It’s not an emotional scar (thank God). It’s not my c-section scar, which I affectionately called “the mail slot.” It’s the scar on my lip. And just above my lip. It’s from my forever dog, Holden.
I wrote long and hard about my precious Lhasa Apso, Holden, who will forever stay in my heart. But his effect is more lasting than I ever intended.
I really noticed it on Wednesday when I subjected myself to ridicule by filming an exercise video (yes, I’m using that term very loosely). I watched myself on the video over and over again. Not because I’m obsessed with looking at myself but because I usually shoot about 17 minutes of footage and try my best to edit it down to 2 minutes. I never succeed, hence, the 5 minute video I ended up with.
When I watched it back, I was surprised at how visible the scar was above my lip. I’m also surprised that no one ever notices and asks me about it. Or it could be they just have more tact than I do. I’m so curious that I usually just ask people outright.
So here’s the story.
You have to first know that Holden was a dog who liked his sleep. We would typically hang out downstairs and watch TV and notice Holden making his way upstairs. We would jokingly call out “Goodnight, Holden” because we knew he was done for the night and headed up to claim his space on our bed.
When we would take car trips, we would put our “kids” in the back (Holden and Einstein) and they would fight just like typical kids. Einstein was a nervous traveler and would pace a little or pant. Or just generally annoy Holden who was trying to make himself comfortable. We knew that because Holden would barely stir from his slumber and let out a ferocious bark (for a little dog) at Einstein and then go right back to sleep.
Sometimes, in the car, I think he sensed Einstein was simply breathing too loudly and he would let out another loud bark amidst the silence we had finally achieved in the car. Yes, Holden was quite the character.
My husband and I were getting ready for bed one night and it was dark in the room. Holden had already gone to bed and had made himself quite comfortable in my spot. But I loved this big fluffy mop of a dog and instead of letting sleeping dogs lie, I disturbed his slumber. I bent down and kissed his head, pet him a few times, and kissed him once more.
Holden woke up startled, most likely because it was dark and my face was inches from his. He followed his doggy instinct and lashed out. I knew immediately that this was not be good. I could feel a warm liquid running down my face and into my hands. I knew that a trip to the emergency room was probably going to be part of our late night.
Holden had essentially split the skin right above my lip in two. Thank God it didn’t go all the way through my lip but it was pretty deep. He knew as soon as he did it. You could sense his immediate panic and regret at biting me. I didn’t blame him. I shouldn’t have kissed him when he was sleeping.
Off to the emergency room and my husband and I spent quite a while in the waiting room (because apparently having your face split open with blood running down it doesn’t supersede someone who has a cough). The police arrive to talk to us because they have to file a report anytime a dog bite is reported. We laugh because we can only imagine how we look: little old me with a swollen bloody lip, my big hulky husband beside me, and the police coming to talk to us.
He asks us what happened and if we knew the dog that did it. Again, we found it sort of humorous. It was our dog, on our bed, in our bedroom. He asks if we want someone to pick up the dog, implying that the dog could or would be destroyed. We were mortified. No thank you. It was a misunderstanding. He says he’ll never do it again.
I’ll spare you the E/R details where they inject novocaine inside the wound and they have to do it repeatedly because the feeling kept returning. And I’ll spare you the details of having my lip sewn up and my do-it-all-seen-it-all husband nearly passing out as he watches. I’ll skip to the non-gross part.
After a week or so, the stitches came out. Holden and I decided to forgive and forget (he showed an amazing amount of remorse, seriously). And I was left with my scar. I made jokes. Now I’ll never be a teen model.
It showed more than I liked. It made it difficult to use lipstick and lipliner. But again, we joked about how Holden wanted to leave a lasting impression on me. (Can you tell we use humor a lot in our family?) And that he did.
That scar has been with me almost 6 years. Holden has now been gone for almost a year. It reminds me that he was once a special part of my life. It reminds me that misdeeds are forgivable. It reminds me that beauty is fleeting. And it reminds me that I need to get better cover-up.
Thank you for sharing so many wonderful stories about your pets. It truly warms my heart!