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Dispatch: Lucky Dog Dibens

  • By Holly Bennett
  • Published Jul 4, 2013
  • Updated Jul 15, 2013 at 6:48 PM UTC
Photo provided by Julie Dibens.

In honor of the July 4th holiday, I wanted to speak with someone transplanted to the U.S. through triathlon. There are many here in Boulder, Colo.–athletes from around the globe looking to maximize their training potential at high altitude while soaking up the area’s stunning beauty, laid-back café culture and competitive camaraderie. But rather than chat with an ex-pat athlete per say, I opted instead to feature a special four-legged friend, Lucky Dog Dibens (aka Lucky). Lucky, a seven-year-old English Cocker Spaniel, originally hails from the U.K., yet she relocated to the U.S. several years ago along with her adopted human parents Julie and Mike Dibens in order to support Julie’s training and racing Stateside. Although Lucky’s language consists primarily of a series of woof’s (with a still-detectable British accent) she was game for an interview, so with the help of her “mum” Julie I was able to interpret her responses to the series of questions posed below.

First off, Lucky, tell me how you’ve helped Julie through her recovery from various injuries and surgeries over the past few years?

Oh, there’s a lot of couch and cuddle time. I mean a whole lot. I’d go so far as to say I’ve been instrumental in keeping her spirits high. Snuggles from me are impossible to resist.

What did you think of her time trial race in the Tour of California? Were you able to watch the action?

Yes, I watched it with Joel and Cat, who are living with us this summer. (On a side note, having house guests might be my favorite thing. It basically doubles my daily opportunity for treats.) I recall specifically I was lying on my back watching the race on television whilst holding my favorite toy securely in my mouth. Not for good luck or anything–I just like to hold my toy in my mouth. All the time. I can go for hours without letting it go, actually.

Have you ever traveled to a race with Julie?

In the U.K. I went to a few Xterra and Ironman 70.3 races, but not since coming to America. My mum thinks it’s a bad idea because it’s too dangerous. I’d have to agree after watching the Tour de France this week (on my back, toy in mouth). That little white dog nearly got nailed!

Which do you prefer, road or off-road triathlon?

Off-road for sure. I’m not afraid to get a bit muddy.

Do you ever train with Julie?

I used to run with her in the U.K. Now though, whenever she–or anyone else, for that matter–puts on running shoes I run straight for my bed. I don’t know why I do it, but I do. It’s curious, really. When she rides the turbo trainer in the basement, I make it my mission to check on her hourly. I can’t really understand why she rides that thing. It seems ridiculous to ride a bike inside. Wouldn’t she rather play with me? So every hour I run downstairs and check on her. Then when she’s getting toward the end of her session–I can tell by the glazed look in her eyes–I hide just around the corner near the stairs with my toy in my mouth. That way I’m ready at the exact moment she finishes to jump out and demand her attention so she can take me out to play.

Where are your favorite places in Boulder to get outdoors and get active?

For dry land training it’s a toss up between hiking Mt. Sanitas and chasing the Frisbee in the park. But I also love swimming in Coot Lake. I’d classify myself as more of a sprinter than an endurance animal.

It probably seems to you that Julie eats a lot of weird stuff–energy gels, energy bars and that sort of thing. What are some of your favorite treats?

Carrots, raspberries, strawberries–I definitely eat a healthier diet than she does. But I do also love a little piece of cookie now and again. Or pretty much whenever they’ll give me one.

Do you have any special plans to celebrate the 4th?

My grandparents are in town, so if I’m truly a lucky Lucky I’ll be able to stockpile snuggles and treats. Otherwise, just a good Frisbee sprint session will do. I’m quite easy to please, really!

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