I’m watching our older dog, a large lab, begin to lose strength in is back legs. It has been happening for awhile, but all of a sudden it feels as though he declined rapidly. While our little pup is my main running partner, whenever I hit a trail they both get to come along. Just last year there were multiple-hour-long runs and hikes that we could all enjoy together. Now, one of my favorite, but very steep, trails is getting to be too much. Even after just a short while, it is hard to watch him struggle to get up the steps as he tires and I think it’s time we let that trail go.
The flip side to my sadness at seeing his pain is that he could join me on those long runs for so long! He is nearly 12 years old. I used to think of dogs as fit no matter the exercise they got, but of course, that isn’t the case at all. Dogs help keep us active because we get out walking them, and we play a huge role in making sure to keep them active by getting them out walking and running with us! And when we do, I think it pays off in helping them stay happy and healthy as long as possible.