"Just so you'll know," I was telling my dog, Christmas Belle, the other day, "dogs are not allowed in the Boston Marathon."

She gave me one of her: "Are you an idiot?" looks because, even if dogs were allowed in the historic race, which runs today, Christmas Belle would not be there if you tempted her with a bag of fried pigs' ears and a week's vacation at a doggy spa.

Full disclosure here: Neither would I. But that's mainly because I can't run that fast, not because I wouldn't take the pigs' ears and a week at a spa.

I just thought it was interesting - and I wanted to share that with Belle - that dogs are not allowed to run with their masters during the Boston Marathon because these days dogs can go just about anywhere else.

Dogs go to restaurants, to movies, to the mall and on airplanes. I read recently that dogs can even join their masters at gyms and participate in exercise classes together.

This, I thought, was really interesting because Belle and I have been exercising together for several years, and it's not a pretty sight.

Basically Belle does not like to exercise. She likes to run out in the hay field and chase ground squirrels, but when I get serious about it, Belle balks.

People go on and on sometimes about how smart dogs are. I say dogs are smart and they're also dumb. You have to take both aspects into account.

Even though we have been following this same program for years now, Belle gets all worked up with false expectations when she sees me getting ready to go out for a morning jaunt. She thinks we're going on a walk. If she would just consider for a moment, she'd realize that on at least three days of the week we run.

She'll go along with me for the first half mile or so but when she figures out that we're in this for at least three or four miles she slows her pace and eventually just stops in the road.

"Come on, Belle," I yell, trying to keep up my pace as the distance between us lengthens.

She won't move. Finally I have to slow down or circle back and get her.

It's called non-violent passive resistance. The point is, you don't fight back, as in: Belle doesn't bite me for trying to force her to run; she just refuses to cooperate.

I don't know where she read about that, but she's got the method down pat.

That's why I thought Belle would be interested in knowing that dogs would not be running the Boston Marathon today. Apparently they've all read the same book.


Hedberg may be contacted at kathyhedberg@gmail.com or (208) 983-2326.