About 4 months shy of 12 years, a new chapter has begun.
Since 12/11/05 I have taken on the responsibility of one of the greatest dogs who has also been a most challenging dog.
Bugsy has been my personal trainer over these years, pushing the tempo, running, walking, biking, hiking, kayaking, playing and learning. I have willingly and lovingly been his human through it all.
Last summer was rough, he struggled mightily and I struggled right alongside him. Cardiac issues were ruled out, age was blamed but it was cancer.
As soon as his spleen was removed he was miraculously strong and wild again. That lasted a few months and since the prognosis was poor there were no surprises as he began to have good days and bad days.
Here we are well past his predicted "due date" and the summer has been hot & humid for weeks (we are currently having a reprieve) Although he works hard to do it, we walk daily and kayak once a week.
I feel blessed to be at his side, as he perseveres in the heat, clearly with pain, and with back legs that don't always behave. To watch him struggle, alternating with his signature strut is inspiring.
Seeing his joy as he hunts birds at the lake while I kayak is priceless.
As someone who has been active all their life, I am finding myself in need of more activity. As long as I walk him first, he has at last stopped being insane if I walk alone. During the week though finding enough time to do a longish walk in addition to walking him is tough.
Plus when my heart aches, when I need to contemplate the universe, running or cycling is the ticket.
Last night I signed up to do a half-marathon. I used to run halfs and marathons but its been a long time. It just seemed right.
Then I texted two women that I knew would be up for it, that I knew would help motivate me and that I knew would train with me while we discussed professional topics that we all are involved & interested in; and they are achievers so once we signed up, it will happen.
So tonight, after Bugsy fell fast asleep, I headed out for a run. I started Google Play and the first song was , "With or without you" U2.
I know that due to his fight we are on borrowed time. I will not, nor cannot predict when Bugsy will say 'no mas' but I know its coming.
I know that when it happens I am going to feel extremely lost after 12 years of daily workouts with him.
So tonight the new chapter began.
I will be at the lake with him by 6:30 tomorrow morning and I'll continue to walk him all the other days but I will also run for me.
I'll build my endurance and take longer and longer runs. I'll be glad to have the company of the two women who will race with me.
This half marathon will be the transition. It will help me move from the last 12 yrs to what lies ahead.
Cried my eyes out when I got home.
Figured my buddy was still fast asleep.
You can't imagine the grin when I came home to find him at the top of the stairs greeting me with a toy in his mouth.
If you have had an elderly or sick dog you know that when they sleep it is shockingly deep. To see he hadn't been asleep that deeply made my night.
He was not too pleased by my solo jaunt, sorry bud, it's time.