I took Libby, my Weimaraner, with me on Sunday’s trail run. Beautiful day, not too cold, not too hot, great day to run with a dog. It’s been awhile since I’ve ran with her for various reasons but I expected a normal run. Please note that “normal” when running with a hunting dog is relative. I was hoping to avoid her pulling me off trail in search of birds. I was hoping to keep her on trail and focused on the run rather than the hunt. If I could put blinders on her I’d consider it but would still need to contend with the acute hearing and sense of smell; therefore, blinders would be useless. 🙂
If you’ve never ran with a hunting dog, this is what it looks like:
They are almost ALWAYS in front of you. Not in heel position. Not even in heel if they have been thru 3 very good training/obedience classes. Never. But that’s okay, I don’t mind her leading the way. She’s led a lot of hiking and running miles over the last 8 years. She has ran long runs with me up to the half marathon distance many a times without so much as blinking twice at the distance, in fact she frequently looks back at me when I start lagging as if to say, “you doing ok, mom?”. If a dog could be a soulmate, then that’s what Libby is to me. When I stop for sightseeing or photos, she stops too without a complaint. She is always just content to be with me regardless of the activity.
We maintained a slowish pace for the first half with me stopping for photos
a million times frequently but the mental plan was to hit the half way mark (4 miles), flip and bust it back to the car. That’s almost always our modus operandi and she knows when we turn, we are going home. It’s normally difficult to keep up with the speed she wants to run. At 5 miles, Libby fell into heel position. I actually chuckled and looked at my watch while thinking to myself, “how many miles does it take for an 8 year old weim to fall into heel?” The chuckles were short lived though when Lib slowed to a walk at 5.25 miles. Ugh oh….. The car is at mile 8. Apparently, weims get old too. The writing had been on the wall for quite sometime but I had been in denial. My girl has lots of lumps, bumps & skin tags. She has a very prominent one in the lymph nodes of her front right leg. You can even see it here.
I managed to get Lib back to the car, slowly, walk/jogging, with lots of coaxing, but she was exhausted for 2 days thereafter.
So reality has set in, we are all aging, some of us infinitely faster than others. It was a wakeup call for me to take a minute to smell the roses before they wilt and are gone for good. No more long runs for my Lib; however, I’ll still take her for the shorter runs which she loves. We will do that for as long as she is able before we enter the next chapter of our lives.
I’m a firm believer in making each and every day count. I have always felt as if I were on borrowed time. I know it’s impossible to fit “everything” in but I’m still going to try. I encourage you to not only make today count but to move forward with your life in a positive manner leaving behind a trail in which you will be proud to call your own. Know that tomorrow is today so don’t wait because nothing is guaranteed.
** Make It Count ** Amanda – TooTallFritz