A post from Canicross Quebec on Facebook on Monday morning led with:
Courir avec deux jambes, c’est bien. Mais avec six, c’est encore mieux. C’est justement ce en quoi consiste le canicross, une activité sportive où chien et maître courent de concert.
At the time I clicked ‘like,’ I had no idea that one of my two canine running partners had run her last the day before. Liska, our 4-year old border collie/lab, succumbed to an acute onset paralysis, and by Tuesday morning had no feeling or mobility below her shoulder blades.
She left us late yesterday morning, and I cried harder and longer than I had in many years.
Our dogs have been my running partners, life partners, for as long as I can remember. They have always been members of our family: caretakers, nap companions, roadtrip co-pilots, confidants, co-adventurers, and of course, training partners. More than perhaps anyone, they, and Liska in particular, have taught me about camaraderie, persistence, routine, selfless compassion, and loyal friendship.
I know that my interactions with our other dog, Dragon, a nearly 3-year old husky/greyhound cross, will evolve as we both come to terms with the loss of our mutual friend; I know we have many more adventures to come with him; I know that someday we will most likely adopt another puppy, and like all of the dogs in my life, it will be black, it will be fast, and it will be loved.
For now, I take solace in the time that Liska and I had together, and the life she helped me to make whole, the support of my family and friends, and the memories I’ll always have.