Sunday 26 February 2012

Yogi (the original dog with a bone)

It was early evening. Six inches of snow had just fallen, and I was annoyed. I was fully dressed in winter wear, a down-filled coat, Sorel boots, wool hat and gloves. I rushed down the barely visible sidewalk, stressed that I was going to miss yet another bootcamp class.  Determined to lose the cruel mid-life weight that was making an early (haha) appearance, I had joined a local women’s-only club several months before.  Tonight, however, the newly-adopted creature on the other end of the leash was demanding my precious time.

I was not in a regretful mood. I loved the new addition to our family. Our American-born son had been jailed in Texas for 3 years, his only crime being that he resembled a wolf. It was little more than a miracle that our family, north of the 49th, adopted him. But this night, I was running late, and he was the cause. I quickened our pace and, as we neared the end of our street a mere 400 meters from where we started, our walk turned into a jog.

As we reached the next side street, I told myself: This will shave off a few minutes.  Maybe I will make my class on time after all. We rounded the corner, I was amazed that I was not gasping for air.  I had not run in decades, and the few times I did, it did not go well. With each step, the expectation that pain was imminent, grew in me. We circled the next block and, amazingly, we were still jogging – my toes slamming into the tops of my boots, my body overheating under my heavy coat. I was in shock. Why did this feel so good?

That was the night my dog turned me into a runner. Since then, Yogi and I have rounded many corners together – the husky half-breed pulling me to go faster and faster. His frequent need to mark his territory gave me the necessary breaks to catch my breath and rebuild my strength. I have never had a more determined trainer. To this day, two and a half years later, the original dog with a bone, still demands that we train together for a joyful 30 minutes a day.


  1. Puppyyyyyyy, what a good boy! Amazing what a great training partner a pet can be. W2G!

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