29th October 2013
We’d had Dexter about a month and had got into the habit of giving him a run in the little field almost every day. I was really enjoying the breaks in the routine, having to go out for walks several times was a welcome punctuation to the days.
Watching him run was becoming a high point. We were all gaining more confidence with each other and letting him blow off some steam felt really good for us all.
He’s built so perfectly to run and it’s when his ungainly pointy body absolutely makes sense. It’s quite mesmerising. Sighthounds have a real elegance and grace too, which I’d never really noticed before.
It was the evening before Nick’s 38th birthday and we had a nice dinner planned for after we had all been out for a walk.
Dexter had a good burn straight up the path away from us when we first let him off, did a clumsy curve, ran halfway back down the field and came belting full tilt back towards me. I have no idea why at this point my left foot decided to take a 6 inch step into his path but it did.
I remember a sharp pain to the side of my knee as I spun round and hit the deck. Nick was laughing, I was too, sort of. My next thought was, “Oh god, I’ve killed the dog” but he was up licking my ear almost immediately. Nick said he yelped and did a forward roll but I don’t remember that bit.
After the (very) brief hilarity, I almost instantly knew something wasn’t quite right. Nick came over and was concerned I’d dislocated my knee and pressed down on it. Through gritted teeth, I said, I wasn’t sure what was wrong but how about we get me to the car and over to the minor injuries department of our local hospital as soon as possible please, darling, thank you.
I’m not quite sure how he did it but Nick managed to manoeuvre me, over his shoulder because I couldn’t put ANY weight on my leg and Dexter, who periodically jumped up at us because he thought it was some kind of game.
To get out of the field and back to the car, we had to get up and along an old railway embankment and down the other side. I did the down bit on my arse, whilst Nick sorted the dog.
I now realise we should have called emergency services of course, it could have been a great case for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, I could have been on the telly and everything but I’m still quietly happy I saved the NHS a bunch of cash.
We dropped a very confused dog back at the house and headed to Ripon Hospital, where a fabulous nurse got me onto a bed and gave me a monster dose of painkillers, which kicked in pretty quickly.
Nick called his mum, who came up to accompany me and I sent him home to check on Dexter. He was still nervous and hadn’t completely settled in and I was worried about leaving him on his own for too long.
The nurse and Nick’s mum carefully removed my wellies and jeans and we all looked down at my leg.
This was a scan done the next day but I think you get the gist.
Dexter hit the left side of my left leg. The picture shows how much force was involved, as all the swelling is on the opposite side.
So, be warned, a 20+kg dog, travelling at 30+mph is a bit like a baseball bat to the knee.
My advice: When they’re running towards you, STAY STILL