April 19th, 2016
The expression, “knock on wood,” is associated with luck. A recent outdoor outing with our 15 month old Newfoundland puppy provided us with a different take on this saying – more literal. We had just arrived at Tanya Lake near Labrador City. It is one of Bailey’s favourite walking trails. It is the “happening place” in the local doggy circles. Dogs of all shapes and sizes are walked there and leave an abundant supply of p-mails beside the trail. In a sense, these bright yellow spots on the snow are their calling cards. Bailey gets very excited in the parking lot area in anticipation of sniffing them and the paw prints littering the snow. I have learned through experience that the closer one gets to the trail head then the more momentum she gains. You have to be ready for that initial dog rocket take-off. At the start of the trail is a pagoda-looking wood structure that was erected last summer. In the summer, it had a height clearance of 7 feet. Our long winter has meant an accumulation of snow. This clearance has shrunk to about 5 feet. We are not really very tall people. Still, we need to duck down to avoid getting a blow to the noggin.
My husband, who works out of town for weeks at a time, was able to clear the roof of the structure during his last rotation at home. However, more snow had fallen during his three week absence. Bailey was exceptionally eager as she had two people to accompany her on this walk. She was out-in-front of my husband (dare I say, pulling him along). As I was about to remind him to duck, Bailey gave a forceful pull on the leash and jolted him forward. Thud! Words were voiced that shall not be repeated here. I scrambled closer towards a very repentant pup and a husband rubbing the top of his head. Pulling his toque off, I could see a 1 ½ inch gash. Thankfully, the hat had offered some protection so it was not deep. I reminded my husband that one needs to anticipate the unexpected to avoid these kinds of mishap. I also have learned from the school of hard knocks curtesy of Bailey. We slowly resumed walking along the trail with Bailey leading. She scampered from side to side with her nose sniffing the ground frantically. I often wonder what doggy news could generate such enthusiasm in her. Our walk ended with no other painful incidents and another tale to share with the boys.