So yesterday we returned to the house from the Snohomish Pumpkin festival. Some of our dogs are in kennels in the house while we are out so they don’t eat, say, our furniture, while we are away. I was bending over to open one of these kennels when Bella, our Rottweiler, came charging over to greet me and ran her skull full-speed into my face and head-butted me. Having an excited 90 pound rottweiller head-butt you is lot like being punched in the face by an adult man. Trust me, I’ve been punched in the face enough to know.
My immediate reaction involved a stream of full-volume profanity and holding my nose, fearing that it was broken and/or gushing blood. Remarkably it was neither. I calmed down fairly quickly but the effect on my physiology and brain chemistry was less easily settled. Having this happen to you when you have PTSD is a special experience.
When she hit me my body decided that I had been the victim of a surprise attack. Fight/flight reflexes kicked in, my body flooded with adrenaline and I was instantly enraged. I had to immediately restrain myself from responding to the attack, and remind myself that it was just a happy, enthusiastic dog and hold myself immobile until reason could reassert itself.
But even once the intellect was back in control it wasn’t over. I had all this residual rage and adrenaline with nowhere useful to go and nothing useful to do. So I got into an argument with Linda. Which of course was counterproductive. (Arguing with Linda usually is; she has this annoying tendency to be right….)
Linda finally realized that we weren’t actually arguing about anything in particular and pointed this out. Thinking it through I realized what was really going on and was able to explain it to her, which went a good way towards resolving things. Since she is an intelligent, nice and understanding woman we quickly de-escalated and apologized etc.
So today my nose only hurts when I touch it, and my gums and front teeth hurt but what the hell, that’s what Ibuprofen are for. The dog, BTW, was never injured as near as we could determine. Fun having dogs. Anyway next time something like that happens Linda will know what’s going on and why I am acting like such a jerk. She can remind me and I can take steps to deal with things in a more productive fashion. Bella, in the way of dogs, is blissfully unaware that there was any sort of problem and that’s as it should be; I’m the one with the IQ and opposable thumbs after all.
Life never stops teaching us, does it? I need to work on making things easier for it so it doesn’t have to punch me in the nose to get my attention…