My German Shepherd is kind of a jerk.
Of course, if you ask my mother (and you should), she'll tell you how Big can do no wrong. And most of the time, I agree with that statement. Big is an uncommonly good German Shepherd. As long as you don't count whole ass biting period he went through a couple of summers back (dog asses, not people.) that is.
But every now and then, he's kind of a jerk.
Yesterday morning was one of those times.
We were up early because I had one of my rare shifts at The Store. There's not a lot going on the Valley this time of year and as we're getting closer to Inventory, the shipments slow down so there's even less need for me on the schedule (not that I mind this at all). But I was on the schedule yesterday and so we were up early. When I took Big out, he spotted something at the end of our driveway. What he spotted, I have no idea as there WASN'T ANYTHING THERE, but something caught Big's eye and he decided he had to chase the nothing away.
The results were rather disastrous. As I've said before, Big is not so named because we're trying to be funny or clever. No, Big is so named because he's frakking huge. He's a 130 pound dog who has a good twenty pounds on me and so when he gets the jump on me (which does NOT happen all that often), bad things can happen and since I didn't expect him to freak out about the nothing at the end of the driveway, he got the jump on me.
I went up in the air and down the ground, smashing into the ice underneath the snow. Then came the dragging as Big dragged me down the driveway in his quest to chase away the nothing. It took me a little while to get him stopped but I managed it. Then came the moment where Big realized just how much trouble he was in.
Growing up, we had a German Shepherd named Sheba and every now and then, Sheba would take an unsanctioned walk about the neighborhood. My mother would stand on our front steps and call for the dog who would then come back to the house, crashing through the woods as she tried to take a roundabout way back to the house in order to make it look as though she'd just been hanging out unseen in the backyard the entire time. So she'd come bounding around the side of the house, a spring in her step and joy in her eyes. That is until she saw that my mother had not bought the here the whole time ruse. Then she starting to slink, head down, toward my mother. Lower and lower Sheba got to the ground until she was quite literally crawling.
Big didn't crawl, he can't manage it with his back problems, but if he could have, he would have. He's always been very sensitive and knows when he's in trouble. He made his way back to the house, head hung low. I limped. My head was pounding, my back was out again, my ankle was throbbing, my wrist was throbbing- hell, my entire right side was throbbing.
I thought about calling out of work but didn't because I knew my stockroom compatriot, Ruthie, had called out the day before because it was so cold her brakes were frozen (true story). So I strapped on a couple of ace bandages, changed into clothes that weren't soaked from a roll in the snow and dragged my bruised ass to work where was I promptly greeted with "I'm going to need you to stay late today, okay?"
Here's the highlight of my work day:
Me: (answering phone) Thank you for calling The Store. How may I help you?
Caller: Did I call The Store?
Me: No, that's just how I like to answer my home phone.
I made it through my shift, extra hours and all, and made it home just in time to crash on the couch with a couple of ice packs, a heating pad for my back and a bottle of Advil. I hate being a thirty something with a bad back. It hurts less now, everything does. Well, everything except for my head. That's still being stubborn.
The good news is that my German Shepard's freak out did give me a great gift today: a perfect excuse to sit on the couch watching television. Hoping things will get back to normal in the morning.