The Joys of Living with Dogs

This past week and a half has been particularly interesting and a bit educational.

About a week and a half ago we took Sydney to the vet to get her teeth cleaned. She came back with beautiful pearly whites and an extra gift. We noticed that evening that she was infested with fleas. We immediately began mitigation by taking out our trusty flea combs and vigorously combing the fleas out of her coat. This was a Wednesday night. It was quickly apparent that we would need additional help. We sent an email to our vet and informed her of our situation. She was very obliging and offered to give us samples of Capstar. For those of you not familiar with the latest arsenal against fleas, Capstar is a tablet that begins killing adult fleas in 30 minutes and lasts up to six hours. We received enough for two treatments of all dogs. When treating flea infestation, you treat the infected pet and any pets in the household. So, we spent the weekend de-fleaing our home and pets. We thought we licked the problem, but Sunday night Peanut became the favorite host of the fleas.

I called the pest control company that does our yearly termite inspection and had them spray the yard. Peanut was still getting fleas even after the spraying (which later I learned was normal) and in fact, one evening we tossed her in the shower for an emergency bath. Mind you Sydney and Boxer were essentially flea free and had been for days. We had stopped the rotation of dogs to prevent further transfer from one dog to the other.

I decided to consult my friend, Google. Research taught me about the life cycle of the flea and how one must control the eggs in order to control the infestation. I had known that fleas seemed attracted to white and I learned that is because they associate white with a heat source. There’s a lot more to fleas than I will talk about here – but I decided that the flea infestation brought home from the vet was taken care of.

So, we had a new flea problem and it was in the yard. Since Peanut was the only dog now with fleas I decided to walk the yard in white socks, go to her favorite spots and see what happens. There are two areas of the yard that she particularly likes because of the opportunity for catching rats or mice. One is behind the garage. I walked around there – stopping and starting – nothing. So, I headed to her other favorite spot near the air conditioner on the east side of the house – BINGO! I walked around there and almost immediately fleas were all over my white socks – a big flea even jumped on my arm and bit me! I had located the problem area. I saturated the area with a flea spray I had bought at Home Depot. I know enough about fleas now to understand that this problem is not going to be solved quickly.

It’s kind of funny that as we deal with this problem we sometimes feel that fleas are crawling on us – but they’re not – or that every little itch must be a flea bite – but it isn’t. The mind can be a terrible thing.

Why are there fleas by the air conditioner? Rodents live nearby under the house. Peanut is always stalking and trying to capture them here. It is therefore necessary to rid this area of rodents and then deal with the fleas that are left behind. We are currently working on the rodent issue – I don’t like killing animals but given the current situation I don’t see a viable alternative.

We are also watching the dogs’ poop for tapeworms.

Another worrisome incident – last night Peanut caught a small animal over near the garage – believed to be a small mouse or rat – I saw the tail. Before I could get Peanut to drop it – she ate it. Even as I write this my stomach begins to turn over. Why she would do this when she’s fed some of the best food possible is beyond me. As I admonished her for this despicable act, she looked at me and licked her chops…mmm good! She lives a life other dogs can only dream of and she thanks us by eating a damn rodent?!

Well, the rodents must go – sorry PETA – please understand my predicament.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Christmas in June arrived Saturday afternoon just as the rain began to pour. My task of learning to play the blues now begins in earnest. Not to brag, but I’ve already got a gig lined up at Club Deb. I’ve also got the titles to what will be two new orginal compositions – “The Fingertip Blues” and “The Guitar Widow Blues”. I can’t wait to put the lyrics and chords together!

Anyway, I don’t have a lot of time to blog right now. Dinner is asking to be cooked and after that my new baby wants to be played.

Again, thank you to all my loyal readers! Without your votes this day would not have arrived so soon. You will all receive a complimentary copy of my first CD.

Voter Fraud!

“Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!”

Shocked! Shocking! Never in million years did I ever believe there would be voter fraud in my own backyard. I have just learned that two votes were tampered with in a very unsavory fashion. No words can explain the betrayal I feel. I was just so thrilled that I had loyal readers who cared, really cared about my cause.

“It was only a couple of phone calls…no money was exchanged…no promises made!” she wailed in a feeble attempt to justify her actions.

I don’t know if it was alcohol induced or just plain guilt, but Miriam fessed up to the devious plot to derail Christmas in June!

Crime may not pay but guilt will. Tomorrow we go shopping $$$. ‘Nuff said.

Christmas in June?

Things happen for a reason.

A number of months ago I suffered a life altering experience such that my future retirement income as a street corner musician was in jeopardy. Little did I know that this incident would route my musical career in a new direction.

I have played classical guitar for the past 4 years and have tinkered on a steel string acoustic guitar. I would never be caught dead playing an electric guitar. For one thing I am not a rocker and I preferred to stay away from an instrument that required an electrical current. There was always something about the acoustic sound that warmed me inside.

Well, my friends, I have seen the promised land! Miriam and I stepped into Lipham’s Music store and my life has changed.

A little background is necessary here. Due to the adverse event of last year, I have been forced to play less classical and more contemporary music (basically because it’s easier and requires fewer fingers). My wonderful guitar teacher has introduced me to the blues which I’ve always enjoyed listening to. I’ve been attempting to play this new genre of music on my classical nylon string guitar. And it’s been okay, but not great.

Which leads me back to my story. I picked up a stratocaster style electric guitar after a brief introduction from a young salesman there. He told me about their audio room and that I was free to plug in the guitar and get a feel for it and its sound quality. OH…MY…GAWD! I now get it. It was wonderful. It was better than I ever thought it would be. I felt the earth move under my feet…

I am now trying to convince Miriam that it is okay to have Christmas in June. After all, doesn’t the historical record indicate JC was actually born sometime in June? The good news is she’s on board with the purchase – we just don’t share the same time table. I want it now – she wants it later.

So, here we are. Christmas now or Christmas later? Cast your vote by submitting a comment. Much like the 2000 election, if comments aren’t going my way, I’ll simply suppress them or not count them.

Win a Few, Lose a Few

It was a great year for the Gator softball team. But the better team won this tournament – we tip our hats to Washington and Lawrie.

The pain from this loss will ebb with time and the Gators will be back again next year. They should hold their heads high – no tears – they left it all on the field.

Go Gators!

"There’s no such thing as a nine run home run…"

These are the words of a wise softball player.

It’s currently bottom of the 6th inning and it doesn’t look good for the Gators. Lawrie, the Washington pitcher, is on her game. She has received the benefit of some questionable outside calls – but the calls have been consistent and the Gator batters have to adjust. Right now the batters don’t know what’s coming down the pike and they’re swinging for the fences. Need to just get some base hits, score a few runs and build some confidence.

I don’t want to write off the Gators tonight, not after what I witnessed yesterday, but there’s no such thing as a walk off nine run home run. The Gators are going to need to have short memories and put this game behind them. I know I will. They need to come out and start fast tomorrow evening.

Oh my, the umpires have fallen asleep! At the end of the sixth they thought the game was over and left the field!? Heavens to mergatroid! I don’t want to be the head umpire trying to explain that one.

I’m going to stay up and watch the last three outs – I can’t abandon the team when they’re at a low point – so, good night and Go Gators!

Gator Softball Wins!!!

Incredible! The Florida softball team defeated Alabama with a walk off grand slam today! I’m still excited!

The Gators have now put themselves in a good position. Had they lost they would have had to play a second game late tonight. Instead they can rest, relax and wait for either Washington or Georgia. Right now it’s not looking good for Georgia. Would be nice to have an all SEC championship series, though. Or would it? Hmmm…would Georgia’s familiarity with Stacey Nelson be a bad thing? And Washington really only has one pitcher – she is player of the year but she’s been throwing a lot of pitches today. I’m not sure which team would be the best choice to play Florida.

Except for one blowout game, the tournament has been really competitive and fun to watch.

So, I’m asking all my loyal readers to send their positive energy to the Gators in Oklahoma City! Next game: Monday at 8pm on ESPN. Go Gators!

PS. Georgia has now scored some runs. It’s anybody’s game at this point. I suspect I’ll be asleep before the end of the game. Good night.