Monthly Archives: February 2021

Sheltie Shelby resting after an injury

Progression of a Dog Bite Wound

Wound with puncture
Wound with puncture a few hours after the injury.

We were out hiking on a local trail on Wednesday this week when two members of our pack were attacked by two off leash dogs. One of our dogs, Zekie, suffered only minor injury. Another of our dogs, a Shetland Sheepdog, Shelby, suffered more extensive wounds. I want to share with you what I learned about dog bite wounds and the progression. I have been involved in the dog world for most of my life, but mercifully have never had reason to learn much about dog bites, until now. The photos become increasingly graphic as the days pass, so be forewarned if this type of image bothers you.

Immediately after the attack, we did not even realize that Shelby had any injuries aside from a slight limp. We were unable to find any visible wounds. As the hours progressed, I suspected that something else was wrong because our other dogs kept sniffing Shelby and did not want to leave her alone, even when scolded. I got her up on the couch and looked her over again. I found the above puncture wound and a small amount of bruising, plus a tooth nick on her outer thigh. Since our veterinarian was already closed for the day, we decided to monitor Shelby until the next morning.

After examining the wound the next morning, it was still open and I saw the puncture passed through the entire layer of skin, leaving the area open to possible infection. At this point I did an internet search on damage from dog bites and what I found was scary.

I learned about a medical term I was heretofore unfamiliar with, undermining. Undermining is damage that extends in all directions under the skin and into subcutaneous tissues. The damage is therefore not visible to the eye. Tearing and crushing may have gone far into the underlying tissues because of the way a biting dog moves and thrusts its jaw and head. The damage can be very extensive. The puncturing bite also introduces bacteria into the wound from the biting dog’s mouth, not generally from the wounded animal’s skin.

This information put the fear of God into me and had me immediately on the phone to my vet and making an appointment. They got Shelby in within a couple hours and also advised me to bring Zekie in for a check, which I did. (Zekie was fine except for some bruising.) I’m so glad I followed through and took the dogs in. Shelby had undermining cranially and caudally from her abdominal bite, which means towards her head and tail. The damage was indeed difficult for the lay person to determine.

Sheltie Shelby resting after an injury
Shelby resting after her injury.

She also had a few injuries from the other dog’s teeth on her outer thigh. They were not nearly as severe as the abdominal wound and the antibiotics that she would get for the puncture wound would cover these too.

The course of treatment for the abdominal wound was antibiotics, pain meds, and warm compresses to drain fluid out and help keep the wound open. The vet said she was very concerned and there was a potential for peritonitis which is abdominal infection and/or inflammation and associated side effects. I was told the first 24-48 hours are critical and that I should bring Shelby back the next morning for evaluation. The antibiotics are to prevent infection from the biting dog’s teeth and bacterial peritonitis. Pain medication is used because dog bites are extremely painful. Punctures from dog bites are not usually sutured, only gaping wounds are stitched. The punctures are left open so they can drain.

Shelby’s re-check at the vet office was to see if her internal damage was extensive enough that she would need surgery to remove the underlying damaged tissue and a drain inserted. Mercifully, she did not. Due to the nature of her wound, it is hoped by me continuing the warm compresses three times a day and mechanically keeping the wound from closing will continue to be enough.

Dog bite wound
Shelby’s wound at 24 hours.

Shelby is such a good girl that she let me tend her wounds without complaint. I’m sure it didn’t feel good, but she seemed to know that I was helping her and taking care of her.

Dog bite wound
Shelby’s wound, two days in.

By Friday, the World’s best patient award goes to….(drumroll) Shelby! When it is time for Shelby’s warm compresses and wound maintenance, we go into the bathroom and I shut the door. I get everything ready and then sit on the bathroom floor. I tap the floor in front of me with my fingernail. After doing this routine since Thursday, Shelby now sits in front of me, lays down, and rolls over on her back, waiting for me to take care of her. She remains still throughout the procedure except for occasionally waving a paw at me if I pause the belly rubbing. When it is done, we get up and I give her a small treat. We exit the bathroom and she follows me around, being my buddy. Good girl Shelby, good girl.

I hope this is the end of the story and Shelby continues her healing without incident. But until she is 100% healed, I am watching her closely just to be safe.

Did You Know There Were So Many Kinds of Tea?

Various types of teas
So many types of tea! (Photo is not mine-from Ahmad Tea)

Who knew there were so many types of tea time? Certainly not me! Looking at these British definitions puts tea in a whole new light. In America, we are thirsty, we drink. No occasion, just a mug sitting on my desk, of coffee or tea, and there it stays with me slurping away while working and getting refills as needed. In my working years, I was so often drawn away to attend to other matters that my hot beverages were always stone cold by the time I returned. I learned to drink tea, coffee, and even “hot” chocolate when they were cold. It seemed too much time and trouble to wander down the hallway to the office microwave to reheat all the time. But look at this wonderful list of all the types of teas:

  • Cream Tea-This is what I think of when I think of tea. Tea and scones with toppings.
  • Elevensies-Morning coffee hour. Hmmm, I have this all morning long.
  • Afternoon Tea-Served with little sandwiches, scones, and sweets.
  • Low Tea-As above, using low chairs. So mine would be office chair tea?
  • Royale Tea-Tea  with Champaign or sherry. This sounds suspiciously like happy hour.
  • Celebration Tea-Afternoon Tea with cake. Cake does make everything better!
  • High Tea-Served in the late afternoon or early evening with a cooked dish. Sounds like supper to me.

I think the British got it right. These various tea types all sound like fun, making every day into a special occasion. Which sounds like more fun? “Would you like to join me for a slice of cake and a mug of coffee?” Or, “Would you care to attend Celebration Tea with me?” I vote for Celebration Tea. That’s why children don’t have coffee pot parties, they have tea parties. I suggest the next tea you offer a guest a cuppa, you ask them if they would like to attend Cream Tea. Let’s make our worlds a little more fun!

Books I Have Read-January 2021

Books and Reading
Coffee and Books!
  1. Paris Is Always a Good Idea-Jenn McKinlay

Chelsea Martin tries to relive her year traveling through Europe. She went to Ireland, France, and Italy on her gap year between college and career. She decides she wants to find the girl she was, so recreates the trip with many unexpected results. A fun read.

2. The Bone Collection-Kathy

Four novellas about Dr. Temperance Brennan. We are given information about her background and how she came to be a forensic investigator. Intriguing as all works of Kathy Reich are.

3. Murder, She Barked-Krista Davis

Holly Miller returns unexpectedly to the pet-centered town where her grandmother lives. Murders and confusion seem to be everywhere. An enjoyable read.

4 .A Good Year for the Roses-Gil McNeil

Right after Molly gets divorced, she inherits a manor house from her Aunt. She and her three boys move from London to the Devon coast and begin a whole new way of life. Molly’s journey is one of growth and humor.

5.The Hundred-Year House-Rebecca Makkai

I nearly gave up on this book. It is written in 3 major sections, going backward in time. It could be a little hard to follow as each section began. By the end of each section, I was invested enough in the characters to keep going. The large house in question goes from artists’ colony to stately home to artists’ colony. It may be that the author is just too clever for me.

Of these five books, I would have to say my favorite was #1, Paris Is Always a Good Idea. I love Jen McKinlay, and this book did not disappoint. If you’re not into romance novels, The Bone Collection by Kathy Reichs is also a very good choice.

I didn’t read as much this past month and I’m not quite sure why. I’ll try to do better for February. Keep in mind the quote (I can’t remember who said it), “Those who can read and don’t, are no better off than those who can’t.

Read on!

How Many Variations Can You Come Up With For This Cookie Recipe?

Orange ginger cinnamon cookies
Orange, Ginger Cinnamon Cookies

I love this cookie recipe! I got it from Pinterest, the source of most of my new recipes. Click on the following link for it. Easy Snickerdoodle Cookies Without Butter Recipe – The Frugal South Note that the recipe is not mine. The original recipe at the link above, is for snickerdoodles, but anyone who knows me, knows that I like to alter things.

I first found this recipe during the beginning of our state’s first stay at home order during the pandemic. I was looking for dessert recipes without butter because I was running low on it. This recipe uses oil instead of butter. The other great thing is, the recipe is easy! Always a plus. As the pandemic has dragged on, I have made many variations of this cookie and all have been delicious. One special note, which is pointed out on the link, do NOT over bake these cookies or they will get hard.

Some variations I have made on the original recipe follow. Add the ingredients in addition to those in the original recipe:

  • 1 box lemon jello, 1 teaspoon ginger, and 1 Tablespoon milk (or almond milk), add almond slice on top
  • 1 box lime jello, 1 teaspoon ginger, and 1 Tablespoon milk
  • 1 box orange jello, 1 teaspoon ginger, 1/2 teaspoon almond extract, and 1 Tablespoon milk
  • 1 cup oatmeal, 1 Tablespoon milk, and optional-1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/3 cup baking cocoa, 1 Tablespoon milk
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter

Any of these variations could have the following added too:

  • chocolate chips, or any flavor chips
  • walnuts, pecans, almonds, etc.
  • coconut
  • dried dates, apricots, craisins, raisins, etc.

I stopped adding the sugar and cinnamon mixture from the original snickerdoodle recipe to the top of each cookie, only to save time and make it easier. You could continue to do this, if you wanted.

snickerdoodle cookie recipe
Cookies fresh from the oven!

How many variations can you come up with for this recipe?

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A Snowy Hike

Snowy hike with dogs at West Branch State Park, Ohio
Hiking with the pups

Today was our 31st day in a row of hiking! We have logged over 74 miles of trails in the past 30 days. Not bad for January. The unseasonably mild weather has accommodated us.

This afternoon’s hike was a snowy one. Our area of northeast Ohio was fortunate to get only a few inches from yesterday’s snow storm. Other areas faired much worse than we did. It was still enough to slow us down a bit. We humans had to look for rocks, roots, and branches buried underneath the snow and just waiting to trip us up. The long-haired dogs, Shelby, Zekie, and Claire, had to stop repeatedly to chew snowballs from the back of their legs. Shelby in particular seemed to stop suddenly and plunk herself down in front of me on the trail, especially where it was only one track wide. 

Another trail hazard was the areas that had thin sheets of ice, frozen over running water. None of these were more than a couple of inches deep, so it was the element of surprise as you dropped through the ice and had to step out that was the issue, rather than any danger. This does help you to see how important it is to have the proper footwear for the conditions you are out in. Fortunately, I had chosen to wear my L.L. Bean Wildcat boots, so I was in good shape.

Snowy hike at West Branch State Park, Ohio
Ice on West Branch State Park Reservoir, Ohio (Trail View)

I also plan carefully what gloves and coat I will wear. Usually, at this time of year I wear my mid-thigh length storm parka. The terrain we covered today had lots of winding paths as well as ups and downs. Even though it was about 30 degrees, I got hot enough that for the last quarter of the hike I had my coat unzipped and my gloves in my pocket. Of course, I was also wearing a turtleneck and a hooded sweatshirt under my parka. Layering is king for outdoor activities in the winter time.

West Branch State Park Reservoir, Ohio
Another view from the trail of the frozen reservoir at West Branch State Park, Ohio

The types of trails at West Branch State Park, near Ravenna, Ohio are varied. There are mountain bike trails, snow mobile trails, and of course, hiking trails. There is something for everyone and you can walk on any of the trails. Be aware that as this is a multi-purpose park, you should be aware of your surroundings at all times in case you come across bicycles or other vehicles. Hunting is allowed, in season, so be prepared. That is why Cassius’ new collar is very bright. A New Collar For Cassius

Although the trails were snow covered, we all had a good time. The views are beautiful and the squinch of the new fallen snow is pleasing to the ear. The dogs like to occasionally grab up mouthfuls of snow and swallow them. Rather like the doggy version of snow ice cream.

We have been noticing a lot of bird activity in the past week although I am not sure why. Perhaps they are having more trouble finding food this late in the winter. This is just a guess on my part. I only know for sure that I have seen increased numbers of birds flitting around, sometimes groups of birds, and they often sing. They are medium sized songbirds, at least a few were robins.

Trail map for West Branch State Park, Ohio
Trail map for West Branch State Park, Ohio

Here is a photograph I took of the trail map from trailhead entrance beside the mountain bike trail. The hike we took today was the squiggly blue line next to the water. It is fun because you are able to see the water for the majority of the time you are hiking.

I encourage you to try hiking in every season. What you see varies depending on the time of year. We tend to think of winter as a lean time with less plants. It is the perfect time to see the structure of the woods. I notice things that I never see in the summer because then they are covered with leaves and undergrowth. Each season has its own beauty. See which one you like best. Maybe, like me, you will decide you like them all.