“No running.” It’s one of my guiding principles, along with “Stick to dirt roads whenever possible” and “You can never have too much ketchup.” But recently I had to break it when I got a puppy. For her first few months, Bertie’s energy was quickly exhausted by any activity—a romp around the yard, an especially large poo. But around the six-month mark, her legs doubled in size, her ribs became barrel shaped, and she began unleashing terror like an aspiring jihadist.
So one morning, as I woke to the sound of Bertie pulling a curtain from the bedroom window, I rose, put on my wife’s running shoes (I have none), and headed for the park with the pup. I hacked and wheezed. Something in my knee popped like a wet log in a fire. But Bertie jumped up and down in front of me, so excited that we were doing something other than watching movies on the couch that her big caramel eyes were practically shooting sparks. That was three months ago, and we’ve more or less kept to the routine. We only go a mile to the park and then straight back. But I’ll admit that sometimes I’ll catch Bertie eyeing the leash near the door, and I’ll lift my brows to her, thinking, Whadya say?