I previously mentioned the dog. The dog's name is actually Cookie. She was a rescue we picked up in April 2007 against my better feelings, but completed based on the premise that all kids should have the dog experience. My kids were about 11 and 13 at the time. I grew up in the dogs are for outside era. Dogs inside require an effort, especially a high strung cattle dog type. I ran the math and knew the dog would be here way past my children leaving and I was dead right. It's safe to say you had to firmly coax them to take her out for a walk or even get some quality play time in. For a kid, or teenager that's about 5 minutes. My kids aren't runners, but when told they had to take the dog around the 1 kilometer block they sure found a way to run that.
My wife has always done yeoman duties in walking the dog. For many years I also ran the dog consistently. The dog piled up mileage and I'm sure it tamped down some of her anxiety, but many times it seemed it only left her wanting more. Around 2014 we moved in with my Sis-in-law and that was a dog house. There was always 3-4 dogs there total and this allowed me to break the running contract the dog believed we had. I rarely ran her. Then in 2016 we purchased a house and it was back to the wife, dog, and me. I still did not run her, but did continue to participate in the occasional 30-45 minute walk.
The dog is 12. It is cold, snowy, and windy already here in WI. Not a big deal for me, but circumstances change for people and they have for us. I'm talking specifically about the dog exercise duties and her workout plan. Somehow she realizes less will happen with her outside in the winter, but it does not stop what people call hope. If a door is opened, I'm putting different clothing on, or one specific drawer is opened where the plastic crap bags happen to be then she is suddenly fully engaged. I'll be honest, I though at 12 she would be calmer. Her and I only tolerate each other. Though in fairness that has been the way with almost all the pets we have owned. I don't care for animals in the house, but you can't fight city hall.
Anyone who owns a dog knows how smart they are. They are also forgiving and can be comical at times because how predictable they are. Every show that was ever on at our house that has a bell, siren, et cetera, she let's you know about it. She hates it and won't stop until you find a solution. If I watch PTI I have to mute the bell. Family Feud...no way. Big Brother...you have to put her upstairs. Somehow she has memorized the voices or the shows beginning music. A few years ago I ran with her through a neighborhood we hadn't been through for years, but used to be a regular route. Every freakin' house we went by that used to have dog come out and challenge us she remembered.
So we been running in the evenings together about 4 times a week. I'm slower and she is slower, but we are getting it done. After 3 weeks of this she is better at what is expected and I have yielded to a few of her requests. Maybe I'm getting soft, but of all the people on earth who appreciates running for just the sake of doing it, how can I not share this experience with her. We don't like each other any more because of it, but at the end of the day it is better we both just get this done. And that is that.