Friday, January 14, 2005

High Drama in Canine Land

The Nelson. Posted by Hello

Bex and a possessed Nelson (note the eye). Posted by Hello

Lots of stuff going on, hence my absence. So let's get started.

Bad Dog!: Nelson unexpectedly got away from me a few nights ago. I got sprained and bloody fingers and a motley collection of bruises as a result.

He saw another dog some 30 yards away, and I thought I'd calmed him down by making him sit. I was mistaken.

The other dog moved and Nelson strained with all 76 of his well-muscled pounds to get to that dog. By then, I'd taken off my fleece gloves to get a better grip on Nelson. I was also straddling him, with one hand on his collar and the other on his lead. Then the damn dog started to worm his way out of his collar, so I grabbed his halter collar, which he also tried to pretzel his way out of.

Somehow I got wrapped up in his lead, and when I tried to untangle myself, Nelson took off at top speed, knocking me off-balance. The slippery nylon lead burned right through my hands. I grabbed the leash's loop, but couldn't get enough traction on the wet grass to pull the dog back hard enough.

So instead of reining in my crazy dog, he pulled me and I fell, landing hard on my right side. He dragged me for a second before I inadvertently let the leash go. Adrenaline pumping, I raced after him, but not before he reached the other dog. First, Nelson just sniffed him. Then started barking ferociously when the other dog (an up 'til now docile Golden Retriever) got on his hind legs and started barking and growling.

Nelson didn't want to fight the other dog, but he did get over-excited. The dog's owner, a middle-aged woman, grabbed Nelson's lead and handed it to me with some difficulty. After a few seconds, he calmed down long enough for me to drag him away.

But my legs are okay: I have two sprained fingers and a small cut on my right hand, and the right side of my body is banged up. Just bruises, though, and a few nicks and cuts. The last thing I need is to get injured two weeks before my first half-marathon.

Good thing I'm a dog-lover. Nelson is very quiet around me now.

I have him on an extremely short leash and will also buy a "sensation harness," which will give me more control of him until he's better trained. Apparently, Nelson is under-socialized. So we've started taking him to "doggie daycare" so he can interact with other dogs.

This Sunday, we start obedience classes. High time, don't you think?!

Running Update: I squeezed in a fast 5-mile run on Tuesday. I ran the first mile at 9:13, then the remaining 4 between 8:20 and 8:35 per mile. I haven't gotten new shoes yet (I know, I know), and by the time I finished, the third and fourth toes on my left foot felt like someone had pounded them with a hammer. Am buying shoes tomorrow.

Yesterday was a slow 6-mile run with A, sprinting the last quarter-mile. I'm supposed to do a 3-mile interval run tonight, but y'all, I am so tired. I've averaged 5 hours sleep a night this week, and what I want right now is a massage with aromatherapeutic lavender oil, then a good, long nap.


  1. I was going to say "poor Nelson" but I should say "poor Bex"....ouch ouch ouch. I'll BET Nelson is quiet! He should be!! Enjoy doggie school.

  2. Doggone it! So is Nelson "grounded" now?
    Get your new shoes and break them in before the race. Take care.

  3. Have you tried using a Gentle Leader head harness? It's quite miraculous in helping one control even big dogs. Check out their web site at
    warning: there is sound content on the site, so you might want to have your sound turned down if you're trying to surf quietly.

    When are you going to buy new shoes? Soon, right?

  4. Oh no! Sounds like you need more weight training if you want to take that dog for a walk. The funny this is that now he knows he is stronger than you! It makes me think of those Marmaduke cartoons where the dog is running and the owner is flying through the air with him. :)

    Seriously, sorry you got injured. Hope things heal up without any residual pain.

  5. yikes! you may want to check out the halti/gentle leader harness, too. great for training. the big downside is that they look like a muzzle, but they're not. nelson can bark (don't know if that's a plus!), pant, pick up a toy with them on. he may be more easily controlled with this on.