Dogs are amazing creatures. They’re loyal, friendly, lovable, brave: frankly, I could go on and on. Most of all though, they are great companions. They are also capable of some amazing feats and the internet, Lifedaily in particular, is full of stories about these amazing animals.
The latest in this pack of perfect pooches is a two-year-old bloodhound named Ludivine. Ludivine was the type of dog who was happiest wandering around the neighborhood greeting townspeople. Until one day, when she happened upon something a little different…
Featured Photo Credit: CNN
Any Old Saturday
It was January 16, 2016, the heart of winter in Elkmont, Alabama. The day had begun like any other Saturday, except of course that the annual Elkmont Half Marathon was taking place. Other than that though, it was a typical winter weekend.
Let Her Out
Ludivine, the two-and-half-year-old Bloodhound of April Hamlin, had been let out that morning, just as she had every Saturday. Ludivine, nicknamed Lu, loved being outside, and Saturdays were her favorite day: a day when she could go out and explore April’s 40-acre farm without any impediments…
Ludivine, like most bloodhounds, are natural roaming dogs. Meaning that their acute sense of smell leads them in all directions in the search for the source of the many scents that assail their heightened senses. Lu was no different than her kin. If anything, she was even more of a roamer than the average bloodhound.
Despite their best efforts, Lu’s natural curiosity couldn’t be satisfied by long walks, and it certainly couldn’t be curbed by limiting her “roaming time” to once a week. Especially when Lu was prone to escaping the confines of the family’s farmland…
Indeed, Ludivine was prone to escaping the farm and sauntering about the town on weekly adventures. Nearly all of Elkmont’s 400 residents were used to seeing the bloodhound out and about. But Lu was smart, friendly, and well-behaved, and no matter how far she roamed, she would always return home.
But this particular Saturday was a whole ‘nother story. Lu did as she always did, bounded out the door and onto the property, and April didn’t think anything of it. That is, until a few hours passed and a friend sent a text concerning Ludivine…
Call from a Friend
He said he’d seen Lu in town, amongst the racers and people were going crazy for her. April didn’t think anything of it, until she got another call from another friend. They were bubbling with excitement and told told April that she had to stop whatever she was doing and head downtown that very moment.
April rushed to the finish line, where her friend told her Lu had been, only to discover a number of people posing for photos with the bloodhound. They were hugging and congratulating her and it looked as though they’d even given her a medal. Though for the life of her, April didn’t know what for…
Wandered to the Race
At first, April believed that Lu, who was an avid people-lover, had wandered down to the post-race celebration. Maybe she’d jogged alongside the racers for the last few hundred feet and gotten a medal from the organizers just for fun: for the heck of it. As it turned out, that was only half the story.
She’d Run It
April soon learned that Lu hadn’t just run part of the race, she’d run the whole thing: from start to finish. The bloodhound had run the entire half-marathon, all 13.1 miles of it. April was shocked. After all, Lu liked roaming now and again, but she was essentially a lazy dog at heart. Or at least she thought she was, anyway…
The officials even timed her and clocked the dog a respectable 1:32:56, which put her in seventh place out of 165 runners. As if that wasn’t remarkable enough, this time even included the many breaks she took to sniff interesting smells on the roadside, greeting grazing cows, and stopping periodically to relieve herself.
Photos from the race revealed that Lu looked as though she was having the time of her life. In the official pictures you can see the bloodhound happily bounding along, her tongue lolling contentedly as she keeps pace with the racers. At some point though, the competitive streak in her apparently took over and she kicked herself into high gear…
When the race was over, Lu didn’t seem tired at all. Instead, she eagerly greeted all of her happy fans with similar exuberance. She had even been rewarded for her efforts with a slice of pizza from a supportive onlooker. Which she made time to dig a hole for and hide for after the race.
Sleep it Off
Of course, once Ludivine was safely back at home, she quickly settled herself into her favorite corner of the house and passed out. She had certainly earned that well-deserved nap after the run she’d had that day. But Lu’s story didn’t end with the race. No, crossing the finish line was only the beginning…
The 13.1 miles she’d run was the very beginning of Ludivine’s journey to stardom. In the weeks that followed, Lu became a national sensation. Tales of her amazing feat made their way through local newspapers, across Twitter, and popped up in Facebook walls. In no time at all, she was a celebrity.
The dog had become a viral sensation in a matter of weeks and April decided that she wanted to take Lu’s accomplishment and turn it into something even more positive. April began to use Lu’s run to bring attention to charitable causes and the importance of physical fitness. And to her surprise, it worked…
It worked so well in fact that the Limestone County Commission wanted to thank Lu for bringing goodwill to the area. They presented Ludivine with yet another medal and an official proclamation that she was to be named the “First Dog of Limestone County.”
Lu’s adventure and her victory have given the Elkmont community, and other communities, greater opportunities to connect with people. Her story, as amusing as it is on the surface, is one that seems to touch people in a way they can’t explain, and for that, April is very, very proud of her pooch…
April, for her part, is so proud of what Lu’s simple act has wrought. All the good that has been done in Lu’s name has made it all worthwhile. It went from being a funny story about a silly dog who stumbled upon a marathon and placed, to a reminder about the benefits of exercise and the power of positivity.
One lesson in particular that April has learned from the experience is that they need to keep better track of their roaming bloodhound. To that end, they have taken extra measures to ensure that she can continue to do as she does safely, by giving her a microchip implant….just in case.