You would think a Jack Russell with an inside leg measuring seven inches might have difficulty completing a marathon.
But they’re a resilient breed and are usually up for any challenge. Never underestimate mans’ best friend.
Buddy managed two marathons during January.
Running every day for around twenty minutes equates to ten hours padding round the ochre lit streets of Kelvindale, which is good going for a dog pushing eighty years old, and with a heart murmur.
There’s no need to be too ambitious during the first few weeks of the New Year; the foot contact and lack of solid traction is treacherous on the packed ice, snow and slush.
Black ice presents an extra hazard partially countered with good running shoes and a shortened stride.
Buddy, pulling on the lead like a husky, adds to the precarious apprehension and I’m one misstep from a tumbling calamity.
The drop from the upper part of Kelvindale to Great Western road is through a series of four steep connecting narrow alleyways, but this doesn’t seem to concern the dog as he strains even harder.
It’s a relief to reach ground level with a passing nod to the garage that serves-up a decent freshly baked almond croissant. Sometimes we do a few circuits of Bingham’s pond for good measure.
The final half-mile of the evening jog is a steady climb, one last hurrah of effort to reap the benefits of living at the top of the hill, which also slopes towards Kelvindale train station, a short stretch testing the stamina of a regular assortment of enthusiastic runners.
Three pounds have been shed during the first month of the year and the seat-belt fastens easier.
At three days shorter February feels like a breeze, it’s also the year of the dog in the Chinese calendar.
Buddy, tail wagging, was quite taken when I told him that.