One day a few weeks ago, I looked like I had gone through eight rounds in the boxing ring…or a drunken girl fight (not that I’ve EVER been in one of those!) due to accidents with my dogs — big and small! My girls don’t mean to hurt me but sometimes they do! My legs are full of scratches, my feet are constantly getting stepped on and this past weekend I had more extensive injuries from the girls!
The first one was from Phoebe my yellow lab. If you don’t already know this, Phoebe is a serious ball fetcher. Being a typical lab, she could play until she dropped, literally. Every morning at 10 am, no matter if I’m on a conference call for work or not, I hit tennis balls of my deck into the backyard and Phoebe and Bailey chase them…and now Kibbles, our foster dog, chases them, the girls — not the tennis balls! Everyone is very excited for play time and we spend about half an hour doing this usually.
On this day, Phoebe zigged and I zagged and her head slammed into my chin causing my head to crash into the deck rail. Boy did I see stars! I actually saw stars! Of course it didn’t hurt Phoebe’s head and all she was interested in was when was I going to throw the ball again! I had a bruise under my chin and a bump on my head. I thought I was going to black out there for a few minutes but I shook it off.
A little later, that same day, I went to lay down. My head really hurt! But little Sophie had a way to resolve that. As we were snuggling on the bed, she was resting her little head on my head. Kibbles hopped up on the bed and started playing with the stuffy that Sophie loves. She decided to utilize her super power of flying through the air but the problem was she launched herself OFF MY FACE! The sting of the scratches over my cheekbones were enough to bring tears to my eyes. I looked terrible!
No matter the size, a dog is equipped with things we humans don’t necessarily have — teeth for tearing, claws for scratching, thick skulls with smaller brains. I have a friend who always had Great Danes. The are usually gentle giants but like every puppy, a Great Dane still wants to play! She tells the story of having a little roughhousing play with her Great Dane puppy who was probably about 90lbs at the time. During the play, he headbutted her. She woke up about 20 minutes later and had to go to the hospital with a concussion.
Our family pets are not out to hurt us but they don’t have logic on their side. A few days after the Phoebe and Sophie incidents, there was an emergency situation with Viola, our elderlab. Generally before going to bed, I give dental treats to all the dogs. This week instead of their usual Greenies, I had another brand which was onsale. These came in long stick form. Viola bit the stick in two and took the larger piece in her mouth. Somehow, she got the treat stuck between her two incisors wedging the piece on the roof of her mouth between her two teeth.
She immediately went into panic mode and indicated that she could not breath. I went in…literally. I put my hand into her mouth to try to dislodge the piece of treat. Her jaws immediately clamped down on one of my fingers right at the knuckle. She drew blood. But she still could not breath so I tried the other hand and her jaw chomped down on my thumb drawing blood. Luckily for me, my thumb knuckle joint is already thickly scarred from when a horse tried to bite my thumb off but that’s another story!
Andy saved the day with a silicone spatula that we wedged into her mouth and popped the treat out with. He also brought the big, heavy duty silicone kitchen mitts!
There was absolutely no malice in any of these incidents. Pups don’t think in terms of that kind of “revenge” action. So, the next time you see me and I have bruises all over, scratches on my cheek and maybe some body part in a cast or a splint, don’t think the hubs is doing anything bad…I probably just had a play date with my pups!