I started running this morning, and, as usual, started making a list of all the reasons I hated running in the country: the skunk that met me at the edge of our yard, the deer that made me turn into Russell from the Disney movie Up, clapping three times to get them out of my way, the garbage truck that kicked up dust as it passed.
However, once I hit the hard road, I was back to liking being out here, running alone in the early morning light.
Alone, until I passed my cousins' house and their beloved chocolate lab joined me.
"Go HOME, Remington."
Remington is part of the pair of labs my cousins got around the time we had our first dog. They were a pair. They would disappear for days, spending one Christmas in Doggie Jail (i.e., the pound). They were often trucked home by friends as far as five miles away, and were always frolicking with each other...just not in their own yard. They're friendly, not jumpy, not barky, but not homebodies.
Unfortunately, Gunnar, the yellow lab of the pair, was killed on one of their adventures. Remington can be found out and about, but not as adventurous as when she had her buddy.
However, this morning, she was up for a run. So, she trotted alongside me up to the next neighbor's house, and when I turned around and she didn't, I thought I was safe to go on my way.
Not so fast.
She sprinted ahead of me, blazing past, stopping just long enough to poop, and then started again. We passed her house, and even though I called for her to go home, she kept going with me.
As we neared the corner where our road meets the hard road, I knew she would go home, as this was the corner where she can sometimes be found hanging out with the other neighbor's dogs. I thought now I was free to trudge back. I went a little farther and a little faster today, and was hurting. Remington turned the corner with me, and by my side, she kept me going, all the way to my yard, where she promptly set up shop on our deck and snacked on Sadie's (our dog) dog food.
As Joe hauled Remington back to my cousin's house, I realized how nice it was to have a canine companion this morning. I wasn't as skittish as I neared the corner where I sighted the skunk, and when the corn rustled, obviously not from the wind, Remington headed towards it and scared whatever it was away. I just kept going.
Maybe I could make this running with Remington a new thing.
Maybe it would keep her out of doggie jail!