I am one proud puppy mama.
When Miranda told me about the Joshua Louis Foundation Walk, Run & Wag 5K and Ice Cream Social to Benefit Animals with Cancer, OF COURSE we had to sign up. I mean, a race with our pups, in a park we love right near our apartments.
I never ran with Larry before, so I wasn’t sure how this would go. I knew that if he got tired, we could always walk. But I didn’t know if he would run in a straight line or veer all over the place to go on his fact finding missions. And Miranda didn’t know if her Rusty, who has a lot of thick fur, would need to stop at any point too. It was a real test – but what better way to find out than by contributing to a wonderful organization on a day with lots of other pups and animal lovers around, while getting exercise?
Sunday was a beautiful day, and Andy, Larry and I walked the 2.5-ish miles to the race start. Larry sniffed and peed on everything he saw on the way. I hoped he was getting it all out of his system so he could focus on the run!
We picked up my bib and got an awesome, fitted race t-shirt, and then chilled on the grass while we waited for the race to begin. When they announced it was time to line up, Miranda and I found ourselves at the very front with our pups. Behind us was all the serious runners without dogs – people there to compete. That was pretty funny. Someone who seemed to be a race photog took pictures of us all lined up, so as soon as I track those down I’ll share.
They blew a horn and we were off! Right from the start, Larry was a rockstar. He was having the time of his life! Huge smile on his face (and he isn’t a big puppy smiler), ears back (aerodynamics?), LOVING life! There was grass along the side at this point so Larry and Rusty both ran in the grass. It was a very good day to be a puppy.
We moved onto the waterfront section where the grass is lined with benches, so the boys had to run on the pavement but it didn’t seem to bother them at all. We stopped once to grab some water, and then clocked in the first mile in under 9 minutes.
I could not believe how well Larry and Rusty were doing! Both boys were totally into it, running with the crowd, having a blast. Larry’s running is more like a series of little leaps and it is hilarious to see.
The halfway point came before I knew it — which brought back memories of the two other 5Ks I ran in this park where, when I finally reached the halfway mark, I didn’t know how I could survive another 1.5 miles of this hell – and we stopped so Larry could lap up some water. Rusty is more particular about his drinking and was not interested in water from a strange bowl.
Once Larry was hydrated, we took off again. I could tell he was losing some steam and slowing down, which makes sense since we’d never run before! But he had no interest in actually stopping, and when we got to the next water station he didn’t even need to drink! We finished the second mile in a little over 10:00 and in the final mile I still couldn’t believe that Larry was running in such a straight line, having fun, doing amazing!
I loved him more in that moment than I ever had before – and that is saying a LOT. I am obsessed with this dog. But this moment was an extra special one in our relationship. The thing with Larry is that whatever situation we put him in, he is perfect. Seriously. Perfect. We even trained him to pass his therapy dog test in under two days. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that he would be a great runner. This boy is so adaptable in ANY situation!
As we neared the end Larry seemed to get a second wind. We got back to the area with grass along the side, where he took a quick pee break and then kept running in the grass. With the finish line up ahead, Larry seemed to sense it was time to speed up and we broke free from Miranda and Rusty (who had run with Miranda before but never for this long!) and sped up for a strong finish!
Andy was standing there taking photos but Larry didn’t even notice him – just kept running to finish his first race.
And we all finished in about 30 minutes – AMAZING for the boys’ first time running a 5K!
There was a Ben & Jerry’s truck giving out free ice cream. Andy and I split a Salted Caramel Blondie cone (yes, you have to try that flavor), and Larry had the frozen vanilla greek yogurt.
Andy, Larry and I walked the 2.5 miles home and a few minutes later…
I am so happy to know I’ve got myself a new running buddy – and that it is my best friend in the world (sorry Ander). I can’t wait to take him out on more short runs. Not only will I tire him out (always a goal), but maybe this will take care of the pound the vet says he could lose so that he can live forever. And the best part? My Larry Gary LOVES running and I love to see this boy having the time of his life.
Do you run with your dog?