Here is our Marley, fresh as a daisy before we headed down Red Mountain to run our first 5K race together, the 10th Annual Mutt Strut, benefiting Hand in Paw animal therapy training. We ran in memory of our sweet Sophie.
I had an idea that Marley would be fine in the crazy soup of a dog-friendly race, but one never knows until you are actually in the situation. She was a dream, quiet and gentle no matter what craziness dogs around her pulled. How did I ever get so lucky to find this sweet girl?
It was so fun to see happy dogs and humans of all breeds, shapes, and sizes- even a sweet blind basset hound in a stroller being pushed by his loving human. Dog people are typically just good folks in general, and everyone had smiles to share and ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ for each other’s pups.
I used to run 10K’s all the time in my 30s and 40s, but after I severely broke my ankle on Easter morning several years ago, I stopped running and only recently started up again. I used to scoff at 5Ks as being easy races…now I had to eat my words. This race in hilly Birmingham was a challenge for this fifty-six year-old lady. Me and my ‘chunky monkey’ Marley did it though, and I think we both had a great time. The energy along the race route was so positive and upbeat, with cheering sections along the way dressed up, waving signs, cheering encouragement, and playing music for us. Even the stoic Birmingham policemen cracked smiles at the parade of dogs and humans running and walking past them. A good day for our city. Dan met us at the finish line and gave us a ride home in the Mini Roadster so that we didn’t have to walk back up the very steep hill to our house. Human and canine were both grateful…especially the human. I will never again scoff at the rigors of a 5K, that’s for sure.
When we got home, Marley crashed on the couch for a well-deserved nap while Dan and I ran errands and worked around the house and yard in preparation for an Easter Sunday dinner with dear friends and two of my students who couldn’t go home for the holiday. Such a beautiful day!
I look forward to more fitness adventures with my sweet Marley. She is a truly great dog, a soul dog, and I’m hoping she helps me find my fitness groove again. It felt so empowering to cross that finish line…it made me want to challenge myself and do more races. I so want to head into my senior years being as active as possible, and I see this as a great way to set and achieve goals- and to do something healthy for both me and my dog. Not a bad thing at all. Now, where are my Bio-Freeze and Epsom Salts?
To check out this great organization: