About a year and a half ago I adopted a puppy.
Pandemic puppies were all the rage for many people and finding a dog to adopt was likened toy rushes at Christmas, but for us it was hardly a rash decision. We'd been plotting for years, and attempting to figure out how we would find ourselves a good opportunity to reintegrate a dog into our lives a few years after our previous dog died of a late-in-life heart condition. Puppies are a bit of a full time job. Training, caring, and generally looking after the curious things for the first couple months almost requires a work sabbatical. Working full time downtown while living in the burbs was not going to provide such an opportunity easily.
As it turned out "not easy" meant a global pandemic, and amidst the countless negatives and tough things that happened, we found our chance to bring a dog home.
Working from home for an indeterminate amount of time seemed a bit risky, but as it turned out eighteen months of puppy training and habituation followed a Miniature Australian Shepherd joining our family before the day finally came that we had to start migrating (at least part time) back to the office.
The timing to turn her into a running partner was a little less cooperative.
By the time she hit the ripe old age of one year, or about the time that most vets and blogs seem to converge on their advice on when it is ok to start a running program, the summer was just wrapping up and we were more concerned with her spaying surgery and follow up recovery than we were about getting her out jogging the local trails.
Winter was cold and icy, so that didn't seem ideal as an introduction to my favourite sport.
And now finally, it is spring. She's comfortably past the age of concern for starting such a program, yet still young enough to take it up with ease. I while I've been impatient, she didn't know what she was missing... until Saturday.
This past weekend, a couple days ago now, I laced up and looped my faithful dog into her harness. We stepped out onto the clear sidewalks running alongside the grassy parks, and ... ran three klicks.
Run one. It begins. I'm aiming for three days per week, though I think she'd go every day if she could. I think I may have unleashed a monster... metaphorically speaking.