Need to clear your head after a long day of writing? The Rx for me is often a long run. The fresh air, exercise and change of scenery often inspire me and get the creative juices flowing. Most of my writer/runner friends are nervous about hitting the trails without a partner. For many, the buddy system makes us accountable and feels safer. If you have a big dog like mine (a former pound hound), a running buddy is ready to go at a moment's notice. But for those runners who long for a furry bodyguard, the answer is as close as your local animal shelter.
In the October issue of Runner's World magazine, a terrific piece titled "Pace A Pooch" highlights SPCA and human societies with running programs. Runners have a buddy, and the workouts help the dogs find a new home. Overweight dogs lose lbs. and increased exercise often means less behavioral problems. Runners can pick up a dog for each mile, or train one friend to go the distance. Sounds like a win-win to me!
Programs currently exist in Seattle http://www.getfitwithfido.org/, Washington D.C. http://www.washhumane.org/ and Tulsa http://www.tulsaspca.org/ or contact your local animal shelter (enter zip code at http://www.pets911.com/.