It was bound to happen one day, but I was in full denial. I don’t live in the right area. I’m always grooming my dogs. Nope. Never. Not me.
It’s Sunday, and although I’m working until 4 pm, I realise I’ll have the time to give Jasmine and Fannie a walk in the woods. The sun sets only around 7:20 pm, so we have ample time. Once at home, I change clothes. The dogs hop in the car and we’re all looking forward to a happy walk on the beautiful trail in a nameless park.
Just before starting the trail, the dogs do their business, and I notice a peck on Jasmine’s forehead. Mmmm. A fly? A slug? A burr? No matter, I bend down to swat it off her head.
It doesn’t budge.
It stays there.
Ah, a burr.
I bend down again, and swat at it again and… nothing. I part her fur, and there was this round…, blackish…, bug.
It stays put.
I flick it again, and nothing.
OMG!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!
A tick? Can this be a tick? It doesn’t look like a tick.
It’s round. It’s a bug.
OMG!!!!!!!!!!!! IT’S A TICK!
A TICK GORGING ITSELF!!!!!
A TICK GORGING ITSELF ON! MY! DOG!!!!
What do I do? I can’t touch this thing. I can’t leave it on her. Waitaminute! Tick twister! I have two in my purse. No, in my agility bag. The bag is at home. I’m in the woods. What do I do? The car! Go back to the car! I’ll drive home where the tick twisters are. YES! I can do that. Yes, I can do that.
(the little red corolla leaves the parking lot)
OMG!OMG!OMG!OMG!OMG!OMG!OMG!OMG! This f*ck*ng bug is on my dog. T*b*rn*k! I can’t believe this f*ck*ng bug is on my dog. The f*ck*ing parasite. The *ssh*le of a bug. Ch**st! What am I going to do? I don’t know what to do!
(the little red corolla parks in the driveway)
Get the keys. Unlock the door. Find agility bag. Ah! Tick twister. Put dog on grooming table. Tick twister is in my hand. Waitaminute! How do I do this? Where are the instructions? I can’t do this on my own. I can’t touch a bug who is sucking blood out of my dog. I can’t do this. I can’t do this. I can’t do this………..
(give a treat to Jasmine)
I WANT MY PAPAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!
(Jasmine wags her tail)
He knows what to do. He was a farmer. Wait! He’s 45 minutes away. I can’t make Jasmine wait like this. She’s vaccinated! Oh no! I’m 2 weeks behind her Revolution treatments. Does that mean she’ll get lyme disease? Are there more ticks? I have to do this on my own? I have to take a picture! I need a picture! I need to show my friends what I had to do.
I’m starting to feel woozy. Oh God!
Yes indeed my friends. Jasmine had a tick stuck to her. After reading through all the “tick” literature I could find on the Internet, I must come to the conclusion that it must have been “feeding” on her for more than a day. My guess it had been there for 6 days! According to the web information, ticks will feed from their hosts up to 9 days before detaching themselves. Since the last times I had been on a walk with the dogs had been the Tuesday and the Saturday, well, you can count. I was able to remove it, but since it was on her forehead where the skull is so close to her skin, I’m pretty certain the head stayed it. I put the bug in an air-tight container but even now, 3 days later, I’m still not brave enough to look if it’s there.
Last May, I had a short discussion with my vet who said that ticks were not common in our area until 5-6 years ago. I tend to agree with him since never have our farm dogs were plagued with ticks or even our house dogs for that matter. Of course, there are always those who will say that I’m wrong, but usually, vets know what they’re talking about.
Yes, I was sick enough to take a picture of it on Jasmine. Believe it or not, I now have an almost unhealthy fascination for it and can’t seem to stop looking at it. Yes, it’s actually “shiny” (gag!)
This is the “after” picture:
How’s Jasmine? Just dandy. I rewarded her like crazy the whole time this was happening, and to be quite honest, I doubt she felt any pain when I removed it. The most annoying one was Fannie, jumping up and down beside us while Jasmine was on the grooming table, probably thinking: “Me too! Me too!” If it had to happen on one of my dogs, thank goodness it was Jasmine. I don’t see myself removing a tick on Fannie Wiggles. : )
The funniest thing is, while all of this was happening, the only thing I wanted was to have my father beside me. I’m 41 years old, and never, ever have I wanted him with me to make my life easier. This time, I would have really appreciated his experience in these matters.
My friends? Since I don’t live near them, I could read their amusement in their facebook posts. I doubt I’ve ever reacted this way before, and they couldn’t seem to understand how something like this can so easily freak me out. I was warned that this would not be the last time a tick would be found on my furry friends. At least next time, I hope it won’t be as big.
Interestingly enough, here is a picture of Jasmine the day before. Nothing seems to be out of whack, doesn’t it? What a change 24 hours make. Yes, the black blur is Fannie…. Jasmine looks weird because she may have just rolled in something really smelly. ; ) Now that I remember, I had to groom her for 30 minutes to remove all the burrs in her fur. How in the world did I miss a tick?
Something to ponder and be disgusted about? That thing was on my dog when it slept in MY bed.
For several days…
…and so it continues…. (I still feel woozy)