When I run with my dog, River, we collect a crowd of canine followers. River and I both enjoy a good run. Typically, we head out in the early morning, but there are days we take a sprint in the afternoon. No matter what time we run there are always some four-legged characters eager to join the game.
Excluding races, where the crowds can reach 40, 000 runners, I’d estimate that during the past 5 years I have run with more dogs than people. It is remarkable how when River and I go past a yard containing a free-range dog, the animal happily, eagerly, and frequently tags along.
This morning another Labrador Retriever joined us. She’ll run the entire distance and return to our home for a post-run cookie. I have a policy that any dog ending up on my doorstep following a run gets water and a cookie.
Most dogs know there limit and turn back after less than a mile. Some, more confident and with longer legs have no qualms over distance. A few are too old to do more than a short trot and greet. Others, reaching my home, act like they want to move in and if a door opens acknowledge the gesture by entering the house. Brenda, my wife, who also likes dogs doesn’t chase the out unless they’re wet or muddy – often the case. I am less strict regarding cleanliness matters.
Watching dogs run, I am envious of their ability to sprint and they, at times, seem to wonder at my endurance, especially on hot days. On those hot tongue-lolling days we have a nice set of stairs that leads into the Little River for a refreshing dip.
Meeting and running with dogs is always an experience. Over the years our furry following has grown. Several of dogs have learned where we live and occasionally drop by for a visit. Thus far, none have been rude, tried to bite, or pooped in my yard.