Little Bear Trail, An Injury & Natures Medicine
If you follow us on Facebook you may have seen that the Jr’s and I tag along to work with Ranger every once in a while.
One sleepy sunday in the park we decided to tag along side Ranger and help him walk the 2.3 mile loop trail inside of the park clearing brush off the path. What could possibly go wrong?
Little Bear Trail, Chelan Washington, is a great easy loop trail that winds through dry savanna and dips through a cool pine forest. It crosses over two small brooks in the spring and fall and is a great family hike.
On the way up we saw the small patch of land that caught fire a few months ago. A 12 foot by 12 foot area of charred land, i’m amazed more didn’t catch fire. The carelessness of man could have devastated the whole entire park.
Father Pine sits hidden deep into the pine forest.
He stands among the young trees, branches spanning across the sky. The old man is aged. You can see the scars in his trunk and the weathered textures across his branches. He has seen this land before any settler laid eyes upon it and he watches over the forest protecting it like only he can.
A fallen deer lays off the trail a bit. No wounds. Just a lifeless corpse that sits there to give back and feed the creatures of the earth.
The birds dance from tree to tree. Calling to us now and again.
Trouper, the best trail dog around. Will go out and scout the trail a head of us and then will stop to wait for us to catch up. He will get distracted by the occasional chipmunk and think he can outrun the poor creature, but fails every time. Or he’ll chase the random black cat up into a tree and will dance in circles at the base, as if that cat will decide to come down on it’s own. He will run full speed to the front of the line passing each one of us, and if you are in his way…too bad. He will knock you over.
That is Troupers demise. He loves to run, and running in a forest isn’t always the safest. That day was our first major Trail Injury.
We all stopped and were looking at these Mushrooms that would make a perfect home for a fairy, when i noticed a blood trail. I was a little alarmed because we’d seen a few piles of bear poo throughout the trail and this blood was very fresh. Then i looked up and saw Trouper running towards us, not an unusual sight. Except his legs were bright red and for a Golden Retriever this usually isn’t the color you’re used to seeing. The poor boy was leaving a fresh blood trail where ever he stepped. Luckily we were close to the end of the trail and didn’t have much further to walk.
Trouper ended up having a nice gash on one of his front legs, so he got a little joy ride in the back of the Rangers truck up to the house.
We rinsed him off outside and i grabbed my Yarrow Tincture. If you don’t know about Yarrow let me tell you…it’s one of my favorites! In fact i have even let it take over a section of our front yard. Yarrow is an anti-bacterial, styptic, diaphoretic, astringent, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory among some other great properties.
Now i’ve never used herbs for first aid on animals before. But I use them on us all the time.
If it had been one of us I would’ve: wrapped the wound in Mullen Leaves
or Plantain leaves on the trail.
Both of which are very easy to find. But being he was a dog I figured it would’ve been way more trouble then it was worth. He was walking fine and it looked like the blood was starting to clot.
After we rinsed off his legs I put a few drops of Yarrow Tincture on the wound. I wouldn’t normally squirt the tincture directly on an open wound because it has alcohol in it and burns like no other. But Trouper didn’t even wince. What a Trouper! Pun intended; i’m sorry.
Because Yarrow is an anti-bacterial we shouldn’t have to worry about infection and because it is Styptic it also stopped the bleeding.
Trouper is resting peacefully now and dreaming of that darn cat he chased up the tree. Of course we will keep an eye on him and if we notice any warning signs we will take him to a vet, but for most flesh wounds you usually have everything you need at your finger tips. Nature is so giving.
For the rest of us? We are recouping with some homemade carmel apples and hot apple cider.