Ever since Olive was old enough, I’ve been taking her with me on many of my morning runs. At first, it was pretty frustrating. She didn’t understand that she was supposed to run next to me instead of full-on sprint, and we still have occasional run-ins with neighborhood cats, but for the most part, she’s made running a whole lot more tolerable for me and here’s why.
1. She still tends to zig zag quite a bit while we run, causing me to pay close attention, and anticipate her maneuvers so I don’t trip on her and fall. Paying attention to her stops me from focusing on how terrible running is, or how tired I am, or how out of breath I feel. Before I know it, the run is over, and I didn’t even have time to start an internal pity party.
2. Puppies need a lot of exercise or they will drive you crazy. It’s great that I can get my exercise at the same time she gets hers. Some days I don’t have time to take her to the park for an hour, or walk her for miles. I’m all about the multi-task, and running with her is a great time saver.
3. It may sound crazy, but there is definitely a feeling of “we’re in this together!” Anyone who runs, knows that having a running buddy to talk to can make things much easier. Dogs and humans can be strangely in sync with each other, and I swear that Olive knows when I’m struggling, and either slows down or speeds up depending on what I need in that moment. There have been many days that I wouldn’t have finished my entire run without her there to keep me going. She’s a smart little cookie that one.
4. No matter what, she’s still a bundle of energy and runs way faster than I normally would. She’s getting better about pacing herself, but her speed has helped me to increase my speed and endurance as well. When a puppy is setting the pace, you don’t have the opportunity to slack off, and go slow. I definitely credit her for forcing me to push my boundaries, and subsequently, get better.
5. Olive is a happy gal and is always smiling. As the saying goes, smiles are truly contagious. She’s my baby, and to see her having fun running with me, with her tongue hanging out, grinning from ear to ear, makes it impossible not to smile myself. It is a great way to start any day in my opinion.
**Consult your vet before starting a running regime with your pet. Most vets don’t recommend running with puppies under the age of one.