My Horseman, me and a Mangled Arm and Dog Part 3

Our Wedding Day - Chief dressed up for the occasion. (See his boutineer?)

Our Wedding Day – Chief dressed up for the occasion. (See his boutineer?)

 

Our first summer as a married couple came and went. We did a lot of riding. We answered probing questions from guests, like “now that you’re married, aren’t you going to get “ ‘real jobs’ ?”  Hmm, let us get back to you on that.

I moved into more of a PR role (finally putting my Communications Degree to use!) on the ranch as well as riding.  That fall the new owners decided to stay open the entire month of September, a first for the ranch. We didn’t keep much staff for that month because we weren’t sure how full we’d be. So, one of the owners and I filled in…

I waited tables for breakfast, then hustled myself down to the barn. Clint would have a horse saddled and waiting for me. I’d swing up and take guests out for a ride. After the ride, I’d locomote on back to the kitchen to wait tables for lunch. Then, depending on the day, I’d help out with housekeeping or head back to the barn to take out another ride. Late afternoon, I usually stuck around the barn to help feed and kick horses out for the day. One last shift in the kitchen for dinner and then I’d jump on my bike to fly home.

One night, about a week before our one year anniversary, I was racing our dog, Chief, home. I’m sorry…what?  Let me explain; He would wait outside the kitchen for me until I was done. (I biked back and forth between our house and the ranch each day.) He liked to race me all the way down the drive of the ranch. I’d pedal like a wild woman and he’d run along the other side of the Lilac bushes  lining the drive and only come out at the very end of the drive. We had it down. We did it every night. In the back of my mind, I did wonder if this was wise. What if Chief cut through early?  “No, this is our thing”, I told myself, “he knows the drill”…

The evening came when, for whatever reason, Chief decided to cut through those Lilac bushes.  Maybe in the back of his head he had wondered the same thing, “What would happen if I cut through early? You know what? Tonight, I’m going for it!”

Going full speed. Right in front of me. My bike went up and over him and we both…well, all three of us including the bike, slid on our sides down the asphalt driveway.  Chief was yelping at the top of his lungs. All the guests, sitting by the Colorado River, probably enjoying an evening cocktail, chatting away, getting to know each other, turned to watch the scene with horror. I can only imagine what we looked like.

We finally stopped sliding. Chief and I untangled ourselves from the bike and slowly got to our feet. The guests called from the river to check on us. “No, no, we’re okay, don’t worry about us,” I yelled back. I didn’t want them all coming over to gawk at Chief and I. We were embarrassed enough. I got back on the bike and half rode, half laid over the handlebars and made it home with Chief limping alongside me.

Once, home I surveyed the damage. Chief seemed fine, the bike seemed fine. I had a huge scrape down my arm that was dripping blood. My elbow looked like raw hamburger meat. A couple of layers of skin from my elbow down to about three inches above my wrist had been left on the driveway at the ranch.

So, I spent the next few days, including our anniversary dinner that Clint had planned as a surprise, with my arm wrapped from over the elbow to the wrist in gauze. It was wrapped to promote healing as well as to not gross out anyone who had to look at my “wound”.  It took months for it to heal and the scar to eventually get smaller. It’s hardly noticeable now.  Most of the time, when people noticed the wound and later the scar and asked what happened, I replied, “mountain bike crash”. Technically that was the truth. I was on a mountain bike at the time. If people wanted to assume that I was out biking on a treacherous mountain trail and crashed, who was I to mess with their imagination? A much “cooler” picture than me racing my dog and mangling us both in the process.

Well, this post took a turn, didn’t it?

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