Tuesday, 21 August 2012

A short profile of H

H and I spent the whole of Sunday afternoon at the hospital.
H is one of those people who give generously of themselves, his expertise, his time, his money, and his blood. If there are such things as Pearly Gates, he will not have to plead his case but will be allowed to walk straight through. Hopefully he will put in a few good words for me!!!
He seems to be at the top of everyone's list for being the jolly fine fellow who is called upon to carry out tasks, the one who never says never and always says yes.
He used to deliver our local Parish newsletter to about 200 houses. He also delivered boxes of the newsletters to other helpers too. Four years ago he was delivering them in the winter when the weather was cold and the ground freezing. Suddenly his feet went from under him on someone's drive and he badly bruised and hurt his shoulder. He had just got over a serious operation on his spine, and I said enough is enough - fortunately he heeded my words.
On Sunday morning he was out delivering newsletters again, but this time for the political party that he supports. It was a very hot morning and he set off with his rucksack full of newsletters on his back. Walking around here consists of tiring routes going up and down valleys and the terrain is difficult.
I saw him return home through the window several hours later looking very hot and tired. I remarked how late it was and how hot he looked, it was then that I noticed his hankie tied around his hand, and covered in blood.
Whilst making a deliver at a house, all seemed quiet and peaceful when suddenly as his fingers pushed open the letter flap they were grabbed by some very sharp teeth. He went into complete shock at the unexpectedness of it and rapidly withdraw his hand not knowing what he might see. I could show you a photo, but some of you are possibly about to eat or are of a disposition that might find it upsetting.
courtesy directory journal
We were unsure what to do, so I quickly looked on the internet and discovered that it is important to wash the wound under cold running water immediately for at least 2 minutes. From the appearance of H's hand should it have been a child's hand then half the finger would have disappeared and presumably been gobbled up. It is important to wash throughly because dogs have a lot of bacteria in their mouths, and some of you may have read my post on bacteria last year.
We then rang the out of hours surgery and they arranged for us to go to our local cottage hospital. H's fingernail had been completely split open from top to bottom and he had deep teeth marks in the skin around the nail, but the doctor felt that it did not require stitching. He gave him a tetanus injection and put him on a strong dose of antibiotics. He was given strict instructions to return should his finger start to swell or turn red. I have now banned him from delivering political newsletters. The hazards are too great, and surely there must be younger people more capable of taking on these tasks.
H says we should have special sympathy for our postmen and women for whom this is a daily occupational hazard. Because of this we felt it was important to inform the police. If the house had exhibited a warning on the door then he would have been extra careful or not left a leaflet. The police took it seriously enough to visit the owner and inform her of what had occurred. The police told us that the lady was very apologetic and wanted to send a letter of apology. However, our wish was that she should have a protective cage fitted inside the door to catch the mail and a notice clearly stating 'beware of the dog'.

40 comments:

  1. Hello Rosemary:
    Oh dear this all sounds to have been a most frightening experience. As you say, the shock of it all is, as well as the injury itself, something equally significant to take into account.

    Hospitals are best to be avoided at all possible and whenever possible but Accident and Emergency Departments [of which, sadly, we are all too well acquainted]can be most alarming. We are certainly sparing more than a single thought for post deliverers and staff at A and E, their working lives are not at all easy.

    We do so hope that H is now recovering from the ordeal....we suspect, however, that it will not be too long before his next hazardous adventure!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh dear! Jane and Lance I fear you could be right - I wonder whatever he will get up to next?
      We were impressed with the service that everyone gave to him, and were surprised how full our little cottage hospital was last Sunday afternoon. It was a very hot day, so children had been falling over, and someone was rapidly blowing up in size before our eyes, presumably having been stung.

      Delete
  2. I was shocked at reading this terrifying story. While most pet dogs are tame and likable, I have long been of the opinion that no one should own a vicious dog. The risks of just what happened to H are too great.

    You say that the owner "apologized". I see this as grossly inadequate. I don't know the law in England, but it seems that there is clear liability when your dog attacks someone--provoked or not. What if this had been a child attacked, or H's injury had been worse. In his health condition, this bite will clearly take a greater toll than if he had been stronger.

    It would seem that sizable monetary damages are in order here, and if the owner knew of her dog's disposition, then criminal prosecution would not be out of place.

    Again, I am not talking about normal pet dogs, but vicious animals that are uncontrolled by their owners.

    --Road to Parnassus

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Parnassus - I was anxious when I saw what the dog had inflicted on H, especially as you mention if it had been a child or even someone very frail.
      Unfortunately as the law stands, I understand that it is a Civil matter. The dog was in it's own house within it's own grounds. Should it have been outside in a public area then it would have been a different matter.
      Thank you for your concern.

      Delete
  3. Dear Rosemary,
    What a terrible ordeal for Mr. H. I wish his finger and hand a speedy rocovery. Quite right, that the people should have a box for the letters to drop into.
    I agree with you, maybe time to let someone else do the work of distributing. (one wonders is it worth doing good work sometimes)!!
    I think i mentioned to you or on one of my comments..that i was a few centimeteres from cutting off my left index finger top with my rose clippers. I have never seen as much blood. I still cant feel the top.
    pass on my best wishes for a speedy recovery to mr. H.
    val

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Val - I do now remember that you took the end of your finger off, and I am sure that H could empathise with you regarding the pain. He has also lost some of the feeling behind his finger but hopefully it will return. I cant remember how long it is since you cut yourself but it can take nerves up to 2 years to heal themselves, so there is still hope that eventually the feeling will come back for you.
      Thank you for your best wishes which I shall pass on to him♥

      Delete
  4. Dear Rosemary,
    Oh my, how scary.
    Hope H recovers soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Mette - thank you - luckily there doesn't seem to be any poison in the finger as it has not swollen or turned red - something we were warned could happen. We are going back to the hospital tomorrow to have the dressing removed and see how it is looking.

      Delete
    2. Good luck tomorrow at the hospital.

      Delete
    3. There is no swelling of the finger Mette so we are very hopeful that it is repairing well.

      Delete
  5. Oh dear, thank goodness he got a tetanus jab.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it is at times like these that we should remember to have our tetanus jabs updated. Something that we often overlook.

      Delete
  6. Oh, poor H, what a shocking experience for him, Rosemary. Thank goodness the fingernail took the brunt of the bite. Sending best wishes for rapid healing of the damage and yes, that lady should put a cage behind the letterbox and keep the dog out of the hall when she's not in the house.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Perpetua - thank you for your best wishes which I shall pass on.
      Not sure whether this is an action that the dog has done before but now it has the taste of blood it will probably do it again. H was going to go and visit the owners himself, but I persuaded him not to. Better to do it through the police. You never know who or what might have opened the door to him!!!

      Delete
  7. Dear Rosemary, What a very special person your Mr. H is. His life has been spent doing good deeds for others. I wish him a speedy recovery and all the best that life has to offer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Gina - what a lovely thing to say, and I shall certainly pass your message on to him. He has been a giving person all of his life, it is just his nature, the way he was born.

      Delete
  8. I am so sorry about what happened to H. As the owner of 2 dogs, I am always very careful when walking them, etc. Your suggestions are spot on. Definitely should put that sign out there asap!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We do not have dogs ourselves, but most dogs are pretty happy go lucky friendly creatures. Apart from the sign I think it is important that a cage is placed over the inside of the door as a protection to the unwary deliverer outside the door. I do not think perhaps you have letter boxes in your doors in the States, but boxes at the end of the drive? We have a box purchased in France at the end of our drive, but it is not the norm here.

      Delete
  9. Dear Rosemary and H,

    I am so sorry to read this, and I hope that H is by now without any pain. It has been my personal experience (as one who has been bitten) that often dog owners who know their pet's personalities very well nonetheless don't take precautions for other people's well-being. I hope the police enquired into the dog's record of shots. In my case, I discovered that the dog didn't have its proper shots, and that I was the sixth person to be bitten without anyone reporting an incident!! My response was to have authorities remove the dog for shots, and I understand it cost the owners several hundred dollars for shots and a kennel stay. A small moral victory.

    Again, I wish H wellness and happier days!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Mark - I will pass on your wellness and happier days to H which I know he will appreciate. Thank you.
      We do not know whether the dog had bitten before, but I think the police would have mentioned it when they phoned us back if it had. It may have been a one off. It was a very hot morning, he was probably sitting below the door waiting for his owner to come home and suddenly he spied H's fingers and the rest is history. We do not know whether it had received all of its shots and that is why the hospital injected H straightaway, but I am sure that the police would have ascertained the dogs record.

      Delete
  10. Rosemary, you must have been so worried! I'm glad to heal all is well and I hope the dog's owner takes the appropriate steps to make sure this never happens again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Rosemary - we are going to the hospital first thing in the morning to have it checked out. Fingers crossed that it is making good progress.

      Delete
  11. Dear Rosemary, my prayers are for H's fast recovery. Joe is a rural mail carrier and has been bitten a few times. He is not obligated to drop off a package if a dog threatens him. Perhaps H could switch to online political mailings instead? Olive

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Olive - H was empathising with people like your Joe who have to go to houses, not knowing what they may encounter, for their jobs. He was just doing some volunteering work, but I will suggest what you mention. The problems is that so many people still do not have a computer, especially in the older age range.

      Delete
  12. So sorry to hear about poor Mr H, I do hope he makes a quick recovery. I'm glad you were at hand to give him some assistance. My husband has been bitten in the past delivering political leaflets too and ended up in A&E too. As you say if the dog is known to bite the dog owners should take action to prevent it happening.
    Sarah

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Sarah - you know how I feel I am sure. He freely gives up his time and ends up in pain and hopefully when we see it tomorrow not too disfigured. The fact that the part of the finger that we can still still has not swollen or turned red is encouraging. Thanks for your concern.

      Delete
  13. Brrr Rosemary what a story. wish mr. H all the best and I hope he soon will be recovering. Keep a good look at the wound, you are so wright about the bacteria's dogs have.
    Have a great evening Rosemary.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are looking forward to seeing it in the morning when the nurse removes his dressing. Hoping that it is repairing alright. The split down his finger nail, I think will be with him for a long time before it eventually grows out. To a certain extent it was the nail that saved his finger.

      Delete
  14. I do hope he makes a quick and full recovery - how very frightening. Your idea of the box on the door sounds great - pity they didn't get one from the start!!!!

    We, also, have ours at the end of the drive here in New Zealand and it amazes me that "back home" in the U.K. the posties still walk up and down every drive or pathway.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Susan - we are full of hope for when it is revealed tomorrow at the hospital.
      We have a box at the end of our drive because it is fairly long, and the postman used to come zooming up the drive at a terrific rate of knots, pop the stuff through the door and zoom off again scattering pebbles from the drive all over the lawn and borders!!! However, you are right, life for postmen and women would be much better if everyone had one, and there wouldn't be the hazard of a dog lurking in a postbox either.

      Delete
  15. What a frightening experience - I hope that all is soon well. And thank you for the warning of a hazard I'd never before considered, as I'm sure H had not. Mr N & I feel that the tendency to ignore the possibility of dangerous consequences has increased. Perhaps we're getting old.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Nilly - how right you are. Now we both give much more consideration to things that we would not have batted an eyelid at before. Thank you for hoping all is soon well - we are just off to the hospital to have a peek at it as the dressing is removed.

      Delete
  16. What a terrible experience this must have been. For Mr H and you as well. I hope everything goes well. The owners really should do something about that dog. And at least put a box to collect the mail. It's unthinkable to get bitten by a dog by delivering mail. You did good telling the police about it. This should never happen.
    Marian

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Marian - we have just returned from the hospital and I am pleased to say that the wound is healing very well, and there is no poison in it. His finger nail is split open from top to bottom so I foresee that taking a long time to go away.

      Delete
  17. Little sad news .. I hope Mr. H to be in good health now, after over from the doctor's instructions and your own care! Please do not chide him, you have a wonderful man who wants to offer all over the world!
    Olympia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Olympia - thank you for your concern. Pleased to say that we visited the hospital this morning and the finger is looking much better. He is now allowing the air to get to it to help the healing process, but the badly split nail will take months to grow out and recover. He is not in pain, and I will try not to chide him, I just think that he gives too much of himself to too many people. He is a good man.

      Delete
  18. Oh, BAD DOG! I'm glad to hear that the finger is improving. I have a very cranky little dog and a very clear sign on the gate which advises people to 'beware'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Rosemary - in retrospect I think perhaps H was quite fortunate that the main tooth indentation was through his nail, otherwise he might have lost the end of his finger. The nail will take a long time before the split grows out, but the wound is healing well.
      I like the description of your little dog.

      Delete
  19. Oh dear, poor H, I hope a speedy recovery is in sight. What a shock to encounter such a beast whilst doing an activity that he obviously enjoys very much. I hope the sign goes up soon to prevent any further maulings within the parish.
    I am curious as to what you googled in order to find the image of the demon beast above?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Paul - H is making good progress. The dressing has been removed to let the air get to it. It was the nail splitting down the middle, top to bottom, that saved his finger.
      I cannot remember what I googled - possibly fierce dog!!! This one might be a complete softy for all I know, just happens to have techni-colour eyes, and a mouth that looks as if it contains plenty of bacteria and froth!!!

      Delete

❖PLEASE NOTE❖ Comments made by those who hide their identity will be deleted

“You can't stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you - you have to go to them sometimes”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh