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!
Up 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.”
That, 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!