It’s Always Something

When you are owned by a Scottish deerhound, or two or three, you get the pleasure of their company on your couch, the soulful gaze of their soft brown eyes as they gently interfere with your reading and typing, and occasionally the crunching sound of the prime rib that was marinating on the countertop before your dinner guests were to arrive.  Sometimes you also get hurt.  These dogs may lounge around your home looking like gray shaggy throw rugs, but trust me, they do move, rapidly and with great force.  Children in a deerhound home learn to walk with their knees bent, because a speeding hound colliding with a locked knee pays college tuition for many an orthopedic surgeon’s kid.  The Deerhound discussion list abounds with hilarious takes on how many ways an unsuspecting owner can suddenly find herself in harm’s way—sprained wrists from leashes getting tangled, broken noses from an exuberant hound kiss, road rash from that time your canines spotted a feral cat at a truck stop on the way to the National Specialty and the occasional broken ankle because your dog decided spontaneously to cross in front of you to exit the show ring.  We tell each other stories and have a little laugh—most of the time.


On Monday night after a grueling day traveling home from Colorado, I pulled into the driveway at 10 pm.  Immediately the dogs were out of the house and all over me, and as I picked up my purse from the driveway where it had fallen, I managed to look up just in time to see a giant paw on a collision course with my right eye.  A searing pain and blurred vision followed, and in a moment of hysteria to rival Gene Wilder’s in “The Producers” I screamed at my husband, “I am BLINDED and it’s YOUR FAULT! I have to go to WORK in the morning, and I DO NOT HAVE TIME FOR THIS!!”  I cupped my hand over my right eye for dramatic effect, moaning softly. Eventually, I calmed down and went inside to inspect the damage, which consisted of a scratch across my lower eyelid.  The blurred vision was due to the fact that a large deerhound toenail had dislodged my contact lens, and the searing pain was the result of said contact being firmly lodged in the inner corner of my eye.  I was quite relieved that I could still see out of the eye as well as I ever could, which isn’t saying much.


Last night I had to attend a faculty dinner meeting.  Midway through the meal, I spotted what appeared to be a gnat or a small fly whizzing around my food.  I batted at it, and then remarked to the physicist sitting beside me that there was a bug bothering me and my dinner.  He looked at me quizzically.  He didn’t see any bugs.  I continued to smack away at thin air until I came to the embarrassed realization that what I was seeing, was in my EYE, not on my plate.  My right eye, which had been home to a dirty deerhound claw two nights prior.  When the bug was still there this morning, I made an appointment with the eye doctor who was kind enough to see me during his lunch hour.  Thirty minutes later, I emerged with a right pupil the size of a stealth flying saucer and a diagnosis of a vitreous “floater”, dislodged by trauma, annoying but not anywhere near annoying as a retinal detachment would have been.  My afternoon patients were kind enough not to notice that their doctor appeared to be hallucinating bugs.


When you run with the big dogs, trust me, it’s always something!


  1. That’s why they’re called accidents, right? Because they happen SO FAST.
    I was outside meditating the other day. A peaceful, quiet, lovely day. Dogs dotted about on the hillside, sleeping.

    And then out of nowhere came Raz, my 103# idiot dog. I still have no idea how he managed it but I ended up with a bone bruise on my lower jaw and what felt like a concussion on the top of my head. And this wasn’t even done at speed!

    So much for that peaceful, quiet day.

  2. You had me chuckling out loud! The bent kneed family, the lounging then springing into action, and unintended injuries are all hallmarks of people with Old English Sheepdogs too! We were herded from the very first day.

    An enthusiastic bump by my 70 yr old mother’s new pup put her on the ground in the yard. Unable to stand, she finally scooted indoors on her bottom to the phone and began calling for help however, was too embarrassed to say she couldn’t stand. It was the next day before she finally confessed her predicament and spent the next 6 weeks in a knee brace and crutches while Barkley attended Canine University!

    She commented a new dog is much easier at age 45……….

  3. A vitreous floater is no fun. When the doc told me I would get used to it, I thought to myself: no I will never get used to this. But you do. Mine is long and looks like an oval. We have become friends.

  4. So funny !! (To me-probably not to you). I, too, have T least 2 vitreous floaters. The first appeared like a large spider web across my right eye.
    I ran to the ophthalmologist, sure I had a detached retina. He told me this was common as one ages. For a moment I wasn’t sure if a detached retina sounded better than an “aging” diagnosis. I eventually ” got used to it” but can still see it in certain lights. That was @ 5 years ago. A few months ago I had a smaller one in my
    Left eye which was confirmed again as part of my aging process. I guess, in the long run, it’s better than the alternative…

  5. Ha, yes, it is always something indeed! My current 5 year old deerhound, while a sweetheart, has NO concept of personal space and at his age, I doubt he will ever “get” it. Just this morning he stomped on my bare foot going out the door, leaving me saying not nice things while he obliviously went on his way.

    Regarding floaters – just this past July I was in the grocery store, standing in front of the freezer doors that enclosed my two favorite guys, Ben and Jerry. Suddenly I noticed a very long, black, thick thread that I THOUGHT was hanging from my hand carried basket – nope, wasn’t there, surely it must be hanging off my shirt, nope, wasn’t there….argh! I am sure the persons near me thought I was mad as a hatter. Turned out it was a vitreous detachment with a shower of floaters…the next day at the eye MD office he said, “oh, yes, that’s a big one indeed!”. Okay, at least I am not crazy – this time.

  6. Let me count the ways (I have been injured by deeries). I am glad it wasn’t more serious and you are not hallucinating (yet) 😉 Please be careful dear one! They are way bigger than tiny, little you.

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