Monday, February 14, 2011

Man's Best Friend

When we lived in Ohio, our house was a 100 year-old farmhouse with a screened-in front porch.  I had my bicycle rollers on that porch, and I would get up at 5:30 and ride in place for an hour before getting ready to go to work.  I suppose I could have commuted to work, by bike, but the 45 mile round trip seemed a bit daunting to me, as a regular thing.  I did it a couple of times, but it was not practical as a daily commute.

I had two dogs, at the time:  Sam was a half-coyote mix, about 35 pounds, and Dave...Dave was 115 pounds of solid muscle molded into the shape of a yellow lab (actually, more white than yellow), with the curiosity of a cat on his first life.

One day, as I was riding on the rollers, sweating and gasping for air, Dave appeared in the open doorway from the house.  He looked at me, and looked at the bike, then started to take a step toward me.

"Go away, Dave!"  I yelled, and he jumped back into the house.

I continued on, riding my heart out, trying to not explode all over the porch.  As I rode, maintaining a cadence over 100 strokes per minute, with my heart rate hanging around 200 bpm.  I wasn't paying as much attention to my surroundings as I should, I suppose.

Dave had slipped back through the door, and was apparently enthralled by the spinning front wheel of the bike.  Trying to get a closer look, I suppose, Dave stuck his nose into the spinning spokes.

I saw him, just as his nose got into the arc of the wheel, and I grabbed the brakes, hard, to stop the wheel before it could hurt him.  As I did, I lost my balance and fell over,  feet still int the toeclips (1989) right on top of Dave.  I yelled, Dave yelped, and the bike crashed against the wall, or the floor, or the rollers...or all three.  I don't know.

Before I actually even got settled to the floor, kind of on the first bounce as it were, Sam (the other dog, you may recall) came rushing up like Lassie, or Rin Tin Tin, there to help his loving master out in a time of need.


He came running out onto the porch, jumped over Dave... and bit me right on the shoulder.  Then, he barked at me like I was a burglar with a pillowcase full of steak bones.

I suppose Sam thought that I had dive-bombed Dave, on purpose, and he was protecting his buddy.  Either that, or he wanted to be Alpha Dog and he was making his move while I was down.

Either way, when it was all over we were all okay, I maintained Alpha status in the pack, and Dave had lost all interest in spinning bike wheels.  Life went on, as it always does.

Although, I think Sam spent the rest of his life waiting for an encore.


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