Nebby Runs

Nebby is our 6 year old Lab mix who loves running (almost) as much as I do. Here is Nebby's story and some information about my experience running with her.

My family rescued Nebbuchadnezzar in June of  2008 from a shelter near our home. We thought we were getting a calm, mild-tempered puppy until we realized she was quite literally dying. After refusal to eat/drink for several days, we rushed Nebby to the emergency vet where she was diagnosed with Parvovirus. The vet told us we had two choices: put her down right then, or return her to the shelter to be put down. We chose neither. We decided to take Nebby home with us, give her all the care and love in the world- which included carrying her around on a sofa cushion and letting her lick baby food off our fingers- and let her have a chance at life. She was given a fluid pouch every day to keep her hydrated but at just three pounds, our primary vet said she had, at best, a 50% chance of living.

Our sick puppy- barely bigger than my brother's shoe.
My family altered our sleep schedules so that someone was always awake to keep an eye on the pup and we devoted ourselves to taking care of her the best we could. About two weeks later, Nebby started to become a little more active and stood in the doorway of our kitchen, barking at our other dog to come play. Although she is not the calm pup we thought we were rescuing, we are so grateful that Nebby fought hard enough to beat Parvo and we couldn't ask for a more wonderful pet.

I started running with Nebby in June of 2013. I had no hopes for her and no goals for our run, I just wanted to see how she would be on a leash with me while I ran. From the very first day, Nebby amazed me. She kept up with me without a problem, didn't stop to smell anything or bark at other dogs, and even kept potty breaks to a minimum. For the first few runs, Nebby would try to run in front of me (especially when turning corners) and we would both end up tripping, but she soon got the hang of it and now runs on my left side.

Two years later and I couldn't ask for a better running buddy. Nebby loves the run as much as I do, and she is the perfect company, especially when I am running alone. Here are some things that I do/have done with Nebby to ensure that our running is safe:

  • I checked with our vet before increasing the length of her runs. He said one long run a week is perfectly fine and that she is healthy enough to be living this active lifestyle. 
  • I don't feed Nebby too close to a run- before or after. 
  • I pay attention to Nebby's body language; sometimes she is just dragging behind me because she is lazy, but I watch closely for signs of injury such as limping. 
  • I always keep Nebby on a leash.
  • I don't run with Nebby in extreme temperatures. Anything above 60 degrees is pushing it for an all black dog so I am careful with her during the summer months.
    Getting ready to run in the rain
    During the winter, I keep her inside if the roads are icy, and she wears a jacket if it's raining or snowing. 
  • I keep her hydrated. If we are driving somewhere to run, I make sure to bring an extra water bottle for Nebby. 
  • I am flexible. I realize that running with a dog has its challenges, so I avoid running with Nebby on days that I have a specific workout planned. 
  • I use verbal commands such as "right", "left", and "cross" to indicate to Nebby where we are going to be running. Although she is still working on these, I have found that it helps with her cutting me off on the leash. 

Nebby's first 5k!

Running with Nebby has been such an amazing gift, and I am grateful every day to have such a wonderful pup who shares my passion. Lately I have been trying to get Nebby more involved in the running community by joining a local Mutt Strut 5k and a few dog-themed virtual races as well.

Nebby's PRs:
1 mile 6:39
5k: 21:35
longest run: 13.1
highest weekly mileage: 34

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