Always check your boots before you put them on.
I learned this unlikely lesson when I was five months pregnant with my first child. I woke up one morning and, as per my normal morning routine at the time, peered out my bedroom window on the way to the bathroom. To my surprise, I saw Bonsai, my 2 year old Akita, dashing out across the pasture on his way to breaking out of our farm’s compound. I swiftly cranked open the window and yelled “BONSAI!!! STOP! COME BACK!!!”. The dog stopped dead in his tracks…turned his head around to look at me for a few seconds, then turned back around and CHARGED away as fast as he could. This is the same 2 year old dog that had been stubbornly challenging me at every attempt to obey simple commands since he first came into my possession at 16 weeks of age.
After two years of going toe-to-toe with the hound, I was not about to back down now. Not on Sunday morning. Not 5 months pregnant. Not EVER.
So I raced downstairs in my pajamas, threw on my jacket and slipped on my knee-high riding books (unstrapped because who had time to strap them) and sailed out the door in dogged (heh-heh) pursuit of the soon-to-be-beaten fleabag. As I was mid-stride halfway across the pasture, I felt a piercing pain shoot through the toes of my right foot. After one or two more strides the pain brought me to my knees. I quickly yanked the boot off my right foot and a razor blade (yes, you read that correctly) fell out of my boot. The underside of my foot, across the bottom of the first 3 toes where they meet the sole, were a bloody mess from the blade slicing upwards across them. It cut straight through the cartilage and to the bone. Apparently, since I did not take the time to strap my boots on, there was a significant amount of space and “lift” for my feet inside them and during the time of “lift” the razor blade did it’s own lift perpendicular to my toes and sliced them up good. It required about 20 stitches in the ER and let me tell you that childbirth labor pains PALES in comparison to having needles stuck into your toes multiple times.
How did the razor blade get into my boot to begin with, you ask? The blade was sitting on the windowsill of my mud room for the longest time and I never got around to putting it away (this was my pre-kid era, remember). My boots were positioned underneath said windowsill for the longest time. My guess is that several solid door slams from the adjacent mudroom door eventually vibrated that razor blade right off the sill and into my boot.
And Bonsai? Well, he did win that particular battle of the wills. But not a single one afterwards, I can assure you of that.