Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 16 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Dog and the Reluctant Runner

The alarm clock blared. The NPR station, which at 4:45 AM broadcasts BBC news from across the globe, shattered the darkness. The reluctant runner rolled over and covered her head. The dog sighed.

Thirty minutes later, she stirred. The BBC was loudly covering a concert in Australia. The dog lifted his head. With great effort her feet hit the floor. The dog didn't yet believe. He remained coiled comfortably on his bed.

Under his watchful eye, she dressed. It was the tights that brought him to his feet. She wondered how he could instantaneously go from slumber to anticipation. Actually, she was envious. If only she could greet the cold darkness and impending exertion with such form.

Bouncing around the kitchen, he couldn't wait for the gloves and the hat. The runner was moving entirely too slow. She checked the weather on the computer. It was 28 degrees. Oh, that's warm; it shouldn't be too bad, she thought. His eyes screamed, "Huuurrrrry uuuuuupp!!"

A quick bite of banana was almost too much for him to bear. The runner dodged his hips and hops. His tail he could not stop. He didn't want to let her out of his site. Occasionally, she tries to leave without him. The runner smiled at his jovial persistence. Finally, the collar encircled his neck.

If possible, he would have cheered, but she bristled as they stepped into the darkness. It was colder and darker than she thought. He didn't notice. To the end of the driveway was as far as they got. "I'm sorry, Buddy," she said, "I just can't."

He looked confused, as she removed the leash. Enthusiasm drained from his eyes. She felt guilty. His hopping and his tail, they both stopped. "I'm sorry. We'll go later," she said. "I promise." The dog sighed. She wondered if she was telling a lie. Perhaps he wondered, too. Resigned, the dog curled tightly on his bed.

The End.

Addendum: The reluctant runner kept her promise. The dog smiled for 13 miles.


Emma said...

Molly runs with her crazy Kelpie crew at the park in the mornings. I can not even begin to compete with that kind of fun! However, in the afternoon around 5ish, she wakes, stretches and makes sure she positions herself in my eyeline. She may throw a toy at me with many wiggles, or she may just sit there patiently, sighing. The message is very clear, that it is time to get moving! I have broken a few promises of late, but we are back on the road again, a little slower, but it is happening. Good luck.

etta said...

Thanks, Emma. Isn't it amazing how our four-legged friends can put themselves right in our line of sight? Puck does the same thing. He'd stay there for hours if I could ignore him that long! But of course, I can't!

John FW said...

Etta - Perfectly done! My wife and I accumulate a guilt account every time we fail to take one or both of our dogs for [long] walks (OK, no comparison with your mileage). The aussie pleads and scolds each time we let him down and remains with that expectant look each time we step outside. We can't get away with it.

All my best -- John