Long Day Starts with a Run

Long Day Starts with a Run

When I got up this morning, I had no idea my day would be so full. Although to be fair, recently, I’ve spent most of my time holding the sofa down or making sure that my beds don’t accidentally levitate or anything. The HVAC went out in the house – glad I’m a dog and don’t have to pay for that, or make phone calls about it, or whatever it is that Doctor Disco has been doing – and it’s been hot. HOT. I mean, we live in the South, the super southerly south, and it’s been so hot, and so humid, and the landlord has not particularly wanted to fix the AC. I have spent a lot of time lying on the cool hardwood floor, but I’m rather fond of my soft bed. But soft beds tend to hold heat, and heat is not what I need right now.

So we finally got a new HVAC (it took 3 months and there was some discussion of a “first born,” which is mildly worrying), and we’ve begun to get our normal sleep patterns back. For me, that’s roughly 23 hours a day of napping, sleeping, or otherwise reclining.

I’m a loud sleeper, to be fair. I snore, and I grunt, and I groan, and I have dreams. I have a couple of repetitive dreams: I’m chasing a rabbit in tall grass, or I’m barking at a scary something I can’t quite smell or see. The first one is the good dream, and my feet twitch. The second one is the bad dream, and I bark in my sleep. I sort of bark. It’s not a fully articulated bark, but close. Anyway – I also do something that Doctor Disco refers to as “being on a conference call” in my sleep, and which causes her all manner of laughter and jocularity. Essentially, she says it sounds like I’m on the phone. And I talk like the adults in Charlie Brown.

I am not amused.

I am, however, becoming well rested. Or at least I was.

This morning, Doctor Disco woke up and immediately put on clothes. Not just any clothes, but RUNNING CLOTHES. This requires me to take a particular stance, you understand. I have to stay as close to her as possible until we get out the door just to make sure she doesn’t forget me. I keep my ears at attention, and I stay ALERT to any movements she makes. I need to be aware of all the material she brings with us on our runs, in order to best plot our route and determine how long we will be gone, and how far we will likely go. I’m responsible for navigation, of course. She thinks she sets the course, but I’m the one who really decides. Trust me on this.

So, not to imply that Doc is LAZY or anything, but the classes she teaches this semester don’t start until the afternoon, and so her getting out of bed early enough for us to have a run when it’s still cool out is rare. But this morning was different, much to my surprise. She was up and out of bed and throwing on those running clothes like her hair was on fire and her tail was catching. Uh, if she had a tail.

So we went to our favorite trail and ran about 4 miles – it was cool enough so that I didn’t struggle (ok, maybe towards the end) and it was clear weather, and pretty sunshine – all the things that we want in a run.

It was glorious to be able to hit the trails and smell all the smells and see all the things – the trail is extremely well maintained, but it’s used by a lot of people, so we don’t get to see quite as much wildlife as I would like to chase, but beggars, choosers, all that. The woods were particularly lovely – very green, if Doc’s word can be trusted (as I’m a dog, I’m not 100% sure about colors) and I can’t imagine she would lie about how lovely and green things were.

We saw a couple of rabbits on the trail, as we passed through the Briar Patch section of the trail (it leads to the area Doc refers to as the Kool Aid Factory because of how strong the flowers on the kudzu smell when they bloom – boy, if she only knew how strong they were to me. It’s like running through a perfume factory where they have also spilled kool aid in vats of sugar).

I knew I couldn’t catch my Lagomorpha Leporidae friends because they had such a jump on me (ha – see what I did there?) but I had to give chase just for form’s sake. What would Doc think if I didn’t? So I did, and the two hares dashed into the brambles surrounding the trail. The thickets of blackberry bushes and other rough undergrowth set off an area that appeared to be the rabbits’ front door – it was an archway, rather looking of gothic origin, and it was clear that my rabbit friends knew their way through this briar patch quite well.

I didn’t ring the bell, obviously, as it was really early and I didn’t want to wake any of their warren-mates, and also, they had been quite fast. I took that to mean that they weren’t receiving at the moment, so I trotted to catch up with Doc. She was, as always, sweating profusely and very glad to have me by her side. She had stopped to look in the front door of the rabbits’ home, which I thought a bit on the rude side, but she could hardly be blamed. It’s not like she understands the customs of us four-legged ones. I’ve had to apologize for her gaffes before, but as I said earlier, the rabbits were not receiving, so I felt we were in the clear.

By this point, we had run a good many loops around the trails, and I was beginning to flag. Doc seemed fine, though, and ready to continue. I could tell, though, that she was ready to return to the car and have a drink, so I led us out of the forest and back to civilization with nary a wrong turn or question as to direction. My nose and sense of place are unparalleled.

The fact that we had a trail to follow was not, of course, what got us out. My brilliant nose prevented us from getting lost, as it always does.

We returned home sweaty (ok, Doc was sweaty, I don’t sweat) and tired, but happy. I hope we go again tomorrow. Life is always better after a run.

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