Chewie is my favourite running partner. Runs with him are, on an average, 274% better than runs without him. Just watching him run—along or ahead—gives me an extra 50W of power. Chantries is our favourite running ground. We both love running up and down those trails, specially the sections through the dense trees where few people walk.
I took Chewie for a few Parkruns years ago. His competitive spirit, and my inability to run like the wind meant I had a torrid time. He used to drag me around for the first couple of Km. Then we’d run together for the next Km. And I’d have to drag his sorry, tired ass around for the final 2K. He didn’t know how to pace himself when there were other dogs to catch and beat. I didn’t know how to run at his blitzing pace.
There was also the matter of his loud howling and crying with excitement as everyone lined up for the start.
I took pity on both of us and stopped taking him along. He enjoys lazy Saturday morning cuddling up with R in bed till 10 or 11. I get to run at my own pace.
A has been asking me if we should take Dudley for a Parkrun. Dudley is lot more people friendly than Chewie, and has a more tempered approach to life (and running). It may be easier to run with him.
I’ve been strangely non-committal. The reason is that Parkrun is my time to mingle with all the other dogs—Jasper, Danny, Lizzie, Archie, and all the other lovely 4-pawed lovies. It’s the one time of the week I’m openly unfaithful to Chewie and Dudley, and give undivided attention and love to my other friends.
Taking Dudley might shift my friends’ focus from me to him. Dudley (and Chewie even more so) may not be so amenable to them meeting me as usual—Jasper jumps up and hugs me on my shoulders, then rubs his sides on me, then sits down between my legs, my hand in his mouth, and begs for belly rubs.
My dogs may not take kindly to my unfaithful actions :)
Today I realised that I’ve started extending my unfaithfulness from Saturday to Sunday. For the last month or so, I’ve been taking the Loseley-Artington-St. Catherine’s dock-Shalford route on my Sunday run.
It’s a beautiful trail route. But that’s not the only reason I take it. Every Sunday, local volunteers take dogs from the local rescue centre for walks on the same trails that I run on. I get to meet lots of dogs :) . And some of these dogs reciprocate the love many times over (like a young Staffie today).
The first few times I ran this route, I wanted to take Chewie along. R said no, she didn’t want Chewie running over 10K. The next few weeks, the weekend plan didn’t allow me to take him along. Today, I didn’t even ask him.
He wanted to come along. He followed me all around the house after I got dressed for running. When I started to head out front, he was there at the door before me. He made it clear he wanted to join. I had to take him in, and hand him to R so he doesn’t come along.
Usually this breaks my heart. He loves running with me, I love running with him, and he loves those trails and the riverside. Today I didn’t even feel a twitch.
Of course, the immediate justification was that he’d been sick and wasn’t yet ready to run 14 Km in the sun.
But there was also the smaller, hidden motive of meeting all those rescue dogs on their Sunday walks. With him around—jealous and high on endorphins—the volunteers may not have let me meet those other dogs. I was being unfaithful again :)