Running. With 0.5 Wolfpack.


Kids: “Dad, People just don’t do that. It’s weird.”
Dad: “Listen, I’m not People.”
Kids: Eyes roll. Whispering to each other, don’t we know that.

My text message is sent to the neighbors the night before.
“…Will Anya be free to come out to play in the morning?”
Text message comes zipping back.
“…Of course. We’ll leave the door unlocked, and the leash by the door.”

This has become a weekend routine.

She now knows what’s coming when the leash is by the door. She hears the car pull up, its daybreak. I walk up to the door, there’s a soft “woof” – she’s been waiting. I can hear the pitter patter of her paws on the wood floor. I open the door and she bounds out, ready to join her new BFF.

When you lose your dog, when the wounds are still fresh, and you haven’t / can’t replace your dog, what do you do?  You borrow the neighbor’s Dog, of course. It’s not weird, it’s a bloody necessity. 0.5 Wolfpack is better than no Wolfpack at all.

It’s 35° F, chilly, but I’m not feelin’ it, not today. The Park is empty but for a few scampering squirrels rustling the thick carpet of leaves. And that’s exactly how we like it.

Anya and I step around the gate to enter the park. And there it was. I had to stop. Nothing interrupts a run, for fear of turning around and going home to the couch. But I just had to stop. We are surrounded by a Japanese garden in autumn, with a river flowing through it, but this is no Japan, but Mianus River Park in Connecticut.

Japanese Garden. Japan. Manicured Gardens. And the mind leaps to Haruki Murakami and reflections from a binge reading period including (but not limited to):  “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle,” “Hear the Wind Sing,” “Norwegian Wood,” and my first, “Kafka on the Shore,” where Murakami wrote:

“Silence, I discover, is something you can actually hear.”

Inspired by the Japanese Gardens that line the hills and trails.

Inspired by the soft morning sun reflecting the yellows, the golds, and the reds on the slow moving river, this river panting in its wait for replenishment from the snows.

And most inspired by Anya who is never more than three feet from my right ankle, at all times.

We run. And run. And run.

I lift Anya into the hatch, and get into the car. I take off my tuque and steam smothers the windshield. I wipe the mist off the rear view mirror and see Anya peeking between the two headrests in the back seat.

The message is clear:

I can no longer run without a Dog.



  • Photo: My shot at Mianus River Park this morning.
  • Related Posts: Running Series


  1. Beautiful. I’m sorry at your loss, and happy that you and Anaya bring each other such joy, comfort, and companionship.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounds like a great plan. Let them roll their eyes. (we are used to it anyway, right?)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Precious gift for both of you!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I see a new dog in the near future.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Right. Better go and get yourself one then, hadn’t you?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Beautiful…
    So sweet of your neighbors to let Anya run with you.
    So sweet of Anya.
    May you find your dog companion soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ohhh, DK, this made my heart sing, for many reasons…that you had a beautiful day out in nature, that you have a fabulous (albeit temporary) running companion in Anya, and finally that you’re thinking it’s time to bring a bit of four-legged love back into your life! Woot! Woot! Soo many lovely rescue dogs looking for homes. Can’t wait to see what happens next….

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This was so good. thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Loving it. Dress rehearsal ??? ☺

    Liked by 2 people

  10. roseanne333 says:

    Love this. Such a sweet dog, sweet neighbors….

    Liked by 1 person

  11. what a beautiful epiphany.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. You just keep borrowing the neighbor’s dog. I’m not ready yet… This did make me cry though because I am so thankful to all of our neighbors who are more than generous with their four legged friends when we are in need of some dog kisses and wags!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. We can hear silence. And in that space we always find our answers! Anya sounds gorgeous and you definitely know you are ready. 👌🌱🌿👌

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I knew it was coming. All is good. You’ll soon be running with a whole wolfpack.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Life is soooo good! Thanks for sharing. :0)

    Liked by 1 person

  16. very nice. yes, get a dog…and Anya can pick him or her out. rescue rescue. then you can all run together….

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Smiling. what a joyful post!
    this is fabulous David.
    can you envision yourself…heading up, your new running pack – You, Anya and the newbie?! Wolfpack. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Everyone needs a BFF…and Anya sounds like a balm – similar to a transplanted Japanese garden. You are a pack-man (no pun intended), need your family around you – including the four legged kind. I hope you all find yourselves ready for some more puppy love in your lives..

    Liked by 1 person

  19. It’s amazing, sometimes, how long it takes us to accept facts.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Inspired by you. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  21. What a great story.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. No way! Zeke is gone? Did I miss a post?

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Maybe in BC it is more like “toke” and coming form the Kootenays you would know that word!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Aww David, big hugs. Go get your dog.. of COURSE invite the primary caregiver to come along and help choose…

    Liked by 1 person

  25. What every body else said + ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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