When I decided to take up running I was living with my parents just outside DC. My mother wasn’t too keen on my running alone, my dog Chloe needed some exercise so I decided to take her along with me.
She didn’t walk well on a leash so I knew it would be a challenge. I figured it might be a good way to get her under control. So off we went. It was a learning experience for both of us. I ass still struggling to run and she couldn’t keep to one side of me. We were a mess or at least we looked like we were.
Shortly after we began running, I woke up one morning at 0430 to get a run in before I went to work. Chloe and I stuck to the neighborhood and had made it about a mile when we encountered a car sticking out of the driveway and on to the sidewalk. I went left, Chloe, of course, went right. I tripped over her and dragged the back of my hand on the pavement. I managed to keep a hold on her leash though. After I berated her for a second I got up and kept running. Thank God it was dark. I had blood dripping from my hand and a sizable scrape on my fingers. I had to get home though.
I made my way home and promptly stomped upstairs to tell my parents what Chloe did. I woke them up and told them my story. The first thing they asked was if Chloe was ok. Of course she was, she moved out of my as went flying towards the ground.
As I showered that morning I kept trying to scrub away the blood on my pinky. I did this for a minute or two before I realized that the skin was completely gone. Ugh…..that dog.
I didn’t give up on her though, we ran together every day that it wasn’t too hot. I think she and I bonded over the many miles we ran together side by side.
I joined the U.S. Coast Guard in November of 2004. After 2 months in boot camp I went to school in Petaluma California for another six months. While stationed there I got orders to Key West Florida on a cutter. Which upset me….it meant that Chloe couldn’t come with me. So she stayed behind with my parents and I spent 3 years in sunny Florida.
I moved to North Carolina in the summer of 2008. I was so excited. I could finally have Chloe back as my running partner. Of course I forgot to take into account that 3 years had passed and she was no longer as young and full of energy as she had been. We still ran together but the runs were shorter and it took a lot more coaxing. It didn’t take long to realize that she was going to have to stay behind while I ran. She still enjoyed a good run in the back yard and loved to lick my salty sweat off my arms and legs after I can home and that seemed to be enough for her.
Due to my long hours at work it became a struggle for her to stay alone for that long. In 2011 I left her at my parents who had a big fenced back yard and a doggy door so she had constant access to get outside to use the bathroom.
A few weeks ago Chloe had a major seizure and it was time to say good bye. She lived an amazing and spoiled life. I miss her dearly but I know that she was given the best life a dog could ask for.
I have a new girl who will be my running partner. I’m not sure she realizes the shoes she has to fill, but I have faith that she will live up to it. I am just so grateful that I had Chloe for the time that I did.
Until next time!