>Run Like a Dog

>Whenever someone writes about the feeling of joy in running, they might use terms like ‘run like the wind,’ or when they’re talking about running fast, they may say ‘run like a thoroughbred.’  I’ve decided that my new running goal will be to run like a dog.

I know what I’m talking about. I run with two of my dogs a couple days a week. They never say “no, I’m tired, I didn’t get enough sleep,” or “no, my back (hip, head, foot) aches, or “no, it’s too cold (or hot),” or “no, I just don’t feel like running today.” They never say no. Of course, they’re dogs and they can’t talk, but you know what I mean.

Dog are enthusiastic about running. When my Dalmatian, Penny, sees me put on my running shoes she gets excited. Both she and Sassy follow me closely as I get ready to run (to make sure I don’t sneak out without them). They both smile when they run. Their ears flop. Their tails wag.

Dogs have endless energy. I’m sure if it was extremely hot, or if I ran very long distances, my dogs would get tired, but for what I’m currently running they can just go and go and go. Back when I was training for marathons, I had a dog who I’d regularly take on 10-12 mile runs, once 17 miles (that was an accident, but she was fine, in fact she loved it). These days, my dogs and I run up to five or six miles (but Penny always wants to got farther).

Dogs are fast. Faster than me anyway, and I’m the only one keeping track. Actually, that’s the only problem that I have when I run with my dogs. They want to run faster than I can.

Dogs take extreme pleasure and satisfaction from the simple act of running. They don’t worry about how fast or slow, how long or short, whether they can beat that shepherd from down the street. They just want to run.

Sassy is extremely happy with her running accomplishments.

Penny always has a smile like this after her run.

I want to run like a dog. See my tail wag.

Last weekend I ran both Saturday and Sunday, something I don’t usually do. But, it was cold and rainy, which was enough in my current mindset to keep me from riding my bike. On Saturday, I ran four miles with Penny and Sassy, including a loop of the trails south of our house. They love, love, love to run up there (as do I), but we seldom do because we are usually running in the dark. So it was a treat.

It was very cold on Saturday as we ran across a ridge that cuts through that trails area. The rain was light but the wind was chilling. Altogether a perfect day for running.  Ask my dogs.

On Sunday, it wasn’t raining but still very cold. As much as I love running with my dogs, I do sometimes need to run without them. I did take them out for a mile, but then headed out alone to run another six. I went up into the trails area again. I noticed something I’d missed the day before in the rain. The wildflowers are starting to bloom! It will be beautiful in a couple weeks when the whole area should be covered in color, but I did snap a few shots:

Not much Verbena yet. I had to look hard and get low to get this shot.

So my new mantra is “what would my dogs do?” The answer is simple. They would run.
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    • says

      She totally lived up to her name! She died about a year and a half ago. It still makes me cry to think about it. She was always a little wild, did a handstand when she peed, and she was a hugger. When she jumped up on you (which she always did), she would wrap her arms around you and hug. That’s actually one of the things which got her rescued by us in the first place. We were at the shelter, had taken her out, sat down and she jumped up on my husbands lap and wrapped her arms around him. That’s all it took!
      Debbie recently posted…I am So Excited About…My Next Race! The Costume Party Run!My Profile


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