I had nothing to show for the adventure until the morning after. Various reactions written on peoples faces (but not spoken aloud) included “Why did she only put eye make-up on one eye?” “Was she mugged, or (shudder) worse?” and “Who hit her?” Then came the delicately darting eyes scanning for more information, then quickly looking away as if to deny morbid fascination. I also have a well-deserved reputation for being a klutz, so there was also the speculation that I fell or bumped into something.

It is a well-deserved reputation. Yes, I did fall, but there were extenuating reasons for planting my face in the dirt so spectacularly. They helped.

Into the Woods

So we went walking, the puppies and I. Into the woods we went. I also went into the ground but that came later. They were very good about slowing down as I went down the slope behind them; careful not to pull me off my feet. They were excited to be in the woods again and it was hard not to pull and strain on their leads. But they did…and walked around the first pond edge, well, walked FAST around the first pond edge before becoming distracted by 2 boys on dirt bikes on the other side of the pond. They stopped. They stared. They wondered how to convince me to walk across the pond to get to the other side where the boys were.

I convinced them to continue our walk. The peace was short-lived. Not quite a hundred feet in front of us we could see a jogger on the trails coming towards us. Behind him was a woman with another dog.

Oh joy! Oh rapture! Friends! New people to meet and lick! The jerk on the leads almost toppled me right then and there, but I held my steadily-losing ground, aiming for a tree to brace against.

The jogger noticed us and hesitated. With an extra spurt of energy, the puppies leapt forward again, and this time I went sailing with them. I am far too heavy to stay airborne for long, so the next inevitability was my face firmly planted in the forest floor.

I was wearing a wooly hat. I landed on pine needles and dirt rather than the multitude of exposed roots. I still felt the clunk of brain matter crashing into my skull.

The dogs continued on their joyous way to meet and greet the jogger, dragging me the short distance behind them necessary to jump on the jogger.

The other witness, er, woman with another dog, retreated up the hill to her own back yard on the ridge above us.

“Are they safe?”, the jogger asked. I thought that a silly question what with my face being firmly embedded in the ground, but I responded, that no, they were just exuberantly friendly.

Those dratted puppies didn’t look to see about me at all. “Heartless beasts!” I yelled. “I could be a mass of blood and dying here and you don’t even stop to check!” My tone of voice must have registered something with Dixie for she was the only one to turn her head to look back at me. Her expression seemed to say, “In a minute. I’m busy here!”

Taking a moment for bodily inventory, I realized that a) nothing seemed broken but my head hurt like the dickens, and b) extravagant pratfalls do not allow for the luxury of mortification.

I would like to say that on the remainder of their walk they behaved beautifully. In truth, they behaved somewhat better, but there is SO much room for improvement….(ahem).

Checking in the mirror at home I saw no marks, no blood, no indication whatsoever of the adventure. Botheration!

This morning, the technicolor was all I could hope for. Our puppies might be heartless beasts, but my co-workers more than made up for their inattention. They also suggested I might want to reconsider walking both puppies by myself. My protests that this was the first time anything of this sort had happened with them fell on deaf, if not outright disbelieving, ears.

(sigh) I love my puppy dogs. Really.

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