Bella is 2 years old, weighs 56 pounds and is full of energy. They met over a year ago, as Morgan was pushing herself to qualify for Boston.
“I didn’t want to quit,” she said. “But I needed something to turn the runner’s burnout around.”
So she researched dogs and running. Most experts agreed that black Labs made perfect running partners because of their high energy levels. Morgan visited her local shelter, Vanderburgh Humane Society, and that’s where she spotted a spirited black Lab puppy.
“I knew she was the right running dog for me,” she said.
But Bella was only 6 months old when Morgan brought her home and the veterinarian recommended that Morgan wait until the pup was a year old before running with her. For six months, they took frequent walks. After the dog’s first birthday, they started with short runs.
“We just started with a half a mile,” she said. “I would go on longer runs and I would get her for the cool down.”
As Bella became comfortable, Morgan slowly added more miles. They now run between 35 to 45 miles a week. They often run 5Ks, 8Ks and 10Ks and have completed eight half marathons and one full marathon together this year.
“I always call and ask the race director for permission,” Morgan said.
Bella motivates Morgan, and never slows her down. Though, Morgan has to plan water and bathroom breaks for Bella.