To celebrate our accomplishment, Mom *left me* for the weekend to run. Our Friend Caitlin had signed up for a marathon and wound up not being able to run, so Mom took her number. When Mom came home, she was very contrite for leaving me behind, and said that she spent the whole race smiling at other people’s dogs lecherously and wishing that I were there to keep her company. Serves her right!
But because she’s a responsible Mom, at least she came home with a souvenir for me. And a story:
At the expo there was a pet apparel company, and she stopped in to see if they had any cool reflective gear for our cold, dark runs. She didn’t find what she was looking for, but found some doggie cookies and while she was paying she asked, “Do you happen to have a directory of races in California that allow dogs…?” California seems to be a particularly dog-prejudiced part of the country.
The friendly lady at the dog booth said she didn’t have anything like that and pretended graciously like she actually considered it an idea worth her time. “But Running with the Bears allows dogs…”
“They do?!?!” Mom said, snatching her credit card and turning on her heels and running away like the booth was on fire. She recognized that race as one of the booths that she’d seen across the expo hall. This weekend’s race is one that attracts about 12,000 people, so the expo hall was crowded, but she didn’t let the 11,999 other runners get in her way as she elbowed her way back to the Running with the Bears booth. She stood impatiently behind some clown who seemed completely uninterested in the bears, waiting for the rep to free up. The clown took a flyer and mom practically pushed him out of the way to get herself in front of the rep. “I hear you allow dogs to run?! Where do I sign up?!”
The woman enthusiastically handed over a clipboard. When Mom had finished filling it out the rep looked at it. “Ummm, you have to put YOUR name.”
“Yes,” Mom explained. “But my dog has an internet presence, you see…” realizing how psychotic that sounded, even if she said it like it was the most natural thing in the world.
“Well… he’s not old enough to meet the minimum age, and the credit card isn’t in his name.” California is so prejudiced…!
Mom grudgingly wrote down her real name and birth date.
“So the race sold out months ago,” the rep went on, “so all we have left are charity slots. So you’ll have to raise $500 for youth in foster care.”
“That sounds great!” Mom said, and then she committed to sounding like a crazy person. “My dog was adopted. Foster care is a cause near and dear to us.”
Mom could see her hesitate, deciding whether to explain that these were PEOPLE puppies in foster care, and then deciding not to. “Great!” said the rep, treating Mom with dignity even though she was clearly dealing with a crazyperson.
“So…” Mom said, “Where is this race? And how long is it?”
…which is how Mom and I signed up for a half marathon in Greenville, California. And in case you’re wondering, Greenville is in the opposite direction from Fresno. And that’s all we know about it. I can’t wait!
-Oscar the Pooch