4153 1399 71 Princess St, Bundaberg QLD 4670 Opening Hours: Monday-Friday 7:45 am-5:30 pm • Saturday 8:00 am-12:00 pm • Sunday 8:30 am-11:30 am

I was out walking my dogs just after the rain a few days ago and I discovered the joy and the pain of walking with my dogs. Now, my wife and I own some big dogs and every day I collect the dogs and head off into the fields around Bundaberg and just lose myself in the beauty of nature – before the sun raises its head above the horizon the world is wonderful and peaceful and to hear the first sounds of the birds waking up as the mist rises up from a dam or to listen to the sounds of little insects or small animals as they go about their daily life, fills my soul with peace and joy and sets me up for another day “at the coal mine”.

As I was walking along the side of a road with one dog attached to my right hand and one dog attached to my left hand – (all are trained to walk alongside of me without trying to pull my arms off). I have already mentioned that these dogs are on the large side but very fit and healthy.

Anyway, here I was walking along enjoying the morning chorus and marvelling at the waking world, when in front of me I saw a piece of plyboard around 1 meter square. Not a problem I thought as I walked towards it – I will just step onto it and over it, but little did I realize that this piece of wood was balanced by a rock underneath. This meant as I stepped onto the ply with the right foot (I had taken a large step past the pivot point) the front the ply went down (not a problem) but the back of the ply now went up (a major problem).

My back foot got caught by the raised plyboard and stopped its forward momentum rather suddenly. The top part of my body was still moving forward but the bottom part of my body was now halted in a sudden and irretrievable way. The result being – I started to fall forward. At this moment I will point out that I did not take this forward momentum very well and I may have said a few words out loud in an aggressive manner that did not help with the following circumstances.

Now this stumble or “trip” would not have been a problem in normal circumstances but when you are attached to large dogs who have taken fright at the noise (both of the board moving, my leg not moving, my utterances etc) and the sudden downward movement of their loved leader – it means a large problem is about to occur. Normally I would break my fall with my hands and maybe land on my knees and the stand up and all would be right with the world. BUT this was not a normal circumstance – with both hands now being pulled in a fast forward moving direction (one dog charging away to the right and one to the left at a 45 degree angle) by large powerful dogs it was not possible to stop my fall.

Not only could I not stop my fall but the pulling of the dogs actually increased the velocity that I was falling at. I would liken it to a person on a spring board at the local pool trying to do a swan dive but with one foot caught on the diving board (just close your eyes and try to picture that happening) The end result was me spread eagled on the ground, face first and still having my arms lengthened by frightened dogs who decided that the best thing they could do was to get away from this “alien” as fast as possible.

Did I say that this all happened on the morning after the rain – just to my luck the ground that I had face planted myself in was actually a previous non grassed area. After the rain we would have called it a “puddle”. So here I was, face down in a muddy puddle, left leg still caught behind the ply board, right and left arm being pulled out of their socket by dogs who just want to escape, mud from the top of my head to the bottom of my knees and the last thing I was thinking of was the beauty of nature or that bloody kookaburra sitting in a nearby tree laughing its head off.

That was the morning that nature and all its creatures learnt some new words and some new sentences that had never been uttered before! And who said going for early morning walks with your dogs is good for the soul.

Till next month,

David

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