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Being the Company Our Dogs Think We Are

Posted on June 14 2021

Hi friends.  Some of you have seen a social media post where Kebby shared the sad news that our beloved dog Beaumont passed away suddenly a couple weeks ago.  

We had already written this blog before he passed, but held off posting it because it was just too painful to even discuss.  Even now, we're still incredibly sad, but we thought it made sense to share these thoughts. 

Like so many of you know, pets are many things. They can be a friend, a faithful companion, a protector and even a role model. If we all emulated their loyalty, friendship, playfulness and ability to live in the moment, the world would better off for it. 

So, in a way this post is a tribute to Beau's gentle spirit and in a way, it's a statement about what's important in our lives. It's also a reminder of how we want to conduct ourselves as a company and as human beings.  Here's the original post.    

Dogs and Triathlon

If you follow us on social media, you’ve probably picked up that, in addition to wanting to build a community of encouraging and supportive women, we also have a love that is a bit outside of the endurance sports world. 

Namely pets.  To be more specific…Dogs.  To be clear, we love all animals and would welcome every manner of creature into our world, but we have a special place in our hearts for dogs.

Over the years, I’ve enjoyed and benefited from my association with quite a few furry companions and don’t see that changing any time soon, ever.

Dog with Running Shoe

A subtle suggestion that it's time to go for a run

True story. Before founding Coeur, I was going down the path of starting a pet rescue or perhaps a doggy daycare center.  We were living in Atlanta, Georgia and I was working on the business plan, the name, and the logo while Reg was looking for suitable buildings to lease.  We were trying to have some fun with the name, and I thought about calling it Fur.  The plan was to put an umlaut over the “u” so that it almost rhymed with the word “Lure”.  We thought that the dichotomy between the self-important and slightly hoity toity name and the reality of a building full of bouncing, barking and slobbering dogs having the times of their lives would be hilarious.

But, as fate would have it, I was also deep into Ironman Triathlon training at this time and was having to deal with the excruciating pain that came from that endeavor. Ironically, the worst pain wasn’t from the training, even though that was plenty hard, but rather from the post-ride shower water hitting my chaffed backside.  Too many rides in mass produced stock garments planted the seed that I might want to try and create a line of sportswear that was custom designed for a woman’s body.

When Reg was offered a job at Petco’s headquarters in California and we decided to move, I somewhat reluctantly put the plans for Fur on hold.

Run with Dogs

At Petco, Reg got to work on a Run with your Dog event called the 5K9

In the end, things worked out because we moved to Southern California which is an area that is not only conducive to swimming, biking, and running year-round, but that also had a disproportionate number of apparel-related resources. Eventually Coeur came to life and here we are almost seven years later.

We knew from day one that Coeur would have to stand for something, and we’ve never been shy about using the platform to lobby for causes that are near and dear to our hearts.

Most of our time has been spent supporting social issues, such as Cancer fundraising and efforts to draw more women into endurance sports, but that doesn’t mean that our love for our four- legged housemates has diminished one bit.

In fact, over the last year it’s grown even more. I’ve drawn more emotional support from our dogs than at almost any time in my life.

I can’t count the number of times over the past year when I’ve come home stressed and exhausted only to be revived by a wet nose, a wagging tail and a deeply satisfying harumph as the two of them just plop down beside me.  It’s as if they are saying that all they want is to be together.  No expectations, no judgements, just being present is enough. 

Dogs Resting

Recently, I even realized that, without even consciously thinking about it, we’ve tried to build Coeur’s DNA to match that of our pets. Here are a few of the things that our dogs do that have found their way into the fabric of our company:

They get us up and out the door.  For years, we’ve been saying that part of our mission is to get women out on the trails, the roads, in the mountains or into the pool.  We’ve tried workshops, raffles, encouraging notes and other ways to do that, but the efficacy of our efforts pale in comparison to what a dog can do!

There’s just no question that the risk of an “accident” on the floor is a great motivator to get us up off the couch to go outside with Beau or Gus.  While it can be subtle, I think most pet parents will agree that you learn to recognize the “this is serious” look or bark that comes from a dog that needs to go.  Then, once you’re up and outside, you might as well turn the whole affair into a nice walk.

They form their opinions based on your actions. Scratch a dog under his or her chin and you’ve made a friend. Add a treat to the mix and you’ve got a friend for life! No judging about where you went to school, the size of your bank account or when or where you were born. 

They Live in the Moment. I’ll admit that I spend a lot of time worrying.  Worrying about my elderly mother. Worrying about my friends.  Worrying about my health.  Now, deep down inside, Gus may worry that dinner won’t be served promptly at 6:00 p.m. or he may worry that Beau gets an extra treat or two, but in general, they both live entirely in the moment.

They are Loyal. Who hasn’t thought they understood someone only to find out that they had a fair- weather friend? From time to time, we’ve had acquaintances who said all the right things then took off to chase the next shiny object or left when times were tough.

Well, you’re not going to get that with a dog. Their loyalty is unwavering, and they set an example we try our best to follow.

Unconditional Love: I think this quote from Josh Billings sums this up. He said, “I think a Dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than it loves himself.”  Of course, we think Mothers and Fathers also fit that bill, but there’s no doubt that we’d all be well served if we loved as unconditionally as our dogs.

In 2018 an author named C.J. Frick wrote a book called: Be the Person Your Dog Thinks You Are. The illustrated book does a great job of encouraging everyone to “Be affectionate” and “Don’t be afraid to play in the dirt on occasion” and we think it’s full of great advice.

So as a person and for Coeur as a company, we’re going to continue to take that advice and try our very best to “Be the Company that our Dogs think we are.”

Please give your pets and extra hug today and Happy Training and Racing! 

Your Friends at Coeur