In 2014, Bella was a super-energetic, six-month-old black Lab who had ended up at the Vanderburgh Humane Society. I was a marathon runner of 15 years who was experiencing runner’s burnout and needed help falling in love with the sport again. I also needed protection on my solitary, early-morning runs on country roads. So, I went to the shelter looking for a dog.
As soon as I saw Bella, I knew her spunky energy would make her the perfect running partner. I consulted my vet and he advised that she was a little young to start running with me; it would be better to wait until she was a year old, he said. I was eager, but took his advice.