I survived Florida’s drivers only to be taken out by my own dog.
Yesterday I came home from my ride and, as I always do, I walked into the front foyer carefully so as to not slip on the tile floor (cycling cleats don’t provide much traction). Well, Sonny left me a wet little present on the tile, and my feet came out from under me. I landed on my back, but my elbows took most of the force.
Here’s a crappy cell phone shot of the perfectly paused footage from one of my security cameras:
Your schadenfreude is showing. Go ahead, it’s okay to laugh. Lisa did (although I thought making the image her desktop wallpaper was a little uncalled for).
Anyway, it really hurt, and my elbows (especially my right one) are killing me this morning. Thankfully nothing is broken, as that might have ended my 382 day riding streak. It would have been a real downer for the riding streak to end due to a puddle of pee:
“Dude, I saw your riding streak was broken! What happened?! Bike wreck? Family emergency? Food poisoning? Hit by a car? Kidnapped by anti-cycling zealots?”
“I slipped in a puddle of urine.”
“Why does everyone laugh at that?”
Sonny also tore up a few other household items yesterday while I was on my ride. Unfortunately over the past week he seems to be growing more upset when I leave, instead of the reverse. The past couple of days when I started to get ready for my rides he climbed all over me, licking and nibbling. He and I have really bonded, and I guess he just doesn’t want me to go.
In case you’re wondering, I do not punish him for these things. It’s not only pointless to scold a dog when you come home to a mess, it’s cruel because the poor fella can’t figure out what you’re mad at him about. The only thing getting upset does is make things worse: all the dog knows is that every time you come home you’re mad for some crazy, unknown reason. This leads to more anxiety and more issues. Trust me, we went through it all with Turtle, who had horrible separation anxiety the first few years after we rescued her. It’s hard, but you can’t get angry (well, you can, but you can’t show it). Eventually Turtle started to realize that when we left we were coming back, and the same will happen with Sonny.
With Turtle we could not crate her, as she had never been crate trained. We tried it once and it was a nightmare for her, and so that was out of the question. We’re told that Sonny does well in a crate (and he loves going in the one I have set up for him), so I may try that on my next ride. It’s nice having video footage so I can see how he acts while I’m gone.
All of this is an oversimplification, of course; separation anxiety in dogs is a complex topic, and there are countless causes and potential solutions. Don’t get mad at your furry friend, get educated. 🙂