Something new that has come into my life recently is an amazing rescue puppy named River. She is brilliant. She makes me want to train to run with her. I could never run with Abner. His little legs, heavy body and cancer weakened body could never handle it. But River. She was made to run. It was just a matter of waiting until she was mature enough to handle it.
I have been leash training her with 3 daily walks since February and she is pretty good most days. I bought a waist leash for her and we've used it a few times on the walks, but it was anyones guess how she was going to be when it was time to pick up the pace. And yesterday, at 8 months old, River got to start her running journey with me.
Disclaimer: there will always be people in the crowd who say "wait til one year" or whatever. I DID talk to my vet when she was 4 months old and she advised me to wait until 6 months. The rate River was growing made me want to extend that a bit. She is a Rottweiler, German Shepherd, Great Dane so is not a tiny mutt. I want to make sure I ease her in and I want to make sure I don't hurt her. Luckily, my running ability is pretty weak right now so she is getting a pretty gentle intro.
To avoid the possibility of disaster as much as possible, I decided to take her out on her inaugural run on the pathways of Chestermere. No cars to dodge, like in Langdon where sidewalks exist in less than half of the town. I figured I'd been good for 3:1 run/walk so she would get plenty of breaks (especially since that 3:1 is actually more of a 3:5 haha)
and the verdict? She's a natural!This dog was born to be my running partner. She runs straight, stays right beside me and adjusts to my pace perfectly (and I know how fast she CAN go. She's holding back for me.
I set out to do 5k with her, but we ended up doing 6.4k. There are still some kinks to work out with getting her to drink (I drained my hydration pack for her and neither of us seemed to get enough) but I think this will be easy to solve. Most importantly? I'm excited to run with her again. This is going to be a great way to keep me running this summer...and to help her get some exercise to tame the puppy crazies when she isn't getting 3 spaced out walks in a day. We can run in the morning and walk for errands. It should work pretty well if that first run is any indication.