Anna’s Mouth Injury, the Scoop

Photo06202142Here’s the thing: I have a 115 pound golden retriever called Sammy. He’s as affectionate as he is furry (I keep a lint roller in my car), dumb as rocks, and boy, does he love chasing small animals.

Now, I weigh a little more than 115 pounds, but not that much more. And I’m not in the first flush of youth (he’s three). When I walk him, I wear sneakers, I have a special harness that goes under his belly, and I concentrate. If he spots a bunny or a squirrel (or sometimes just a particularly interesting bird) I plant my feet, hold the leash with both hands, and the belly strap brings him down. Usually.

Saturday night I took him over our good friends’ and neighbors’ house. It’s less than five minutes away. I hung out, swam; they barbecued, and, of course (This won’t surprise anyone who knows me) we put away a fair few glasses of wine. Just after midnight I started off to walk Sam home.

I was wearing flip flops; I don’t remember if I attached the leash to the chest strap of the harness or just to his collar; there’s no way in the world I was concentrating. And he saw a…I don’t even know what it was…but he went after it. Caught unawares, I couldn’t get my fingers out of the handle of the retractable leash fast enough. Smack! I hit the kerb face first and he dragged me along several feet of road before I finally managed to let him loose. Blood everywhere.

I spat out half a tooth and called my husband to come and get me. Everyone arrived–our friends, the kids, my husband. Sammy returned and got roundly beaten (Not by me.) We all went to our house and tried to assess the damage. To ER or not to ER, that was the question. We decided not. None of my wounds were gaping–mostly they were road burns. And there was a certain amount of concern that if K took me to the ER in that condition the police might be called! Anyway, the tooth was the worst thing, and the lip above it. We alternated hydrogen peroxide and ice until I was pronounced fit for bed, and amazingly, I slept.

Next day we called our lovely dentist friend, Dr. Osler, and he (Bless the man! A staunch Democrat too. Love him!) mended my mouth as best he could. The funny thing is that the worst broken tooth (there was also a chip off a neighboring one) had been crooked forever. (We don’t do so much orthodontics in the UK. Yes, cultural stereotypes often have a basis in truth.) Now it’s half fake, but straight.

So, I have kerb marks on my left cheek, a scabby and swollen lip, grazes on my chest, neck, left shoulder and both knees. I can’t chew on the fake tooth for a few weeks (and right now I can’t chew anyway, cos it hurts. It’s a struggle to open my mouth wide enough to slide in the soup spoon.) Oh and I’m leaving for our annual trip to the UK on Wednesday.

I also have a confused but somewhat sheepish oversized golden retriever, still furry, still affectionate, probably still likes chasing small animals. Anyone want one?


  1. Quincy R. Lehr

    Well, I weigh about fourteen-and-a-half times what my cat does. And while Feefers may only weigh ten pounds, I suspect that he might be able to #@%&ing annihilate Sammy–cats have voodoo powers, see. So perhaps I shouldn’t take Sammy off your hands.

    In all seriousness, sorry to hear about your bruises, chipped tooth, et al. In defense of your homeland (well, slightly to the left of it), one of the best dentists who ever worked on my teeth was a Welshman in Dublin, which goes to show something or other.

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