Friday, January 2, 2009

Zen and the Art of Running With My Dog

Fantasy and reality blur when it comes to my canine pal. The fantasy comes when I imagine the perfect dog- the ever faithful loyal companion at my side. Reality is a completely different story.

This creature looks calm and collected here. She even looks like the pooch of my fantasies but she's so much more:

(sung to the tune of the Slinky jingle)
What walks down stairs, alone in the night,
and raids the garbage can?
A dog, a dog, a mischievous cur!
Everyone knows it's Kisses.
It's Kisses, it's Kisses, the crazy,barking mutt.
She's barking. She's growling. Everyone knows it's Kisses.

Okay, it's pretty lame but I'm feeling a little loopy tonight but you kind of get the idea. She's not your normal cuddly creature. She growls and wags her tail at the same time, steals food, throws up and then decides to eat again (then throws it up again thus continuing the vicious cycle). She runs away at the slightest opportunity. She barks at people, animals, UPS and Fedex trucks (but not DHL), cars, leaves, grass, snow, trees, birds (except for crows), insects, shadows, air, family members and strangers- all with a deep gusto. She's moody and she's not exactly certain what her name is. And she's obsessive about rubber squeaky toys. So why, why would I choose to take this creature running with me?

Fantasy and reality converge once again. The fantasy Kisses runs alongside me. We run at the same pace- silent partners. The reality- she pulls the leash, flings herself at passing cars, chases leaves, weaves from one side of me to the other until she almost trips me up in the leash. She starts off every run the same way running like a cartoon dog, her back legs touching her front, tongue hanging out of mouth and ears flapping wildly.

Running is my form of meditation. It's where I connect with nature and my best ideas begin to percolate. And into this peaceful world I've brought Kisses.

As irritating as she is there's this moment once we've passed the cows that scare her into standing up on her hind-legs for an abnormally long period of time, when she slows down and we're side by side, my foot steps in rhythm with the patter of her nails on the ground and we become silent partners in the early morning stillness.

Of course the moment passes as she begins to panic that this is some plan I've hatched to abandon her in the woods and the pulling begins again but the pleasure comes in never knowing when the spell will be broken.

So tomorrow morning, while most of you are sleeping peacefully in your beds, I'll be out on the road with the girl of a thousand "No's".


Licha said...

You're so lucky to have such a beautiful running partner!! This makes me want to get out and jog. I usually start training around this time for a 5K race in March. Better get my butt in gear!!!

Sandra Hamlett said...

Thanks! I used to race all the time and I do miss it. I need to get myself back into racing again. Maybe I'll try and find a 5k in my area.