Running with Dogs

Training for the Broken Goat 25km race in July, Carey has been posting about her honest experiences. This is her last blog prior to the race.

Active Women thanks Carey for her time and hopes you’ve enjoyed reading her journey.

GOOD LUCK CAREY!!

 


Carey and Paco at Botanical Beach

My favourite running dog was a Mexican rescue whippet cross. His name was Paco and he was lovely and horrible. He hated to be left behind.  He got anxious. He chewed pillows and slippers. He howled if left alone. He lost his mind with age and got a tumour. But, in the early years, he was my man. We met at the Victoria SPCA where my friend was going to find herself a dog. Yeah, I know. I convinced her that we had to adopt a sibling pair. She went home with Innana and I went home with Paco.

At the time, I lived near the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria, BC. I’d walk him in the mornings to the Haultain Street dog park, a small patch of land that was visited by other dog owners who believed in off-leash time. On occasion, Paco met up with an actual greyhound in the park and I got to see just how fast Paco was against a greyhound. If greyhounds are super-super-super fast, Paco was fast.

He and I would run a road loop in my area. Or, I’d pack him into the back seat of my aged, battered red VW Golf and we’d slip down side streets of Victoria until we found the ocean. Usually, we’d go to Dallas Road and Clover Point area. There was a large swath of grassy land where others would let their dogs off-leash near Dallas Road and Cook Street. I’d park the car and we’d head off to find other dogs to let Paco chase.

I miss the lopping run of his youth. My two current dogs are more muscle and push, less grace and ease. They are no Paco. And that’s okay. But I miss the ease of my running buddy.

My usual running routine lately is to take the two brutes up a local mountain where I can walk them into the bush and then remove their leashes. The one dog (that I affectionately call Fathead) is good at returning when called. The other dog, nicknamed Fluffytail, is mostly good at returning. Unless there is a bear, moose, or squirrel. A squirrel means Fluffytail will race to that tree and continue barking excitedly until I get him (the dog, not the squirrel) to return and leash him up and move past the squirrel tree.

Running with Fathead and Fluffytail is more a kindness to them than a kindness to me. It’s work usually. I have to be more patient. I have to make sure I know where they are. Fathead also has a pattern of turning around and returning to the house if he’s decided he is done the walk. One moment he’s there and the next gone.

Because of my training for the Broken Goat, I’ve gotten more used to seeing the dog runs as fun rather than a chore (Hi Ho, hi ho, it’s off to walk the dogs. Hi ho hi ho, it’s off to the mountain I go). The dogs get mountain time and I get mountain time and hills for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And Paco remains a fond memory on the days when I have to coax Fluffytail away from the squirrel tree or convince Fathead to continue the walk-run. And, I guess if there is a lesson to learn from all this – it is that chores can sometimes be fun and sometimes you only get one great running dog every ten years. So, for now, I have Fathead and Fluffytail and I dream of my next incarnation of Paco.

Paco & Carey

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