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A run with Roy

Posted: October 7, 2009 10:33 p.m.
Updated: October 8, 2009 4:55 a.m.
Roy is scratching on the garage door frantically like the dog catcher is after him. I grab his harness and leash and head back for the kitchen. Roy is waiting, backing up and nodding his head like a new dance move.

And the second the door opens, he’s in.

The way people can make entrances in a room is quite different than the way dogs can. Some people naturally fill the room with a glow. And others just blend in with the background. With Roy, it’s a mixture of both.

For one thing, there’s no glow at 8:30 p.m. since it’s already dark out. And Roy is black, so he manages to disappear into the abyss we like to call my front hallway, blending in with the darkness.

Ten minutes later, when I finally find him, I put his harness on him and we’re off. One step out the door. Stop. Finding the perfect song to run to is the key to running. Now we’re off.

A city at night is full of excitement. The way the streetlights flicker on and off adds to the journey. And the random strangers who love to lurk in the shadows are always great company.

We finally get to the incredibly big hill and Roy runs as fast as he can. And with the right song, I am right next to him. Dodging others with dogs makes this journey even more of a challenge. Roy hates dogs. It’s as simple as that. I’m pretty sure he thinks he’s a cat.

The one time I took Roy to the dog beach, he spent half his time growling at dogs twice his size and the other half crawling away from the waves.

I had scratches on my arms for weeks from trying to get Roy to sit with me near the water. And for all the dog lovers who said, “Aw, how cute — he’s scared, I replied, “No, he’s not. He thought this was going to be a cat beach.”

Roy hates me right now.

But at least there are no waves when we’re running through the city. We’re at the peak of our journey when Roy decides to leave his mark on the sidewalk, which slows me down entirely. But we made it. There’s a great park we run to every night that is all the way up here. I can let him off the leash, and with no one else around, he is free. This is what I run for. Just Roy and me running around in no particular pattern under the stars.

Even the perfect song doesn’t make me happier than this moment.

A run with Roy. Everyone should have one.


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