Shuba, the sweetest German shorthaired pointer you’d ever meet, is my running partner. And yes, she has four legs, and what I like to call a baby tail.
Shuba came to live with us three years ago in October 2011. My dad had passed away in July and our other dog, Domino, was starting to slow down. For whatever reason, we decided it was time Domino had a sibling, so we went to the local Animal Care and Control website and found Shuba.
We went out the Animal Care and Control, met Shuba and decided to bring her into our home. But first, Shuba would have to meet Domino. Domino and Shuba met the next day at the shelter. They got along great and a day or two after that, we brought Shuba home.
Almost immediately, Shuba became my running partner. When I previously ran with Domino, he’d stop frequently to sniff and pee. With Shuba, it was go all out. Until it was time to pee. She’d stop in her track and squat to pee. She was like a boat anchor.
I found that by running with her my speed improved. She forced me to run faster than what I was comfortable with. The payoff came in 2013 when I set PRs in the 5K, 10K, 4-mile and half marathon distances.
Over last winter I ran less with Shuba. I was running on ice and packed snow and I didn’t want her pulling me over, so I left her home. As spring turned to summer, I ran with her less often. I found a new comfort zone that did not include Shuba. Well, I think I made a mistake. My 5K, 10K and half marathon times were all slightly slower than a year ago. Maybe leaving Shuba at home slowed me down enough that I lost what little speed I have. This fall, I’ve taken Shuba out more. She seems happy running again. I just need to run in places where squirrels, rabbits and even deer are scarce.
If you want to read other blogs on four-legged running partners check out www.runningwithollie.com