The Rottweiler

by Rhonda, March 01, 2022

Sometimes trying new things takes courage.  I felt that way today.  

I haven't run in over two years.  I've been so sad, so tired.  I used to run all of the time.  I even ran a full marathon at one point.  But now, the depression and stress have taken their toll.  My body is carrying extra weight, and my mind tells me I'll never relive my days when I ran to keep myself healthy.

Except God tells me otherwise.  

So, today, I decided it was time to start listening to God's prodding.  He's been pushing me to run for a while now, but I have been afraid.  What if I can't run anymore?  What if I embarrass myself?  

I decided it didn't matter.  It was time.  So, despite my dread, I laced up my sneakers.  I found headphones for my phone and a running program.  I put a leash on our overly-active Husky named Zeus.  He was bouncing off the walls with excitement.  

I stepped out the front door.  Given it was a Sunday, the typically-busy highway was very quiet.  Perfect.

Zeus has no idea how to run since he's never been taught.  After a few run/walk intervals I began to get frustrated.  Every time I would run, he would get excited and try to pull me into the ditch.  Or, even worse, he would decide to cross over in front of me and nearly cause me to trip.  I began to realize that Zeus was indeed, a terrible runner.  Perhaps even worse than me.  The two of us were quite the pair.  

After several failed attempts, I decided to try one more run interval.  Just as before, Zeus decided to run off into the ditch.  This time, when I yanked fiercely on his leash to bring him back into line, he laid down.  I stopped to see what in the world was going on when I realized I was dragging dead weight.  

Immediately, I saw his problem.  Coming up from behind us was a loose Rottweiler.  

Zeus lacks most common sense, but even he knew he needed to show submission.  She was scary to me, I am sure she was terrifying to him.  She was muscular and intimidating and Zeus had no idea what to do.  Even though I told her no and tried to protect him, Zeus decided to bare his teeth.  I have no idea why, since he would have died a terrible death if she decided to engage.

A truck stopped on the road and asked if I needed help.  

"Yes, please." I replied.  

"It looks like you're about to have a dog fight here," he said. 

He helped herd the Rottweiler to the other side of the road, and then he drove off.  

But, as Zeus and I continued along our way, the Rottweiler returned.  Zeus laid down again, which did not help my plan to move along quickly.

"Get up," I begged him.  But he wasn't going anywhere.

I turned my attention to the Rottweiler who was returning.  This time, she approached timidly and I offered my hand.  She laid her ears back, clearly very nervous about the situation.  I moved slowly, taking my hand towards her ears and petting her head.  She stood there for a while and then she laid her head in my hands allowing me to rub her ears.

So much for the terrifying Rottweiler. She was just a big baby.

She walked over to Zeus and sniffed him a few times.  Zeus started to relax, realizing she wasn't going to eat him alive.  

Then, she did something that completely surprised me.  She walked in front of us.  

I kept Zeus tight on his leash so he couldn't reach her.  Much to my amazement, he was no longer interested in veering along into the ditches or running across my path.  He was focused on the female in front of us.

I decided to try the run/walk intervals again.  I shook my head with laughter as I watched her.  When we walked, she walked.  When we ran, she jogged.  For the remainder of my run, Zeus stayed in a perfectly straight line in front of me, completely focused on the dog leading our way.  He knew he couldn't outrun his leash, so he didn't try.  Instead he just followed her.

She led us two miles home.  It was an awesome run for me.  Zeus behaved, I could run at the pace I needed to, and I really enjoyed being outside.

I'd forgotten.  Running always brought me so much peace.  It brought me closer to God.  It cleared my mind, and it introduced joy to my soul.  How I've missed it.

The Rottweiler stopped when we reached out front yard.  I tried to get her to come over to me again, but she wouldn't.  I wanted to bring her into the house to give her some water, but she declined.  

After we went inside, she returned down the highway, from the same direction.

I'm sure she was going home.

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