By Becky Orr
Wyoming Tribune Eagle
CHEYENNE – Zeke is the perfect workout buddy.
He loves to run and never complains, owner Michelle Hunt said.
He is such a good running partner that he even motivates Hunt to exercise without saying a word. Instead, he lets his kind brown eyes do the talking.
Zeke is a 3-year-old Golden Retriever. He played a big part in Hunt’s ability to run in and finish the Bolder Boulder 10K race in May 2015, she said.
The dog belongs to Michelle and her husband, Ryan Hunt, who serves in the U.S. Air Force at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne.
When Ryan was deployed away from Cheyenne for six months, Zeke and Michelle became best friends.
“It was just me and the dog,” she said. “I was trying to figure out what to do; I thought I’d train for the race and run with Zeke. It would be more motivation for me.”
She reasoned that the workouts would be good for Zeke’s health, too.
Michelle bought a leash called an Iron Doggie that fastens around her waist. The leash is made from a bungee cord material that allows it some give as Zeke jogs alongside her.
“He did great with it,” she said, recalling their training regimen for the race. The two gradually worked their way up to running four and a half miles at time.
They stopped running for a while during her pregnancy and after daughter Grace was born 13 weeks ago.
Now, though, they have started running again. These days, Ryan and Grace go with them, with Ryan pushing the infant in a special stroller.
Michelle said she learned the importance of knowing your dog and his physical capabilities. Also, “make sure he has plenty of water” to prevent dehydration after workouts, she said.