Saturday, 12 March 2011

My Dog, Moss

Today my dog gave me one hell of a scare disappearing as she did for well over an hour out in the Ochil’s. She has a bad habit of chasing deer and this time she got herself majorly lost in heavy snow and thick fog.
Being by myself and minus Moss, it was difficult to decide what exactly to do about it. I was in ten minds as to what she might do and so decided to run on home and check she hadn’t got back there somehow. She wasn’t home though so I had no option but to get into full walking gear and launch a one man search mission.
Amazingly, not ten minutes after resuming the search I saw her racing across the hillside. I called her and she changed course, bounded down the hill to me and gave me a huge doggy welcome. I was very, very relieved to find her with the weather closing in again.
Dogs are amazing companions for running.  Thinking back over the dogs I’ve had in my life. They’ve all been completely different from each other but I’ve loved them all just the same.
As a runner, my most consistent running companion was Meg, a collie who lived to the grand old age of 15 and ran with me for 13 of those years before going into retirement. She was the best friend I've ever had and whom I'd known longer than my wife. Ok, she was a pain in the arse at times ( Meg that is) but she ran thousands of miles with me.

We shared a tent and a sleeping bag when she was soaked as we wild camping in winter. She growled at me when I dared to move while she was curled in the foot of the bag and she coveted my food when she’d eaten her own but I think I can honestly say she made me laugh every time I went out with her, with those peculiar little idiosyncratic ways of hers.

When she was old and couldn’t run anymore, despite the fact that she was deaf as a post, with poor eyesight she was still full of beans despite the ravages of a couple of strokes.  I still loved her though and now I cherish the memories I have of times shared with her. It’s a fact though that one day when you put on your running shoes your dog will no longer want go with you and that is the inevitable tragedy of being a dog owner.
Now my four legged companion is Moss, another border collie. A sprightly skinny bundle of energy as all 3 year old collies should be. She could never replace Meg but she follows neatly on from her and the times we have in the hills are every bit as good.
There’s something really nice about a dog running alongside you with paws tick tick ticking along the path and her own breathing just as controlled and rhythmic as my own. Mind you it’s only at the end of the run that she’ll deem to run alongside me. Most of the time she will be bounding across the heather like a thing possessed convinced she can catch the grouse that are flying over her head.
As I write this she’s curled up asleep next to me on the sofa and very soon she’ll start twitching and yipping as she goes into dream land where she’s racing through the hills again.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. great post bob! look forward to reading more great adventures of you and moss

  3. Thanks ultra collie. Knowing Moss there'll be plenty more adventures.
    Holliedonaghue that was a nice comment. Shame you deleted it.

  4. ch..sorry about that. hollies my daughter and id inadvertently posted using her google account by mistake!

  5. That is a crackin piccy.
    I fear that our new charge, Mason the 3 stone Staffie will not see much bounding in the heather action. He's more of a 'trip yer Dad up for an ice-cream' kinda dog.
    Who knows, I'm prepared to be proved wrong ;)

  6. Ha Ha. Well they're all brilliant to me Lee whatever shape they come in :-)

  7. Fantastic picture and a great post Bob. Can't wait to meet her in the flesh (or um, fur..). ;-)

  8. Thanks Tim. I was thinking of bringing her a week on Saturday at Balmaha. Only thing is she's very timid, even with normal people she doesn't know let alone lunatic WHW runners. Are you bringing Ringo? Or are dogs not encouraged on these runs?