We Girls Stick Together

My husband and I started actively planning for our second fur-baby two summers ago.   We had put down our 14 year old a few years earlier and it took Dave that long to be ready to have another; he was home during the day and needed an excuse to get out; he was ready to look after 4 paws again.

Zeda at 14 months, a week after bringing her home.

We had a few things that we hoped for in our dog: good with kids, a rescue, a larger breed (e.g. lab, retriever), short hair, young enough to still be a puppy but old enough to be house-broken, and female (believing that a female would be a somewhat quieter dog).   After a few months of searching, we found 14 month old Zeda through Grand River All Breed Rescue (based in Cambridge, Ontario) and brought her home.

She is always excited when we start to run.

Today, Zeda turned three and she has been everything on our list, everything but quiet.  She is a bundle of energy who needs to be walked a lot.   Zeda is always super excited when I pull my running clothes out of my dresser because she thinks she gets to go for a run; sometimes she gets to come with me.  When I get home from work, she bolts down the stairs, sometimes barking, tail wagging, and trying hard not to jump, making me think that I am the most important person in her life.   This summer, I feel like I have become that person for her.

I am learning to admire the gardens when we walk.

During the school year, Dave does 90% of the walks because he has more time than I do.  But since I am home through the summer, Zeda becomes my girl.   To her good fortune, I have had that much more time to spend with her this summer because I haven’t been running; walking has been my way of getting outdoors.  I honestly don’t think that I would enjoy my daily walks on my own.  Zeda has given me the motivation that I need to get out the door, and I have given her the exercise, love and attention that she needs.  Somewhere in the past three weeks, walking has stopped being a chore or a labour of love; it’s something that I have started to really enjoy with her.

Today, Zeda turned three.  We enjoyed our morning walk, playtime in the yard, and cuddles, and we have our evening 5K to look forward to.   She has become my guard dog (anyone who comes to visit can attest to that), my walking buddy, my companion and my best friend.   She is still the same bundle of energy that we brought home two years ago, but I wouldn’t want her any other way.

Introducing Zeda

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This summer, after being dogless for almost five years, my family decided we were ready to adopt another. We hemmed and hawed over the gender, the breed, the age…but the one thing we all agreed on was we wanted a rescue dog, an active dog and one who could keep me company running. On Thanksgiving Monday, we brought home Zeda.

Zeda is a year and a half and a ball of energy.  I walk her in the morning, she gets at least an hour of play with her new doggie friends every afternoon, my son walks her at night and, on days when she still doesn’t seem to get enough exercise, I will run 5K with her.

An excited dog as we head out for a rainy run.

This is the first dog that I have had to run with.  I honestly knew nothing about training a dog to run with its owner so it has been weeks of trial and error.  I quickly learned that morning runs are slower, only because she likes to spend more time sniffing the ground presumably covered in morning-fresh dog pee, and that I need to constantly be on the lookout for squirrels or any other four-legged creature worth chasing.

Since early November, we’ve been running together once or twice a week for 5k to 8k.  Zeda’s 5K time is anywhere between 26 and 29 minutes, with only two or three breaks to relieve herself.   Since my only goal when running with her is to tire her out while adding some easy miles to my log, that pace is great.  And Zeda gets what she wants: a chance to run.

I am so happy to have a new running partner.  Rain, snow, warm or cold, Zeda is always keen to leash up and keep me company.  And who knows?   Maybe I’ll be able to get her to toe (or claw) a line.