I really can't think of anything more idyllic whilst out in the beautiful countryside that surrounds us here in Shropshire, than having my “furry baby” four legged companion of three years, Lola by my side. When we first had her from a 13 week old pup, my sole aim was to get her trained well enough to run beside me. I envisaged us trotting along together at a nice steady pace, for many a mile.
I see so often when I'm out, other runners with their dogs, looking a picture of togetherness. Lets face it, our canine companions can be fabulous to run with for several reasons. Firstly, safety. It can make you feel much safer for instance if you run regularly in the dark, to have your dog at your side. Also, they can be the perfect pacer too, giving you both an equalised synchronicity. It is also well known that our pets give us that all essential feel good factor. I know if I'm ever feeling low in mood, Lola can more often than not bring a smile to my face with that lovely shiny black nose and big brown eyes.
So, you would be forgiven for thinking that Lola and I hit the road regularly; a perfectly synchronised duo pounding the lanes together in pursuit of fitness. It could almost be a picture for the front cover of a running magazine.
That, is where you would be very, very wrong. Now, I absolutely adore my dog, I really do. But Lola is a creature of habit and has a very different itinerary whilst outdoors. Firstly, she loves to sniff. Not one blade of grass can go unsniffed in five miles, and each said blade MUST be weed on, sniffed again, looked at for five minutes.....you get the idea. Then there are the rabbits to keep in check, because god forbid they should sort their own lives out. This coupled with digging holes looking for moles, rolling in fox poo and eating rabbit tods is hard work. Behaving oneself and just running with your owner, huh, that's just plain boring. If she could trip me up by walking right under my feet, that too would mean a very satisfactory walkies indeed.
Subsequently, having Lola means that I get double the exercise. I walk her for two miles a day, then go for my run separately. Heading out the door in my running kit, I look back and she is happily snoozing in bed, on her back with legs stuck up in the air, dreaming of moles, holes and bunnies. It really is a dog's life.
As always, please do comment and get in touch with Allie with your stories, below.