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Whippet pushes - and pulls - Okotoks vet out of her comfort zone

"He's getting me to do things I never dreamed of."
NEWS-Scooter Dog BWC 0166 web
Okotoks veterinarian Dr. Miranda Logan's whippet Fitz pulls her along the Tucker Parkway on Sept. 23.

Ever since she was a child, Miranda Logan has detested exercise. She would rather cuddle up with a good book and relax. 

But, when she realized her two-year-old whippet, Fitz, was in need of more exercise than just that of a simple walk around the block, she was pressed to do something she never imagined she would do — run. 

"He's getting me to do things I never dreamed of," said the longtime veterinarian and owner of Foothills Animal Hospital. 

Dr. Logan got Fitz in the spring of 2020, after a four-year wait and challenges getting the mom across the Canada-U.S. border. 

"It lucked out that between the first and second lockdown — the week that the lockdown lifted — was when the pups were five weeks old, so I could go visit," she said. 

Logan added she was so excited to meet her dog for the first time that she had started counting down the minutes three days before. 

He was energetic and bubbly right from the get-go, and the animal doc new he was special. 

To satisfy Fitz's needs, Logan began canicross — cross country running with her dog attached around her waist. A short time later she transitioned to mushing using a scooter light enough for her 38-and-a-half-pound dog to pull via a comfortable harness. 

"He loves it," she said. 

Fitz has ran as fast as 39 km/h with his mom in tow. Logan said she uses a contraption to hold her phone on the scooter's handlebars to capture things from her point of view. She also runs an app to capture her dog's speed. 

The now two-and-a-half year old whippet has also been competing in Canadian Kennel Club sanctioned sprinter events, where his 100 metre dash record sits just over 50 km/h. 

Logan and Fitz headed to a competition in Rocky View County on the weekend, where the vet was anxious to see if her pup could break his own record. At a similar event, Logan said Fitz's mom once ran 55 km/h. 

"When I have to slow him down, whether I'm running or on the scooter, he just looks at me like it was such a disappointment like "Why are we slowing down mom? Can we not keep going?"" she said. 

Despite choosing a scooter to be closer to the ground, Logan hasn't been immune from the occasional crash, but that doesn't stop her. 

"Thanks to my mom, teaching me how to ride a horse, the first thing you are taught is how to fall off the horse before you ride," she said. "So it's kind of some of that innately coming back and I'm not as scared of falling off because I've done it." 

Cool bruises, the occasional swear word and road rash are all worth it for Logan when she gets to see Fitz in his element. 

And that, above all, is what gets her back on that pavement or that scooter time and time again, no matter how long a day she's had or how tired she is. 

"Without him, I would not be doing this, at all," she said.