Today seemed like a perfect day for a run. Cool, breezy weather. The sun shining. A new technical t-shirt to wear from yesterday’s race (recap tomorrow!). 5 miles on my schedule. After some pre-run toast, I leashed up Geronimo and headed out the door.
We were trotting along at a good pace, just enjoying ourselves. When we were about 1.8 miles into our run, Geronimo heard something that startled him. I had my headphones in, so it sounded like a car door slamming to me. (Yes, my dog is scared of things like slamming car doors.) We just kept right on running. But then, we heard it again.
As we came around a curve, what did my eyes see? A teeny tiny Civil War re-enactment. There are a collection of historic (aka really effing old) houses on the path that we run. I could see people (not many, maybe 5-10) standing around wearing Confederate and Union uniforms. My first thought was that Stephen would love that kind of thing. I watched the men ready their guns, and my next thought was, “Oh crap.”
Geronimo hates gunfire. They shot their guns. He freaked the eff out. He pulled so hard (which is tough to do when wearing a gentle leader) that it actually hurt my legs. That’s right, the force of his pull on the leash rippled through my body to my legs. The beauty of the gentle leader is that if I walk, Geronimo has to walk, he can’t run. So I tried to walk him very slowly, calm him down.
We got to the point where we could no longer see the reenactment, but we could still hear the gun shots. Geronimo went spastic. He tried to chew through his leash, and he had a crazy look in his eyes. (I think he was in survival mode at that point.) I look down to see that his mouth is filling up with blood. He brushed past me, and his blood was on my leg and on my hands.
Now I was really scared. We were still a mile away from home. It would take us at least 30 minutes to get there at the snail’s pace we were walking. I called my mom. No answer. I called my mother-in-law. No answer. I tried to fight back tears. What do I do? Call 911? Do emergency vets send out ambulances? So we just kept slowly trudging on toward home.
My mother-in-law called me back. She was able to calm me down. By the time we got off the phone, Geronimo and I were almost home, he was calm, and I was calm. I’ve looked in his mouth, and I can’t really see anything. It appears that he may have cut or bit his tongue, but he’s not bleeding any more.
I gave Geronimo some water and some cuddles. He’s still breathing a little fast, but he’s 1000% more calm now. I’m supposed to run 2 more miles. Yeah, not going to happen. I never thought that a training run would be interrupted by the Civil War. I guess there’s a first time for everything.*