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Champion Puppy

When we were in the process of getting Darcy, Nate and I each had our wish list of what we wanted in a dog.  Of course, we can't really control these things when we are picking a dog, but still we had certain expectations that we were hoping would be fulfilled.  No pressure, Darcy.

Nate wanted a dog who could swim and who could catch a frisbee.

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Check.

Check.

I wanted a dog who would cuddle and go on runs with me.

Check.

And...

So the running thing wasn't really happening.  Darcy's still a little too young to go on long runs but I still wanted to train her to run next to me for short distances.

I tried a few methods of training her to run.

My first attempts involved lots of piece of hot dog that I would periodically treat her with.  It worked well when I had the hot dogs but once I was all out.. forget about it.

My second attempt was to start a routine with Darcy.  I would take her around my block each morning to try to get her used to running.  Well, that didn't go so well either.  She would run.  But it was incredibly slow.  She would be as far behind me as the leash would allow.  I tried to use my Pure Barre instructor tactics to give her words of encouragement.  "Fight for that change in your body!"  She was happy as can be the entire time as she trotted along.  But oh so slow.

I wasn't completely ready to give up and when I heard about a local trail run that allowed dogs, I decided to sign us up.  My expectations were low.  It was only a 2 mile run and I figured worse case, we would just have a nice long walk together.  The event was hosted by Paws4ever and benefited their shelter and animal protection.  To find out more about this incredible organization, click here.

When the race started, I was completely surprised.

Darcy sprinted off.

She ended up basically dragging me the whole way.  Her competitive instincts must have kicked in.  I was impressed that she was able to navigate the trail -- it was quite twisty-turny.  But she knew exactly where to go.  She even stopped to relieve herself at which point someone passed us.  After we started off again she got on their heels and we passed them.

And she won!

We were the first person-dog duo to cross the finish line.

I was so proud.

So proud.

Love my little champion puppy.

So Nate and I both got what we wanted :)  I guess it just has to be some sort of competition in order to get her going.

To all those dog owners, what expectations did you have for your dog?  Did they meet them?