While taking Rowdy on his morning walk, I decided to run a couple of laps around the track at the High School. Ignoring the “no dogs” sign, Rowdy & I snuck in, and I began my run. To my surprise, Rowdy thought this was a game, so he started running along with me. After about 2 minutes though, he was losing speed, and fell behind. Rowdy has weak hips, so I started to feel bad for him. I yelled back “hey old guy – you don’t have to run. I’m doing this for me. Just go sniff around.”

Just as I finished my sentence, out of nowhere, Rowdy barreled by, passing me in another lane. I start laughing and realized that maybe I offended him with the “old guy” comment.

I apologized “hey I’m sorry! I’m just looking out for you”. He looked back at me, and what seemed like - accepted my apology, then slowed down to keep pace with me. At this point I was about halfway there. We trotted along – him in lane 8 - me in lane 9, both of us out of breath, we pushed our stout selves to the finish line! He ended up beating me by a nose (I’m going to claim physical attributes on that one).

After we finished, we were both relieved and tired - but energized! I gave him a big pat on the head and scratched his neck. He looked up at me, raised his eyebrows, and gave me a big toothy smile. It was one of those moments where, honestly, I can’t really explain in words, the spirit of my dog. I started laughing at how ridiculous we must have looked on that track this morning. One out of breathe, pudgy owner and her old wine barrel of lab, panting around a track - just for the hell of it.