Ok, I realize the general talk about a man's best friend doesn't always apply to women, but get to know my sweet American Bulldog and you might change your mind. Today I continued my efforts in Love 146's fundraiser Tread on Trafficking to stop sex slavery and human trafficking. I had the pleasurable company of my baby, Bentley. Today we ran 2 miles, and while that may not seem like much, the 5 miles still on my legs made it feel like 10! In order to fully grasp the lesson I learned from my dog today, you should probably get to know him.
Bentley is an adorably sweet 1 1/2 year old American Bulldog known for sporadic energetic outbursts (aka not known for his endurance per se). I took him running before this amazing fundraiser and we got a little scare. Only about seven minutes in, Bentley got scared by a jogging stroller. Once the stroller passed, I got ready to go again and he didn't want to move. Now Bentley is not little, weighing in at about 70+lbs. All of a sudden, all 70 lbs of him starts to fall over, so I catch him. He falls to the other side and I catch him again. I am worried he can't take the running so I walk him back to the truck. My husband assures me he is just feeling a little sick and sure enough he runs twice as far with my husband just a few days ago. So, today I was confident, but still concerned.
I decide today will be a short run. What with 5 miles of soreness on my legs and the possibility of Bentley fainting halfway through. I keep a close eye on him throughout the first mile. I tell him, "good boy, Bentley" and "we're almost there, Bubba (his nickname from mommy <3). Once we turn around for the last mile, I tell him something encouraging almost every 2 minutes, as if he is considering fainting, but my words keep him going. Every time he looks up, I feel like he is looking for another encouragement so I answer with another "good job, Bentley" or "almost there love". About a half mile from the truck I realize, he isn't looking up for encouragement, he is looking up because I am slowing down. At that moment I realized, he wasn't going to stop. He is not thinking in his head when it is going to be over. He intends to run as long as I do. I am the one waiting for the ending. I am the one who needed to hear "good job, you're almost there" or "we're almost done". Then of course, I think of those girls. See, in my small efforts to make a difference, there is an end to every run. Every time I start, I know that a time and place will come when I can stop. The end is wherever I make it. Those girls have no such luxury. There is no promised end, no promised relief to their suffering. They must go on with the possibility that it will never end.
As it turns out, my Bentley is quite the running partner, and maybe our miles can make a difference. Even a small one. Because any amount of relief or hope of an end is a place to start.