Going for a run without the dog is similar to leaving a clingy toddler at home while running errands.
There is the false cheerfulness, the plastered smile and the happy “see you soon” as the rejected family member sorrowfully begs to accompany you…
…and there’s the amazing ability to accomplish the task in noticeably less time.
On the other hand, I’ve gotten quite used to my personal body guard. We run early in the morning, in the dark, on dimly-lit streets. Frequently we encounter non-military pedestrians on their way to or from their low-wage jobs stocking shelves at the retail stores near my home. It’s comforting to have a 70 pound German Shepherd trotting obediently to my left.
Today, with no dog by my side, I was acutely aware of the absence of any patrol cars (I usually see at least two or three Military Police on routine cruises through the area); I didn’t notice any of the usual government vans that ferry workers up to the nearby gate that opens at 5 am who must look for me every morning; and not one of my early-bird neighbors was out running or walking their dogs at the same time and along the same path as I usually espy them. My only security was the decades of Hail Marys being counted on my fingers as I scooted along.
Perhaps that’s why my run was so fast.