Joining the ranks of the single handed. Kerri takes a trip.

Most comical moment of the day… Kerri (okay, me Smile) trying to hit a ball with a tennis racket, left handed.

This was written last Fall, but never posted.  It has it’s funny spots, it’s not so funny spots some of that awful truth stuff and a couple loving dogs that make everything seem worthwhile. I decided to release it from the trash bin. KDKP 7/29/13


A quick history note: I have been on hiatus for a while. It started with 14 hour days throughout the late spring and summer months and ended, with the awful truth that I am a horrible klutz.


The morning of August 15th 2012,  Coffee cup in hand, I walked out of my front door and stepped directly into the path of a 70 pound, Canine Locomotive, named “High Octane Java.”  Her ears were flapping in the wind; Locked into the retrieve like a laser-guided missile, dog slobber flying,and she was NOT looking in my direction.


She was less than 20 feet away and closing at an incredible rate. Just before the instant of impact, she looked up at me and in her eyes I saw human grade fear , an emotion so real etched on her face that I don’t think I will ever forget it. In that instant where we both realized we were physically committed to this collision I saw a very real, non verbal, “OH Holy SHIT!” in her eyes. I knew at that moment and for the rest of our lives, the last thing in the world she ever wanted to do was cause me pain.  I saw that in her eyes and I still do, every single day.


She pulled up at the last possible second and that saved me big time… Our collision was much more gentle than it would have been. (If she would’ve hit me full force, you’d still be picking pieces of me up of the aggregate.


I keep wondering why I couldn’t react… If I would’ve simply yelled “Sit” I’d probably still be smelling the scent of burning dog-ass hair on concrete, but the words didn’t come.  I blame the fact that I was still on cup of Joe #1.  I simply did not have time to react and I was about 3 inches from the stairs, knowing that when I fell, I was going to land on them and probably break my freaking neck or worse, my face and teeth. (I have issues.)


Thanks to Java’s quicker reaction time than mine, I landed quite gently… in fact had I not been so damned afraid of falling on the stairs and not fought so hard to regain my balance, I might have only broken my wrist in one or two places rather than 6. 


The Surgeon said I was a very talented bone crusher. (Yes, Crusher, keep in mind he has had the privilege of viewing several of my previous x-rays too. That nasty fractured and dislocated humerus last year was no picnic either.    He said that my wrist was literally crushed in no less than 6 places. How? Because I walked outside when a friend was playing ball with my own dog.  Note to self, finish your coffee before venturing outside to the real world.


So here I am almost a month later, an ER visit and 1 surgery later.  Like the new hardware?


kerri's wrist August 2012 7 screws and a bottle opener.\


I got off track there for a moment, but I felt it was important to cover the “Why’s?” as in, “Why is she just now learning to hit a ball left handed? After all isn’t she like… (groan)… Middle Aged?” (Groan, creak,crunch  & pop… the sounds my body makes when it moves.)


With the trusty and now somewhat oxidized tennis racket that I bought for $2 at the thrift store 7 years ago in my non dominant hand, I walked out into the daylight.  I did better than anticipated! Only completely missing the ball 3 times in 15 minutes.  (I also scored 3 foul tips, 2 of which would’ve been legal in women’s softball..) The rest of my connections didn’t travel very far…  only a few feet farther than I could’ve thrown it right handed (and with much less accuracy.)


It did give me an opportunity to work a little on obedience, the ‘wait’ command. Usually both dogs heel on my left side and ‘sit’ until I give the command to “Retrieve.”  (The command for a single dog is their name, both dogs together is ‘Fetch.’ )  


Since I am still very wild with the racket left handed, (although a seasoned pro with my dominant hand,) I wanted my two K9 kids, at least 7 feet away from me until after I swung at the ball… 


I must say, Max and Java were very patient with me… much more so than I am with myself.  I would’ve given up as soon as my sinuses packed with grass pollen, but with those 4 soulful, anticipatory, puppy eyes, brightly shining and begging me to continue; How could I refuse?


It’s simple, I couldn’t.  (How does a 14 year old dog with cataracts pull off the puppy dog eye thing?)


Java at the beach with Dad working the "puppy eyes magic" May 2012


Java needs to retrieve almost as much as she needs food. (She would convince the layman that she is always hungry, starving as a matter of fact, but she needs to retrieve more than she needs to eat, that is if you want to sleep at night. If she doesn’t get to retrieve for at least 20 minutes twice a day, she will take it out on me by whining, licking my face, jumping up and down on the bed, poking me with her nose and basically, just being an obnoxious pest.  If she retrieves, she’s the best dog in the world. )


She has been very patient with me during my recovery. She’s been totally getting the short end of the stick as exercising her is MY JOB.. I don’t hold her responsible for my injury… I could have yelled “SIT!”  but I didn’t think that fast. I am certain that I still would have been knocked down, but it would’ve been by a dog whose butt was smoking on the concrete, not one in laser locked retrieve mode. She knows that Sit means Sit and that faster is better.


I will never be as good left handed with a racket as I am with my dominant (right) hand.. The Left wrist has 6 screws, a 5 inch plate and 3 bone grafts left over from the 7 surgeries required to put it back together. All courtesy of severe ligament injury that I really don’t recall and more importantly, the obscene physical therapy sessions to fix something that they said was “all in my head,”  Lets just say I don’t like doctors much anymore…. and that I’m thrilled with the advance in medical imaging since 1988 when that all happened.


I’d like to say all my bitterness is gone,  most of it is, (as well as the music career I lived, breathed and died a little bit for.) But then again I don’t plan to join the tennis club either. It is simply nice to be able to exercise my dogs again without it doing me more harm than good.


It’s quiet now. My Java Bean is sprawled on the square of linoleum by the front door (it seems to cool her hot, overheated belly, especially after a run or a game of fetch.) She’s breathing in a style that I’ve always called ‘Locomotive breath’ after the Jethro Tull song of the same name.  MaxShadow (as always,) is within reach of an arm or leg, crammed in the space under my desk, crowding my feet.  Dad (the big dawg,) is done feeding the boarding dogs and is working on cleaning up the BBQ for what could very well be, the last rib eye steak of the grilling season.


I am hoping that Steve will do me the honor of cutting up my steak once again.  It’s hard being single handed in a two handed world.  I am thankful that the dogs were patient enough to allow me to learn to hit the ball left handed… and never once did they laugh out loud at my lack of coordination (although I may have seen a little smirking coming from the peanut gallery inside the house.)  I however can, and do laugh at myself, in between sneezes. I’ve learned the hard way that life without laughter, well it’s simply not my way of doing things.   It’s just nice to be on the mend and able to do something fun with my best friends.


This was originally written in the Fall of 2012, Kerri is back in action, healed pretty well and now a non smoker since September 1st 2012.  She is hoping to find more time to dedicate to this blogging thing… it’s almost as good as having a shrink without the monthly bills. I am a little concerned that I continue to refer to myself in the third party…. Is that something I need to worry about?





Kerri Pinkston

The Alpha Dogs’ Wife


About adventuredogs

I'm the "Alpha Dog's" wife... Life Partner and Co-owner of Adventure Dog Ranch, The Vacation Destination for Dogs! A place where canines socialize, exercise and have fun. You don't have to feel guilty when you take a vacation, your dog can have his very own vacation with us!
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