One paw in front of the other

A just delightful guest post!

Came from an online exchange.

ooOOoo

So today was the day for me. And I done it with the help of my wonderful dog.

I had been dreaming all night of running and depression and failing miserably.
I was woken at 6:30am by the sound of my dad coming back in after he had been for his normal morning walk around the village with our dog Riley. I was also disturbed by my boyfriend coughing and spluttering up god knows what, and I laid and tossed and turned as I thought oh my god today I’m going to go for a run, followed by don’t be so stupid of course your not you can’t even run down the stairs.

As the early morning light started to come in through the sides of my blinds, I pulled out my eye patches and fell back to a disturbed sleep until…. midday. I couldn’t believe it.

You lazy shit I thought, so much for your run, what a joke you are. Jumping out of bed at the thought of what my mother might say, I went downstairs and put the kettle on, I turned to my dog who had followed me down and said: “I’m going to take you out don’t worry.”

I couldn’t have put it off for any longer if I tried! I hoovered, steam cleaned, made tea, ate beans on toast, tidied my bedroom, anything but get ready to go for a run. Truth is I was terrified!

After not physically being able to tidy much more, I got ready, and put on my new Nike running shoes I had bought in the New Years sales. Riley stretched his tail wagging as he sensed that it was time.

The next twenty or so minutes were the most emotional, and longest, twenty minutes of my life I have ever experienced. I put my new running band on with my phone and beats headphones, and a Spotify playlist that played the most god awful dubstep but I didn’t care. I downloaded the couch to 5k app as I have not really ran in years and pressed start and off me and Riley headed around the village.

The walking was fine, then the lady popped up in her American accent start to run, and so I did.  I started to develop a stitch in my stomach, pain in my chest and the most overwhelming urge to cry. I battled constant thoughts in my head that I could do it … blah! blah! blah!, but Riley was with me. We done it together.

Slow down and start to walk” the voice spoke. I was glad someone knew what I was doing as I didn’t have a clue. I suddenly became awfully aware of the cars going past and thoughts of people looking at me and what they might think: she doesn’t look great; she looks like she is struggling; she must be mad. So with my fave down unable to break a smile or lift my frown I carried on with lead in hand and my faithful dog by my side. I spoke to him, praised him at how well he was doing but I can’t bring to praise myself not yet.

The dubstep tracks blasting in my ears the lyrics started on this train with no destination. And I thought this is how depression and anxiety have made me feel, I have been on a slow and steady train down to rock bottom and I can’t seem to get back up, but I feel today was a start. A little positive I suppose that I can add to my negative.

As it started to snow I thought wow I really am mad, I can’t even run these twenty mins , let a lone a 5k, 10k or yet alone this bloody great north run.

Freezing cold and following my dog in front I made it home and put the kettle straight on and slumped down waiting to make my cup of tea.
For the first time in a long time, I think I see a little light, a little tiny speck of light at the end of my long dark tunnel!

ooOOoo

I asked Catherine for permission to republish this because I was very moved when I read it over at her place. It seemed to say to me that this very honest and open account of what Catherine was experiencing might resonate somewhere out there with you dear readers.

Thank you, Catherine!

More importantly, thank you, Riley. Dogs do so much for us. Even saving our souls!

14 thoughts on “One paw in front of the other

    1. Dear friend, please may I offer you a very warm welcome to my place. Thank you for your response. We still miss Pharaoh, the GSD on both the cover of my book and the home page of this blog, for he was such an intuitive dog. Luckily we have Cleo, also a GSD, to love as both herself and her breed.

      Of our six dogs, we had twelve when we moved here in 2012, Ruby, Pedi, Sweeny and especially Brandy also help us in the way I read in your words. Although Jeannie added that they all do in their own way.

      Hope to see you again and get to know more about you and your German Shepherd.

  1. When you are down and feeling at a low ebb.. I have been there, not wishing to get out of bed in the morning.. Having Riley there helped motivate her and he also was at her side to reassure her .. I have come across many who have been saved by their four legged friends..
    Thank you for sharing Paul..Our animal friends are healers in many a life.. 😀

  2. This reminded me of myself when I wanted to accomplish my lake run.. I Always thought what others would think when I would run or how awkward the whole thing feels, but after a while it becomes a routine and you no longer focus on others.. Riley must have been happy to go with you! And a great distraction to make you keep going

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