Sunday, July 24, 2011

running with dogs

 Bela could fit inside my backpack as a pup! ~ Bela, 6 months ago
I miss my dog.  Earlier this week we had to put my Vizsla, Bela, down.  She was 12 years old and we had learned just a few days earlier that she had cancer.  One of the masses found was on her heart so we knew the prognosis was very poor.  We had hoped for a couple of months, but were only given a few days.  It was the right thing to do, but an incredibly difficult decision for us. 

I ran a little off and on before we got our dog, but she was really the one who got me running regularly.  Initially it was to "wear her out" but then it became a joy to run with her.  She ran in the dark, in the rain, on trails and on sidewalks, long runs and short runs, beside me with the jogger and alongside me even after we got a second dog who would also run with us.  She trained with me for my first and second marathons, often running as far as 6 to 8 miles with me.  She scared off a small bear while running with me in Montana.  She was my trusted companion for many, many miles. 

I hadn't run with her recently.  She'd really slowed down and tired after just a mile.  I'd been walking with her, often on a 3 mile loop that included walking my son to school.  And the day before we learned she had cancer I had taken her (along with my other dog and my two kids) out on a hike.  It was more of a walk in the fields than a hike, but she enjoyed it.  

I really miss her.  I miss those runs we used to do together.  It's been two weeks since the last time I took my other dog for a run (3 miles), but losing Bela has made me want to get back into a regular routine of running with Greta.  She's a 9 year old German Shorthaired Pointer and can easily run a few miles so I need to do that a couple times a week.  She'd love it and so would I.

Do you run with your dog(s)?  They really do make the best running partners. 


Kelly(M&M) said...

Cherl, I am so sorry to hear about Bela. I have enjoyed your pics of your dogs and can tell how much you love them. I am glad you have such good memories with her! I didn't know she is what got you running. What a great story. Love you!
(I have never run with a dog, but it sounds like I need one to keep me safe!)

Paige said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. My husband always says the pain is the price you pay for having had the love of a good dog, and I think that's very true. I run with Lucy, my 3YO yellow Lab, and she's "my mostly companion." I honestly don't know what I'll do without her, when the day comes.

Nikkei said...

I hope your memories of Bela will inspire you to keep running during the hard times. What an incredible gift she gave you. I'm sorry for her illness and your loss.

Lacey Sue said...

First off, I am so sorry about Bela!!! She was a beautiful pup! I grew up with a Doberman pincer that I loved dearly, she was super strong and it was never ME taking her for a run- it was HER taking ME for a run! When she got older and sick and had to be put down, it was heartbreaking! I think it would help your heart heal to run with your other dog! Hope your running days get better!

cherl said...

Thank You! It's been a tough week at our house as we're doing things "for the first time without Bela". We all miss her.

This morning I took my GSP Greta out for a run. It had been a few weeks and it wasn't easy (she likes the first mile to be a 6:30 pace and then slows to an 8:00 -- ugh!), but it was very much enjoyable. I'm looking forward to more of these quick, shorter runs. Maybe they'll help me become a faster runner!