I love my dogs. I'm sure you love yours as well; otherwise you wouldn't be reading this blog. My dogs sleep in bed with me; maybe yours do, too. That means that sometimes you can wake up to a surprise in the morning. A scary surprise.
It was like any other morning in late February, 2011. I woke up on a Monday morning, got out of bed, and got out of my pajamas when I noticed something dark on an upper part of my body better not mentioned. At first I thought it was a small knot of black dog hair as my Tibetans tangle frequently and I find little knots of hair all over from their rough-housing with one another. So I did what anyone would do. I tried to brush it off. It didn't work. Also, it was hard. I felt around it. It felt like a small circular knob stuck on my skin. WTF? February? a tick, possibly? So I did what any panicky person might do. I grabbed the knot with my finger nails and pulled it out. There was blood on my skin. Good. Maybe it meant that it hadn't really dug in. I didn't know. I placed the tick on my bathroom counter and tried to smash it. Repeatedly. Apparently, ticks don't smash. I thought about putting it down the bathroom sink and was happy I didn't follow my impulse as I later heard that ticks going down the drain often come back up out of the drain. I mentally added ticks, along with cockroaches, as one of the creatures that will survive humanity. What could kill a tick? I had a small canning jar on the counter and decided to fill it with rubbing alcohol, while keeping the crawling tick in a tissue. As soon as I filled the jar, I dropped the tick in it. It worked. The tick stopped swimming after several minutes. Now I don't know what to do with the bottle.
- This tick identification card is the courtesy of one of my FB friends. Thanks!
- You can call the number on the bottom if you want your own card.
In all seriousness, it was a warm winter last winter. The ground never froze. Because it was so warm, I decided to treat both my Tibetan Terriers through the winter with a product designed to kill fleas, flea eggs, ticks, chewing lice, mosquitoes, and mites, everything but the dog. I had found ticks on my dogs in recent years but was able to remove them easily because they were dead. It never occurred to me that I might have a close encounter with a tick which may have dropped out of a tree and onto my hair when in the woods with my dogs. I stopped hiking in the woods with them after my adventure with the tick ... but only for several months until I caved in to the fun of it. But now I check both myself and my dogs for ticks after our adventure walks. And I will continue to treat my dogs with tick-repellant products until I am certain the ground has frozen this winter.
- My story has a happy ending. The reddish circle around the tick bite never developed so I didn't require any treatment. No ticks on me, or the dogs, will assuredly make me a happy owner.