Thursday, September 17, 2009

Total Wipe Out Narrowly Averted. This time.

So I still walk the dog everyday. I didn't particularly want to walk him today, which was totally stupid because once I got outside in the beautiful almost fall weather, I was glad to be there.

We walked a couple of extra blocks beyond our usual route because I was enjoying the breeze and Cooper was enjoying the sniffing. And we turned down a particularly picturesque street with all of the little brick gingerbread houses I love to look at and I was gawking at flowerbeds or tiled rooftops or little arch-shaped doorways or something when my toe caught on an uneven block of sidewalk and in a split second it became clear that I was about to Totally Eat It: Face Plant On The Sidewalk.

By some miracle of completely ungraceful self-preservation, I managed to fling my arms out to the sides, use Cooper's leash (and his weight) as a little bit of leverage, and hop awkwardly forward on one foot to save myself from the face plant. I must have looked totally ridiculous but was relieved to think that there weren't any witnesses.

This incident made me think of a real face plant I did back in the day when I thought Cooper would like to jog with me and we could both get some exercise on our walks. This was back before I resigned myself to the fact that Cooper does not really like to jog, he likes to trot a few steps, then stop and sniff and pee and sniff, trot a few more steps, repeat sniffing and peeing routine. So he really spends more time sniffing and peeing than he does walking, which is why it takes us half an hour to walk like two blocks. Sometimes I say "C'mon Cooper! This is called a walk not a sniff!" But to no avail.

So anyway, back when I was still forcing, er, encouraging him to jog with me, we were jogging past a dog groomer's shop (the one Little Mac was not invited back to) and it is next to an art studio where this guy brought his German shepherd to hang out a lot (wow, my neighborhood sounds really cool... maybe I don't appreciate its quirkiness enough). So I'm jogging, Cooper's jogging, then suddenly Cooper stops to sniff what must be a freaking buffet of dog pee from the groomer's dogs and the artsy dog.

Mid-jog, I've now got thirty-five pounds of puggle yanking me backward while momentum is propelling me forward, I simultaneously manage to hit a crooked spot in the sidewalk (for such a great neighborhood, you'd think we could get some decent sidewalks put in!), and I plunge forward onto the concrete.

And this was no bump on the knee, folks. I did a full-body-slightly-sideways-sprawl on the sidewalk. I scraped not only my knees but also bruised my hip, banged my elbow, and scraped my shoulder because my whole body hit the concrete sort of at once.

I was just lying there really really wanting to cry because it really hurt and I hadn't fallen down like that in many years and also because I was totally embarrassed and my fragile little ego hurt nearly as much as my scraped and bloody shoulder. I was lying there thinking "OMG I just ate it" and I was praying no one saw me and that I could just continue to lie there for a minute and sniffle pitifully to myeslf. But, sure enough, this occurred right near a four-way stop and a little old lady driving by in her Oldsmobile witnessed the entire scene and bless her heart pulled over to ask me if I was ok.

So then instead of sniffling on the sidewalk and feeling sorry for myself, I had to jump up and act like I was totally fine and laugh it off and jog around the corner until she was out of sight and I could finally collapse in someone's yard (perfect! More sniffing for Cooper!) and then at last limp sadly home and throw a pity party for myself.

Since then, Cooper and I keep our walks at a leisurely pace with plenty of pauses for adequate sniffing time. And for the most part I am able to keep my feet underneath me. But as today's near-wipe-out affirms: there's a reason my mama didn't name me Grace.

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