It’s pretty simple really. Running with Dogs Australia (RWDA) was started in 2016 from a passion of running and running with a dog! It wasn't until I lost my second running buddy quite suddenly that it really hit me about how much comfort and joy running with a dog really brings, and the heavy sadness and loss I felt during this time without a dog by my side led me to where we are today in creating RWDA, and bringing together an awesome community of members who enjoy running with their dogs as much as I do.
From the day I came into this world I've had a dog in my life and have had careers involving them - ranging from to being a Veterinary Nurse through to my current role of managing a busy Veterinary Practice in Victoria. Throughout my careers I have felt there was a distinct lack of information available about when it was appropriate (and the reasons why) to start training my dog in being my running partner and how best to go about it.
I used to run with my dogs with their leash in my hand. Back when I started my running journey around 2006 there were no socials and running equipment and accessories were quite basic. I ran like this with several of my canine running partners and really thought nothing of it (aside from the slight annoyance it posed due to being a bit awkward and uncomfortable) and causing a moderately altered running style no matter how hard I tried. I've since learnt so much about equipment for human and canine that makes our running so much more enjoyable. Now when Gigi and I hit the tracks and trails she almost takes as long to get kitted up as I do, but I know she is well equipped and safe for the distance we are about to complete together.
Dogs are by far, the best running partners. They will almost run any distance just to please you and are always happy about running. They never complain about the weather, let us choose the route, allow us to set the pace and distance (most of the time), and motivate us to run on an almost a daily basis – more than any human running partner ever could. The joy that they bring is infectious and even when you may not feel motivated to exercise, the guilt of depriving your dog of their favourite activity is usually enough to spur us on.
We decided to focus our membership base on Australian residents for ease of understanding each other when we reference kilometers for the distance's we travel, for discussions about our climate, for sharing our favourite events and tracks and trails, and so that we can become familiar with members interstate. Not to mention learning and seeing more of this great country we live in and call home - Australia!