Along with some fun agility trial prizes, a couple of new sweatshirts and way more laundry than one woman should have generated in five days, I came home from nationals with a cold. No big deal but one that required some chemical intervention to keep from sneezing, wheezing and hacking myself completely around the bend.
And so it was that I came to be sitting in my recliner one evening earlier this week, happily sedated into a cold medicine coma, sipping a cup of hot tea and letting my mind think of nothing more important than whatever was on the television.
Since the dogs had determined that I was zero fun in my current state, Jamie and Phoenix were playing some sort of game with a ball in the dining room. This is the worst room in the house for ball playing since it contains more square inches of antique glass per square foot that probably the rest of the house put together.
I was going to call out and suggest they bring the ball into the living room and ram around with it there when there was a sudden, fast and very short-lived scuffle just out of my line of sight. You know, the sudden change of play rhythm, nothing bad, just different. Then total silence. While I was debating hauling my sorry carcass out of the recliner to see who had done what to whom, the dogs came flying into the living room. Jamie leaped up on the couch, curled up and went to sleep. Phoenix leaped onto my lap, curled up and mimicked going to sleep.
While this is perfectly normal evening behavior for both of them, there was a definite aura of "Don't tell Mom!" in the air.
I might be an only kid but my best friend in elementary and high school came from a family of six kids and I didn't run with that pack without picking up a few things.
For the second time in as many minutes, I debated about getting up to see what had gotten broken. Granted, I hadn't actually heard shattering glass but life with Belgians has taught me that just because I didn't hear something get broken doesn't mean nothing got broken.
But Phoenix was warm in my lap and I was seriously lazy (and afraid if I started moving my nose would start running again - as long as I didn't move we seemed to have an uneasy truce.) So I sat on my butt and figured since the roof hadn't caved in, it couldn't be anything serious.
About 45 minutes later it was time for bed. I got up to take the dogs out and Jamie trotted over. I reached down to scratch his head and . . .
. . . BLOODY HELL! Blood was was oozing and clotting on his nose from a long, deep gash that started between his eyes and and ran for about five inches along the bridge of his muzzle. He didn't seem at all concerned, just that he wanted me to see his new tough dog street image.
A quick clean up and exam followed. Head injuries being what they are, he had bled like there was no tomorrow (quietly, in the dark living room), but triage proved he was no worse for the wear. The scratch was deep in places, gouging a furrow in his skin, and shallow in others, just scraping off fur.
It was a serious WTF moment.
I asked Phoenix what happened but that didn't get me anywhere. Phoenix adores Jamie. Phoenix submits to Jamie. While Jamie has an idiotically high tolerance level when it comes to his little brother's annoying habits (chew, bite, pull fur), I am pretty sure Jamie would have put the serious smack down on Phoenix if he'd intentionally bitten him.
I even went crawling around the dining room, looking for a Jamie-height sharp corner on any piece of furniture that could have caused the gash. Nothing. No tell-tale gobs of bloody fur stuck to the culprit. The Farmer came in while I was in the middle of this process. He gave me a look that said he thought I'd taken too many cold meds.
Whatever happened, it had happened in silence. There hadn't been a squawk, a squeak, a growl, snarl or any indication anything had gone amiss. Just that little scuffle, probably over possession of the ball, then silence, then both dogs racing to assume their evening positions in the living room.
Since then, I've decided Jamie's muzzle either accidentally ran into one of Phoenix's teeth while in pursuit of the ball or he ran into one of Phoenix's toenails in the same scenario. I kind of pride myself on keeping the dogs' nails ground blunt but even a blunt object, with 55 pounds of launching force behind it, could do some damage if it connected with thin skin over bone.
The dogs saw this as a no-harm, no-foul situation and went on their merry way. Jamie looks a little rough but he's healing. He hates having ointment put on it but Phoenix knows this is gonna score cookies so he's all but bringing me the tube twice a day.
And my cold is getting much better. I gave it to the Farmer.