Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Running can be a lonely activity

Running alone is great, it gives you time to think or just unwind from a long day at work. But there are times when having someone to talk to or just keep you company on those trail/roads, would make for a more enjoyable run.
My wife Julie really wanted me to have a running partner, so she decided to give me a rescue dog for my birthday. Our close friend Tory is a volunteer dog walker at the K-W Humane Society and was on the lookout for a dog that could keep up with me running and had a gentle heart. (Did I mention at this point I was terrified of large dogs I don’t know?!?!). We got the call that a beautiful Sheppard was up for adoption and we took her home that day.

Our second day with Sam (my actual birthday) was a memorable one. I went golfing with Julie, her uncle Tony and his daughter Nicole. Little did we know we were coming home to a disaster. Once we opened the door to the basement the smell was recognizable and revolting. Sam had pooped everywhere, stepped in it, and then proceeded to leave paw prints on the walls. I believe the words that escaped my mouth were…”this is not what I wanted for my Birthday!”  Its funny looking back now…Sam was the best birthday present I ever received, and her new crate was the second.

Sam is a German Sheppard, Husky, Doberman, Collie, and Labrador mix. The best of everything! She is 4 years old and such a great runner. In the beginning I didn’t want to push her too far because I didn’t know much about dogs and their ability to run long distances. This week, I took Sam on her first 20km run. I was quite surprised. We only took minimal walk breaks, and easily finished in 2 hours.
Running with Sam, pushes me to be a better runner. My pace has increased and she’s a great reminder to stay hydrated. In the winter while running, she will dip her nose into the snow, flick it up and eat it. On my long days when I run 60 km, I usually pick up Sam back at the house for the last 10 km. Its great motivation to finish those long runs.

And the best thing about Sam…she never turns down a run.

If you’re interested in adding a canine to your training runs, I highly recommend adopting a dog from the KW humane society:

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