My wife and I decided we wanted to do some camping over the 4th of July weekend. We thought we were prepared. We had shelter, food, water, survival kits, and extensive first-aid kits. Most combat Veterans carry a pretty comprehensive first-aid kit, and I am no different. I’m confident as long as the initial injury doesn’t kill you outright, I will be able to get you to help alive. When preparation, training, mindset come together, the results can be dramatic.

I say we thought we were prepared because in all my planning I had excluded the newest member of our family, Loki. You may have met Loki during the hunting dog series, if not, check him out here. The camping trip was going well, we had settled down for the night, and were getting dinner ready. All of a sudden, Loki let out a loud yelp and shot out of some bushes. He was inconsolable, and was acting like he had been hit with some buckshot. Initially I thought that he may have been bitten by a snake, so I went over to the bushes to investigate. There were no less than a hundred bees streaming out of a ground hive.

I had no idea how many stings he took. After I finally got ahold of him, I tried to find out where he had been hit. He wouldn’t let me open his mouth, or look in his ears without yelping, so I assumed he had taken more than one sting on the face. Here I was, able to literally save someone shot in the chest with a gun, but completely unprepared to deal with a common canine injury.

A neighbor from a nearby campsite had heard Loki yelping and came over to investigate. She immediately offered us some children’s Benadryl, while explaining that she’d had a similar experience with her pet. As a precaution she always carried Benadryl when she was camping with her pets. I drove until my cell phone was able to connect and gave my dad a call (he has been a veterinarian longer than I have been alive). He gave me the appropriate dosages that I needed, and I treated Loki. Loki ended up being fine and it was thanks to the preparation, and planning of a complete stranger.