Running Wild

“Look at you, aren’t you a pretty girl!? Want me to rub your belly? Yes, you do! Yes, you do!”
This is a sampling of the conversation to some degree or another when I meet animals while I am out running during the week. These animals vary greatly from domesticated to not at all. It’s one of the things I enjoy most about being outside.
In the last few weeks, the weather has gotten much better, which means that I see other living souls while I am out. There are more humans walking their dogs, more squirrels, birds, rabbits and deer. I have had the great luck to see some firsts in the last couple of weeks.
Two weeks ago, while out running, I came into a clearing at a local park and as I got near the parking lot I noticed everyone nearby was looking in one direction and there was a distinctive hush about the area. I looked straight ahead and noticed in the woods there was movement but I couldn’t quite figure out what it was at first. Before long it was clear there were five deer, bounding single file out of this wooded area, crossing the street and quickly darting off into another secluded part of the park.
I’ve never seen anything like it. I thought about reaching for my phone for a split second and realized I probably wouldn’t be able to catch it and it would never do it justice so I went old school. I simply took it all in without a phone in front of my face or between me and the moment I was trying to capture. And it was magnificent.
I was buoyed by this moment and it made the rest of my run a little easier. However, the best in some ways, was about to reveal itself. As I turned the corner miles later toward my final distance for the day I was met by a young doe.
She stood at the side of the trail and when I saw her I was so taken back I stopped cold. Then I proceeded to speak sweetly to her explaining I was going to reach into my pack for my phone and if she could just hang there for a minute so I could take her picture. She agreed, I guess, since she didn’t move.
I thought it was possibly the coolest moment I’ve had while running in nature.
Then Wednesday I went out for a run with the hubs and within 2 miles of our start I saw five deer off in the distance. At this point, I felt pretty confident that deer are my spirit animal, my totem, my something. But as I am learning, if you hang in there long enough it just gets better. About four miles later we turned onto a trail and right in front of us were 11 doe. ELEVEN!! I counted twice to be sure and because math is not yet my strongest skill.
Of course, mixed into these deer encounters are the many dogs I meet along the way. And what I love most about dogs is that if they are on a leash, they do what I call “the lean.” They see you, there is eye contact and they can just tell, this woman likes me already so they start to lean in my direction and pull until their owners get the hint. Let’s be honest, dogs are a great confidence booster. They get so excited, it’s like you are their favorite person in the whole world. I suppose they like their owners, too, but still.
So far I don’t think the cat is jealous but don’t mention to her my love for deer or dogs… just in case.
Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G

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