We got Sadie as a pup when we lived in Wyoming and she cut her running teeth in the Med Bow Mountains. She fell through the ice of a beaver pond at Happy Jack, outside of Laramie and had to be pulled out.
She has been to the top of Mt. Elbert in Colorado. She ran on the Appalachian Trail in Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina. And most recently she has run in the Sandias outside of Albuquerque.
Sadie on her 2nd birthday doing a 50K outside of Asheville, NC.
Sadie at Hope Pass.
I can only estimate the number of miles we have run together. Let's say 30 miles a week, 50 weeks a year, for 8 years. That gives us about 12,000 miles.
I always feel safer when Sade is with me. She has never had to protect me, but I think she offers protection just by being there.
Sadie has started hanging back on our runs. There have been days when she balks about certain routes. For instance, she hates the yucca loop, but generally loves running in the snow. Initially, she was just picky about our routes. Now she is more consistently indicating that she doesn't want to go more than a couple of miles, regardless of the route.
I have to accept that she is done. She just doesn't want to run anymore. I always thought that Sadie would quit running only if and when she was too stiff and old to really run. I didn't think she would just lose motivation. And yes, I have had her thoroughly checked by the vet.
Not having Sadie with me has caused me to question whether I want to continue running. Maybe she's right. Maybe we are both ready to drop back to hiking instead of running. But Sadie has brought up her replacement. She has trained Zumi to chase rabbits, run on the trail, and greet hikers and runners we encounter.
I love Sadie. I love her enough to let her stop running. And Zumi is ready to begin her 12,000 mile journey.