Organizer of Western Mass Dogs, a meetup group dedicated to bringing dogs and humans together to walk, socialize and share. Advocate, lawyer, problem solver, organizer, dog lover, dreamer, friend, cook, artist.
Like everyone else in a society loudly lamenting a decline in civility, I recognize there are new breaches of etiquette every minute. On any typical day, cell phones alone account for the rudeness factor going off the charts. But I believe there is one type of impolite behavior among adult humans that goes pretty much unchecked. I’ve been guilty of it myself and slinked away feeling really stupid. It just isn’t something that makes it into the etiquette books and it apparently isn’t even worth Miss Manners’ fleeting consideration.
Ticks and the diseases they can transmit are really scary. I have been using flea and tick preventatives on Martha year round for as long as I can remember. She also gets vaccinated for Lyme disease.
It’s tough to do a decent tick check when you don’t have another human around to help sometimes, but I try. And I try to follow the advice in this article. Check it out, there are some good tips in here.
Yesterday morning Martha and I joined the group for a walk on the Plains. We were a little late, and the road where we parked was hard packed dirt, glazed with old ice. Not a great walking or driving surface. Martha got off to a slow start, obliged as she was to sniff everything. We finally got going along the packed down snowmobile trails and caught up with the group.
It was pretty cold – high teens – but I was warmly dressed. The trail was a little tricky, because if you stepped off the packed snow, your foot went down deep into the soft powder on the sides of the trail. The group moved along at a brisk pace. The dogs were quite a mix – three large labs, a golden, a beagle, and few tiny ones including a chihuahua, a teacup yorkie, and some others. It was a great walk, even if we were only out for about an hour.
I expected that Martha would be a little sore afterwards, since we’d been inactive for so long and she had pushed herself pretty hard. I gave her some pain meds when we got home. Later that evening, when we were at my folk’s house for dinner, she was pretty stiff. I stayed overnight, but I slept on the couch on the first floor because Martha wasn’t able to climb the stairs. Uh oh.
She hadn’t improved much overnight, and I gave her some more meds when we got home this morning. She has an appointment to see the chiropractic/acupuncture vet on Wednesday. She can just about get onto the couch, but can’t leap up to the bed, and it breaks my heart to see her like this.
Martha isn’t always the most affectionate dog. Sometimes she seems aloof, independent, self-centered. But when I’m sick or upset, she is always there for me, she comes through and is affectionate, even cuddly. This post from Nichole Wilde is a nice discussion about the varying degrees of closeness people have with their dogs. Enjoy!