I want to tell you about the best part of my mornings, but first let me introduce you to Jeff Lebowowski.
Jeff is a 2 year-old Goldendoodle that we got as a puppy from a rescue (yep, even ‘designer dogs’ can be adopted from rescues!).
As a puppy, Jeff was a cute, roly-poly, teddy bear with the bubble belly that’s just made for rubs and pats. We pictured him growing into a shorter, stocky, furball not unlike yours truly.
We didn’t know he’d grow into a svelte, long legged athletic doggo.
Jeff can stay in bed all morning like an emo teenager listening to The Cure, but once he’s up he’s very high energy. He likes to run. Fast.
More specifically, he loves to run and be chased. He’s got awesome juke moves that’ll make you jump out of your shoes. Yep, this boy’s a runnin’ fool.
Even with all the negativity in the world these days, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my life since I retired. I’m grateful for the free time that I now have, and the best part of my day for the past few months has been the mornings when Jeff and I take our walk around the neighborhood.
For the past few months, the first thing I do is wake ‘n bake with a dab of cannabis concentrate. I prefer Jack Herer or some variant of it. It’s a good morning strain that puts me a calm and creative mood, but I can still get things done. Then I throw on a pair of comfy slip-ons, get Jeff suited up in his harness, and we’re out the door. We typically crisscross through the neighborhood for 30-45 minutes while I listen to a podcast, or think about my day, or I don’t think about anything and just enjoy the brisk morning air and sun on my face. The neighborhood is quiet after the morning rush. And we’re not in a hurry, but we keep a steady pace so Jeff hopefully gets somewhat tired.
Jeff does pretty good on a leash, but he gets excited when he sees other dogs and of course…squirrels!
But lately he’s been getting more excited at the very beginning of the walk. It’s something that he really looks forward to now, and he’s learned (or I have) when it’s time to go.
One day last week he was really antzy, and was pulling on the leash more than usual shortly after we started.
Then he saw a squirrel, and I knew I had to do something quickly to get his attention back to the walk.
So I double timed it like I’ve done a couple times before. But instead of gearing back down to my normal pace, I kept it up and we went to the end of the block.
That’s not a big deal for most people, but I was out of breath after ~800 feet. I’ve been a sedentary professional for most of my adult life. I can double time it down the block for a little bit, but I max out quickly.
But I noticed something interesting this time. Usually when I’m out of breath I need a few minutes to recover. This time I was able to catch my breath quickly. And because of the cooler morning air, my lungs didn’t burn as much.
We double timed it for another half block.
Jeff was ecstatic. He looked back a couple times with a goofball look of confusion to see if he should keep running. We did.
We finished that walk more tired than usual.
And I knew what I needed to do…