|Photo: Val Dunne/Barkloud Productions|
In this corner: Me, the author, alleged human being, 6-foot-3, about 210
pounds (maybe closer to 200 pounds due to unemployment weight loss).
In the opposite corner: Harold Dunne Hosey, a pit bull/Cane Corso
mastiff blend canine, about 3 feet tall, weighing 64 pounds, apparently 60 of
It wasn’t supposed to be a contest, match or squaring off of any kind
when Harold and I went into the backyard at about 6 p.m. Monday, just a normal
relief visit for Harold and some playtime for us. But, as it turned out, the
Clash of Titans occurred, and you can guess who won (hint: not me).
To get as much physical activity out of Harold as possible and to get
his pent-up energy flowing, I like to play stalk and chase Harold; we both know
that there is no way I will ever truly sneak up on him or, even more unlikely,
catch him, but it gets Harold running, and sometimes, he really cranks it up in
the spare property we have.
One of the games is for me to “sneak
up” on him as he looks out the front fence at the sidewalk and street; he
either goes to the left corner bordering our neighbor’s property, or the right
corner adjacent to our front porch; the left corner is on the lawn, the right
corner on the concrete driveway.
Monday, he went to the right and was standing on the driveway, so I
“snuck up” on him; he was actually just barely looking over his shoulder at me
and starting to get into his hunch, from which he sprints away. Sometimes, he
goes around me by several feet, while other times, he comes close to me, as if
to get the most excitement by barely avoiding me.
This time, he waiting just a touch longer than usual, with me about 15
feet away instead of 20 feet, and chose to run very close to me; unfortunately
for me, he turned even sharper than normal, and ran straight for me. I barely
was able to kind of yell out “Oh,” before Harold ran into me and sent me
While some people have remarked that the low center of gravity caused
much of this, there is no way I would have been sent into the air simply
because of this; it would have been more likely that I tripped and fell
face-first. I went up and started to twist a bit; somehow, as I was coming down
(and this all happened within a couple of seconds), something told me to turn
and shift my head or shoulders, so I wouldn’t hit my head on the concrete and
really cause some damage. The experience of having all of this seem to happen
in slow motion allowed me to prepare.
But that’s prepare, not prevent, because I landed, and landed hard;
fortunately, I was able to prevent my head from hitting the driveway. It hit
the chain link fence, and while it didn’t feel great, no cut or bruise was
caused. I landed mainly on my right knee, hands and posterior, and the wind was
knocked out of me and some pain was felt in my rib cage. I landed slightly on
Harold, who barely moved when we collided and who was unhurt.
What Harold was was concerned and a bit scared for me; he pushed my with
his nose a few times to see if I was OK, licked my face and sat against me,
very concerned. Because I was out
of wind, I was gasping for air and took a few moments to be able to force out a
few words, telling Harold I was OK and that I appreciated his concern and
protection. He seemed to calm down and licked my face again, and stood against
me until I finally stood up, after checking to see if I had been otherwise
hurt. We made our way to the back door a bit slower than usual, with me still
gulping for air and sounding rather pained as I spoke.
A final inventory of
injuries shows a brush burn about the size of a quarter on my right knee
bruises and scrapes on my hands as well as the pain from the ligaments around
the thumbs, and some pain in my ribcage. But the pain was much less than I
expected and much less than when I torn some tendons or cartilage there when I
had bronchitis a few years ago, and I can lift my arms above my head without
pain; I do have to sleep in one position and not on my side for a few days.
There is some pain when I bend or pick something up, but ibuprofen is handling
it. Harold has been doting on me since the collision, and happily suffered no
injuries; talk about a muscular head and shoulders.