There are two things about me that have been consistent throughout my life….I’m NOT a dog person and I HATE running.
But…these last five years of life have provided a whirlwind of changes. I hate to label life changes as good or bad…any change in life leads us to where we are supposed to be. Nonetheless, it’s difficult NOT to put a label on shifts in my personality that led me to two of the greatest loves my life.
First, I became a runner. I trained and trained and completed two half-marathons.
The best part about all of that training? I grew to enjoy running. Yes, ENJOY IT. WIN! My girls saw me training so much, that they developed an interest in running too! DOUBLE WIN! It also gave me something to talk about with friends that I normally would not have had much in common with. It brought my friend Tracy and I so much closer. Because I am a stay-at-home-mom and she’s a successful career woman…I have three kids and she has two fur-kids, we really didn’t have much to talk about. Until I developed a love of running. It opened up a door for us to discover that we DID, in fact, have more in common than we thought. I began to appreciate our conversations about her dogs and fundraising efforts and she began to be interested in my bragging about the most-awesome-greatest-things my kids did…like score a goal in the RIGHT goal. So, when an opportunity arose for a dogsitting adventure she trusted and hoped that I would be able to care for this sweet soul…meanwhile, she secretly knew that once Jazzy stepped into our house there was no going back. And she was right…
Outside of my humans that I love, Jazzy the Pitbull, is the light of our family. Because of her, I’ve become a “dog person.”
Although, I swear she’s more human than dog. I have to admit, when I first met Jazzy, I. Was. Scared. With everything said about Pitbulls and their track record in the media….well, I have to admit I was prejudice. The first week of our short commitment of JUST dogsitting, I was on alert. I made sure my kids knew the dangers of dogs and how we could love on her, but not get too close. After two weeks of getting to know her personality and watching her with the kids and other humans, we knew she HAD to be a part of our family. Now, we honestly feel WE are the lucky ones.
She’s never aggressive with any humans.
Sleeps on our bed.
Snuggles when we need it (and sometimes when we don’t. Can you say 65-pound LAP DOG?).
Gives kisses and GREAT hugs.
Smiles when she sleeps.
And puts up with my kids who ”LOVE” on her A LOT.
She has completed our family and life would most definitely not be the same without her.
After having Jazzy-Jazz (that’s her nickname…she’s really Jasmine, but only when she gets into the trash) for a few months, I became so much a dog person that I decided to participate in a 5k for the Race for the Rescues. And since my daughters had been relentlessly nagging me to let them run a race, I thought this was the perfect opportunity for us to do something as a family. Thank God there was a kid’s race because I’m pretty sure my girls would have smoked me in the 5k. I don’t need that embarrassment. Anyhow, at this point we had to decide if we were going to bring our Jazzy. We had only one experience with her around another dog and it didn’t bode well. The two dogs just couldn’t get along. Mostly, because the other dog was little and yappy and DID. NOT. WANT. TO. PLAY. Jazzy is a lover, but those little yappers make her defensive. We decided to try it out. The hubby would be with her while I ran the race and then we’d both be there while the kids ran. We were skeptical, but optimistic.
On the day of the race, we were up with sun to drive to L.A. Jazzy and the kids were so excited.
I was thrilled to be running again after a year of an injury hiatus. We were all happy to be together and doing something good for all of us and the pups!
What a perfect day it turned out to be!
Jazzy stole all of the glory that day and did nothing but LOVE all creatures. She was so good! She never once barked or became aggressive with little doggies. Little did we know what a CELEBRITY she was in the doggy-rescue community. Numerous amounts of many people recognized her from her rescue story…it was amazing! And the hubby loved all of the attention “Jazzy” got while he was walking her around the event. Wink, wink.
To top off the morning, our girls had a blast running the race and getting to know lots of other dogs. It was a treat for them to be able to pet so many pups AND participate in the event. We had a long discussion after the event about Jazzy, the other pups, and rescuing animals. They were now understanding how many “lives” we can all save by adopting pets from shelters or rescue organizations. It’s important for our kids to know that we may have saved Jazzy’s life physically, but she’s actually a sort of savior for us emotionally. The joy and love for her extends beyond the physical.
Now, that I’m running again, I was so excited to sign up for this year’s Race for the Rescues, only to find out we’re on vacation at the same time. The kids and I were bummed not be able to participate in such a fun, organized event again, especially now that it’s so dear to our hearts. But, there’s always next year! And now they are looking forward to participating the in fundraising aspect of the race too. My girls will talk to anyone at any time, (yep, they ARE female) so they are thrilled when they get a chance to talk about Jazzy and changing the lives of other rescue animals. Personally, I can’t wait to involve them more in the volunteering aspect of charity and hopefully next year we can all do the 10k together! Talk about CRAY-ZIE!
If you’re interested in adopting or running or rescuing, check out the website for Race for the Rescues at http://www.racefortherescues.org. You can bring the whole family including Fido! And there’s a 5k, 10k and a kid’s race.
The L.A. race is October 6, 2013 (so hurry and sign up!) and the OC race is November 10, 2013. I would recommend it for any family looking to adopt an animal (not just doggies!) or just looking for a weekend activity that’s fun and get’s you moving!