Cooper has the goofiest run I have ever seen. My first dog Sari would look like a majestic horse galloping across the plains or a fierce and powerful jungle cat bounding across the land. Cooper looks retarded.
His lips pull back into a goofy grin, his ears pin back flat against his head, his mouth flops open and his tongue inevitably drifts to the side, and instead of fully extending his body with each stride, he keeps himself semi-bunched up. His legs flail in all directions, his little tail uncurls, and his eyes bulge out as well. He looks awkward, clumsy, and not at all majestic or awe-inspiring.
Whenever Sari and Pickle ran, they just looked ecstatic and made it look so effortless like they were born to run and run well. Whenever Cooper ran he looked like he was always off balance, goofy, and just plain stupid. He never looked like he got any joy out of running the way Pickle did. Pickle literally looked like he was flying and Cooper looked like a duck waddling around trying to take flight.
Over the summer last year, it rained almost every afternoon. It was miserable and with Colorado rain, you get a drenching downpour of 15 minutes and you're completely soaked to the bone. It doesn't lightly rain and get heavier, it literally pours buckets. I tried to time it because you get about 20 minutes when the skies get all dark and grey before it starts pouring. Unfortunately, one afternoon, I mis-timed our walk and Cooper and I were left in the pouring rain about 6 blocks from my house. Cooper hates getting wet and was miserable looking and was trying to find shelter somewhere. I looked down at him and had this conversation:
Me: Cooper, we're going to have to run.
Cooper looks up at me, squinting his little eyes because of the rain: Run?
Me: Yes, run. Do you think you can do it?
Cooper with a look of pure determination on his face: OK!!!!
So off we ran, 6 blocks dodging traffic and giant rain bullets. Normally Cooper can't and won't run longer than half a block but boy, he was determined that day. So here I am, running in flip flops trying not to slip and hurt myself with my dog flailing along besides me. Man, I'm sure people thought to themselves, "look at that special girl with her special dog...how cute."
We finally reach my apartment, run up the stairs, run down the hall, and run into my apartment gasping for air. Cooper is pulling his leash the whole time, still ridiculously energetic. When I finally got his leash off him, he tucked tail and ran around and around the room with this half-crazed look on his face that clearly said, "I CAN'T STOP RUNNING!"
Finally, he calmed down, dropped in that spot, and slept until almost the next day. And that's what I love about Cooper: although he won't walk fast when the weather is nice, or makes you carry him when it's really hot out, he will run in his goofy, smile-inducing way when you really need him to haul ass. And although he looks like a special ed dog when he runs, it's funny and cute and sure, he looks like a retard but he's my retard.