I wish I could have seen it; had to be the best wreck of the century. And I was at the bottom of the pile where the view was primarily gnashing teeth and tangled legs. I’m finding that canine conflict from that perspective is more fun to write about than to experience.

I was walking my dog in the early dark of last Saturday morning; strolling along, chatting with Kay Jorgensen, enjoying the companionship of man’s best friend and woman’s essential sounding board. Suddenly I was air-born; totally horizontal for a microsecond, then body slammed and dragged across the asphalt to the afore mentioned vantage point--the churning undercarriage of two furious German Shepherds.

Programmed by my dad…”If you get bucked off, at least don’t let go of the reins.”…I clung instinctively to the leash as the battle raged above me. Finally Kay found an opening in the flailing appendages and succeeded in pulling me to my feet… with two for leverage, we tugged the dogs apart.

As we stood sober and shaken in the chill dawn, alternately sobbing and laughing; the loose dog slunk away, and Lady celebrated her victory. For us two humans, it was terrifying, edifying, and incredibly funny! She asked if I was hurt, I said yeah, probably, but my dad would be proud… I never let go! She gently suggested that next time I forget the pride.

Then what to do? I was a mile from home, there’s not much traffic that time of day, and neither of us had a cell phone. But, all body parts seemed to be working—albeit painfully—so Lady, Kay and I limped gingerly off towards safe haven.

Finally in the house; dog fed, leash hung up, mileage recorded… I looked down at my throbbing leg. Yikes! Ballooned knee, exploded calf, and---horror of horrors---ripped tights! Injuries heal…these were my favorite tights.

I called son Dan, since I wanted a witness to what had to be a trophy bruise or at least an age group record, and in short order he arrived to take charge of the situation. Being a former coach and the father of four active sons, he wisely prescribed RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation), took a picture for posterity, and drove off to get Ibuprofen.

So after a week of RICE and the diagnosis of several cracked ribs, possible cracked knee cap and majorly bruised elbow, I am back on the road with the Lady. Takes a little longer; gotta find the helmet, knee pads, elbow guards, pepper spray, pinch collar, cell phone, rosary… then we’re out the door. But as we walk, and I take that time to say my rosary, I keep a diligent eye to the shadows for a loose German shepherd.

Now I know what Mom meant when she said, “You have to watch as well as pray.”

Elaine Doll-Dunn

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