This is Lady. She is my running partner. Her tale starts in the marshy low lands of Georgia. Her history is hers alone to remember, no information was available on the day I freed her from dog jail four years ago. Her age is somewhere between 6-7 years old, a minimum of four years old because I’ve owned her that long and she was not a puppy. However, the ballard of L’ady Lou is one for another time and another post.
See that face? Besides being adorable it’s motivating. The enthusiam she reponds when asked “Do you want to go for a walk/run?” is equal to when you ask me “Do you want a glass of wine?”. Her paws are small, she gallops rather than trotting. Her ears flap when running. Her nose leads her to stop frequently towards unknown smells. Running with a dog is not always easy. She frequently tries to “protect” me from enemies known as other dogs. She tries to keep going into crowded streets following a scent. I spend more time untangling her leash and reminding her we go at my pace. The rewards of our runs are worth more to both of us.
If you want to start the process of running with your dog, the NY Times has an excellent guide here. If your dog is not used to regular exercise, consult with your vet or take a few test drives to find out how they do. Many different breeds can run/walk farther than you would think. Lady up there is a beagle/jack russle mix and can pound out three miles. I think she could probably go further but I am comfortable with us staying that distance. I once saw someone out jogging with a weiner dog.
If you don’t own a dog but are interested in the opporunity, check with a local shelter or rescue group. Or ask a friend to borrow their dog, especially if you are on opposite schedules because it would help both of you.
Just think, while my face certainly doesn’t look like that at the end of a run, your canine companions might.