant loving light in my life. She inspires me to be at peace, enjoy the present, and to get out!
Berlin and I walk for 20 minutes twice a day. Our evening walk is even replaced with a run several times a week. It is a bonding activity that we both enjoy. Of course, these activities also keep us healthy, and for me, away from tempting snacks at home. We are truely earning our dinner!
When we started to venture into the neighborhood for these outings, I quickly learned that I need to make it activity for the both of us. With cars blowing STOP signs and others edging up through cross walks, the streets/sidewalks are a danger zone for pedestrians. This is why I have slowly accumulated several items to increase our visibility. There are many options out there and we combine the use of several different ones. Our items include: Energizer Clip Lights attached to my Running Visor and Berlin's Safety Vest, a Reflective Running Vest for myself, and a Litey Leash. The vest even has an identification card on the inside of the vest so I don't carry an I.D.! Lets be honest, I would just lose it.
No matter the items, everyone should use precaution when outside after dark, with or without a dog. Not an evening goes by that I don't get adulation on our attire, especially our leash. Cars have even pulled over to pay me a compliment on its use, most likely because the driver appreciated the chance to see us in the dark streets. I love that it increases our visibility to this extent. Of course, it also helps that Berlin knows how to heal because the LED lights can be sensitive and the leash's handle is similar to a retractable leash. (More on my issues with retractable leashes in another blog.)
Remember, its not about running. Its about getting out with your dog and being safe! Start small and set a goal that works for you and your dog.