The mountain trails behind my house zigzag for miels, forming an isolated setting for me and two of my favorite running companions, who never complain, run in all kinds of weather, and rarely tire of the excitement a good workout seems to provide,
We're all aging, so we don't log as many miles as we used. To be sure, the older of the two companions is approaching her golden years.
Today, they are reduced to a maximum of two miles, as the crow flies, although their wandering makes for perhaps double that amount.
Often, since they seem to be drawn to muddy puddles, my post-workout regimen includes giving them a bath.
Dixie, age 9, is my Chocolate Lab; and Ruby, 7, is a Redbone Coonhound.
At age 2, after a mountain training run, Dixie returned home limping dramatically. The diagnosis was a torn ACL. We had it surgically repaired, and she's been fine ever since. Labs being very emotional, Dixie will not leave my side as we run, for fear I'll lose her.
Ruby, on the other hand, is pure hound. The scent of a rabbit is enough for her to abandon me in a heart beat.
Dogs can be terrific running partners. Their companionship is good for us, and, like us, their health is enhanced by the activity.
In fact, I cannot announce that I am going for a run, lest my dogs go crazy. I must either say I'm going for a "r-u-n," or that I'm, "Going to work."
So, here's to greatest companions on National Dog Day.
They offer us unrequited love, and their time with us is much too short.