November 28, 2020

Weekend Recap: Welcome Sadie!

I didn’t have a ton of plans for this weekend before Thanksgiving, but I was looking forward to getting some quality time in with both my mom and J. However, at 3pm on Friday, an interesting call changed everything…

Remember when I was fostering dogs earlier this year? I absolutely loved having a dog to run with, but I decided I wanted a dog of my own rather than a temporary dog that would eventually go to someone else. There were some things I wanted to train a dog to do that wouldn’t make sense if I weren’t going to keep her, and after my experience with Sugar ended with her biting my best friend’s husband, I also wanted a longer term dog that I could learn to trust. So back in July, I decided to go all-in, and put applications in at two rescues that specialize in German shorthaired pointers.

I grew up with GSPs and loved them, even though (in hindsight) I recognize that my family and I didn’t really take care of them the way we should have. GSPs need at least an hour of exercise every day, and I don’t think we ever took our dogs for walks; we just let them run around the backyard as needed. No wonder they were as hyper and crazy as they were! But I absolutely loved my daily runs with Sesame and Sugar, my two foster dogs, and those experiences taught me that I could definitely commit to doing that daily with a GSP.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, for the dogs!) the GSP rescues both had long waitlists for a dog. I was pre-approved with both rescues, but I had to act fast when they posted a dog I was interested in. With one of the rescues, I had emailed about numerous dogs only to be told that they had over 50 other people interested; it seemed the odds were slim. But on Friday, I finally got a call to interview me about a dog.

A few days earlier, I had sent the rescue an email about Juju, a little ten month old girl. But to my surprise, the rescue was calling me about another dog – Sadie. I had written in about Sadie several weeks before, and she had been adopted. However, the family that adopted her had another dog who didn’t get along with Sadie, so the rescue was looking for a new home for her.

Fingers crossed!

After the interview, and after I wrapped up work, my mom and I started assembling a pizza (my mom had made the dough earlier in the day), and then J came to join us for dinner.

I have so many great memories of making pizza with my mom as a kid; it was great to get to do it again!

After pulling the pizza out of the oven, we sliced it up and curled up on the couch to watch Enola Holmes, a really cute movie about the younger sister of Sherlock Holmes. If you haven’t seen it, I would highly recommend it – engaging plot, great actors, and fantastic set / costume design!

All of us went to bed pretty early, which turned out to be a really good thing, because at 5am, we were all jolted awake by one of my CO2 alarms going off. However, it was only the connected smoke / CO2 alarms; I had a standalone CO2 detector that was still showing zero, even when we moved it all over the house. I thought it was probably a false alarm, but to be safe, I called the fire department and we all headed outside to wait in J’s car. The fire department only took a few minutes to get there, but we had to stay out of the house while they checked everything out. This probably sounds cold and miserable, but J has a gorgeous Tesla and we were actually pretty comfy watching Great British Bakeoff on the giant screen! I was a little disappointed when they finally gave us the all clear, haha 🙂

While it sucked to get up so suddenly (and in such a scary manner), I was relieved that our Superior fire department was so quick to react and so adept in diagnosing the problem as just a faulty detector (that was wired into all the others). Huge relief that there wasn’t actually a buildup of CO2! J went back to bed after the adventure, but my mom and I were up for the day.

I read in bed with J for a little while, then decided at 6:55 to check my phone and see if there were any live Peloton yoga classes happening. There was, in fact, a 7am class starting with Kristin (my favorite instructor), so I threw some yoga clothes on and headed down to the basement to jump in. And about halfway through the class, Kristin gave me a shoutout – it turns out it was my 50th yoga class! I had totally missed that milestone, so it was a really lovely surprise to get a shoutout, especially since Kristin sounded like she knew my username and like she was genuinely pleased for me. (I’ve messaged her a few times on Instagram, so it’s possible she knew my name.) What a fun surprise!

After that, I geared up for another milestone class. This one I had been planning for a while, though – it was my 50th bootcamp! I was thrilled to get to do my 50th as a “Saturday 60” class with Jess Sims. I had planned for it to be the week before, and arranged to celebrate with a bunch of my Reddit friends, but after needing to quarantine away from my gym, I had to cancel at the last minute and replace it with this Saturday.

I still had a bunch of friends joining me this week, and so I felt bad when the class turned out to be really hard. On the floor, the first two blocks were pretty challenging circuits (plank bird dog holds, pushups with only one foot on the ground, and sumo squat to lunge), and the last block was an EMOM of devil presses (jump down to pushup, jump up to stand, single arm dumbbell swing up to overhead press, forward lunge with the dumbbell overhead), where we increased the reps each round. On the tread, the first block was all hills (going up to 6%), the second block was free mode, and the third block was one minute runs increasing the pace every 15 secs. For the second block, I don’t have free mode on my tread, so Jess told us that the equivalent was 8% on a regular treadmill. Um, what?? I have done free mode before and I don’t think 8% is the equivalent – I think that’s harder than free mode! Haha. I was really proud of myself for sticking with it and working hard; I was drenched in sweat by the end!

You know it’s a tough workout when bird dog plank feels like a rest break!

My mom was adorably excited about my 50th bootcamp, and took a bunch of pics / videos of me during, which was actually kind of a fun way to commemorate it. It also once again proved to me that even when I feel like I am dying, I oddly don’t show it and you can’t really tell by looking at me. This may sound like a good thing, but in live in-person workout classes (remember those??) they always led to coaches trying to kill me because they thought I wasn’t doing my best 😉

After I finished the class, it was already pretty late in the morning, so my mom made her famous blueberry scones while I jumped in the shower as quickly as possible… because during the bootcamp, I had gotten a text asking if I could do a virtual home walkthrough with the rescue at 9:30am, in preparation to potentially adopt Sadie! I said yes to that pretty quickly, even though I hadn’t totally got my mind around whether Sadie was the right dog for me.

The walkthrough was short and easy, and over scones, I talked to my mom and J about the now-real possibility of me getting a dog. Sure enough, right after breakfast, the rescue called back and said that Sadie was all mine… and would be arriving at my house in just a few hours! This was moving really fast, and I was a little nervous about taking Sadie without getting to meet her first, but she was five hours away so it wasn’t really practical to do a meet-and-greet. Instead, the rescue and I agreed that I could keep her for a few days to see if she was a fit, and then if not, I could simply foster her until a new permanent home could be found.

On the blueberry scone front: Mom uses this recipe and then substitutes whatever fruit she has on hand.

As 3pm approached, I started getting really nervous. What if this was a mistake? What if I didn’t enjoy the responsibility of a dog as much as I had when I was in full lockdown? Or what if Sadie just wasn’t the right dog for me? It’s so hard to tell from website pictures and a description, and the other challenge of looking at rescue dogs is there are always more to see… so you get a little bit of the paradox of choice waiting for the perfect dog to come along and feeling like there are endless options. Maybe I should have pushed harder to see if the rescue might consider me as a home for Juju, instead of Sadie? Maybe I should have insisted on driving out to meet her on her current turf?

But as soon as I met Sadie, I absolutely loved her. She ran out of the car right over to me, and seemed to warm up to me instantly. (My mom and I laugh about the fact that she really hasn’t left my side since.) She was also even prettier than her pictures, and just so sweet and easy! Mom and I didn’t really get much done the rest of the night because we were playing with Sadie almost the whole time, but I love her so much and I’m so thrilled that she’s joined our family!

Add J (who was home with his kids) and I’ve now got myself a pretty wonderful quaranteam!!

I made Cajun chicken pasta for dinner and we watched Queen’s Gambit, then went to bed super early at 8:30pm. I was nervous about how Sadie about do at night, but she was surprisingly good – it took me a little while to get her settled and comfortable, but once she was tucked in, she went to sleep and didn’t get up once in the night. Big change from my foster dogs, who took a little while to get used to sleeping through the night in strange surroundings!

The next morning, I was really eager to take Sadie out for a run, but I worried it was too cold to take her out right away. I googled around, but didn’t find any good answers on this – at what temperature do I need to have her wear a sweater or a jacket when I take her outside for a run? It seems like most advice is geared for when you’re taking a dog on a slow walk, but I assume that clothing requirements change when it’s instead a solid run…

…because a solid run is exactly what we did. When I finally took Sadie out into the Colorado sunshine at 11am, we ended up covering 8.5 miles on a neighborhood loop where I kept adding a few extra culs de sac here and there. (I had been told by Sadie’s previous owner that he had run 8 miles just this past week, so I knew she was okay to do that kind of distance.)

How beautiful is she?? And how beautiful is my neighborhood? This is around mile 4.

Sadie was an absolute joy to run with. Her leash manners weren’t absolutely perfect, but once I got her at a good pace (she likes an 8:00 pace, which is significantly faster than my normal but still doable) she didn’t pull. I was also very pleasantly surprised to find that she doesn’t get the slightest bit fazed by other dogs or people – she mostly just keeps going forward and focusing on running. She is going to be a dream for me to train with, both with her focus and how she pushes me to go faster!

I had originally thought I would add a middle name and call her “Sadie Ann”, for famed ultrarunner Ann Trayson, since I hope to eventually be able to do ultra-distance training runs with Sadie. But after actually running with her, I’ve decided to change that, and call her “Sadie Olivia”, for the toughest Peloton instructor, Olivia Amato. When I do a treadmill run with Olivia, we’ll get to the top of an incline and I’ll be excited to catch my breath, until Olivia says we need to pick up the pace and do a “fast finish” on the other side of that incline. Meanwhile, when I run a hill with Sadie, I get to the top excited to catch my breath but Sadie pushes the pace and wants us to now sprint the downhill. “Sadie Olivia” is therefore pretty apt!

After our run, as with Saturday, I spent a lot of the afternoon playing with Sadie instead of getting stuff done… but I think that’s to be expected for my first full day with a beautiful and sweet new doggie 🙂 In the evening, though, Mom and I got back to our regular routine – I made chicken parmesan meatballs and creamy polenta for dinner, and we finished watching the last episode of Queen’s Gambit. A nice cozy night with my two best girls – I can’t wait for more nights with all three of us curled up on the couch together!


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