Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Owning Border Collies IS a Contact Sport

It’s been at least 35 years since I was in a schoolyard ruckus. “Back-in-the-day” those ruckuses could have been just aggressive play driven by pre-adolescent surges of testosterone or a bona fide fist-fight over something mundane, like a ball glove or even – gasp! – a girl! Most of my bone-jarring and rights-of-passage dramas came from playing football. As the team center, I was involved on every offensive play, and we switched sides to play defense. So I had lots of rough ‘n tumble moments on the old gridiron. Scrapes, cuts, and bruises were just part of being a boy.

This morning Gumbo brought all those youthful memories back.

At 5:30 AM, I toddle out in my bathrobe, sans slippers, to pick up the paper. As usual, Gumbo and Roux bolt from the door like thoroughbreds at the Kentucky Derby. I always mimic the race track announcer with “And they’re off!”

Gumbo, leading the way, heads to the Ward’s house to harass their dog with a frenzy of barking. A pit stop or two later, he and Roux are in the final stretch headed back to our bedroom for ball throwin’ time. It should be noted that these dashes to and fro are done at full border collie speed.

Just as I’m ready to stoop over and pick up the day’s edition of “pulp truth”, Gumbo slams into me going full-tilt-bonzo. I drop like a sack of potatoes.

I’m in pain and I’m bleeding. Adding insult to injury, I’m lying on the driveway with my bare-ass butt exposed to the world. Luckily it’s near freezing and still dark, and the morning neighborhood walkers haven’t ventured out yet.

I lie there for several minutes. I can’t get up. I do manage to throw my robe back over my butt so if the paramedics come I won’t embarrass the family. I finally manage to get upright and hobble back inside the house.

Roux is standing by the open door, tail wagging and looks of “Where’s the ball? Got the ball? C’mon, where’s the ball?” Gumbo is nowhere to be found.

As I stumble into the kitchen to sit and see where the bleeding is coming from, I see Gumbo is sitting on the far side of the kitchen, ears back and an “I’m sorry, Dad!” look on his face. His tail is working up an apology too, swishing back and forth ever so slightly.

I cuss him out.

The injuries hurt worse than they look. Nothing more than skin abrasions, I’m now sporting a quarter-sized scrape on my left foot near my little toe, along with a scuffed right knee and some skin ripped from a toe on my right foot.

After washing off the now drying blood, I bring Gumbo to me and accept his apology. The border collies and I throw the tennis ball like we do every morning. After showering I manage to find three bandages to put on my injuries so my shoes won’t cause a blister. We’re out of Sponge Bob Square Pants Band-Aids in the medicine cabinet. Now wouldn't that be cool!

If any NFL team needs a middle linebacker, I got one. I can personally attest that a 40 lb. border collie, without slowing down, can drop a 250 lb. man. Gumbo will work for tennis balls and won't cause any public relations nightmares. And any team owner would certainly like that.


Blogger Wayne's Mom said...

Bless your heart, Lindsey!! You're getting quite a collection of early morning adventures!!

6:57 AM  

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