Marley has a job this week that is not mentioned in lists of the ways that dogs help us: He is my marathon recovery buddy. His guardian knows how much we love to have him visit, so she asked me if I would be interested in watching him while she is traveling for work the week after my first marathon. As an experienced marathon runner, she knew what an asset he would be to me. I knew I would enjoy him, but the degree to which he helped me recover was a pleasant surprise.
This is a dog who goes with the flow, is laid back and knows how to relax. In other words, he is everything I am not, but everything I need to be to make my recovery as smooth as possible.
I need some extra sleep now, but it’s hard to take the time when I have so much to do. Marley’s inspiration helped me out there. Seeing him take a snooze on a cool fall afternoon gave me just the push I needed to spend 30 minutes doing what my body needed me to do—sleep. I seriously doubt that I would have napped without his fine example.
I don’t feel much like walking, but Marley is working hard to maintain his youthful figure, so those extra miles are a must. The gentle activity is good for me, and I am grateful that he gets me out the door.
Yesterday I headed out for a short run, which was my first since the race. Marley’s contribution on this occasion was preventing me from going too fast. He’s no speedster so even at my easy pace, he was lagging behind. I might have accidentally gone too fast and subjected my body to more pounding than it could handle, but Marley’s “take time out to sniff the world” approach to running kept me in check.
Marley is always great company, but especially when I’m not as active as usual and spending more time at home. I am glad to have one of my favorite buddies around 24/7.
Dogs play so many roles in our lives, but marathon recovery buddy is one that’s new to me. Has your dog performed a job for you that you did not expect or did not even know existed before?
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