I’ve really gotten into running in the last four or so years, and have always dreamed of having a canine partner. Unfortunately, none of the dogs I’ve ever owned, sitted, or fostered have ever really been runners! Barley was too old by the time I picked it up, Zabora literally could not run in a straight line, and Baxter had his own agenda when it came to our exercise speeds. I would get us all geared up only to decide a quarter mile into our route that the effort I was putting into convincing each dog they wanted to run with me was far more than the actual run itself, and we would both give up and walk home. It was fine – each time it ended up giving me a good laugh and some quality time with my pooch.
This past weekend I ran the DC Rock ‘N Roll Half Marathon. I love running these races in big cities because so many spectators bring their dogs out to watch. You’d be surprised how counting the pitties along the route can easily make the 13.1 miles go by quick! Or guessing the breed break down of the mutts I passed, or ooh-ing and aww-ing at the puppies. It adds another great element to the run for us dog lovers.
The best part came from a woman I was running behind for some of the route. She gave her dogs to her friends who came to watch the race. At every checkpoint, there were her dogs so excited to see her! She would run up, let them jump all over her in full blown “I can’t believe it’s really you, you’ve been gone for so long!” mode, then keep going on her way. Can you think of better motivation than being greeted by your favorite slobbery kissing, paw bouncing, tail wagging pups when you’re exhausted and trying to push through those last miles? It helps seeing my family, but I can only imagine how happy it would make me to see the smiling faces of my dogs along the route.
I’m really hoping one of my next fosters will be a runner. Of course I will love them either way, but I can’t wait to share my long evening runs with a jogging partner – someone I won’t have to worry about going too fast or too slow with!