Sunday, May 26, 2013

running companions.... some of us need them.

I am not the kind of runner that just LOVES running. I like running. I like how I feel after I've completed a good run. I like how it clears my head. I like how when I'm running regularly I feel fit and strong. But, sometimes when I am on a set training schedule, the largest obstacle to lacing up the shoes and getting out there is that fact that it can get lonely.

Some days I really enjoy the solitude. But some days I just need a friend.

The last time I trained with the team, I had only one dog. And while she's more than happy to come out for a 5 mile hike, she's not a runner. Physically, she's not designed for distance. And like me, she suffers when it is hot and humid. She's an ambler, a "let's stop and sniff, sit and watch the other runners/hikers, have a snack, cool down..." kind of dog.

We now have two dogs. The second was bred to chase bears and boars. Meaning... he can go far and he can go fast. And he can go for days. The first half mile can be a bit choppy, until he gets into the groove of running. He's accustomed to the stop and sniff, and pee on every other tree pace of our daily walks. But once he gets going, he's a great companion.

As long as there are no children on the trail.

Whatever Remsen's story before he came to us, it was not happy, and children are a source of deep and immediate fear for him.

Last night was our first trail run together in quite some time (as I have not been running). We went to a small local park that includes soccer fields at each end, and a 1 mile loop of wooded trail in the centre. First loop was pretty smooth. Second loop we came across a family with 5 children under the age of 10, lots of laughing and talk and running and swinging of sticks... and Remsen panicked.

We shot off the trail and into the woods at high speed, and kept going for about a quarter mile before he calmed down enough to realise they weren't following us.

Fear can do that to dog. Fear can do that to a person too... but sometimes changing course, for whatever reason, can take us to some pretty great places.

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