Wednesday, October 31, 2007

My new running partner

I've never liked to run with other people. It's just not my style. First you have to find someone who has the same pace as you. Next you have to agree on where to meet. Then you have to listen to someone go on about how they hate their boss or gossip about their friends. Don't get me wrong, I'm not anti-social, but running has always been a time for me to clear my own head. When I run, I want to think about whatever I want to, to run wherever I want to, how fast I want to. But I have to admit it does sometimes get lonely.

Enter Niko. Last Tuesday I was at the Tuesday Night Race at Kincaid lining up at the start, when I felt a small nudge on my leg. Back up a minute...let me tell you that I've been bugging Brian to let me bring a dog into our house for quite some time now, but he kept saying no, with good reason. This has been a debate in our house for some time. We have two cats. One that is crazy and runs around the house, slamming into walls and jumping on the other cats back. The other who is mellow and who has been known to hate dogs and pee all over the house when she sees one. When we first moved here, I was not a cat person. I grew up with dogs. Big dogs. But we lived in a small apartment so we got cats.

Now that we have a house, I could not bear to live without a dog anymore. I am 31 and don't yet have that urge to be mother that most women my age do. What I do have is a strong urge to have a dog. Every time I would see people with their dogs in the mountains, or in town, or at the park, I would have a strong feeling that something was missing. But the cat situation made it difficult. My friend Kim knew this and would yell at me every time I would see a dog and go, "Heyooasudfbbbuuububu" or whatever comes out of my mouth when I see a dog with a soft head.

So, I was standing at the start line and I felt a nudge at my leg. I looked down and I saw a Husky type dog looking up at me with sad eyes and a sign attached to his back that said "ADOPT ME". Niko, or "Lucky" as they were calling him, was rescued from the pound in August on the day he was going to be euthanized. They were literally drawing up the serum when he was discovered by Kitty and K9 Connections. So when Brian heard this story he was touched, and needless to say, we adopted him.

And guess what? Niko doesn't gossip... or run too slow or too fast... or even argue with me about where we are going to run. He just runs. And he checks back with me every few minutes to make sure I'm okay. He fends off any mean dogs or shady looking people that come near me. And he is happy. And I am happy.


Geoff said...

hey julie,
sounds like you're happy with the new dog. are the cats happy? (yes, like kim i am very much a cat person).

btw, good luck with qualifying for crow pass. if you do get in i would highly reccomend getting out there to check out the route before the day of the race (preferably a couple times). there aren't many places to get seriously lost but if the race is your first time on that route you could easily spend 30+ minutes losing the trail for a minute at a time here and there. this year's race was my third time on the route and I easily spent 5 minutes of time veered off onto a less established (and longer) section of trail. if you know anyone who's done the race it'd be even better to get out there with them sometime before race day because there are a couple spots (especially on the way up to the pass) where the main trail goes one way and the route that most racers take goes another, shorter way.

anyway, good luck with all that.

btw, your blog is great. jill told me she's been reading your blog but i just got a chance to check it out today.

VeloCC said...

Hey Julie, I found your blog a few weeks ago and now today I saw your new running partner. I am a dog person. I have a Jack Russel Terrier, Mr. Whiskers. When it is cool enough (I live in Omaha, NE) do I take him MTB. He loves to run:)
You do have a nice blog!