Nobody told me that dog walking was a contact sport.
I had just put the puppy Sophie down this morning at the dog park when Finnigan the retriever throttled toward me smashing his big stupid black head into my mouth.
I suppose it could have been worse. If his blow had landed a couple of inches higher, he would have broken my nose.
For now, I have a sore tooth and an upper lip that looks like hamburger. Also a split lower lip.
I won't be needing stitches but I may have to eat my turkey dinner through a straw.
Merry Christmas Eve, ho, ho, ho.
This isn't my first time at the Christmas injury rodeo. Nope. Last year, I sprained my ankle falling over the late Hannah and spent New Year's day and the better part of a month with an ankle the size and consistency of a juicy pork hock.
And one year, I spent New Year's Eve in the emergency after Fred Chartrand accidentally cut my eye with ticker tape at the Canadian Press New Year's Party. That injury lasted for five years as scar tissue would build up on my eyeball, then rip, leaving me in excruciating pain.
Both Marissa and Stef have suffered black eyes over Christmas. Marissa fell on her face when she was two at a visit to Disneyworld and Stef had his eye blackened by brother Nick for God knows what offence.
Another year, the kids' grandpapa dislocated his shoulder while pushing them on sleds down a hill. That required a visit to a rural doctor and a full yard of wine drunk happily by the old fellar while wearing one of those ridiculous Christmas cracker hats.
Many other years there weren't injuries of the body, but more of the heart. Both my Grandma and Grandpa died just before Christmas when I was in my teens. And I spent one particularly heartbreaking Christmas with Mr. Big in full knowledge that he was leaving two days later to spend New Year's with his lover in Bermuda. I went to the hospital with a panic attack.
Ho, ho, fucking ho.
Looking back, a split lip ain't the worst thing that could have happened. I'd still like Hannah to be sitting at my feet, but that's not going to happen. And I wish Ming the pug was shedding all over my brand new Christmas sweater. I wish my mother was still alive, too.
You don't always get what you want for Christmas so you have to be grateful for what you do have.
So far this year, the health of everyone is pretty darned good.
And I have much to be grateful for.
A granddaughter turning one. A daughter getting married and a son getting engaged.
A new pug puppy. The bouncy retriever. And Gordon Blackstone the vernable pug who is still with me, snoring in the corner.
And of course, my wonderful Scott who is always available to drive me to the hospital.
Hope you have a wonderful Christmas eve.
And be careful out there.