Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.

A Calamity of Errors


Bad things happen in threes, right?

One of our favourite places to stop for the night as we travel eastward in Montana is  the community park of a tiny place called Zurich. We arrived  in the early afternoon with enough time to go for a walk with our two dogs. At the park entrance,  we wondered what they would do about the cattle guard that was set into the ground between two  stone gateposts.

Emma tiptoed across the separated metal bars, but slipped on the last ones and fell through to her shoulder. While we were reacting to this little slip, we hadn’t noticed that Ruby had gone around the post, squeezing between the strands of barbed wire instead.


Just beyond the gates, we wondered what was on Ruby’s leg. It looked like a thin red leaf was stuck there, but on closer inspection it turned out to be blood. She had given  her shoulder a corner tear on the barbed wire. It looked like it needed some stitches. “No walk today,” Gary said. “We’ll have to go back to the vet’s in Chinook.” I was glad it was only 15 miles back.

As Gary prepared to unhitch the truck from the trailer, he said, “Looks like we aren’t going anywhere yet. We’ve got two flat tires.”

Sure enough the two trailer tires on the driver’s side were both flat.

On taking off the lugs, we noticed that one of them had lost the cap over the nut and now it didn’t fit snugly into the tire iron. The truck’s tire changing equipment was in metric and the trailer in imperial measurements. Luckily one of the friendly campers brought over a socket wrench and helped us out.

We loaded two tires and two dogs into the back of the truck and returned to Chinook.

I stayed with Ruby while she had her leg stitched up and Gary took the tires to a shop to get them repaired.


All fixed up.

All fixed up.

All fixed up.

We wondered about bad things happening in threes. Two bad things had already happened. “I know,” I said. “We can count each of the tires as one bad thing, and that will make three.”

But as it turned out, I was wrong. The third bad thing happened a couple of days later when we got stuck in the mud, as you already know from the post, “Things Take a Turn.”

I hope that means we’re done now for mishaps.

Author: wordsfromanneli

Writing, travel, photography, nature, more writing....

20 thoughts on “A Calamity of Errors

  1. Wasn’t sure if this should be liked or not. … hope all is now well and the bad is past…


  2. Hope the rest of your trip is problem free. I was working with deer fencing yesterday, and I know just how Ruby felt! Ouch! Hopefully your tires will last until you get back home. One can never tell with patch jobs when you put lots of miles on that tire. Be safe! Give Ruby a hug from me. 🙂


    • You’re exactly right about patch jobs, Sonja, so we got inner tubes put in. We can’t think what we did to get the flats, two of them side by side, but the tire shop fellow said we must have rubbed up against something because the holes were on the side. Hopefully, they’ll last us until we get home. So far, so good. You be careful with the deer fencing.


  3. If I were a dog I certainly wouldn´t be a hunting dog! I wish Ruby a speedy recovery and send her a kiss on her nose. Now I hope that no other misshaps will take place – enough is enough! After all it should be a relaxing holiday (at least for you and Gary). I guess for the dogs too since they love the hunting business too. I wish you all a perfect hunting trip – and stay a bit safer in the next “few” days.


    • The trouble is the dogs LOVE it, in spite of the risks. And Ruby’s cut happened when we were just going for a nice walk down the road – didn’t even get to the road! But yes, we’ll be careful. 😉


  4. My mom always said good things come in threes too so keep us posted.


  5. Wishing both of you and your dogs the best in the remainder of your trip. How successful has the hunt been?


  6. Poor Ruby! It was a good thing that there was a vet that close! I hope there will be no more than three bad things!


  7. awww bless, what a run of bad luck. Hope that’s it for you guys this year… decade… centuries. hang in there and, as always, I admire that you’re smiling through it all. X


  8. Poor pretty Ruby! Does she feel she’s had a wild adventure with the scars to prove it? May your mishaps always be minor and your recoveries rapid!


    • She usually tries to ignore her battle scars but this time she got a couple of good ones. She’s nursing a very sore toe right now. Must have got a thorn in it or something. I’m giving her antibiotics and soaking her foot in hot salty water. Seems to be helping.


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