Archive for Running Buddy of the Month
It’s been a while since we’ve had a running buddy of the month. Meet Camo, an almost 2 year old Koolie mix from Queensland. Camo holds a special place in our heart because he was one of a litter of 7 orphaned puppies that came into our home when they were just one week old. It was quite a bit of work with three hourly bottle feeds around the clock in the early days, then the cleaning up when the pups figured out that solid food was as good to lie in as it was to eat! Still, it was a labour of love and we still love Camo lots!
Look at him now! He’s the most beautiful dog with a lovely happy nature. He’s been working through the Pooch to 5k program with his owner, Jackie, and really enjoying himself. Check out the smile in this photo; this is after his first 20 minute non-stop run. He’s a natural!
It’s not all been smooth sailing for Jackie and Camo. There have been some runs that were a struggle, but that happens to all of us, no matter what level we’re at. Jackie just took a step back, repeated a session or two then moved on. It won’t be long at all before they’ve hit that magical 5km mark.
Camo lives quite a way away from us these days, but we’re still hopeful that one day we’ll catch up with him again, and he can say hi to his Uncle Guinness and Uncle Cinnabar. Keep running, Camo
Pooch to 5k was a vital part of an effort to get in shape after a seven-year stretch of bad times–lot of deaths in the family–that had taken a toll on my body and mind. I’ve always been athletic, involved in such sports as bicycle racing, running, and triathlons. But, when times are bad, I go to seed, stop exercising and gain a lot of weight.
One of the worst blows of my life came in March 2011, when my beautiful Lisa, a dog I had adopted from a shelter 8 years earlier, was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma. She died in April 2011. Lisa’s early years had been very hard, and when she came to me, she had a lot of fears. Running in the woods helped her become more confident, and it became our weekend ritual, almost a religious experience.
When she died, I remember that I kept asking people, “Who will run in the woods with me now?” Not all dogs become good running partners, I knew from experience. When I got my first dog, Maggie, 11 years ago, I was still involved in long-distance sports. She was a very wild youngster, and I believed she could just come out with me and do five miles, with no preparation.
I was reading another running blog recently and I stumbled upon a few pictures of a beautiful red Stumpy Tail Australian Cattle Dog, Cooba. One of the pictures was of Cooba looking normal while a runner held a GPS unit in front of his face – distance of the run he’d just done: 74 km!
The runner in question is Clarke McClymont, and Cooba the Cattle Dog is his training partner as he prepares himself for ultramarathons like last year’s Kokoda Challenge, where the team he was in smashed the race record by around and hour and thirty minutes, over some of the toughest terrain in a trail race anywhere in Australia.
My wife, Carolina, and I moved to Greece about 4 years ago and immediately started looking for a house and dog. On the morning that we were due to move in, Carolina spotted an advertisement for a gorgeous little puppy that needed a home. She rang the number immediately and arranged for us to meet him. It was truly love at first sight. Biskotouli was found in the mountains near Athens along with his mother who unfortunately was very sick and had to be euthanized. But her son immediately became a cherished member of our family.
I was running most days and started taking Bisko with me for company. In the beginning I was only covering short distances with him but on returning home could see he was still full of energy. We discovered he was obsessed with rocks, so we started draining his excess energy by throwing them up and down rocky cliffs, which he fetched with the agility of a mountain goat! Over time I increased the distance until eventually he was joining me on all of my training sessions, including my long runs of up to 40km. I just carried a collapsible water container and some snacks with me.
This is a guest post by Vanessa Rodriguez from San Diego, USA. Vanessa is a keen ultrarunner and she is often accompanied by her dog on her training runs. Here she shares what she has learned about running from Ginger, and there’s a lesson there for all of us.
My dog Ginger is more than my running buddy. She’s my teacher. She never lets me down on a long run, and she constantly reminds me how to run with a pure heart and happy spirit. These are her lessons:
1. Always greet strangers.
No matter how far or fast we are running, Ginger will always stop to greet another dog. Sometimes the other dog is friendly and sometimes they are not, but that doesn’t stop Ginger from approaching. And so I have learned to warmly greet other humans. You never know when a stranger might turn into a friend.
“Blind and deaf? What quality of life will he have? He’d be better off dead.” That was the response I got many times over when I told people about the new puppy I was getting. Later it was “Oh, the poor thing…” when they were introduced. Now that he’s grown, people ask what his name is and what do I do with a handicap dog. And that’s when I get to smile and say : “This is Kandoo, and he can do everything.”
He can go up and down stairs, navigate the back yard, swim at the lake and come when the porch light blinks. He sleeps in bed, goes to dog events, has even hiked on the Appalachian Trail. He’s 65lbs of bouncing border collie love, has never met a stranger and everything is his favorite, except for running. Running is his very favorite.