A Day at the Park (or, no one saw me fall down)

Yesterday morning we were debating how lazy we were actually going to be when my phone rang.  It was Emily.  Her husband’s band, Sound Check, was going to be playing at Fowler Park in Walnut Cove, and she was going to set up a table for SCHS.  She figured she’d take The Sundance Kid with her and start getting his face out & about the community.

I’m going to backtrack for a minute.  Back in February Emily rescued a GSD/lab type mix bitch from the Stokes County Animal Shelter.  The dog was very pregnant, and rather than abort the pregnancy, Emily elected to let her have them.  There were five puppies, and all had very interesting markings.  There was obviously a fair amount of husky in the mix, probably from dad’s side.  Emily & her kids, who are homeschooled, often come up with very catchy names for their fosters – and it does pique interest.  This time they named the mama dog Mae West, and the puppies were Butch Cassidy, The Sundance Kid, Pecos Bill, Calamity Jane, and Annie Oakley.  Sadly, Annie Oakley didn’t make it, but the rest of the pups survived.

The pups lived with Emily’s niece until late April, when Emily took them.  By that point they were wild as sin from not being handled, and Emily started working with them.  Unfortunately Emily wasn’t able to work with them very long because she rescued a puppy from the shelter – a lab mix named Luke – who came down with parvo.  Emily was overwhelmed, so I said I would take The Bandits and Red, a Vizsla mix who had turned up on a local farm & who Emily had taken in as a foster.  That took a lot of pressure off of Emily and she was able to give Luke all of her attention.  Sadly, she lost him, but it wasn’t for lack of trying.

Most of our pups go to North Shore Animal League, in Port Washington, NY (read my post Operation: Puppy Love).  There was question early in The Sundance Kid’s life as to whether he could see or not – he didn’t track properly.  Later, even though we were sure his vision was okay, we still couldn’t get a vet to conclusively prove that his vision was good (I think this is more related to a husky/GSD mix ADHD than to any vision problems – the pup can see us all the way at the other end of our yard).  For this reason, The Sundance Kid will not be going to NSAL.

Fast forward back to yesterday.  I thought Emily’s idea was very good and said I would bring Baby along as well.  I brought Sundance inside, gave him a bath – he and his sibs are very talkative, again a husky trait, and he talked in great detail and at great volume about that bath – and once he was dry we loaded him & Baby in the car and headed to Walnut Cove.

Charles has been saying ever since I brought Red and The Bandits home that he really, really liked Sundance.  He said if he was going to keep one it would be Sundance.  He said he really liked Sundance.  When he found out that we were going to push Sundance to find him a home, Charles said, “I really want that puppy.”  So I said, “You have to talk to Mona.”  What ACTUALLY happened was that he wanted me to talk to Mona.  So I texted her, and then we went ahead, loaded Sundance and Baby up, and hit the road.

We were in Walnut Cove and at Fowler Park when Mona called.  “If Charles wants to keep that puppy, let him keep it,” Mona said.

So now I have four dogs – two males, two females, and a motley crew they make!  Max, who might be a GSD/Belgian Manimois/Husky/Akita/Chow mix (probably not all but any combination of at least two); Peaches, who is a Pointer/Lab type mix; Maggie, whose son Scooter’s DNA test indicates that she is Manchester Terrier/Alaskan Klee-kai/Flat-coated Retriever; and now The Sundance Kid – whose name has been changed to Nanuq, and who is definitely a Husky mix.

Emily brought a dog play-pen along, and we alternated walking the dogs and leaving them in the playpen.  They had a great time. Emily’s husband’s band is amazing – they’re called Sound Check, and if you’re ever in Stokes County, NC, and have an opportunity to go see them, it’s well worth it.  They do bluesy southern rock and a wee little bit of bluegrass – but no matter what they do they’re great.  Her daughter, Maya, is also an accomplished musician – and she’s only 14!  I would recommend Sound Check and Maya Sings to anyone, anywhere, at any time.  I’d pay to see them.  I’d buy their albums.  They’re really and truly that good.

Along about two o’clock or thereabouts, Charles and Damon went to Hardees to grab burgers for lunch.  Emily’s kids were walking Sundance – I mean, Nanuq – and Baby was laying beside me enjoying being out.  I happened to glance up and saw a huge English Mastiff coming down the path.  Not good, I thought, and I scooped Baby up before she could see him with the intention of putting her into the playpen.  I didn’t think I had time to fool with the clips so I was just going to lower her over the side.  It all worked out so well in my mind in the split second I had to think about it.

What REALLY happened was this:

I have chronic vertigo, managed by prescription meds.  Managed – not cured.  I still have a great deal of trouble with my balance.  When I started to lower Baby over the side of the playpen – and mind you, she’s a 45-50 lb dog who really OUGHT to weigh 35 lb – I lost my balance.  I dropped Baby and I fell.  I struggled to catch myself on something, anything!  I called for help – no one could hear me over the band, and NO ONE SAW ME FALL!  It was amazing.  In retrospect, it’s extremely funny, and I can’t believe no one saw the incident at all.  Baby was scrambling backward on her belly, staring at me in horror; the pen was collapsing under me and digging violently into my underarms from my armpits to my elbows.  I finally got one hand on the ground and was able to stop falling before I squashed Baby – thank goodness! – and pushed myself up.  The playpen, which has seen better days anyway, was bent.  I straightened it as well as I could, and at that point Emily, who was seated nearby, turned and called, “Did Baby try to escape?  What happened?”

I had to laugh.  I told her what happened, and she laughed.  I asked if the playpen needed to be replaced – she said no, that it was fine.  I left Baby in it until Charles & Damon got back.  I told them what happened and showed them the scrapes & cuts on my arms – they laughed.  It’s really very funny.

Last night we went to Mona’s to get dogfood and boosters for Red and The Bandits – they’re going to North Shore this coming Wednesday, and they’ll need one more round of puppy shots before they go.  Mona and Danny asked us to stay for supper; we didn’t have any plans so we accepted.  It’s so funny that we’re becoming such good friends with them, and we’d never have met them if it wasn’t for Maggie.  Oh, Vannesa and Mona’s daughter Kelsie are friends, but that doesn’t mean we’d have become friends with Mona and Danny.  It’s funny the good people one meets when one is in rescue.

I didn’t drink a drop of alcohol last night even though I was offered – I figured I was falling down sober as it was, I didn’t need help.  Besides which I don’t drink strong alcohol with my meds – maybe the occasional wine cooler but nothing stronger.  In spite of my continued sobriety, when we got home I went to check on my chickens, stepped in a hole… and fell down.  Hard.  My poor knees.

This morning, the undersides of my arms are badly bruised – I look like I’ve been battered.  And my knees hurt like crazy.

I had a good time yesterday, but I don’t know that I’m exactly eager for a good time again in the near future.


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