Woman Who Runs with The Wolves. There's me, running naked and free through a primeval forest with my hair streaming out behind me in long golden waves and a pack of graceful beasts fanning out all around me, stopping to let out a wild high howl to the sky... Except that naked part. Okay, strike that. With forty-four years and two kids behind me, too much would jiggle. And let's face it, I got tired of my golden hair streaming right into my face when I run, so I hacked it down to a short 'do a few years ago. And well, the closest wolves in Oregon are the Wenaha pack near the Idaho border, but that's really a long ways from here.
I guess I'll have just have to settle for being a Woman Who Runs With Dog. Luckily, I can do that clothed, with short hair stuffed under my running cap, in broad daylight. For the past few weeks, I've been taking my one year old Heeler/Aussie Shepherd mix Sophie running on the Ridgeline trails with me. Unlike Evil Small Dog (my husband's Beagle/Jack Russell Terrier mix, the one who broke my arm running back in January), she is a terrific running companion. She doesn't chase squirrels or deer and she doesn't really care much for other people so she will just skirt around them on the trail. Ditto for other dogs, she's not even into playing a game of sniffy-butt, she just keeps on truckin' down the path. If she gets too far ahead, she stops and waits for me with a very patient expression, understanding that my speed and endurance are limited compared to hers.
I know that in thirteen or fourteen years, I will repay her thoughtfulness as the tables turn and I walk with her into her old age. I may even put her into a trailer and wheel her along her favorite trails as I did with my wonderful Sabre, my best buddy and running companion of my twenties and thirties. Through the arc of our life together, we will have many adventures, but I know from painful experience that the times we can run together carefree down life's trails will be limited to about a decade. My years as a runner will far exceed hers, no matter how easily she springs ahead of me through autumn's leafy wonderland this morning. So I vow to enjoy this time we have together on the planet. She's all that I could ask for in a furry partner and more. Today we'll hit the trail together and run like we're wild and free.