Monday, June 30, 2014

Be a Better Running Partner

Today's Happy Tail starts with me being not so happy. I stayed up too late so getting up early wasn't fun. The camera I was charging wasn't charged for some reason. I have blisters on the backs on my ankles that have scabbed over, but still hurt when my shoes rub on them. Then, it was pretty humid for 5am and I haven't really run in that humidity yet.

All of this seemed to throw off Henri and I's sync. He kept wanting to stop and sniff things. He wasn't sure which direction I wanted him to go and, at one point, he was jumping horizontally in front of me to stay out of my way. I'm not even sure how that happened or how I managed not to trip over him. 

I was reminded of several articles I've read about how your dog is the best running partner. They never complain about being tired.  They don't need to fuss over getting ready. They don't whine about "being sore". I was being a bad running partner by whining about these things.

So, I put all of these things aside. I wasn't really that tired. I can try the camera again tomorrow. The blisters didn't hurt that much once I got going. There was a nice breeze and avoiding the oppressive heat and humidity is why we get up so early to run. We had the world to ourselves. The sun was rising slowly and we got to see it. I had my favorite songs playing in my ears and my favorite dog running by my side. How could I complain?  

We fell into sync after that. Henri even slowed down to run right next to me for a block which either meant he was hot, he was getting tired or his confidence was shaking and he just needed the assurance of being right by my side. I choose to believe that he just wanted to run WITH me for a spell. We even took an extra cool down lap around the lake to spend just a little bit more time outside.  

Now it's raining. If we had gotten up a little later, we would have gotten soaked. Henri is curled up on the spare bed, opening his eyes every so often, while my fingers hit the keys and I decide that if Henri is going to be the best running partner for me, I need to be the best running partner for him. That's a pretty Happy Tail in my opinion.  

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Happy Tails

I am not what I would consider "a runner". I am actually quite horrible at it. I do not start this because I love to run. I start this because I love Henri. 

Henri is my now two year old Australian Shepard mix. He is quite active. He has gone to the dog park almost every day since he was about 6 months old. Not much is going to keep us away. Even when it's cold and dark, we're at the dog park. There are days that are rainy and muddy and that's when I decided to try to take him for a run instead. You know, to avoid the baths. The idea was to wear him out a little and it didn't hurt me either. Well, not too badly anyway. So, occasionally, when the park would be too muddy, we would go for a run after I got off work. 

Last summer, it seemed Henri was pretty miserable in the heat. We tried taking him around 7pm or 8pm, but it was still hot and humid. Henri would come home, feel that air conditioning on his face and grab his favorite squeaker toy to play you a wonderful song. So, this summer, I decided to try to take him for a run in the morning, to avoid as much of the stickiness as possible, but still burn off some of his energy. This started on June 2nd, our 2 year Henri-versary (The anniversary of bringing Henri home). It seemed like a good way to celebrate our time together.

This past week we made it through 5 consecutive days of early morning runs. While running, I began to think about how much I enjoy running with Henri. I'm sure there are many like me who enjoy running with their dogs, or who would enjoy running with their dogs. Maybe they need an excuse to try.

I want to do something with my passion for dogs. I'm not sure what I can do. I have lots of ideas, but most of those ideas take money or space or any number of things that I do not have. What I do have is a heart for dogs and I want to share it. This is where I start.  

First things first, I want to start a movement, get people to run with their dogs, get people excited about running with their dogs. So these are my stories, my "Happy Tails" if you will. I am going to share my adventures with Henri and encourage others to do the same. Really, at the end of the day, it's not about the running. It's about your dog. 

When Henri turns back to look at me, I can't help but smile. I don't ever want to run without a dog!