Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Yesterday, I went to Woodville, Wisconsin, to ride my bicycle on the local trail and do some geocaching. There's a nice string of caches that follows the trail from Woodville south. I'll post about the caching later. Lot of fun. But let's skip to almost the end of the seven mile trail, when I'm exhausted from 27 caches (and a few did not finds [e.g. DNF]) and meet up with some small dogs that are the vanguard for a lady walking four animals. They came up to check me out and were being a little pushy, so I remained on my bike where they couldn't really reach me. Unfortunately, one of the other two dogs wasn't so small - a bloodhound of sorts - and decided to take over. Not with a slow jog along side my bike hinting of warning, but a sprint/lung/attack on my left leg. It wasn't even like I was wearing a Vikings jersey or, as Kyle asked on Facebook, a retro Brett Farve Packers jersey. Fortunately, it was rather chilly out, so for about only the third time in twenty years, I was wearing a pair of Levi's instead of shorts. That didn't stop me from bleeding, but it probably did prevent hanging strips of skin or deep punctures.

I put the bike between the dog and me and the dog stopped when his owner got there. She gave me her name, a phone number, the dog's name (Daisy) and the comforting advice that she didn't know if it had rabies shots because it was her son's dog. As I got back on my bike, it lunged at me a second time and I hopped off the far side and pushed the bike toward it. That was the only time I saw the woman panic, presumably because she thought the dog might get hurt. She grabbed his collar to hold him while I biked away. I pedaled six miles back to Woodville (actually, about eight, as I quickly pedaled to the end of the trail as that had been my goal all day) and asked the librarian to point me at the police station. She pointed me two doors down. I walked to the Woodville police station, where they asked, "Where did this take place?" When I noted it was five to six miles south of town, the receptionist assured me it was a county matter and handed me a phone number on a sticky note. Not a big deal - I wasn't bleeding out, and the local policeman came out to talk to me while I sat on a bench outside their headquarters. Twenty minutes or so later, the county cop showed up to take down my story. He learned two interesting facts. 1.) that there was a trail leading out of town. And 2.) what geocaching was. I learned the strange coincidence that his last name, an uncommon one I'd never heard before, might be the same last name as the company that just did the concrete driveway for my neighbors. He was great. He gave me a case number and assured me they'd call me after talking with the woman a second time as she was tracking down vet details. The dog was a brand new purchase off Craigslist and paperwork hadn't exchanged hands yet. As you can imagine, I was a bit nervous about that and worried that there might not be documentation, or even a vet. Rabies shots were not something I was looking forward to.

I drove back to Minnesota and picked Eryn up from school and went home to make dinner as urgent care didn't open until 6:00 p.m. and there wasn't a chance I'd die from rabies or lockjaw in the next hour or two. I was less concerned about those problems than the twenty sick people in urgent care touching everything. After about an hour and a half, they ushered me into a room and cleaned the wound and gave me a tetanus shot. Antibiotics are only if I start to show symptoms of infection. If it had been a cat bite, they'd have given me antibiotics de facto. Cats are nasty, disease-ridden, germ bags - at least that's what I take away from the conversation with Jennifer, who processed my wounds. I told Eryn during our ride home from school that rabies was a possibility. Then I barked at her loudly. Freaked her out, although she thought it was funny after she'd recovered.

So overall, pretty harmless. Four wasted hours of my life. A $20 copay. A very sore right arm from the tetanus shot because they don't want to mask my heart attack by giving it to me in the left arm, and a sore upper ankle where I have a deep tooth scrape. Wisconsin made out less well because after I got bit I wasn't willing to eat at the local cafe or fill up the gas tank, so they lost my day of tourism dollars.


Bill Roehl said...

Of all the things that have happened to my my fellow geocachers while we've been out and about, this is the first dog bit I've heard of.

Scooter said...

I've biked for 38 years, geocached for quite a few, and had a paper route as a teenager, and this is my first dog bite. First sucks.

Bill Roehl said...

Sorry man. Glad it was only a bite though and not much else.

Anonymous said...

When is the first full moon!