A Girl’s Best Friend

Most runners love to share their sport.  We like to spread the wealth  of optimism that comes from running and its culture, which is probably why there are so many adult running groups and clubs, and also why my dad was my first running buddy. 

I love to run with friends, and thoroughly enjoy the laughter, inspiration and camaraderie that it brings.  It’s always great to have a running buddy that you can count on to get you to a workout, and also, sometimes, through it as well. It’s the best form of therapy I know, and much cheaper than the more traditional forms available. 

One of my running buddies is quite an amazing athlete, a very fast runner, and I must say, he is also quite handsome and funny. He’s great company on a run, and has proven to be a wonderful listener.  His name is Rico, and I can tell him anything.  No matter what I say or do, not only does he refrain from judging me, but he also stays by my side, and he always looks up to me.  

Okay, fine, he looks up to me because he’s only about a foot tall.  Rico is my rescue dog and the great love of my entire family.  I know that diamonds (and maybe even shoes and chocolate) are supposed to be a girl’s best friend, but I would forgo all of it for my best friend, Rico. 

Rico running in the Fall Classic with a Girls With Sole participant

He’s really a great sport to humor me that we’re even running together, when in all actuality he is simply walking fast.  I love the way his big ears fold back onto his head and bounce to the rhythm as he happily trots along. 

Much like me, Rico doesn’t have a family history to speak of, even if he could speak.  He was a homeless dog eating garbage off the street, which resulted in a horrible case of “garbage belly.”  (This occurs when dogs can’t keep anything down because their digestive system is messed up from eating too much spoiled food or garbage.)

A few different times, Rico was taken in by families who decided they didn’t want to keep him.  Rico and I have so much in common, it’s uncanny.  He had his name changed by a previous owner from Samson to Rico, just as my name was changed from Tammy Ann when I was in foster care, to Elizabeth when I was adopted. 

Rico’s adoption fee was around $150.00, and recently I discovered that mine was $600.00.          

   Who knew that bargain basement prices could buy such awesomeness! 

Rico is quite proud of himself after crossing the finish line at Bay Days as First Overall Dog!

It  was definitely meant to be that two misunderstood, high-energy, and good-hearted “pound puppies” would find each other. Rico and I both know what it’s like to be displaced and to wonder how it could be that people failed to see the good in us.  My friend Susan was fostering Rico and posted his picture on Facebook, letting her friends know he needed a good home. She gave fair warning that he is obsessed with playing fetch and that he needs a lot of exercise. I took one look at his picture and knew that he was my dog. His ears are something to behold. 

Rico is both regal and sweet, and the smartest dog I have ever met.  His crazy combination of physical attributes illicit many people to ask what kind of dog he is.  We have decided he is a “Ferro Hound” because he’s one-of-a-kind, and he’s ours. In fact, his full name is, unofficially  Rico Suave Ferro.

Running with Rico lights up and warms my heart much like the way the sun reflects warmly off his rusty brown scruff that closely matches the color of autumn leaves. 

He runs so proudly and happily with his head held high, and it makes me laugh when he looks back at me every now and then to make sure I’m still there. Rico and I get each other. 

We both know what it’s like to finally trust someone with your whole heart, and, after feeling displaced and discarded, to be in the happiest place you could ever imagine. 





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