Get a grip: a painful lesson on when to hold on

Image courtesy of Flickr

The outside temperature had cooled from volcanic rim to a more comfortable Amazonian jungle as I embarked on a walk around the block with Her Royal Highness, my dog. Within seconds of exiting the house, the soles of my flip-flops were slick from the trapped humidity. Still, it was a beautiful day for a walk and HRH was happy enough to trot along by my side.

As we rounded the corner, I noticed a group of teenagers on bicycles approaching. I raised my hand in greeting. As one of the girls passed, she politely said hello. I was thinking to myself what nice kids when WHAM! The next thing I knew I was experiencing the joy of flight. My arm was nearly pulled out of its socket while my feet simultaneously left the ground.  Unfortunately, my air time was only short-lived as I found myself next lying on my back in the grassy area that separates sidewalk from street looking up at a blue sky.

Super hero dog
Able to pull trains and leap buildings in a single bound, it’s Wonder Dog!

Whimper… *blink blink* Owie… It turned out that HRH, having noticed me greet the teenagers decided it would be a grand idea to introduce herself to them as well. Without delay. So what if they were now already several yards away? HRH typically has impeccable manners and so now and then I forget that she also has the natural strength to hoist the remains of the Titanic off the sea bed floor and the speed of a cheetah running from a bee sting. She was kind enough to remind me. She’d taken off at full tilt, ignoring the minor detail that we were still technically attached.

As feeling began to return to my arm I realized that the leash somehow remained gripped firmly in my hand. I had remained strong even though the same could not be said about gravity. I felt the grass by my side as attempted to sit up and had to wonder at my luck to land in the soft earth when my head could have, should have come in contact with the concrete of the sidewalk.

One of the girls shouted from up the hill, “Are you okay?” I guess they’d witnessed my amazing aerial acrobatics and pulled over to assess the situation.

“I’m fine,” I replied as HRH returned to my side and began licking my face. “But she may not be,” I joked as I rubbed HRH’s head with my good hand to assure her I was okay while attempting to look stern and scolding. I turned the leash over as I regained my footing. I realized that hadn’t been a polite response. Though there was still a dull ache in my arm, overall I was okay. Why wasn’t my skull now cracked on the ground much like Humpty Dumpty?

I hadn’t let go.

If my hand had only held the leash loosely and I’d let go at the initial snap, I might not have lost my footing, but HRH could have successfully reached those polite kids on their bikes and who knows what sort of injuries might have resulted. If I had let go the minute I realized my feet were parallel to my head I may well be writing this from a hospital bed. But I hadn’t, and because we were still attached, the momentous force that is Her Royal Highness on a mission carried my airborne body just far enough away from the sidewalk to land in the grass with only a minor scrape to show for my experience.

Of course, I would have preferred not to fall at all, but HRH was a stray up until February and the occasional mistake is still to be forgiven. Although, even if she’d been with us since a pup and had years rather than weeks of training, I know a mistake could still happen. No path is without the occasional ill-advised temptation or other misfortune. The point is, that when these speed bumps happen, you have to keep your grip on that which matters most. While your world may, for a time, seem upside down, if you hold on long enough, you too might just find yourself landing safety.

29 thoughts on “Get a grip: a painful lesson on when to hold on

    1. Thanks! It took several hours before my arm stopped tingling. This has also taught me not to send mixed signals to HRH who just wants to be friends with everyone (except squirrels).


  1. Is your arm doing better?
    Can I be the first to say kudos on how well you’ve so far with you dog. It takes a loving heart to rescue and make well an abandoned animal. And what a wonderful bond that your dog did the same as you lay out sunbathing/trying to breathe.
    I’m so glad it wasn’t worse!
    (And if you didn’t know…it’s all beautifully written. I just love how you take a slice of life and feed my heart and soul💜)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ☺️ she really has an amazing disposition all considering and is such the big sweetie. You can’t stay mad long. The arm is back to normal now which is a good thing as HRH demands her walks. (And thank you so very much)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This post explains why I’m a cat person.

    I’m an animal lover, and while I like other people’s dogs, I’m always telling my kids, “We are not dog people.” They remain unconvinced and ever so often beg for a dog.

    It’s not happening.

    Dogs are like toddlers that never grow up. And drool. And they bark at me every day I run by their house, even though every day I have not threatened them or their family (at least so far I haven’t. I guess in dog world there’s a always the possibility I might turn from a middle-aged woman who jogs into a crazy maniac).

    Anyway, glad your injury was minor.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! I feel EXACTLY the same way about cats! I will enjoy my perpetual toddler (who by the way ran face first into our stairs this morning as she, like her human, is the definition of grace) while I wait for the day all cats rise up in rebellion against their captors / servants. 🙂


    1. I scrambled a few eggs this morning myself. I read that Humpty Dumpty was actually a cannon, which if you think about it, makes a ton more sense in the rhyme than a giant anthropomorphic egg.


  3. I love how you always come up with some philosophical thoughtful sentiment behind your post. Besides the fact I did have a bit of a giggle over the incident. I actually found myself smiling at your last line:

    While your world may, for a time, seem upside down, if you hold on long enough, you too might just find yourself landing safety.

    That’s beautiful, and thought provoking and, and, and… just yes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wish I could say that the fall was humiliating, but unfortunately I have the natural grace of a drunken goose and so I’ve grown somewhat accustomed to random falls and/or crashes. Really, those kids were fantastic. I only wish I knew their parents so I could compliment them on their upbringing.


  4. I’m sorry you hurt your arm. But I am glad that you managed to hold on to her. I love dogs, but I’ve experienced a couple situations in which I’ve gone for a morning run and had a scary encounter with a dog. It’s never a comfortable feeling for me to see a big dog running toward me, even if he’s behaving like he wants to play. Sometimes the bark alone–before I see that it’s coming from a dog on a leash–makes me jump and my heart skip a couple beats.

    I love your last few sentences in this and how you can use an everyday occurrence and pull a life lesson from it.

    Liked by 1 person

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