My name is Zeda and I am a rescue dog who just turned 5 years old. At the beginning of May, without even asking me, my hu-mom signed me up for this really long walk across Tennessee: The Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee. It’s a little more than 1000 kilometres but I don’t have to walk it all at once; I just need to finish it before the end of August. My mom was really excited about it because she loves to walk with me.
Mom and I walked almost 500 kilometres in May and June. We were out a few times a day, I ate really well and I slept all through the night. I was the happiest dog in town. But one night in July, humans starting lighting fireworks and that scared me. I hid in the basement until all of the noise stopped. The next night, my mom took me for a walk and I heard those scary sounds again. I tried to bolt across the street so that I could run back home but my mom wouldn’t let me. So I dragged her home instead. It was a lot of work but we were both safe.
For some reason, Mom kept taking me out at night and, sometimes, I’d hear those “booms” again. Every time I did, I pulled my hu-mom back home to protect her. Now, whenever it is almost dark, I just stand on the driveway and watch and listen. I need to keep my family safe. If I think there are going to be loud, scary noises, I won’t let anyone take me for a walk. I need to stay home and protect everyone.
Now we aren’t walking much at all. During the day, it’s been too hot for me, even when Hu-mom brings my water bottle or we find a puddle to drink from. Other times, we start to go for a walk and I suddenly want to go home. So, since July 1st, we have only walked about 233 kilometres.
I hear my parents talking at night but I can’t really figure out what they are saying – something about me being anxious. They know that something is bothering me but can’t figure out what it is. Heck, I don’t even know what it is. I just feel scared sometimes and don’t know why. All of my people have tried to take me for a walk but, most times, I just don’t want to leave the house.
Today, I have 268 kilometres left to finish. I think that’s a lot because Mom says that I am not going to finish the GVRAT-1000 before August 31st. I guess that’s what you get when you sign me up for something without talking to me about it first. But Mom isn’t mad at me. That’s actually kind of weird because she can take this running and walking stuff pretty seriously. But Mom says that we’ll just keep tracking distance and cross the finish line in September.