It was Lily versus wasp nest. And it was bad.
Mike has been taking Lily and Pip to chase the youngest pheasants back home every morning. The pheasants wander from their wooded safety to chase the sun and warm their backs, which is fine, except they forget to stop wandering. Being disturbed by the dogs helps the birds define the edge of their boundary; they don't like to be bothered any more than we do when we're enjoying good weather.
The dogs were working away when Pip appeared from a bracken-covered hillside being chased by a few wasps. I guess they were dogging the dogs, reminding them where their boundaries should be. Mike heard Lily screaming and said she emerged blanketed in wasps. He met her halfway and wiped as many wasps off her as he could, getting stung himself.
When they returned home, Mike was carrying Lily. They were both already swollen and lumpy. Mike called the vets while I proceeded to remove yet more wasps from Lily, and check her over. Inside her mouth was stung and swelling. I was worried her airway would close.
We got her to the vets, and they put her on a drip of antibiotics, painkillers, and fluid. Poor dog - when she heard the clippers start up to shave her leg for the drip, she thought she was under attack again and tried to do a flying dismount from the examination table.
The vets kept her for observation this morning, but the triage was in time. I picked her up and she was well enough to hop into the Land Rover to accompany me on my now well-behind morning chore round, checking lambs, pregnant ewes, horses. She mooched about while I collected more field mushrooms.
I'm not saying she's not milking it for attention and maybe an egg in her breakfast bowl -
But I'm sure glad she's alright. And I'll put dog antihistamine in both trucks, just in case.
Oh, and Mike's fine too.