Today I ran with a new running partner for the first time. We were both a little nervous about it but excited at the same time.
I ran with my dog. Cooper is my 11 and a half month old shepherd/husky mix and today was her first run. Of course that isn’t quite true. Cooper is a dog park aficionado, stellar at the sports of chase and wrestling (though somewhat lacking in the noble art of fetch), and is young and fit. Today was just her first time running on leash with me.
In the first 100 meters I though at least three times that this was possibly a terrible idea and that she wasn’t ready for it, despite being told by the vet that she was physically a-ok to start slowly. There was zig zagging, leashes in mouths and bounding. And then it stopped. She trotted along nicely beside me. She’d look up at me with a smile in her eyes and I’d give her a pat on the head and she would look ahead again, set on the run. I ran on the sidewalk and she in the grass until we got to the parks. In the woods she did run ahead a little bit, but didn’t really pull. We stopped to walk quite a few times because I was certain that I was going to give her walk breaks, just as any newbie would do (my plan was to run 2 minutes, walk 1), but she put her leash in her mouth and pulled. Looked up at me and with the voice only a husky can make said “WOOOOOOOOOOO”. She wanted to RUN. We stuck to the plan, but she couldn’t figure out why we were walking 😉
We ran to the dog park where she got to go for a swim and play with her regular doggy friends. I knew that I hadn’t worn her out too badly when there was an epic game of chase going on.
Half an hour of playing in the park later, it was time to go. She went for another swim and we started the run home in the trails. This time there are a couple of disagreements because I wanted to run on the path and she wanted to chase a squirrel that went ‘that way’, but we stayed on course. I could tell she was beginning to run out of gas about 700m from home so we walked the rest of the way.
I’m so proud of my new running friend on her first time out.
Good girl, Cooper.