I often write about my morning runs and all things crazy and sometimes scary associated with them. A lot can happen in the dark of the morning and I take the necessary precautions to avoid any kind of danger.
Running is such an emotional and physical release of energy for me that it allows me to stop focusing on my fear of the dark. I embrace it along with the stillness of the morning.
This morning as I was coming up on my last hill of my last mile, I was sharply startled by a loud "WOOF". I jumped a bit, but was calmed to know the voice of the dog came from the other side of the fence and so I just kept on running.
Then, I felt a wet sensation at the heels of both my feet and as my heart skipped a beat, I looked over my shoulder to confront the danger. Licking at my fleeting legs was THE dog, following every strike of my feet. I calmed myself by going through all the lessons I learned as a child if I dog were to chase me. Don't run! Walk! Don't Panic!
I slowed my pace to a walk as my heart began to beat rapidly. When I walked, she walked and I was able to claim her as a gentle Rottweiler. That fierce, yet sweet face is identifiable anywhere. If she hadn't attacked by this point, I knew she was only befriending me.
So I as gradually increased my pace, she began to tag along and my most feared enemy quickly became my safest ally, my partner, my confidant. I feared for her life as we ran down a busy street with the early morning traffic. No leash, no collar, no identity. Just simply...my friend.
"Where is your Mommy?" I shouted, as if I expected an answer. "Don't run in the street! Be careful! Don't cross before the light turns green!" The rest of the way home, I galloped as she peed and I talked as she wagged her tail as if she enjoyed the companionship.
My friend followed me all the way to the my door. I told her to sit and she obediently obliged. I brought her some water and she refused. I went back inside as I contemplated what to do and when I came back out, my friend was gone.
Sometimes if we take a risk and face our fears, we might learn that doing things are easier than we could have ever expected. If we always play it safe and don't challenge ourselves to step outside of our comfort zone, we may miss out on the opportunity to experience life's little treasures.
I hope is she is okay. I feel bad that she left me before we had a chance to say good-bye. But I know she served her purpose today and hopefully we'll have another chance encounter soon.