November 3rd, 2015
It has been a little over a week since this incident occurred. I am still feeling the effects. As I mentioned in previous blogs, Mother Nature blessed us with an early appearance of snow in the middle of October. Sometimes, if we are lucky, the rain comes along or the temperatures rise to melt it away. I was hopeful. It must be the ex-British Columbian in me that holds out for a green Fall. So, the leaves did not get raked as I was still waiting for the trees to drop all of them. Why rake more than one must? I have lived for the past 22 years in three Northern Canadian communities. That first year, I remember clearly (to my amazement) snow falling on my birthday in September. I should have expected yet another early start to winter. The snow came. Bailey has been thrilled beyond belief. She has been sticking her head in snow – searching for what I have no idea. Being thirsty is no longer a problem on a walk for Bailey with snow everywhere. Our sweetness will happily crunch on ice or snow chunks while I work up a sweat shovelling the driveway. I have six and half months of snow removal to contend with. But, this story is not about snow shovelling. With temperatures hovering between -5 and 0 degrees Celsius, the snow softens during the day and hardens up at nighttime. Walking in the evenings or mornings can be treacherous as the roads and sidewalks are slick. As often the case, our area will get a little dusting of snow which covers these slippery hazards. One has to exercise much caution when out for a stroll and even more so with a Newfoundland puppy.
My husband and I were taking our regular nighttime walk with Bailey. The night was clear after lightly falling snow in the afternoon. The wind had picked up speed since we left home (about 35 km per hour). Leaves were swirling around us. Luckily, we were on the finally leg of the walk. I had Bailey on leash, not heeling, but loosely ahead of me. Engrossed in our conversation, I missed seeing a leaf catch Bailey’s interest. She lunged for it. In doing so, I slipped on a thin layer of snow covering an ice patch. I plunged sideways into a snow bank. I gave a cry. I am not sure if it was due to being taken by surprise or I felt something pull. Thankfully, I had enough sense to let go of the leash. Being dragged by a 100 pound Newf down an icy road was not a pleasant thought. My husband came to my aid as I lay in the bank and asked if I was alright. I snapped back with “Get Bailey!”. A dark night and a black puppy chasing a leaf on a road is a owner’s nightmare. By this time, she had stopped about 10 feet ahead. She gave a look back. Her face seemed to say, “What are you doing lying in the snow?“. It quickly changed to “Is this a new game?” as she charged towards us. My husband grabbed her leash. I struggled up. I did not hurt too much at first. My body was achy as I groomed Bailey later that night. By bedtime, I was desperate for pain relief. A heating pad and a couple of anti-inflammatories helped greatly. I awoke the next morning to a piercing pain shooting down my right leg. I was not able to bend the leg or get myself out of bed. My husband helped me get upright and took over Bailey’s early morning business walk. He is not an early morning riser by nature so I appreciated his sacrifice. The crutches came out of storage which helped my mobility around the house. My regular routine had to be shelved for a few days. Bailey enjoyed the extra snoozing time as I lay out on the sofa.
These days, we are taking more walks on the trails with Bailey off her leash. Here there is no ice. Bailey can chase leaves to her heart’s content. I do not have to worry about traffic. My leg is slowly healing. Things could have turned out worse. Thankfully, our sweetness was not hurt.
P.S. At 40 weeks, Bailey is now 44.6 kg or 98 pounds 5 ounces.