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TruMan the Running Doxie — July, 2022
TruMan Trumie, the ‘Dirt Doxie,’ is the loyal running companion of Catra Corbett, an accomplished ultramarathon runner who has finished over 160 events of one hundred miles or more, including eighteen races of two hundred miles or more. They have grown so close over the past ten years that Catra channeled TruMan for this interview. After living the first six plus years of his life in a crowded house with over twenty dogs, TruMan was fostered and then adopted by Catra in 2012. His amazing running ability for a small dachshund was evident rapidly as he progressed form never running to three, five, eight and ten miles. TruMan ran his first half marathon in 2013 and first marathon in 2014. He became the first dachshund to finish a 50k race in 2015. A picture of TruMan running that 50k with Catra is on the cover of her autobiography, ‘Reborn on the Run: My Journey from Addiction to Ultramarathons.’ He was a team member of the Icebreaker Run across USA in 2016 to raise awareness about mental health and drug addiction. His running adventures include reaching the summits of 14,000-foot White Mountain, Mount Dana, Mission Peak and Leavitt Peak, running the entire Ohlone Wilderness Trail and the 13-mile Yosemite Valley floor loop. The sixteen-year-old senior dog stopped running in August 2021 due to congestive heart failure. His lifetime running mileage is 12,094 miles. TruMan currently walks two miles a day with sporadic running interspersed as he ‘coaches’ his brother, BaXter Blue, and sister, Whitney Sierra. His personal best times are: 10k trail – 1:12;1/2 marathon trail – 2:08; marathon – 5:15 and 50k trail – 6:46. TruMan lives in Bishop, California with his Momo and siblings, BaXter and Whitney. Catra and TruMan were kind to spend forty-five minutes on the phone in the summer of 2022 for this interview.
GCR: Back in 2012 you were living with a hoarder woman and over twenty dogs and were scared. What was it like to leave this unpleasant situation for an unknown community where you didn’t know how it would be and there were new people and unfamiliar places?
TruMan I was excited to get out of that situation because it was a scary place. I went to foster care for a while by Catra until she picked me to adopt. I actually picked her and that is how it worked out. I got involved with her and she gave me a great home and lots of treats and attention. She helped me work through all my fears and started taking me out on walks on the trails. That is where I thrived – being outdoors and in nature and around nice people in a beautiful environment. It made me very comfortable.
GCR: What was it like when you first went on walks with Catra on the roads with lots of noise and cars?
TruMan It was scary at first, because where I lived, I hadn’t been outside. All the scary sounds, like vehicles and busses, traffic, people on skateboards, and bikes, scared me because I hadn’t been around any of that. I lived in the back yard and inside a house for my first six and a half years. Catra took me outside and introduced me to all those things where I was fearful, and I learned those scary things weren’t out to get me. They wouldn’t hurt me. They were just sounds around me. She built up my confidence. I would sit outside with her and experience the noises and realize they weren’t to be scared of because they weren’t coming after me. It made me more confident and relaxed when I was around scary noises and scary sounds.
GCR: What was it like to transition to peaceful trails and your first run at Mission Peak, which is one of your favorite trails?
TruMan My mom took me out to Mission Peak. She decided she was going to put me on the ground, start running and see if I followed her. She knew that, if I didn’t follow her, I would stop and lay down on the ground if I was scared. I would put in the brakes. She started running and I started following her. It was the best day of my life. I learned all about trails that day. I followed her and didn’t care about the cows or wild turkeys or birds that were around me. I followed right at her footsteps. That first day I did three miles of mostly walking with some running thrown in.
GCR: That was quite a bit to go on your first day. When you started going longer – five miles, six miles, eight miles – did you think about not being able to keep going that far or did you follow in your mom’s happy place?
TruMan I followed in my happy place with my mom because I was stuck inside for so many years. I didn’t know what it was like to be running around. I wanted to go where she took me. I followed her and she showed me all these cool places. I got to go up in the mountains and run on soft dirt and run through the grass. I met people along the way when I was running. They would stop and pet me. It was fun.
GCR: Your runs kept getting longer out to ten miles, twelve miles and a half marathon. What was it like, were people astounded you were running so far, and did you inspire people to run because of what a little doxie was doing?
TruMan It wasn’t anything to me because I was following my mom. I enjoyed running and it wasn’t hard for me. Many people would say things like, ‘Oh, that poor little dog with the little legs.’ My mom would say, ‘It’s not a poor little dog with little legs. He came from a harsh environment.’ People didn’t realize I was doing this because I loved running. I didn’t know that because I was a little miniature dachshund that I wasn’t supposed to go this far. But all my doctors said that it was fine if I had an x-ray every year to make sure my spine was okay, and I wasn’t injuring myself. My mom took loving care of me. We went to the vet each year to ensure I wasn’t doing any damage since dachshunds are prone to spinal injuries. But that is because of jumping off things and not because they are running. I did inspire many people. In the middle of half marathons, I would hear people say, ‘Oh no, Truman is passing us!’ They would try to beat me, but they couldn’t because I was too fast.
GCR: What was the feeling when you put on a runner’s bib, were an official race entrant and received a medal for finishing races?
TruMan I loved that. I knew when I put a bib on that was the time I was going to run faster than when I was normally training. When I was training, it was always fun. When we would go to a race and I would put my number on, then I knew I had to hurry up to try to get past all the people.
GCR: As we mentioned, you were adopted in 2012 and, as time and your running progressed, two years later you ran your first marathon in 2014. What was it like to be out there for 26.2 miles and many, many hours? Was it tiring or fun or a combination?
TruMan I wasn’t tired. It was fun. I had three of my friends with me, but my mom was overly protective of me. She was worried that it would be hard on me and I couldn’t handle it. But little did she know that I was doing just fine. She gave me water and snacks and I wanted to keep on going. I wanted to keep running with all my friends. I wasn’t even tired at the end.
GCR: As if a marathon wasn’t enough, the next year in 2015 you became the first dachshund to run 50k, you became an ultramarathon dog and extremely famous in the running world. What can you tell us about that?
TruMan I loved it. I knew I could go further. My mom trained me up in the high mountains. I knew when I going to do my first 50k that it wasn’t mountainous. It was super flat. It was warm, so she wetted me down and kept water on me. She gave me snack breaks and made me eat enough and I was fine at the end. I didn’t have any issues, not even with my paws.
GCR: Did you ever have problems with your paws from uneven or rocky surfaces?
TruMan Not once in my entire running career did I have issues with my paws. Even when I ran in the big mountains and went up 14,000-foot peaks, I never had bloody paws or had to wear boots.
GCR: Let’s chat a bit about your races. Do you know about how many total races you ran, and which ones are most memorable races for hard trails or tough weather?
TruMan I think I have run ten official races. One was a forty-eight-hour race where I ran around in a big circle and that one I didn’t like so much. I had to go past my snacks every two miles, and I didn’t like that. I prefer to go out and then come back to the finish fifteen miles later. Running on the Ohlone trail was great when my mom and I went out together. We fast packed it together, not as a race because dogs can’t be in that race as it is too hot. We did twenty-five miles the first day and we slept on the ground. We finished it the next day before it got to be a hundred and five degrees. That was one of my most memorable experiences because my mom had to keep wetting me down. It got super-hot, but I was fine if she kept me cool. We made sure we finished super early in the morning. That is a trail that most dogs aren’t allowed on. The park rangers allowed me to be on the trail with my mom as long as she took care of me and got me safely all the way to the finish.
GCR: When people became more aware of your running exploits, how neat was it when race directors began making special awards for the first dog to finish a race and you were treated like a king?
TruMan I loved it. When we did the Ohlone 50k the first time, that is when I got that special award. My mom has run two hundred miles out there a bunch of times, but that is one of my favorite awards. It’s a big post of the Ohlone wilderness. Backpackers aren’t even able to have their dogs out there overnight and since I was the only dog allowed out there it was special. Some of my other race director friends have made me awards for their races. They also give me extra treats, which is always nice.
GCR: A place I enjoyed hiking in California was in Yosemite National Park. How did you like running in that beautiful park?
TruMan I love it, but the problem with Yosemite is dogs can only stay on the valley floor. My mom would take me there, but we couldn’t go in the high mountains or up to the big waterfalls. We could only stay on the valley floor. She has taken me a few times on the thirteen-mile loop there where they allow dogs. We drove just outside of the park, on the edge of Yosemite and I got to go up Mount Dana which is a thirteen-thousand-foot peak that is partially inside Yosemite, but it starts on the outside of the park. My mom says there are no signs, so I got to go up there. We did see other dogs there.
GCR: Where are other places where you have done long runs over the last ten years that are your favorite places to run?
TruMan Up near Sonora Pass, I always liked doing Leavitt Peak that is along the Pacific Crest Trail. We would do twenty-mile runs and see lots of hikers. My mom would bring a cooler with snacks and drinks for the hikers and leave it at the trailhead. When we passed hikers, my mom would let them know that at the bottom of the trailhead they could get some snacks and drinks. That was one of my favorite places to run. When we moved to Bishop, I would go up Bishop Pass, which goes up almost to twelve thousand feet in altitude. That was one of my favorite passes. I liked to go in the white mountains and got to do my only fourteen-thousand-foot peak at White Mountain Peak. I was passing all the hikers and was able to make it to the top.
GCR: hat is amazing because there is so little oxygen, but did you just keep on trucking without any problems?
TruMan Yes, I never had any issues at attitude ever in my whole life.
GCR: You do most of your running, TruMan, with your ‘Momo’ Catra, but sometimes you are running with Phil Nimmo, whom I’m calling ‘Popo.’ What are similarities and differences when you run with ‘Momo’ versus ‘Popo’?
TruMan I like running with my Momo better. She stays with me, and she knows the things I need. ‘Popo’ Phil, I call him ‘Pil Pil,’ and that is what he goes by. He runs and takes care of me, but I prefer running with my Momo as she knows me better and I feel more comfortable with her. Her friends have taken me running when Momo is out of town, but I prefer being with her because she knows me best and I feel safest with her.
GCR: Even though you feel safe out there, when you are on trails, every now and then you can get lost or slip down a steep slope. Are there times that are memorable because you were lost and it took a while before you found your Momo, or you slipped on a slope and took a bad fall where you were hurt and couldn’t wait to be rescued or found?
TruMan One time a big dog lunged at me, and I fell thirty feet down an embankment. Luckily, my doctor said that because I was in such good shape, I kind of rolled. I landed in soft sand instead of rocks and didn’t get hurt. The big dog scared me, and I lost my balance. Two summers ago, my Momo took me with my brother, Baxter, and we went on an overnight camping trip. She didn’t know I was going deaf, and I am deaf now. We were running down the trail and she got going too fast for me. Baxter stayed with her. She thought I was with her, but I couldn’t see where they had gone, and I couldn’t hear her when she was calling me. I somehow managed to go down a game trail and was lost for about an hour. I was down at the very bottom of the trail and was stuck in a ravine. I almost tumbled into the river, and then I started barking. I couldn’t hear my mom. I kept barking and she finally found me. That was very scary – mostly scary for my mom. It was scary for me because I’m deaf and I can’t hear anymore.
GCR: Due to the annual changes in weather, there are times when you are running in summer heat of over a hundred degrees and winter cold in the twenties with snow. What are your memories of running in the heat versus the snow and which do you like better?
TruMan I like running in the heat. I do very well, and my mom lets me go into all the creeks to cool off. In the summertime when we run low in Bishop, we go very early in the morning and run along the canal. There are many spots of the canal where I can go down and take a dip in the water. We have to go early in the summer as it is too hot to run there as the day goes on. In the afternoon, my Momo drives me up to the mountains. There are river crossings and lakes. I don’t like snow. I don’t like being wet and cold. I’m little and skinny. We decided that wet and cold is not my jam. I like the heat. I do fine when I’m running in ninety-degree heat. I don’t like being cold and wet. My mom has this suit she put on me in the winter, but I don’t like being wet and having my feet in the snow. My feet get cold so now she puts me in a little pack when she goes snowshoeing.
GCR: I have followed your exploits and you have some amazing totals for a dachshund for most miles run over certain periods. What are your most miles in a week and year?
TruMan My mom hasn’t written them all down, but I’ve done over two thousand miles in a year. My biggest week is more than sixty miles. My mom didn’t let me go on back-to-back weeks with long runs. Every other week she would let me do a twenty or twenty-five mile run with her. On the in between week, my longest run would be about fifteen miles with her. I have done multiple days of fifteen-mile runs.
GCR: What was it like six years ago on the Icebreaker Run across USA in 2016 to raise awareness about mental health and drug addiction which was a 23-day relay? How was it being in many hotel rooms, cars with strangers and new surroundings? Was there a mixture of being scared versus confidence, and of fear versus embracement of new experiences?
TruMan I loved it. I was a little bit shy in the beginning, but then I got to know all the Icebreaker team. All the people across the country would come out to see us. They were asking for me and brought me toys and treats. Other wiener dogs came to meet me and take pictures with me. I was getting a lot of attention and loving it. The human team was a little upset because people were e-mailing asking, ‘Where can we meet TruMan? Where will TruMan be next?’ I met a lot of people and had a wonderful time. I wasn’t scared at all. I made friends and got to run with my mom every day wherever we were. The running part was scary as there were cars and big trucks coming towards us, so she would let me run mostly through towns where it was safer, and we could run on the sidewalk. If we were in a scary area, she wouldn’t let me run that day or would wait for a safer place so I could get in a few miles for that day.
GCR: Let’s switch gears for a few questions about how you and your ‘Momo’ bonded. First, as much as Catra had saved you, how do you save her at times when ‘Momo’ is depressed or struggling and is it a two-way street, this bond between the two of you?
TruMan I always help my mom. She always tells me that when she is sad, she looks at me and gets inspired as she sees how hard I work to overcome all my obstacles that are hard for any human to overcome. She would get depressed, but she knew she had to be grateful and thankful and happy for me or I will feel that negative energy and become sad. I helped her for sure. She said that she didn’t pick me, that I picked her. I think that’s true because I wanted to have the right human. I could have gone to another home and sat on somebody’s lap and been content. My mom wanted to show me the world, so I picked her because I wanted to see the world.
GCR: How nice was it in the beginning when you had PTSD from the hoarder lady and your Momo had her past drug addiction and you were helping each other move past these tough ties in your past?
TruMan Yes, we helped each other, and we continue to help each other to this day.
GCR: People often get in tough situations and spiral downward. How was it for both of you to realize that being in a tough situation didn’t mean you had to be there forever?
TruMan We learn from where we are. If we are in a positive environment, then we are not afraid of things and can get through our life more easily. I don’t have much PTSD anymore. It went away. I’m not afraid of cars. I’m not afraid of anything. In fact, I have a brother and sister now and I beat them up (laughing), so I’m not afraid of anything.
GCR: When we are close with someone, like you are with your ‘Momo,’ we share happy times and getting through dark times, so how is it as you are inspiring each other to be your best?
TruMan It’s a wonderful thing to do to inspire each other. I’m just a little dog and people look at me with awe. My mom always tells people, ‘This little dog has run 50k races, but he is retired now.’ They look at me and decide that they can run a 50k race if a dog born with four-inch-long legs can run a 50k. People are inspired by her running and sometimes she will get e-mails that say things like, ‘We have a little dachshund and we never thought about running with our dachshund.’ They want to start a running program for their dog. My mom will give them advice based on what we did, and it helps inspire other people with little dogs to think that little dogs don’t have to sit around. They want to get out too and venture around.
GCR: Your ’Momo’ is well-known for her colorful personality, multi-colored hair, bright colored clothing, rings and piercings and tattoos and totally being out there looking awesome. How is it when she transfers this flamboyance and excitement and energy to you with birthday celebrations and special outfits and hats and cakes? Is that exciting to have these big celebrations?
TruMan I don’t mind it. My mom started putting hats and funny outfits on me and I just go with the flow because I know it makes my mom happy. I do whatever she wants me to do to make her happy and people get a laugh out of it, and it inspires them. She started dressing me in cute little outfits when we lived in the bay area so I wouldn’t get scraped by the bushes and branches. I used to wear my little goggles because I had had eye injuries. People thought my mom had me wear goggles to make a fashion statement while in reality it wasn’t a fashion statement and was for protection.
GCR: Your ’Momo’s’ book, ‘Reborn on the Run: My Journey from Addiction to Ultramarathons,’ was published in 2017. How cool was it for you to be on the cover as, not only was your Momo moving forward, but you were too as you both inspired people?
TruMan My mom wanted me to be on the cover because she wrote a chapter about me and her love of wiener dogs. It was a great picture and was from my first 50k race, so she used it for us both to be on the cover. Having a little dog on there helps to inspire other people once they look at the cover and then they realize when they read the inside that it is me doing my first 50k. That inspires them to push further.
GCR: I was a strong runner in my younger days, still run daily, and haven’t run an ultramarathon, so Truman, you are inspiring me.
TruMan You need to run one. There are no excuses!
GCR: Speaking of that book, how is it when people order the book, and you sign it with your paw print? What is it like putting your paw on the inkpad and then on the book? Is it fun for you and then do you have to get your paw cleaned afterward?
TruMan We use an ink that is non-toxic. My mom made sure we have a safe ink. I love stamping my little paw on there because I know that when people buy the book and they want my little ‘pawtograph’ that a dollar from each book sold goes to the Kentucky Animal Relief Fund for senior dog rescue, so I am helping my people.
GCR: For many years, you were by yourself with your Momo. What was it like a couple of years ago when she got you a running buddy, Baxter Blue, and how exciting and fun has that been?
TruMan My mom figured that I needed a brother because I was getting older and needed more of a job instead of being an only dog. I was getting up there in age and she thought I needed someone that I could inspire. It was fun in the beginning, but then he gets a lot of attention and I’m not too fond of that. He is a little annoying because he always wants to play and carry his toys around and I’m just not liking that. He’s a good boy. He’s a mellow boy. The good news is that I can boss him around. If I just look at him and he knows I don’t want to sleep next to him, he will go in his own little area. I do love my BaXter Blue brother, but I’m in charge and have to make sure he knows that. BaXter is more of the ‘Pil Pil,’ ‘Popo,’ ‘Dada’s dog. BaXter knows that, if I am with my mom, he’d better stay away and BaXter has bonded very well with Phil. I love taking BaXter out and teaching him about running. I’m glad BaXter likes the snow, so my Momo doesn’t have to take me to the snow. She can take BaXter to the snow.
GCR: How different was it getting your second sibling and running buddy, a sister, Whitney Sierra, who joined the crew and made you a doggie trio?
TruMan Oh, she is so annoying! She was a puppy, ten months old, and I let her know right away she needed to stay on her side of the house because she is too hyper. I am getting old, and I like my sleepy time and to relax. My Momo thought she had to get a dog for BaXter. She got BaXter for me and then decided BaXter needed a sister and someone to play with. Now I’m happy, because those two run around and play. I can observe them and, if I need to be the referee, I jump in there and stop everything. I do like my sister. We finally have clicked together, and we sleep next to each other. When the humans aren’t home, we all sleep in the same bed. But, when the humans are home, we act like we don’t like each other as much. I get along with both of them. Since I am getting up there in age and am sixteen years old, it’s good that I’m deaf now because I don’t have to hear the ruckus when they are running around.
GCR: Speaking of being a senior dog and sixteen years old, what has it been like as you went deaf, have diminished eyesight and have slowing down to shorter running and mostly walking? Is this just the state of life and you accept the new reality?
TruMan I have a cardiologist because I have congestive heart failure. Last year my mom got very sad because I almost died. Because I was so healthy and strong, they put me in an oxygen chamber and then on a new medication which definitely helped me. I think I am outliving their expectations as to how long I might live. But I’m not ready to go over the rainbow bridge yet. I told my mom I’m going to stay a while longer and, when I get very tired and want to go, then that is when I’m going to go – when I know my work here is done. I like walking. I still walk two miles every day. Often, I will throw in a quarter mile sprint. Today I was sprinting. Some days are very, very good and some days I like to walk, go in the water and hang out. My brother and sister come and that is when we have a super fun time because I like when they run past me, and I try to chase them. We have a fun time when we are outside. I can’t go up to high altitude anymore. My mom took me up a couple times, but my cardiologist suggested we stay lower because the altitude can affect my heart. At this point in time, I stay low. I’m happy with that and happy with my two mile walks every day. Otherwise, I like to sleep most of the day.
GCR: Your first six years of life, you were in a house with a hoarder and not much was happening. How nice has it been over the past ten years to reach your potential as a living, breathing mammal on planet earth?
TruMan I love it! I didn’t like hiding for six-and-a-half years from all these other yapping dogs. When I came and met my Momo and was living in a safe environment and a loving environment, I thrived. She never coddled me when I was afraid of things or people. She would pick me up and hand me to the stranger to let me know that the stranger isn’t to be feared. These people that she knows are all nice people. They weren’t trying to scare me or do anything bad, and I loved my life. I thrived and had the best life. My mom said that all she wanted was the next six-and-a-half years for me to have my best life and she would be happy. I’m overliving those years. I have gone past the thirteen years she thought I would live and I’m still living my best life. I get out every single day and venture. She takes me to the store and every time I hear, ‘Truman.’ They want to pet me and see me. They love seeing the senior dog and am impressed that I’m still going.
GCR: Please comment on the last two sentences in ‘Reborn on the Run’ regarding addiction and mental health issues which read are as follows: ‘The first step is always the hardest part. But once you get help, you too can be amazing.’ How true is that for you and how true is that for others?
TruMan It is so very true for everybody, whether you are in addiction or a horrible environment. For me, it was being in a scary environment. I learned to be confident. When you are around people who love you, everything is going to be okay, and you can have the best life that you are meant to have.
  Inside Stuff
Fun around the house My mom won’t think this is a fun, shenanigans but, when she takes off and is gone for a few days for a race and Pil Pil has to watch us, we tend to poop all over the house. We get mad that she doesn’t take us with her. I still like to go places with her, but she doesn’t feel I will be safe. She prefers to keep me at home and she’s right because I can’t hear. I get a little nervous when she’s gone, and we all tend to act out like that. I like to get involved with BaXter and Whitney when they are running around. They do what are called ‘zoomies’ all throughout the house. I’m slower than them so I stand on one end of the hallway when I know they are going to do the big loop and I intercept them and grab whatever they have. I try to grab their toys from them and try to stop them and have a wrestling match with them. Wrestling is one of our favorite things to do. BaXter and Whitney are always wrestling. They tear apart all their toys, so my mom doesn’t get mad at me because she knows it’s them making a big mess in the whole house
Favorite dog toys, blanket or sleeping place I have a favorite blanket that has my name on it. I raised money for a senior dog that is a dachshund that somebody threw behind a dumpster. She was a senior and almost died. I raised five thousand dollars for her, and her people sent me a blanket that says, ‘Trumie, Trumie, Dirt Doxie,’ with little paws on it. That’s my favorite blankie. I have a little soft donut bed that my mom got me as I got older. It’s good for dogs with arthritis. It’s a big, fluffy donut and I sleep in the middle. I love it. I’m not much into toys anymore but, if BaXter and Whitney have toys, I try to take away their toys. So, whatever toy they have is my favorite toy
Nicknames ‘TruMan Trumie’ and ‘The Dirt Doxie.’ My mom also has lots more names for me like ‘Mr T.,’ ‘T-Rex’ and ‘T-osaurus Rex,’ because now sometimes I act mean. When I am in a growling mood toward my brother, she calls me ‘T-Rex.’ I only have two teeth left in the front of my mouth, but I can fight with the best of them still
Favorite music When I could hear I loved when my mom did crazy stuff and listened to music. I liked whatever she liked. I would just go with the flow. She would have me do all this silly stuff and pick me up and swing me around in the air. I would go because I feel safe with her. Whatever makes her happy, made me happy
Favorite food Carrots. When we go on walks every day, my mom brings carrots and bananas. Those are our favorites because we can have those all day long and nobody gains weight. I can eat more variety, but brother BaXter tends to gain weight, so he eats lots of fruit and vegetables. Since I have very few teeth now, Momo has to chew up the carrots for me so I can eat them
Favorite dog treats We love our Puppuccinos! My favorite is to have a Puppuccino. Now that I have a brother and sister, there are more birthdays, so more Puppuccinos. Before I would only get a Puppuccino on Momo’s birthday and Pil Pil’s birthday and my birthday, but now there are more Puppuccinos. And sometimes she takes us for Puppuccinos because we deserve a treat
Favorite drink We love having smoothies in the summer which is the only time Momo makes them. She makes smoothies every day and gives us some of the smoothie
Early running memories Another first running memory is the first time I ran a whole five miles on this one loop we do. It was the first week I had started running and she decided to keep running and to see what I could do. It was out in the Ohlone Wilderness Area on a trail called the Panorama Loop. Momo still takes me over there when I go to Fremont. We go on the Panorama Loop which was my favorite running memory because I did five miles when I had only done three miles at the most. That’s when she decided to sign me up for a 10k. Two weeks later she signed me up for my first 10k
Greatest running moments Running and hiking up to the top of my first ‘fourteener,’ which is a fourteen-thousand-foot mountain. My very first time going up to Lovett Peak at thirteen thousand feet. We ran until it got very rocky and the last half a mile or three quarters of a mile it was so rocky that my mom had to carry me because I was going in between rocks, getting stuck and I couldn’t get out. She tried to get me to go to the top on my own little feet, but we have been up to the top of that peak many times and I can’t do it by myself on that last stretch as it is too rocky. That is one of my favorite milestones – to be able to go up to Lovett Peak. Another is being able to do the whole Ohlone Wilderness Trail
Worst running moments There was one time when my mom was on a rock taking a selfie that I tried to jump up on the big rock and I slipped off. I didn’t break anything, but my mom had to carry me. She carried me down the steep side and I was in pain. A coyote started following us because he knew I was hurt. My mom thought, ‘If I put him on the ground, he’s going to get eaten by the coyote.’ So, she carried me safely. I was in pain, and I was crying. I ended up at the vet and he said nothing was broken. I got some medication and felt better. That was a very scary time for me. That was my biggest injury. One time we were on the course for the Tahoe Two Hundred about five years ago and my mom had two trekking poles that had sharp points. I ran into the end of one and scratched my cornea. That took a long time to heal. That was my last eye injury and healed in three months. Those are my two injuries
Funny memories It’s funny when I’m out on the trail and passing people and they are feeling badly because they are trying to catch me, and they can’t catch me. At the end they will say, ‘I tried to catch you so hard, but that little dog keeps moving.’ My mom would say, ‘He never got the memo that he wasn’t supposed to be a runner.’ It is funny when I finish in front of so many humans and they get embarrassed that they got beat by a little wienie dog
Embarrassing moments I always try to tell my mom I have to poop before the start of each race. But I get nervous, and I can’t. We start off the race and, usually after a few miles on the trail, I have to poop. In my very first trail race, she didn’t realize that was going to happen and I pooped right in the middle of the trail. Runners had to go around me and my mom was so embarrassed when she had to pick up my poop. Now she knows to go off to the side of the trail with me because I will always have to poop within five minutes of the start of the race
Favorite places to travel Moab, Utah is my favorite, favorite place. I got to crew my mom there for the Moab 240-mile race. I love that area. It is very dog friendly. The people are cool. I love all the different rock formations there. It is a beautiful, beautiful place
Final comments from TruMan People don’t realize that I am coaching my little sister. I coached BaXter and he ran a half marathon, but he doesn’t want to get involved in the ultra-running scene. My little sister, Whitney, is getting all my advice and she is up to running seventeen miles. She could probably do twenty miles now, but my mom hasn’t taken her that far because it’s too hot. Whitney and BaXter are both going to do their first fourteener this year. By the end of the year, Whitney will probably be doing a 50k race. I’m coaching her to take over so I can just relax here. I want people to know that, if you have a little dog, please know that little dogs want to do big things and big adventures. Even if they don’t want to run with you, they may want to go on long hikes. If you just give us a chance and train us like you do with your big dogs, the little dogs want to go too
Final comments from interviewer Thank you TruMan for a great interview. You have held nothing back and I’m sure that everyone who reads this will truly enjoy it. I hope that, before the rainbow bridge calls, you will have many, many happy days and happy months that continue as long as possible