I write this blog post with great relief, as an incident that occurred two days ago could have been much worse! At the moment I am visiting family in Rochdale, Lancashire (as I now live in Kingston upon Hull). A place that we often explore with the dogs during our trip is Hollingworth Lake, one of my favourite places, which holds some happy memories for me :)
After our leisurely evening stroll around the Lake, enjoying ice cream and watching the sunset we were just 10 minutes away from the car when disaster struck. We were passing the little wooded area in which we have ventured many times, and as usual decided to wander in. You enter via an old wooden bridge, which takes you over a narrow stream, then use another to get back across. This time however, the second bridge had been replaced with a new metal one, with gaps, meaning dogs cannot cross. My mum simply carried Shih Tzu Max across in her arms, me & cross Labrador Jess however, had to turn back. Its not a long way back, not at all, but panicking at the fact that everyone else was on the other side Jess attempted to jump across…landing in the stream instead.
This was not the problem, the water was just ankle deep, but the banks very steep, and it was that she’d landed on & disturbed a wasps nest that was the problem. As some of you may already know Jess can be nervous, nervous of new people, and new situations, so of course panic set in for the both of us. Everything happened so fast, but I can clearly remember looking down at my arms, wearing a black cardigan, and they were covered, with at least 10 buzzing yellow wasps. Next I looked down at Jess, and felt a sinking feeling as they were swarming all over her body from head to toe.
If the wasps hadn’t have been there, it’d have simply been a matter of leading her down the stream to find an easier way out. But now it was a case of getting her out as quickly as possible. This became really difficult as the wasps were stinging me, i’ve never been stung by anything before (great way to start, i know!) and I was losing footing down the banks myself. Her collar and harness were just slipping from my grasp, and I could see the worry in her eyes as she gripped her claws into the earth. We don’t know what we’d have done next if it wasn’t for a passer by who saved the day. A man and lady noticed the commotion and the gentleman managed to drag Jess out (and boy is she heavy!). They both stumbled over, and at this point I was waving my arms around and yanking off my cardigan! We are so, so grateful for his help.
I came away with five wasp stings, but we weren’t sure about Jess. On our arrival home I cleaned mine up and made a cold compress for my hand in particular, which had become quite swollen, bright red and extremely sore. I gently rubbed Jess down with a cold damp towel, and felt for any swellings, particularly around the eyes, nose and mouth, but couldn’t find anything. Wasp stings are usually harmless, unless they affect the airways, but multiple wasps stings of course means more venom and dogs can also have allergies just like us. Later, Jess’ eyebrow looked a little swollen, again we bathed it and kept a close eye on it.
Two days later and we are both fine :) If you saw the stream where all this happened you’d probably think ‘how did that cause such a drama?!’ Our lovely day definitely had a sting in the tail (and hands, eyes, arms…) but everyone is okay, and that’s the main thing :) I will also be posting some holiday snaps from the rest of the trip (with plenty of dog photos!) when we get home :)