I’d like to introduce you to my new running buddies: Bennie and Goose.
These are my girls. We adopted them more than 9 years ago from the Nashville Humane Association. They’ve endured a major move to Texas and the addition of two human children to our family. They each have their quirks. And they have become my new running buddies.
Bennie is a Treeing Walker Coonhound. At least, we’re pretty sure she is. We’ve had a number of people recognize the breed and ask if they could buy her. We imagine she was taken hunting sometime when she was a puppy, got lost, and somehow found her way into Nashville where she lived on the streets for a while before getting in a fight and being nursed back to health at the animal shelter. She has a different bugle for everything, which can be fun and annoyingly loud. She loves to run.
Goose is a black lab mix, and we think she’s mixed with pit bull. The shelter told us she had been rescued by a woman with 40 cats, but after a few months the lady turned her over to the shelter. Goose loves to chase small animals, and she’s actually killed several rats.
Andy used to be the one to walk them, but after Mads was born, it got harder and harder to take them out on walks. Then we lost their leashes somewhere and the walks stopped altogether.
Bennie and Goose tend to get stir crazy, so I decided I was going to make it a priority. I went out and bought new leashes, and in early December I started taking them for almost nightly walks. Brisk walks.
Then I started running them. At first it was around the block. Bennie had no problem, but Goose would start dragging halfway through. We’ve been gradually increasing the distance. Even Andy has noticed that Goose’s endurance is improving. Not bad for a 10-year-old dog!
Maybe one day they’ll have to slow down for me, instead of me for them.
I’m not really interested in running long distances anymore, but I’d like to get the dogs able to run a few miles. They seems much healthier since the walks/runs started up again. I like spending time with them, and they tend to be less crazy at home.
Dogs make awesome running companions. I love how Austin Pets Alive sets up on the Town Lake Hike & Bike Trail and lets runners take the dogs out for a spin. The dogs get exercise and the people get to see how awesome dogs are.
Dogs aren’t substitutes for people, but they’re fun in their own way.