The End of the Trail and Tale of the Tail
Nearing the last few days of the trip, the dog my traveling companion was trying to train as a service animal got homesick. It became short tempered and so did I. When the Great Pyranees grabbed a bath mat at a hotel, I wasn’t going to allow it to chew it to bits and snatched the mat from its wolf-like jaws. He wasn’t happy and nipped my hand. Bandaids took care of my physical injuries after a thorough washing.
We continued the trip, even though I warned my companion that the dog was getting restless and wanted to go home. We saw some more waterfalls, but to tell the truth, I was getting saddle sore and restless too. But the die was cast. My companion had drawn a plan and was going to stick to it. I told her that she was obstinate, saying that it wasn’t a compliment. And like most women, she ignored me.
Another night at a motel and the dog chose a washcloth to ravage, until we took it away and then he bit both of us. More Bandaids were needed for me and her. One of my wounds was a deeper puncture wound on the back of my right hand, next to a tendon. As we traveled the next day, the puncture wound became edematous and painful. I tried to get her to drive home, but she chose to go to the nearest hospital. That hospital looked at it and referred me to a larger hospital in Erie, because it had an orthopedic doctor on hand. Since my companion wanted to see Presque Isle anyway, she wouldn’t be diverted, but drove me to that emergency department.
Entering the hospital, I had to go through a metal detector, just to get into the waiting area. After a three hour wait, just to get inside to an exam room to be seen, several orthopedic interns had a field day, practicing on taking a history and finally coming to the conclusion that they needed to cut and probe the wound looking for infection.
There was only blood and serosanguineous drainage. The doctors-to-be bandaged and wrapped it, giving me a prescription for an antibiotic and for a pain killer. Finally, I escaped with papers in hand. It was late, darkness had fallen, and we had to seek shelter for the night. We were turned away from several motels, because of the service dog, although the manager didn’t say so. That would have broken the law. We were told that there were no vacancies. We finally found a room, a smoker’s room like so many motels gave us, but we were tired and glad for shelter.
When we got up, we drove to Presque Isle, saw the Lake Erie, the light houses, and several ships before we began the much welcomed trip home. My wounded condition did cause my companion to shorten the trip by one day and several stops. Fourteen days sitting in a vehicle with a veritable wolf breathing down my neck is certainly a trip to remember. It was worse than the camping trip with seventeen teenagers, gone for seventeen days out West. At least they didn’t bite me.