Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Wanna go for a run?

This morning the young dog (Jake) and I were up at 6:30 to go for a run. With December 21st rapidly approaching, we were off in the darkness, as the stars met the first rays of the coming dawn. Jake and I like to run at Mundy Park, which is less than a 10 minute drive from our house. Yes I feel a little silly driving to go for run, but Mundy's fantastic trails are leash-optional until 10am, and I think it's better for humans and canines to run at their own pace on natural surfaces whenever possible. Plus you can't beat the scenery in the middle of the city.

We parked at our usual spot, Jake wearing his bear bell and me armed with a small light. It was light enough to walk along the street to the trail, but once inside the park, the trees provided an effective blanket of darkness. I turned on my light and started running. There's something peaceful about being alone in a natural setting, being vulnerable in the dark. Jake is large enough and intimidating-looking enough that I don't worry about human or wildlife dangers. I let my feet hit the ground and enjoy the fresh air and silence.

On the agenda for the morning is for me to review some anxiously awaited lab results for a sick young dog with a worried family. But I don't think about that. I run on in the darkness. Occasionally we run into other joggers, and once, another dog, one of the "regulars", who wears a flashing green light. I see a green light approach, hear the jingle of Jake's bell, then suddenly there is a circular motion of flashing green and jingling as the dogs engage in appropriate canine greetings.

Pretty soon we don't need our light. The pink edges of sunlight rise as the stars disappear one by one against a deep blue background. We near the edge of the park, Jake heels to my left, and we head back to the car, to the first coffee of the morning and the pending labwork.