As I laced up my tennis shoes for a run, Orlaith, my Icelandic Sheepdog, just about jumped for glee. She thought that she was going for a walk. I normally separate her walks from my runs, because frankly it is too much of a work out. Not quite having proper training for the leash, she jerks and stops and does all kinds of crazy things all along the way that I usually tires me out within a block or two. At this point, I either give up and go home or just walk instead of run. Today my plan had been to indulge in lonely but peaceful run by myself down to the river and back. But the pure look of joy on her face melted my heart, and I couldn't even think of doing anything but take her along.
As I hooked her to the leash and walked out the door, I laid the ground rules. I told her there would be no pulling, sudden stops, or in any way trying to trip me. Somehow this little "Come to Jesus Meeting," as I like to call them, worked! She was almost a complete angel the whole run.
My favorite part of the run is always once we get to the river walk. First, we met another very fluffy dog, some sort of husky. She was very beautiful and it seemed that Orlaith had found a new friend. But as runs go, we had to move on so they agreed that their owners should meet here again soon. As we continued on the river walk past all the lovely restaurants with that great smell and the openness of the river, I always get an overwhelming sense of the old south. Now I am not speaking in the literal sense with slaves, states rights, or any of that nonsense. I am only referring to that slow sort of culture that rolls off the tongue like molasses, the heavy sweetness of tea (not iced but "sweet tea"), garden parties with big hats, and good ole spicy fried foods. All of that cultural overload in my brain quickly drifted away as Orlaith and I exited the river walk and had to make the steep climb back up to Front Street.
The rest of the run was a bit slower. Not because of my own over-weight, out of shape body, but because my poor girl was tired. She was on her last legs and extremely over heated from running the whole time(not making quite as many stops along the way). There were a few quick stops in the shade where she plopped herself down saying, "Mom, I need a rest." I was even tempted to go into one of the famous stab and grab marts for her some water when she just layed down at the front door panting wildly. Thinking against it, we finally made it home. Now resting in the back yard in the shade, we agree it was a lovely morning run!