From The EastWing, Bentley Goes To War

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

One of the many blessings you receive when living in the countryside is sharing life with the wildlife. Deer, turkeys, raccoons, rabbits, squirrels, butterflies, bumblebees and hummingbirds, just to name a few, most always live in perfect harmony. But once in a while.

It was one of those “once in a while” times a couple weeks ago when Mr. Bentley started whining while looking out the north deck door at 9:30 in the PM. When I flipped on the outside deck lights, there two foot from Mr. Bentley’s nose, eating the cat food, was the biggest raccoon I’d ever seen. It was a spur of the moment decision. I decided to let Mr. Bentley discuss trespassing with the big coon.

As the glass door sled open the coon had a two foot lead on Mr. Bentley but the race became tied before the big coon reached the north end of the pool deck. At about the 48 ft mark of the race Mr. Bentley made up the two foot lead, and the battle was joined. Within seconds both combatants were at the north end of the deck and both rolled off into the total darkness.

A life and death struggle ensued there in the blackness of that nighttime. The sounds of battle rolled south across the deck and filled the EastWing with concern. From the sounds reaching my ears, I could not tell who was making what. Yet I knew, I just knew for sure, one of these animals would not walk away.

I thought of my Brother-In-Law, Dexter Mullins, who used to raise high quality coon hounds, telling me that a big coon could kill a good dog. Mr. Bentley’s big but that was the biggest coon I’d ever seen. As the battle cries reached a higher decibel, then just as abrupt as the sounds of battle had started, they stopped. The darkness of the north deck hung heavy in the air. Somewhere out there were both a winner and a looser of that battle. I could tell from the sounds of the war, this did not end in a draw.

I walked to the north end of the deck, called for Mr. Bentley. Mr. Bentley did not race to my side. Bentley did not come at all. I did not call for Bentley a second time. But walked back to the EastWing wondering what the morning light would reveal beyond the north deck. By now the time was past 10 PM, but sleep was not an option this night of the coon fight.

The iPad kept me company as I kept one eye on the iPad and one eye on the east door of the EastWing. I knew that if Mr. Bentley had survived the battle and could walk, he would somehow get to the east door. And so I watched and waited. And watched and waited. When 11PM turned into 11:30 and then midnight turned into tomorrow. I waited into that new day, not knowing if I still had Mr. Bentley or would need to preach his funeral when the sun came up.

After the first hour of the new day had passed, I started thinking about trying to go to sleep, after all, I still had to go to work in a few hours. And then it happened.

A special kinda chill went head to toe, Mr. Bentley stood and the east glass door of the EastWing.

It sure didn’t take me long to open the door. As Mr. Bentley stepped thru the door, I realized he was covered with blood. At that point I was impossible to tell if the blood was dog or coon. Either way, I had to clean him up and tend to his wounds before any thought of sleep that night.

Good thing the She was sound asleep when all this happened, else she’d have been really for me letting Mr. Bentley get in harm’s way. I put Mr. Bentley in the shower. He is used to taking a shower so he had no problem taking a shower at 1:30 AM, although I’m sure he thought it was the earliest shower ever.

As the water ran over Mr. Bentley’s head, face, chest and front legs, the drain swirled red.

After a half minute or so of plain warm water, I started washing with Johnson’s Baby Shampoo, so if I got any soap in his eyes it would not burn and cause him to want to end the shower early. Now keep in mind, with his size, and my size, and his strength and my strength, if Mr. Bentley decided to end his shower early, it would end early.

The warm water and shampoo removed all the dried blood, both dog and coon, in short order. But it did reveal the wounds of battle. Nothing life threatening but many deep scratches and some real nasty bites on his ears. The worst wound was on the back side of the right front paw. I think the ole coon took a chunk out and it showed. The bleeding was unchecked. I just wrapped that foot in thick gaze and tended to all other cuts and scrapes.

When all the other cuts and scrapes were tended to, I turned to the bad foot and decided I had nothing to control the bleeding other than a tourniquet, which I did apply. It worked. I cleaned the wound filled the cut with some triple antibiotic stuff and applied a heavy dressing. Then decided to double the dressing and hope the blood would clot within the dressing and the dog would not chew it off.

Me and Mr. Bentley slept on the couch that night. Me, so I could keep an eye on the bandage, Mr. Bentley, ‘cause he was still shivering for the battle and needed somebody to hug him that night, and I was the somebody there in the darkness.

Stay safe in Afghanistan.

From The EastWing, Bentley Goes To War

I Wish You Well,