Sunday, July 09, 2006

Dog Leash 1, Kevin 0

Due to Val's MS and my size (6-foot-3, 205 pounds), I usually handle our dog, Walker Evans, when there are possibly dicey or dog-filled situations, and I usually come out the winner in often well-fought struggles. Thursday, I kind of won but really came to a stalemate more with Walker's extendable leash than him.
I was loading Walker into my car for his weekly visit to Dog Days of Buffalo, and I had switched his leash to my left hand as I used my right hand to open the back door of my car to get him inside. At this exact moment, with the door handle in my hand and me looking into the car, a male in his late teens walked his small, kind of dust mop-like dog, past the bottom of our driveway. Walker would normally bark to protect his property and hopefully me, but instead, he snarled and took off after the dog, which made the error of barking and growling at Walker.
As if to test the idea of whether or not humans can think fast enough before they react, I reached out to grab the leash with my right hand as I thought about clicking the safety catch on it with my left hand. Yes, my right hand was faster, and I grabbed the leash; unfortunately, it was the thin rope part that extends, and yes, I felt it slicing through my palm for a second or two before the idea of clicking the safety catch became reality. Although the other dog owner looked fearful, Walker totally ignored him and raced up to the other dog, and the two of them barked and snarled at each other until I yanked Walker back to me. Happily, the dogs did not make physical contact. Walker seemed as grumpy as I do without my morning coffee for the ride in, barking at every dog he saw; living in a major dog neighborhood, this was almost non-stop.
On the other hand (sorry), I had three 2-to-3-inch rope burns on my palm, but only one went through all of the layers of skin and caused bleeding. All three blistered up, two of them worse than the other, and the skin is slowly peeling and falling off my right palm as I write this; as an added gift, the three burn lines are leaving behind lovely calloused skin.


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