rest day training partner

I’ve always wanted a dog. When I was little I begged for a golden retriever or a lab (all the cool kids had one). When I realized my dream I found myself with a spunky cocker spaniel crying when we put him in his crate and peeing on the kitchen floor two inches shy of his puppy pad. He's cleaned up his act a bit now and thankfully pees outside and only cries if someone comes within a millimeter of stepping on his paw. When he was a bitty baby, his crazy parents decided it would be a great idea to take him on a walk! Fantastic. Being idiot newbie puppy owners, we thought quick 1.5 mile loop through the park was a great idea. No, we didn’t care at all that it was February and freezing with snow on the ground. Marley cared. He loudly voiced his displeasure (again with the crying) and decided to park it on the pavement. The walk consisted mostly of me carrying a small, whining puppy in my arms on a path through the park… in February.

Bitty Baby
I guess I should have known then that Marley was not going to be a running partner, but I held out hope. Some other clues should have been his short legs, hatred of a leash, inability to walk in a straight line and frequent stops to smell another dog's pee the roses, but alas, I was young and naive. As time passed and pup spent more of it snoozin’ on the couch, the prospects of having a running buddy in my beloved canine were quickly fading.
Not loving the leash. Not loving the snow.

That didn't stop me from trying. Twice I took the poor pup on a "run" (ahem...well crafted jog/walk that involved a lot of tripping over paws, pup, leash and my own feet). Each time was a sloppy disaster and had to be discontinued before we hit 1/4 a mile. Embarrassing.I still feel pangs of jealousy when I see a runner and (wo)man's best friend running side by side on a nice fall day, but I've moved on.

Marley plays an integral role in the training plan and has exceeded my expectations as my rest day training buddy. He truly excels at rest days (just like his mom!). Lounging is his forte, he loves to snuggle and there is never enough time for napping. Recently he has taken the liberty to appoint himself resident pre-long run breakfast companion. Toughing it out and waking up at 6:30a on Sundays with me, Marley knows the pre-run ritual well. He fancies peanut butter on toast and never misses the opportunity to snag a stray crumb or beg to lick the peanut butter off the knife (for the record - this is gross and he's never succeeded in swaying me).
Marley Sockhands. On the couch, duh.