Saturday, 27 October 2007

In Honour Of Austin...

As I was still fatigued last night I decided I would do a shorter run today and keep it under 1.5 hours. Tricia and I started out together, but as I crossed the street from the coffee shop, where we started, I realized she was no longer beside me! When I turned to see where she was, I could see she had turned around to greet our friend Paddy, who had arrived a smidge late.

I turned around and ran over to meet both of them and tease Paddy about her tardiness. As I got closer to Paddy and the car I realized something wasn't right. Paddy was visibly upset and about to leave. Tricia and I asked what was wrong as she was completely sobbing now - and we learned that Paddy and her family had to put down their beloved dog, Austin. We both gave Paddy a big hug and let her cry for a while. It was truly heartbreaking.

I have to say, I loved that dog. He was this HUGE Malamute who was 15 years old - and in my opinion a 10 out of 10 on the hugability scale. The last few years had taken their toll on the big guy and he could no longer walk and had stopped eating. So the family made a hard decision.

As a pet owner I understand how upset Paddy was. Losing a four legged friend is as painful as losing a two legged one. Non petowners wouldn't understand I don't think.

Tricia and I convinced Paddy to come for a run anyways so she'd be with friends and could talk about what happened. I tried to make Paddy laugh by assuring her, when she commented that she looked like crap, that she is a triathlete and we are used to seeing her caked in sweat and snot. I also assured her that the fact she was all congested from the crying would work her cardio system harder, which was a good thing. She put on a brave face and off we went.

We decided to run to Fosters as it is a shorter run and through the trails, so a peacful run too. As we ran Paddy was able to tell us all that had happened during the week. As we went along I could tell she was feeling a little bit better with each step. The more we ran the more the topics shifted and it began to feel like a normal Saturday run.

We ended up running about 1:15 hours. It was a nice pace and I think Paddy felt much better afterwards. When we got back to the cafe and met up with the rest of the gang, I couldn't help but think what a special thing we have going on here. As a group we have supported each other through good times and bad: loss of pets, family and friends; serious illness; failed relationships; new relationships; race accomplishments and letdowns. Thankfully, there are more good times than bad and lots of things to celebrate!!

If you are ever feeling low, head on down to Guy's Cafe on Saturday to get a big group hug and be prepared to start feeling better and laughing!

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