Thursday, November 26, 2009

Running in Good Company

It's Thanksgiving, and on this Thanksgiving Day, I am grateful for two new running partners in my life: Jasper and Argos (or "Gus" for short). I went looking for a four-legged running partner some months ago, but finding the right fit with our existing pack was a bit of a challenge. Through Animal House, I met and ran with one pup for a while, but she proved a not-so-great companion for our eldest pup, Mel. I then met another lovely, sweet pup - but despite being very sweet, she did not seem to enjoy running much when I interspersed a few short bouts of running into our walk.

And then - all at once - not one, but TWO perfect running pups emerged: Argos and Jasper.

Jasper, a pit-bull mix, was rescued as a young pup from the streets of Denver -- a town whose breed ban means that many dogs like Jasper are routinely euthanized. Jasper was quick to trot alongside me when I broke into a run on our walk, and on our visit to his foster mom Colleen's house, he literally crawled into my lap before I was even sitting down! We liked that despite his youth and high energy level, he could also be very calm and mellow. He seemed like the perfect dog for us.






But then there was also Argos, or "Gus," a black and white terrier mix who had been picked up months earlier, roaming the prairies of Wyoming. Skittish in human company, Gus ducked to avoid my hand when I first tried to pet him, and it was clear that he'd need some time to come out of his shell. But it was also clear that this pup loved to run. Andrea and Sarah, his foster mommies, both are runners -- Sarah an ultramarathoner. Though Gus was hesitant standing around with people, as soon as I picked up the pace on our first meeting, his spine straightened, his head lifted, and his confidence emerged. For me, it was love at first sight.

We struggled to decide which of these fantastic pups would become my running partner -- and ultimately adopted both. Animal House was so helpful throughout the process, patient with us as we found the perfect match for our family and our lifestyle. Jasper and Argos' foster moms gave us valuable information and helped our pups settle in seamlessly.

So today, I find myself running with two new friends. We don't know each other well - at least not yet. But this Thanksgiving day I'm thankful for all the people who helped bring my new 10-legged "running team" together. See you on the trail!


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