We have a tick problem. As does everybody else who lives in Princeton, I’m sure. And Buddy is black and has long fur. So ticks can hide in him forever. He’s on Simparica, which kills ticks if they bite him AND he has been vaccinated for Lyme (hello, human medicine…). I think ticks have fallen off of him unless they’ve fallen off of me because I’ve found a few in the house. One time he did a full dog shake and a minute later I found a tick on the wall. I’ve picked 3 off of me, two of them attached. Landon had one attached to him. Andy, too.
This is gross. Makes me want to move to a different part of the country where there is winter year-round. And I’m not a fan of the cold.
We are training Buddy to the electric fence. And most of the perimeter is in tick country. And I have to walk him around and teach him the perimeter. It’s been creeping me out.
So, today, as I ventured into the woods through the leaf litter I said, that’s it, I’m putting in a path. So I grabbed a rake and some super-powered clippers we have and picked a starting spot on the edge of the lawn near the barn. Buddy was on his long lead, and I just let him drag it. (It’s a mess now.) What I was doing was way too interesting to leave, which was good. And we got near the fence boundary on the stone wall bordering the creek so got some actual training in. Buddy loves running water and he could hear the creek. But I reminded him of the flags and he never got too close.
He had fun helping me, digging (I praised him for that, I want him to dig in the woods, not the yard, so he gets a “NO digging” when he does it in the yard and now a “GOOD digging” when he does it in the woods), pulling sticks (usually back onto the path after I had thrown them to the side), smelling all the smells. Eventually, he had enough, however, and started acting all over the place. Got distracted by something when he looked up at the yard and I had to grab the leash. I wasn’t ready to be done, because it’s hard to get started with projects and my impulsivity means I now have to finish another time. But I’m kind of excited. I always wanted a walking path through my woods. I saw two Jack-in-the-pulpits. Maybe I can even create a woodland garden at some point.
After spending over an hour in tick country, I figured Buddy and I both needed a bath. Then I realized I could probably hose him down outside and that would be easier plus his feet were a mess from the digging and the bathtub is upstairs so I didn’t want that tracked through the house. And he really does love the hose, would he love being sprayed by it?
I wish I had gotten a video. I had it on the shower setting and he had the most fun I’ve ever seen him have. He was jumping all over the place in the shower stream. I was able to get him soaked and I hope that washed out any ticks. Then I came in, put my clothes in the washing machine, locked wet Buddy in the mudroom, and headed up for a tick check and a bath. I didn’t find any of the buggers. Suspicious. But maybe they were all in my clothes that got washed.
Video of Buddy having a hose shower. Because it’s just too fun not to share.