I could easily write an entire blog about all of the crazy things my dog, Presley, has done. She’s eaten everything from corn on the cob (cob included) to Christmas ornaments. But for all my I gripes about that mangy mutt, she’s always been my faithful running companion.
When I first started running, she enthusiastically ran every single training run of my first half marathon with me. When I was pregnant years later, she slowed down and stayed by my side when no one else wanted to wait up for me. She’s helped me explore new neighborhoods, pulled me up steep hills on trail runs and licked my legs after I’ve tripped on the sidewalk.
She has run more miles with me than anyone else in my life.
She knows we’re going for a run before I can even get my shoes out. And once she knows, she cannot contain her excitement. Her entire body wags in anticipation.
A few days ago, for the first time in weeks, I took Presley out for a night run after both kids were in bed. It had been a rough day at work, and I needed to blow off some steam. We only ran a couple of miles, and I felt like I was dragging the dog along the entire way.
That’s when it occurred to me: Presley is getting old.
I stopped worrying about my pace and finished out the remaining miles at an 11-minute clip as the emotions bubbled up in my throat. Like me, Presley can run for miles and miles and miles, but her comfortable pace — for the first time in a decade — is slower than mine.
And that’s when it hit me. Out on the road. Despite the fact that my dog has shifted from my No. 1 gal to a jovial annoyance, I cannot imagine our lives without her. And I most certainly cannot imagine running without her by my side.
So, no matter how slow she gets, I’ll keep running with her as long as she will keep running with me. After all, when it comes to your very best friends, pace does not matter. The company does.
Besides, I know she’d do the same for me. — Aidz