Ellie and I reached a big milestone today: our purple badge on the Nike+ app. To reach this milestone, the Nike+ app elves arbitrarily chose 1,553 miles as the goal—why not 1,550 I'll never know. We don't go fast, we don't go as far as we used to, but we stick to our routine in a very slow-and-steady-wins-the-race kind of way.
Even in the snow.
About two months ago Ellie and I were walking on our morning patrol and a car pulled up slowly beside me; an elderly gentleman rolled down the passenger side window and leaned over to tell me how nice it was that I took my dog walking so often, and that he often saw us on his way into the gym on base. I told him briefly about how I think all this walking has helped extend her life in the face of her terrible, no-good heart condition and he told me I was probably right, and to keep it up as long as I could. It was a nice exchange, and as he drove off I was touched that he stopped to tell me.
I took this picture to celebrate all those walks, because I don't know for sure if she'll make it to the end of the school year for our annual picture on the last day of school. On one hand, she has lived for 18 months on this heart medication. But on the other hand, she has lived for 18 months on this heart medication. After we came in this morning, soaked and cold from the heavy spring snow, I gave her a little bit of sausage that Matt saved out for me last night when he was preparing a dish for the Stride Cook-off tonight. I have been watching our progress and knew we would hit that mark today, and I wanted her to celebrate, too, because she earned it. Everyone's dog is the best dog, I know—but Ellie really is the best.