Hi, Denise. Tell us a little bit about your favorite walking partner.
Hazel is a 3rd generation miniature Australian Labradoodle, she’s 8 months old and full of life. We lost our 14-year-old wire haired vizsla, Lily, last March and I swore I’d never get another dog. That was way too painful a loss to go through. But then...my husband showed me a picture of pups from an island breeder and well, here we are. Hazel approached us and the rest is history. She has filled our life right back up. Dogs have a way of doing that.
Where is your favorite place to be active with your pooch?
We have a few walking routes but our favorite is Westwood Lake. It’s a 6 k trail loop around the lake populated year-round by runners walkers and dogs. It’s our happy place. Don’t worry, she gets to run with my husband when I’m not around.
Tell us about a running moment that made you proud!
When I was running, before I partially tore my rectus femoris muscle during a trail descent, I participated in a local trail series here on Vancouver Island called Gut Busters. The Mt Washington event was probably my proudest running moment because of the elevation. But the actual proudest would have to be the Oceanside Mother’s Day 10k road race. It was the first time I ran 10k nonstop but what made it the best was my son, who was 18 at the time, ran it with me! Best Mothers Gift ever!
What running (or life) lesson can we learn from our dogs?
To always great people with enthusiasm! Have you ever had a bad day, then walked into the house with a dog? That dog will love all over you until you have no choice but to smile! We need to do more of that.
Do you want to tell us anything else about you or running with your dog?
Dogs are healing. My husband is retired military with PTSD. I believe having a dog in the house provides an emotional outlet and constant companion. The positive energy a dog gives off plus the necessity of getting outside serves to heal in big ways.
Do you have any advice for running or walking with your dog?
When you’re out running or walking with your dog, make sure you let them stop and “smell the roses.” It’s their life too.
Do you have any funny stories to share?
We’ve only had her for 6 months but if you know Labradoodles at all, they’re pretty goofy. A Mini Labradoodle is even goofier in my mind as they have that constant cuteness factor going for them! I don’t have a funny story so much as her actions are funny. Especially the way she hangs over the sofa with her back paw up on the arm. She looks like a wise old man. Also, we call her a cat as she stands and lays on the back of the sofa.
You can follow Denise and Hazel on Instagram at denise_fenske or on Facebook at FitPsychology
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