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Mom has been a lazy lump all week, so this morning I decided that she wasn’t allowed to sleep in; and at 5 in the morning I barked like a lunatic till she was awake. She was still a lazy bag of bones, and took for-EV-ver to get her butt out the door. We went to the trail that’s about a 20 minute drive away because it’s the shortest loop, and she looked like she was getting way too comfortable in that warm car. There have been times that she has actually gotten to the parking lot, and then turned right around and driven back home to read a book and drink coffee instead. Books and coffee are not fun for me, so I helped her drive by standing on the console and kissing her face so that she would know she was doing a good job driving *away* from the couch. She stalled still further by taking me into the compost toilet. The compost toilet is so stinky that it used to scare me senseless, but now that I’m a confident man-dog I find it interesting and try to pull her off the toilet with the leash so I can smell all the stinky corners. And finally there were no more excuses and I made her run.

Sometimes you don’t feel like running, but once you’ve gotten out the door and warmed up you have a great time. Sometimes you’re so burned out that it takes a few runs rather than a few miles to find your mojo again. I could tell by the way she was looking at her watch every 30 seconds that Mom was in that place where despite the beautiful weather, lovely surroundings, and superlative company she just didn’t want to be there. That’s what I’m here for. I make sure that Mom doesn’t turn into a lazy pile of jelly on the couch. When she starts to act like a lump, I spring into action by driving her bats if she doesn’t wear down my battery. Eventually she’ll come back around and remember why she loves running, but for now she needs some loving company to drag her (literally) up the road. Eventually I’ll catch her googling races in new and interesting places, and I’ll know that my job here is done.

–Oscar the Professional



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