Meet Miles!

Hope you all had a FABULOUS holiday weekend! I know I’ve been MIA, but this time, I have a good reason…I swear!

I know I still owe you all a recap of the Wildwood Half Marathon, and that’s coming soon, promise (although I wouldn’t get too excited…as expected, Todd killed it and I crashed and burned).

The reason it has been so quiet here lately is because last week, we took home a new four-legged family member! Here is MILES, proudly making his blogosphere debut!


Long story short, I saw this little dude on Petfinder earlier this month and IMMEDIATELY had to inquire. I can’t explain it, but I just knew he was our dog. Ever since I moved out of my parents’ house, I have missed having a dog around terribly…so I decided to play the “I want a dog for my 30th birthday” card and started casually looking around on adoption sites.

I had been looking mainly for Shih Tzus (because that’s the breed of our beloved family dog, Riley), and this six-month-old puppy was listed as a Shih Tzu/Cocker Spaniel mix (a.k.a. a ” Cock-a-Tzu,” LOL). And oh, the joy! What I secretly wanted more than anything was a dog that had the potential to become a running buddy (without having to raise a giant dog like a Lab in a condo), and I mean, come on…just LOOK at his long legs. This guy is definitely going to be a runner!


I knew he could be the best of both worlds: the cuddly (and hypoallergenic!) Shih Tzu combined with the athletic Cocker Spaniel. I filled out an application, and later that week we had our first meeting! He was born in Georgia and rescued from what I can only assume was a kill shelter, and he had only been living with his foster mommy at her home-based rescue in North Jersey for a week or two before we snatched him up.

I knew from the second I laid eyes on him that this was MY dog. But Todd needed a little more convincing. He has never had a dog and was actually a little scared of Riley (the ferocious 13-pound Shih Tzu, haha) the first time they met… so for him, this was going to be completely new territory. But I saw the way he fell in love with Riley, so I KNEW that he was a dog person and just didn’t know it yet.

Ladies and gentlemen...the man who was "afraid" of dogs

Ladies and gentlemen…the man who was “afraid” of dogs.

Fortunately, I was SOOO right. I think he recognized that this puppy’s temperament was just unbelievable — energetic and playful but also willing to snuggle on the couch for hours. On our first meeting, it was clear that he was super mellow and mushy, especially for a six-month-old, and I think that’s how Todd knew that this would be the perfect dog to introduce him to the joy of puppy parenthood. :)

So the puppy formerly known as Rhett (his temporary foster home name) came home last Monday…

Yeah, he seemed pretty excited about it. lol

Yeah, he seemed pretty excited about it.

…and I’m fairly confident that he has already made himself at home. :)


Of course, given the fact that our relationship pretty much revolves around running, Miles seemed the only appropriate name for our new dog. Plus, I just think it suits him.


This weekend, we spent lots of time outdoors…including a run in the park. I’m sort of on a running hiatus at the moment since I’m currently experiencing my usual “I’m not training for anything and it’s too hot so I hate running” phase, so Todd ran 5 miles and I squeezed in a casual workout by introducing Miles to the joy of running in the park.

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Miles and I alternated brief periods of running with walking, and I gave him lots of water breaks (yes, I was running around with a bowl in my backpack, lol) and plenty of opportunities to sniff around and meet other dogs…and he seemed to LOVE it. I quickly learned, though, that I’m going to need to invest in some new dog-friendly running gear (like I really need an excuse to buy more running stuff) — the cheap little drawstring bag was bouncing all over the place, and there’s no way I’m going to be able to continue running around with a stinkin’ bowl in my backpack all the time.


Since then, I’ve been taking him out for very short run/walk sessions around the neighborhood. He LOVES being outside and when I say “wanna run?” he’s already learning to pick up the pace a little bit. It’s insanely adorable. But since it’s also so insanely hot, I keep it short and give him plenty of walk/sniff breaks.

The good news? When he is running, dude is FAST. I figure that little by little he’ll learn to love running as much as his new human mommy and daddy…and my ultimate goal is to have him run/walking 5Ks with us when he’s a little older! :)


Overall, Miles is turning out to be the sweetest and most playful little puppy. And, for his age, he’s ridiculously well-behaved. He came to us almost completely potty-trained (WOOHOO!) but we’re working with him on basic commands and he’s picking it up beautifully. Especially since he seems to have a big appetite (just like his mommy and daddy, haha) and is VERY treat-motivated.


He’s already a spoiled rotten doggy with a million toys and bones and I am madly in love with him. He is everything I could have asked for in a canine companion, and I could not be happier!


Miles with just a few of his new toys…and his snazzy personalized toy box (courtesy of Grandma Lesser, LOL) :)

So, long story short, expect Miles and his adventures to be a frequent topic of conversation here at The Final Forty. (His next adventure? Getting a haircut, lol). ;)


Now tell me about YOUR pet! :)

Do you/would you ever run with your dog?

Any recommendations on gear for running with your pet (like a running/hydration backpack that won’t annoy the crap out of me)?! :)



  1. Have you tried REI? They’ve got camping gear for dogs too, and I’m sure they’ve got dog bowls that are easier to carry.

    • Jennifer says:

      Oooh, great idea! Thanks, Lesley! This is brand new territory for me, so I know nothing, lol. Will definitely check it out!

  2. so freaking adorable! I can’t wait to see him on the blog more.

    I am not a pet person and have actually never owned a pet (my younger brother is highly allergic to dogs and cats and now my younger sister has picked up the allergy as well!) and my boyfriend and I don’t want to take care of a pet haha. but we have said if we ever get a pet, we would get a german shepherd :)

    • Jennifer says:

      Hahaha, oh, believe me, ya’ll will be seeing lots of this dog… ;)

      It is a LOT of work, that’s for sure. You have to really want the dog to not mind the crazy puppy shenanigans, lol.

  3. The dog water bottle with a roller ball is the answer. It maybe called Pet Water Bottle. They are metal, top comes off – easy to fill and clean. It comes in two sizes. You don’t need a bowl, and it will fit in the same slot for a regular water bottle on a running belt. The smaller one won’t ride up your back above the water bottle holder. Miles should be able to figure it out, if my pug can.
    Good luck! Enjoy your new life together! It’s a lot of fun. :)

    • Jennifer says:

      Oh, wow! Just Googled it. GENIUS! I was thinking that it would be great to have some sort of water bottle/bowl set-up that I could carry around in my usual running belt.Thanks so much for the tip, I’m totally investing in one of these. Appreciate your advice! :)

      • You could also get a roller ball top that can be screwed on to a water bottle. These are usually an orange plastic, with two different bottoms. The only downside is they only fit the neck of a regular water bottle, not the large mouth opening of a fuel belt running bottle. I have a Zenenergy water bottle belt with a large bottle pocket for me, and the small pocket for the dog – this bottle is the right side for the roller ball cap. They’ve never drank the bottle dry. They know how much to drink. Otherwise, the metal bottle will fit in the pocket, and I’ve added the fuel belt add on bottles for me.

  4. Aww, so cute! I was so excited when I saw this post. Congrats! Oh, and I have a water bottle with a strap on it ( to carry over your shoulder) and it also has a trough on it that folds up on the side. This way you can drink out of the spot and you can also fill up the trough and let miles drink out of it too (not at the same time of

    • Jennifer says:

      Thanks so much, Meranda! Oh, perfect — that sounds like it could totally work, appreciate the tip!

  5. Awwwww Miles is so so so cute! He looks like the perfect little baby for you two! I love the name too – you’re a genius!

    • Jennifer says:

      Thanks so much, Kristina! He really is the perfect puppy (but I do totally refer to him as my little baby, LOL).

  6. Aww, Miles is so cute! He looks like he’s made himself right at home with you and Todd!

    • Jennifer says:

      Thanks, Kathryn! I was honestly a little worried about what it would be like to bring home a rescued dog and whether he’d feel comfortable here, etc…but, fortunately, that doesn’t seem to be an issue whatsoever! :)

  7. oh he’s so cute! i so miss having a dog around the house, but living in 1) a busy city and 2) a small apartment doesn’t make for the best doggy conditions. so i have a cat! when i first met my boyfriend, he said he didn’t like cats. now, fast forward two years, he’s obsessed with my cat. boys are silly like that haha. can’t wait to hear more about miles’ adventures!

    • Jennifer says:

      Thanks, Brittney! Aw, yeah, I hear ya. LOL, too funny. Todd insisted that he was “uncomfortable” around dogs, and now you should see the way he snuggles and plays with Miles. Ridiculous. Hahaha.

  8. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! SO jealous! Every year I’ve been alive I’ve asked for/wanted a puppy. Unfortunately, even though I’ve been out of my house for years, my apartment does not allow pets. I guess I’ll just have to vicariously have a dog through you! Can’t wait all about cutie Miles’ adventures! Keep the pictures coming!

    • Jennifer says:

      Thanks, Kellie! Aw, I know, my last apartment didn’t allow pets, either. TORTURE. :( I’ve been waiting for this little guy for a loooooong time.

      You know I will!!!! :-D

  9. Oh my goodness, congratulations! He is SOOO cute!

    I’m sure you’ve seen pictures of my Madison, we are so obsessed with her and I honestly can not imagine my life without her, but a little secret?? I wasn’t really a dog person either and I wasn’t 100% convinced I wanted a dog when I got her, so long story short I think Todd will be just fine : )

    • Jennifer says:

      Thanks, Danielle! We are madly in love with him already.

      Awww, really?! Crazy! I know it’s going to be the same for Todd. You should see this guy, the way he cuddles and smooches the dog now. It was just a few short months ago when he insisted he “was afraid of dogs,” LOL. I just knew he was a “dog person” deep down!

  10. Congratulations on your new dog! I love the name. I have a child sized camelbak and I bet I could fit a small bowl in there. Or maybe one of those collapsible dog bowls. Then you’d have water and a way to carry your dog bowl!

  11. OMG! He is so cute. And what a perfect name :) Congrats to you guys and enjoy your new fur baby. They are the best!

  12. Congratulations!!! So exciting! Miles is SO cute! I love when people get dogs, and especially when they adopt dogs!! Your story is so much like mine with Cinderella. I just knew she was “the one” when I read her profile on PetFinder. My favorite running gadget for her is a running leash that straps around your waist–much easier than hand-held. Can’t wait to see more pics!

    • Jennifer says:

      Awww, so sweet! I was thinking I’d sound like a crazy person if I said that I “just knew” based on a Petfinder profile…but I really did!

      I am DEFINITELY planning on getting one of those, thanks for the tip! Right now, I’m looping the leash through a water belt, and while it works okay, it’s definitely not the ideal solution, lol.

  13. Oh my goodness!! Congrats on your new furbaby!! He is adorable and I’m so happy to see everyone all cuddly together. =) I have been trying to get a 2nd pup for what seems like forever now, and was really hoping that when I played my 30th card back in April it would finally happen…but alas I’m still just loving on my Toby. There really is nothing quite like the love of a dog! =)

    I use the H204K9 water bottle whenever we take Toby out and about, I like that it’s more of a bowl like situation without a bowl, and we can each have our own water supply.

    I look forward to seeing more of him on your blog!! =)

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