Wednesday, 21 December 2011

By chance running companion

I'm house sitting for my friend; it's more pet sitting than house sitting really. Two labs, one Jack Russell and a cat. The Jack Russell, Rikki, has the cutest face but a typically naughty temperament; but that said he is better behaved with me on my own than when I've been a visitor.

I took him out for a run on Friday evening and he's a nice running companion. He's good most of the time, only going crazy when he sees other dogs behind gates and as he isn't my dog and I'm not sure how well he interacts with other dogs, I keep us at a good distance. With me, he gets little leeway to bark at other dogs because I keep the pace and whisk him away without missing a step. I'm sure I spoil all of his fun. We went walking on Saturday evening and he was also very good.

Last night I took him out for another run around the neighbourhood. We're getting more comfortable with each other. Nearing home I saw a guy running with a rottweiller, not on a leash. I took a different route but nearing home noticed the guy and dog approaching.

Rikki, on a leash, went ballistic - the rottie was very well behaved. I told the 'dad' that this wasn't my dog and that I wasn't sure what to do with him around other dogs. After a while I put the little dog on the ground and he calmed down quickly, making friends with Rex, the rottie, as I chatted to his dad, Jason. He was taking Rex home - the dog was pooped and not being a great running buddy that evening (it was quite hot still) - and said he would head out to run more. I suggested that I'd be happy to join him after putting Rikki inside. He agreed and we decided to meet on the corner a few minutes later.

It turned into a lovely run going into dark - much cooler than the evening had been. And it was great that I could get in more of a run, which I'd been considering doing anyway after dropping Rikki at home but I certainly wouldn't have gone so far and nor would I have had a route as interesting.

This is the thing with running - provided you're not in a rush, it can be easy to make running buddies. In past years I've occasionally picked up a running buddy on a run; easy when you're going in the same direction and are from the same neighbourhood. The cool thing is that my friend whose house I'm looking after is also a runner - I'll introduce him to Jason and Rex when he gets back and they can run together too - they live a block apart.

For now, I've got a run scheduled with Jason on Thursday evening. It's great 'cos he obviously knows this suburb and adjacent areas really well so I'm seeing parts of the area that I've never been through before. His company is appreciated - it can get dull always running on your own, as I usually do - and with company I'm getting in slightly longer runs than I'd do on my own. All good and three cheers for this festive running season.

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