Sunday, September 26, 2010

Autumn Play

So this morning brought unexpected enjoyment. The human was scurrying around the house and I was growing concerned. I thought it was going to be another morning alone. Those of you who know me know that I'm not a fan of being separated from the human. I was busy hiding from him (today my hiding place was under a blanket on the couch) when he said the magic words "want to go for a walk?" I popped my head right out from under the blankets, perked my ears up, and ambled on over to the door.

It turned out being the entire morning. Some of my favorite humans and their dogs were gathered around the local reservoir for an informal clean up Christian Hill day. They even enlistied two neighborhood boys to hop the fence and gather various sorts of litter that people careless tossed into the reservoir itself. Kudos to one of the humans who pulled around a radio flyer wagon to carry all the dog poop that was left behind by dog owners who don't clean up after their dogs.

It was a nice thing to discover this morning. Those of you who read the Irreverent Psychologist know that there is a lot of acrimony in the neighborhood between people with dogs and people without. The morning was a good example of community: six adults, two young teens, and four dogs all got together to take care of our neighborhood.

After all their hard work, the boys got to spend some time playing with the dogs, eating pizza and drinking soda provided by the adults, and getting some quality time with adult neighbors. While perhaps not part of the plan of the humans, I think the boys got some great positive socialization with adults. They learned about the importance of community while helping the community. Isn't that great?

While the humans supervised and worked I got to spend a lot of time running around with Sammy, Ginger, and Lizzy. In this video Lizzy and I had already took turns creating a rather large hole in the dirt (perfect to nestle in a cool down). We are having an animated discussion about who gets to cool down first.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Flea and Tick Magic

The human is very allergic (and appealing) to fleas. He once lived in a house where a ferral cat crawled into the basement and gave birth to a litter of kittens. He helped take care of them--only to discover they were infested with fleas. He got bites all up and down his legs that swelled, itched, and required medical attention. Not much fun.

He has done what many of you all do: apply a month flea and tick treatment to my fur. It's done a great job. Not a single flea, fly, or mosquito has bothered me. Despite all my outdoor romping I've only gotten one tick on me (that we know of, at least). A pretty good testament to K9 Advantix. There are some concerning things about it. First, it's very toxic to cats. If Iggy and Spot would happen to lick me right after the medication is applied they would likely become very ill and die. There are also numerous reports of dogs having skin problems (rashes, sores), stomach upset (vomiting), and neurological problems (stumbling, etc.).

My vet just recommended an alternative that had immediate positive results. He recommended a product called Vetri-Repel which claims it is a natural repellent for fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and flies. It smells kind of nice--made with lemongrass and cinnamon oil. As long as the human is careful not to get it in my eyes and nose, everything is just great.

Wouldn't you know it works? He sprayed it on me and we went for a walk. He noticed that I happened to be standing on top of an area where there were several creepy-crawly bugs. They were actually scattering from underneath me and running away. Pretty nifty, eh?