Sunday, November 29, 2015

{52 Snapshots of Life} Week 48: Thankful

Piggy backing on the previous weeks theme of Passion, of course, where your passion lies, so does your heart and this boy has my heart. This boy had some big paws to fill. I am thankful for these moments during out runs when Henri looks up at me with such joy on his face and I reach down and scratch his cheek and we run like that for a few seconds, connected. We probably look pretty goofy to any passerby-ers.

Thank you, Henri, for getting me outside, for inspiring a love for running, for being my running partner, but most of all, thank you for showing me that I can love another dog without losing the love I had for the others.

Pumpkin Paws Jog

You may recall, a long, long time a ago, Henri and I ran in the local Polar Paws event. This was in 2013, so it's been awhile. It was our first organized run and we had a blast! I was looking forward to and prepping our outfits for the 2014 Polar Paws event when a snow storm came in early in November and scared off all the sign-ups, thus the event was cancelled. Boo. Disappointment ensued. I tried not to become too hopeful when they announced the event this year, now named Pumpkin Paws and moved up into November in hopes of missing the colder weather. The ironic thing was that the weekend it was originally scheduled last year was a beautiful weekend and not cold at all. Irony hit again as, this year, the weekend the event was scheduled, we received our first snow.

I had been busy with our Halloween costumes up until the Halloween event, so as soon as that was over, it was back to working on the pieces for our holiday themed outfits for Pumpkin Paws. Since the event was the weekend before Thanksgiving, we decided to bring in the holiday cheer with some "Ugly Sweater" themed outfits. I made an ugly Christmas Tree Skirt from a real Christmas Tree Skirt for myself and Henri got an ugly fleece jacket. I worked tirelessly from the point of completing our Halloween costumes to the week leading up the run. Then I realized I was running out of time and stayed up late every night that week to finish all our parts. I was working until 1:20pm on the day of the 2pm event. Yeah, I cut it that close. 

My sister and Payton joined in on our "Ugly Sweater" fun. Our outfits went perfectly with the snowy conditions! 

Henri and Payton, historically, have had some issues, but they ran very nicely together, even running side-by-side for part of the run. The sidewalks were a little icy in spots and all of us have other activities to do that are best done with all ankle and legs intact, so we ran a slow and careful run. We sure looked good though! I'm going to have to reuse the outfits though. I worked far too hard on them to have this be it ;)

{52 Snapshots of Life} Week 47: Passion

I can be a bit "obsessive" when it comes to the things I am passionate about. I'm an all in type of person. One of the things I am passionate (obsess) about is dogs, obviously. There are many reasons for this. First, dogs are awesome. Enough said. Second, I really wanted a dog for a long time and was not allowed to have one so I may go slightly overboard now. Third, I am at an age where I want children, but I have a dog, so guess who is my baby.

Those are the three most obvious reasons I am so passionate about dogs, but when you are able to build on the passion and do something with it, it just solidifies that this something is real, it's important and it can matter to more than just you. Running with Henri does that. 

While Six Legs Are Better Than Two hasn't yet become what I want it to, it's still important to me. It has created a bond between Henri and I that I wouldn't trade for anything else in the world. I want others to be able to have this same bond, this same passion. This passion will continue to bend and grow. I will continue to share our "happy tails" and we will see where this passion leads, but even if all it leads to is the end of this leash, I'm okay with that.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Crazy Weather

It's been days of rain and wind which means no runs! Boo! While we were experiencing record lows last November, we're experiencing record highs this November. Crazy weather.

We were able to run this evening, even though it was getting dark. I rushed around as quick as I could after work. Henri waited patiently, if you consider laying in the middle of the floor with his head resting on his paws and wearing a mopey face and letting an occasional sigh or whine escape from his throat, "patient".

Many things contributed to a high speed run tonight:
  • 3 days off
  • 60 degree weather
  • High speed winds at our back for much of mile 1
  • 2 skateboarders on the sidewalk behind us in the park for a portion of mile 2
  • The wind cooling us down because it's 60 degrees out and we were running fast - that just felt good!
  • A Beagle on his run for the first half of mile 3, howling like he was chasing some game
  • We'd already run most of the run at higher speeds - finish strong!
All in all, it just felt good to run. I don't want to go back to only running a few days a week because of cold weather!

The Beagle has made me slightly nervous for Henri's run on Saturday. We will see how it goes. At least our outfits are going to be awesome...if I can get back to making them. Gotta go!

Sunday, November 15, 2015


Busy weekends are the worst! Especially when all the busy takes you away from things you would rather be doing, like working on your projects, playing with your four legged friend or just sitting on the couch, doing nothing. Well, I'm going to do all the busy AND do the things I want to do, they will just occur in much smaller increments than hoped for.

Since I knew I would be gone a lot Saturday and Sunday, I took Henri out for a run. We went destination again, despite the smaller window of opportunity. Some things are worth making the extra time. 

I needed to get Henri out and running around other dogs again. We have a doggie 5k next weekend and while he's run by a few dogs on our neighborhood runs, I needed to test him around the more frequent occurrence of dogs. One of our destinations have wider sidewalks and the dogs are usually pretty well behaved. It's usually the same dogs, or at least dogs that walk there often enough that are comfortable and familiar, leading to better behavior. I thought it would be a safe place to get Henri back in his groove.

I planned it out carefully. We went one direction so that we would be coming up on most of the dogs face to face, not passing from behind. I wanted them to know Henri was there, to be aware of him and doing whatever they were going to do so I could adjust Henri to what he needed to do. He passed with flying colors, literally. He passed each dog, sometimes not even turning his head to sniff at them. I'm sure he was still sniffing, I just didn't see it. We even came across a few that we had to pass from behind and he kept moving, focusing on the run. He was a little nervous, I could tell, but stuck with me, did what I did and looked up at me with each praise, seemingly so proud, until he didn't seem to notice them anymore. Besides the other dogs, there were loud gun shot-ish noises coming from nearby. (Obviously, I did not know the loud noises would be occurring or I would not have taken him there.) He didn't like that, but he kept focused on me and the run and he didn't whine. It was either the best time to test him or not the best time to test him, but he did great, either way. I kept a close eye on him while remaining calm. I might try to get him out there one more time during the week, but I'm confident he'll be great for our run on Saturday. 

Monday, November 9, 2015

{52 Snapshots of Life} Week 45: Fall

I really wanted to run today, but, being the weekend, I thought we should adventure out of the neighborhood. We can't waste these beautiful fall days! 

So, it was harder to find trees that still have leaves on them at this point since it's rained several times since Fall began (and that's just how Fall works), but we were able to enjoy some Fall colors here and there, especially as the sun was beginning to set.


Friday, November 6, 2015


We got a run in every day this week thus far and I'm pushing to get at least one in this weekend, too. That might be overdoing it a bit. I don't know. We'll see.

I felt pretty slow today, but, again, it turned out to be my best time of the week. I guess after the run in the wind and rain yesterday, my legs just felt like they were struggling. I would have thought it would have been the other way around, they would have felt free! Once we got past the first mile and a half, they snapped out of it and it just felt like a steady jog. Henri was extra motivating with lots of smiles! Way to keep me going, Henri!

Actually, Henri cracks me up sometimes. I don't remember if I've mentioned it before, but he's a little bit of a show-off. When we're passing other people, especially with dogs, he puffs out his chest as we run by. I guess it's the same as when runners correct their form when they go by another runner. I kinda did the same thing today, which was even more funny. Really, I think I was trying to avoid the dog barking at Henri, but we moved into the street and we were moving at a pretty good pace. Unfortunately, it was a pace I couldn't keep up for very long today, but Henri and I really are becoming the same in all things :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Christmas Is Coming

As we ran through the neighborhood today, I remembered that Christmas lights are coming! While running through the neighborhood rather than around it slows our pace, slowing or stopping at all the crosswalks, Christmas lights will make it worth it. Well, it depends. Henri doesn't like those blow up things that get put in the yards so we'll have to see :)

It's fine. It's November. I can use the C-word. I also work in retail, so if I can still get excited about Christmas, so can you.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Tomorrow Is Another Day

I knew today was going to be a busy day at work. I had a lot to do before noon, plus all the regular Monday tasks and the regular day-to-day tasks. There was a lot going on, not surprising, and of course, that last hour is when you start to remember all the things that really need to get done today and the interruptions keep coming. I just didn't want to be there anymore. I can put things off for future me to deal with. I just wanted to get home and run with my boy.

I really wanted to make sure I got off work on time. I was scheduled a little earlier than most Mondays, which was going to come in handy as I wanted to take Henri for a run, but I wanted to avoid the darkness as much as possible. Last Monday it had been getting dark when we went for a run and so I couldn't see the dog was out that ultimately ended up biting Henri. The combination of the time change and this incident has put us in a weird spot. I need every run to be a positive experience for Henri. I need to ease him into situations in which he has to choose to react to a dog barking or not and get him comfortable making the choice to run by. I need to be able to see the situations he's about to get it, so I need to be able to see.

He had one interaction with a dog in the park. They were walking and we were running behind them. The dog noticed Henri and wanted to say 'hi'. Henri froze. I slowed down and eased him by the dog and kept going. Henri didn't look back. He didn't whine. He just didn't remember what he was supposed to do. I'm okay with that. I can slow down to help Henri remember that dogs are not there to hurt him. I can show him to just keep going and nothing bad will happen to him. If we can stick with a few interactions like this a run, I think he'll get his confidence back. I know where all the dogs live in the neighborhood. I know where they are in their backyards when we run by. I can avoid these spots for now and get him back to the place he was. Fingers crossed.