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Denise Fenzi
08 Nov

Dog Trainer or Victim

Posted by dfenzi in Most Viewed Posts, Musings

Unusual day today.  To give you some context for what happened, check out this short (8 sec) video clip from yesterday:

I'm working on Raika's "drive with control".  The training scenario is....get dog riled up, wait for her shut up (can be a very long wait), then send for dumbbell.  Because Raika particularly enjoys pounding into me on the return, I allowed some of that to release her frustration.  Note that I was wearing nylon pants; normally I would wear jeans when doing this kind of work.   When I got dressed yesterday, I wasn't thinking about the kind of training I would be doing.  And therein lies the root of the problem.

Fast forward 24 hours.  Today I had my "women's wellness" exam with a nurse practitioner.

All started out perfectly normal.  I got a nice, cheerful nurse practitioner who takes her job seriously - and one of her primary jobs is to distract me with cheerful talk while she does Things Down There.  She started by asking what I do for a living.

I train dogs.

Ah! An excellent opening.  What exactly do I train them for?


Wow; that's wonderful!  That led to a nice little dialogue about how much she appreciates a well trained dog.  And being allergic to dogs, she particularly likes dogs that don't jump up, because she's sufficiently allergic that she'll have to change her clothes.  Since our total visit time will be about ten minutes at the most, I feel no need to enlighten her as to exactly what kind of obedience training I actually do.

And then she goes silent.  Very silent. After a few seconds, she asks me about the scratches and bruises on my thighs.  The bruises on my stomach.

Ah, awkward moment.  I have led her to believe that I, too, value a well trained dog that does not jump on people.  I didn't' actually say that, but I also did not correct her assumptions.

"Well.....those are from my dog."

There are different kinds of silence.  The one that ensued was the "I don't believe you" kind.

She approached if from a different direction.

"Gosh, I'm really concerned about this.  You have some pretty significant injuries here....I'm worried for you."

Shit shit shit.

Before they go to my house and arrest my husband, I start talking.  Sometimes I talk too much, and sometimes not enough.  In this case, I didn't really know what to do, but I sure as hell didn't want her calling in the Domestic Violence Crisis Committee.

I explained exactly what I had been doing which caused the scratches and bruises.

"I want my dog to have a faster return while she is holding an object, so I get her as excited as I can, send her to get an object, and then have her run at me full speed.  She then leaps into my stomach or wraps her legs around my legs.  That is what causes the bruises - her toes.  The scratches were caused by her dew claws digging in to my legs so she could hold on better.  There are multiple bruises and scratches because we did this multiple times"

I'll admit that even as the words were coming out, I knew they didn't sound too good.  Obedience trainer, my ass.

They let me go home.  I wonder what it says on my chart.  I wonder if I'm going to get a follow up phone call.  To be honest, I think it's pretty likely.


Finally figured out why the ortho surgeon asked me if I felt safe in my house. Innocent me said, “Why sure. I have big dogs.”
I’m single, live alone, & ‘not in a relationship’. Couldn’t figure out what he was talking about.
Light dawns, & thanks for the laugh:)

Posted by Margaret on September 11, 2012

I have been there! I have a bleeding disorder, and several dogs, and am a trainer. I show my Anatolians, and sometimes they are allowed to “hug” me, which can result in huge pawprint bruises on my upper arms. Funny, pawprints look like fingermarks….My poor hubby has gotten some really nasty looks when we’ve been in public in the summertime. Poor guy.

Posted by Tiffany on September 11, 2012

Your first blog post I ever read….hilarious….

Posted by Linda B on September 11, 2012

When’s your next doctor appointment? :-)

Posted by Linda Groff on September 11, 2012

I guess it was a good thing I didn’t have a Dr appointment in the first month with Gimme. I was playing with her in my lap and she bit and tugged on my sweatshirt and once caught the my boob with one of those needle-sharp puppy canines. I didn’t think too much about it. I’d totally forgot about it and scared myself to death a few days later when I saw a large oozing mess in my bra… and then the nasty gaping hole oozing more in the mirror. I was just sure I had some new kind of breast cancer until I remembered the source. Told my non-dog girlfriend and she thinks I’m beyond insane…

Posted by Carla Baker on November 12, 2011

Reblogged this on Denise Fenzi and commented:

Cant’s say the appearance of my legs has improved much.

Posted by dfenzi on September 11, 2012

Ho Denise, that’s too funny !!! did you really think your nurse practitionner understood what you mean !!! only people like you and me that have that kind of crazy dogs can understand this !!!

Posted by Lyne Michaud on September 11, 2012

hmmm…similar story…went in to have a routine skin cancer once over, and when i turned around to let the doc look at my back she did the OMG!! thing…scared the crap out of me, until she commented about all the bruises on my back…the result of a slip and fall and bounce down a couple of wet wooden stairs on my ass moment, caused by trying to chase some reluctant don’t-want-to-get-my-feet-wet fox terriers out into the yard to piddle :))

Posted by Sheena Rendall on November 10, 2011

[…] all wrong). Sometimes a post really hits home. This one did that, and also made me laugh out loud: Dog Trainer or Victim? from Denise Fenzi’s […]

Posted by Hurts so good | Rottweilers Ate My Laptop on November 10, 2011

“I have a really high drive bitch at home….” This is the funniest story I’ve read in a long time, and I thought topping Denise’s was going to be hard to do.

Posted by Lynn Ungar on November 09, 2011

I cannot help this. This had me laughing out loud.
The general public has not got a clue about dog traiining; at least, not the kind that you do.
If you get a follow up, you just need to send the video. Of course, then you will risk their sending animal control.

Posted by Helen Gruenhut on November 09, 2011

Haha. I used to have to explain the bruises on my legs to my Ob-Gyn caused by my crazy Spritz but now he is used to it and doesn’t even mention it anymore. I still, however, have a scar on the right boob from the end of a particularly great agility run:-)

Posted by teamcreativedogsla on November 10, 2011

This is really funny… Thanks for the laugh. I wonder if certain breeds are worse than others. Seems all of the Belgian owners I know have at one time or another been bumped, lumped, jumped, dumped, and kerplunked by their dogs. I have had more crashes into the family jewels from my dogs than I might have had playing rugby at San Quentin.

Posted by Geoff Stern on November 09, 2011

Bwa ha ha! I have a Berner who is encouraged to play wildly and is always leaving me bruised! I have been questioned by my doctors several times and I just laugh!

Posted by Marti on November 09, 2011

LOL oh my this post just made my morning! I have had similar questions, after a flyball tournament or practice Sophie leaves me black and blue. I had a concerned co worker once ask me if I needed someone to talk with about any problems I may have with a significant other as she stared at the bruise on my arm. I eventually taped a practice to show her what goes on.

Posted by Patty on November 09, 2011

Note to self: stop all dog training and. play one week prior to gyn visit. I got a mild bloody nose the other day. That is really hilarious. I am a vet and clients will sometimes say wow who got you? Ummm…my own dog…he’s really really friendly I swear.

Posted by Alanna on November 09, 2011

We refer to my BC as “the nut cracker.” My poor hubby. Can you imagine if he ended up at the doctor for that? Ha!

Posted by Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart on November 09, 2011

I used to play Goalie for an ice hockey team, and my equipment wasn’t great, so I was always covered with really, really bad bruises – it wasn’t uncommon to get hit over and over in the same spots, This was 30 years ago when it was really uncommon for women to be playing hockey, I always got the same questions and raised eyebrows.

Posted by puffinhunter on November 09, 2011

LMAO! Been there, done that. A few years ago, I was holding a toy close to my leg for Phoenix, he hit it hard and chomped not only the toy but bit through my jeans, leaving a huge bruise w/tooth marks on my inner thigh.

A few days later I ended up in the hospital with a heart condition (not related to dogs!) I’m sitting in bed in my skimpy little hospital gown and the medical staff kept asking me “Do you feel safe in your home?” “Are you comfortable in your relationships?” etc. I’m sure this is perfect standard operating procedure for them but all I could think of was “I am in here for my HEART. You do NOT need to look at anything below the waist.”

TG they didn’t. But I always try to take in easy when working Phoenix the week before that annual women’s visit so I’m not totally covered in bruises when they ask “Do you feel safe in your home?”

Posted by Melinda Wichmann on November 09, 2011

LOL! Bet you don’t get any referrals from her for obedience training :)

Posted by beth on November 09, 2011

Reminds me of when I was pregnant and fell at work and ended up with a black eye. A few days before heading to one of my regular pre-partum checkups, I realized this was NOT going to look good – pregnant woman getting beat up! Fortunately I have had a long relationship with my doctor and we both had a good laugh about it.

Posted by Laura on November 09, 2011

Oh YES, I can identify!! I have been asked about my bruises, scratches and split lip before. :) Loved the post, I could just visualize the nurse giving you “that look” and could feel you discomfort. Really enjoyed other peoples additions of their experiences too. Absolutely love those Belgians!!

Posted by tammy at wrensongfarm on November 09, 2011

Thank goodness my OB/GYN was one of my clients when she got her puppy and two of the pediatric nurses either did rescue with me or was also a client. Otherwise I suspect I’d also be getting uncomfortable calls!

Posted by Jill Heczko Miller on November 09, 2011

Best post ever!!

Posted by Tania on November 09, 2011

My 12 lb dogs are leaving the bruises on me. I bruise easily, so even when they stand on me or jump on me it leaves bruises, that my Dr questioned. Since I am single and not dating or even leave my house generally, he ‘sort of’ believed me..

Posted by Kimmcamp on November 08, 2011

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