If only I’d turned right…


SOL March Challenge Day 2

Hmm…maybe I’ll run today. The thought entered my head quietly as I sat and worked at the table on Sunday, occasionally glancing up at the blue sky and drifting clouds outside. I hadn’t run in months but the mercury was rising and the idea of running was tempting. Time passed and I kept working, but the thought had planted itself and grew steadily, becoming more insistent. Finally, not one to turn down a consistent burst of motivation, I decided.

“I’m going running!”  I announced to my husband. “If I’m not back within an hour, come looking for me.” He laughed and settled on the couch for an afternoon nap.

Ten minutes later I walked down the driveway and turned to the left. I would run either a 2 or 3 mile loop, depending on how it went. Pleased with myself for getting out and moving on this beautiful day, I set off.   Running is a great thinking time for me and sparks lots of writing ideas, so immediately my thoughts turned to the upcoming SOL challenge. What might I write about?  I settled into my stride, looking about me at the dreary mid-winter scenery, seeking inspiration.  I smiled when I noticed emerging pussy willow buds and watched as crows postured in the neighbor’s yard. It felt great to be out in the sun and running again!

imgres.jpgUp ahead I heard dogs barking from a neighbor’s house.  It looked like there were more of them than usual and I was glad to see two people were outside, calling them back. These dogs always bark and run to the edge of the property, but never come out into the road.  I ran closer and a pile of dogs bounded up, barking and barking. Just keep running.

“Knock it off!” the man yelled. “Get back here!”

I waved and kept running but moved further out into the road.  Suddenly, one of the dogs separated from the group, jumped forward into the road, and, in an instant, bit me! I stopped, stunned, feeling the pain in my lower leg. The man and woman continued to call the dogs and thankfully, they all retreated.

“Sorry!” the man called.

“Your dog just bit me!” I said.

“No, he didn’t.”

“Yes, he did!” I insisted and pulled up my running pants to reveal two shallow grooves with welling blood.

“Oh,” he said, startled, “I thought he just jumped on you. Are you ok?”

“Well, I think so.”  I watched anxiously as he and the woman herded the dogs into the house. I was shell-shocked and my leg hurt. I can’t believe this just happened.   The man returned.

“I’m so sorry,” he said. “He’s not even my dog. He’s my sister’s.”

“Well,” I asked, “Is he up to date on his shots. I need to see proof of his vaccinations.”

imgres-1.jpgThat, unfortunately, wasn’t quite as simple as one would have hoped. And so began a long afternoon of confusing conversations, multiple calls to doctors, veterinary clinics, and the animal control officer, and a 2+ hour visit to the Walk-In Clinic for a tetanus shot. Luckily, the injury was minor and the dog was up to date on shots (though this took almost 24 hours to ascertain and still isn’t 100% official as there remains a complicated snag with the confirming paperwork).

During all the stress and chaos of the afternoon, so many thoughts raced through my head. Chief among them after Ouch! and I can’t believe this just happened! was Oh my God, am I going to have to get a rabies vaccine!?!  (You know, the one everyone hastened to assure me was incredibly painful and expensive?)  Other thoughts raced in and out as well.  Why didn’t I turn right? Why couldn’t he have bitten me on the way home after my run instead of only 1/4 mile into it? And, I’m not kidding, the final thought, once the initial shock was over: Well, I guess I’ll have something to slice about this week!


16 thoughts on “If only I’d turned right…

  1. Oh my! What a horrible turn to your day. But I congratulate you on turning this experience into a wonderful slice. Wishes for a quick healing for you!


  2. Oh no! I’m sorry you got bitten! That is terrible!
    While I am glad the dog was up-to-date on shots, I think that this dog needs to be kept inside of the house or in the fenced in area until further notice.

    I’m glad you’re going to be OK.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Amy says:

    Your story is certainly a runners worst nightmare. I’m so sorry this happened to you, even if it did provide you with a story for the SOL challenge!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. shaggerspicchu says:

    Oh my goodness. I can’t believe the man’s first response was to say that his dog didn’t bite you. I am pretty sure you would be the one to know. I really like how your slice has an unexpected twist. I really wasn’t expecting you to say that you had gotten bitten. I am glad you are okay and that you don;t have to endure the rabies vaccine.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Cindy says:

    Yikes- glad you wrote this as your SOL! My post today is about running too and I went LEFT! No dogs for me. Your post just reminds me of all of the tiny decisions we make- go left, go right, stop here for coffee and it makes me wonder about the what if’s

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Brian says:

    Lemons? Lemonade!
    Bitten by a dog? Write a blog!

    You are irrepressible, and I look forward to reading about a right-turn adventure later this month!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Tara Smith says:

    Yikes…glad this story has a happy ending, and the gift of a slice of life topic.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. ldehaan1 says:

    OMG that’s awful! and had to hurt the heck! Why wasn’t that dog or dogs on a leash? and thank goodness it wasn’t worse! Tomorrow turn left! Glad you’re ok!


  9. I had absolutely no idea! What a terrible experience for you. So glad you are okay.


  10. paulabourque says:

    I love your your question, “Why didn’t I turn left? ” So many moments in life are the result of turning left instead of right, leaving early instead of late…as bad as this was-turning right COULD have been worse!? Having said that, it stinks that trying to do something good for yourself ended up being so bad. Thanks for this rich “slice”-maybe I’ll seeing you booking it down some Maine road this season!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. How awful! I’m glad you’re okay and got a slice out of your ordeal.


  12. danrothermel says:

    Hannah and I ran the roads of York for thirty years. Though I escaped being bitten, Hannah had one mongrel latch on to her. She got a tetanus shot and lives to hike another day. The owners of the dog paid for it. We thankfully will be hiking in the Grand Canyon tomorrow far away from any dogs. But snakes?


  13. dashthebook says:

    So sorry to hear of your run pin with the dog. As a runner, I have the same concerns when running through neighborhoods. A colleague was bitten last year, and had same obstcles as you. Thanks for sharing. Best wishes on your runs, and your writing!


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