Saturday, September 25, 2010

If I Could Wrap Up The Last Two Days With One Word, It Would Start With "F"

The last forty-eight hours have been horrendous. On Thursday morning, I was cleaning up the house and getting things ready for Don to come to the lake a day early. It feels like the summer has just zipped by, and the two of us haven't had very much time together as a couple, so he took Friday off and was coming to the lake on Thursday afternoon. Anyway, I took the garbage out to the garage, and as usual, Brutus was "helping" me. He always follows me around the house when I'm doing chores, which is a good thing. That way I know that he isn't in to trouble! When he does this, he doesn't (or hasn't) ever tried to run away. I usually chat with him the whole time, and he's pretty focused on keeping up with me.

That day had to be different. I opened up the garage door, he tooted across the floor and was GONE. Of course, it was the day that it was raining buckets of rain (four inches total for that lovely day) and I had to go off searching for him. I would have just said screw it  and let him go, because I know that he knows his way around these woods and will come back, but I was too afraid that he would go back to my neighbor's house and continue eating the gutter and down spout that he mangled a couple weeks ago when he was trying to get that chipmunk that lives in China. I did give my neighbor a call to give him a heads up that the Brut was on the loose. I would like to tell you that he was concerned (not really), but honestly, he thought it was hilarious. I told him I was just calling to make sure he protected his house, and he continued laughing while he thanked me and wished me good luck. Uh huh.

So, in my car I jumped. I drove around for a good twenty minutes, looking everywhere, but when you live out in the boonies in a neighborhood that is solid woods, it's pretty hard to find a dog. Especially a dog that has his nose to the ground chasing a chipmunk or some other critter. Damn it! I went back home, got out the umbrella and went to the back yard. Maybe the goof was swimming. It had rained so much that my feet were sinking in to the muck in the back yard. That made me even cheerier. Yep, I was feeling happier by the minute. I searched through the back yard, and after calling for him for a good ten minutes, I had to give up. I headed in to the house, put on some dry clothes and started the wait. It took about another half an hour, but sure enough, he showed up in the garage. He was soaked from head to toe, so I just shut the garage door and decided I'd let him lay out there on his blanket for a while and dry off.

Pretty soon I'm hearing this little knock on the garage door. I open it up, and there stands this sad boy. I went down to give him a little hug, and stopped right in my tracks. When did Brutus get freckles? What the heck were all these little black spots? Did he get in to some mud? I went to get a towel and came back, and the freckles were moving. Oh.....My.....God!!!! They were wood ticks. I DO NOT DO WOOD TICKS, and he was literally covered with them. I grabbed some clear mailing tape and started blotting his face. I had ten right off the bat. It seemed like every time he shook or scratched himself, a whole new batch would come to the surface. When you tell people that you have a "deer tick", they will 99% of the time say "are you sure?" They always want to tell you how incredibly small they are, and hard to see, and how bear ticks and dog ticks are so much more common. So, to let you know that I am sure, here is a picture of one of the ticks next to a dime. These little buggers are teeny tiny little deer ticks.
Here's another little fun fact of stupidity on my part. I have treated Brutus with Frontline Flea and Tick since March. I wasn't going to take any chances of having a flea infestation in my home, and like I said, I don't do ticks. The first couple months of this summer were really heavy on the ticks, I mean like ten a day, and I was very meticulous about always remembering to put the Frontline on Brutus, as well as the cats, even though the cats don't go outside. Can't be too safe!! Well, we hadn't seen any ticks for a few weeks, and I got too comfortable, and two weeks ago when I should have put Frontline on Brutus, I forgot. So not only am I sitting here with a dog that is infested with deer ticks, but he isn't protected either. I am just dying. Don needs to get here and get here fast.

When Don does get to the lake, he was surprised, but didn't seem as grossed out as I was, until we sat down to eat dinner. Brutus was sitting right next to him (I'm sure he wasn't begging or anything) and Don was looking at his head. Three ticks just walked out of Brutus's fur. Don got the tape and grabbed them. Pretty soon Don's on the floor going through Brutus's fur. Two hours later, we have thirty ticks. By mid morning the next day, we are up to forty, and by dinner time last night, we had taken off forty seven. By now, some of them are getting burrowed into his skin. He has one on top of his head that seems to just have the legs sticking out. On Thursday, as soon as I saw the first ticks, I had that Frontline on him, so a lot of the ticks are dying off by the next day, but he has some pretty nasty bumps on the top of his head, so I put a call in to his vet on Friday night. When the receptionist answered the phone, and I told her we had taken off 47 ticks, she said "what did you just say???". She was freaked out, the vet, not so much. We had Brutus immunized for Lyme's, so he said the biggest thing to watch for is infection, and to try to put hydrogen peroxide on the bites. Yeah, we're having great luck with that. What we need is a hydrogen peroxide dip!I have all forty seven ticks, stuck to tape and in a big bag, so if there is ever any question about any illness that would happen to come up with Brutus, those suckers are going right to the lab. Hopefully the ones that are still stuck on him will die and fester out. They are too tiny for me to get with my tweezers, especially since they are partially burrowed in. So, here's my "bag of ticks". I kind of feel like I should make a Halloween joke there!

To top off this lovely experience, I woke up this morning and came out to the dining room to sit down at my computer, which happens to be by Brutus's toy box. I'm looking down at the toys, and amongst the toys there is laying a REAL dead mouse. It couldn't be one that Brutus killed because it isn't all slimy. This one looked like it was "scared" to death, which would involve our three cats playing with it all night. I looked at Don and said "Take me back to the city, NOW".

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