Flea Circus

The Seven Plagues of Egypt recently visited upon my household, which are all relatively minor but hugely irritating, include:

  1. ear infections which are not quite ear infections so the vet won’t fix them yet, although she’ll happily charge you $75 for the not-fixing
  2. car doors that won’t unlock
  3. histrionic dental non-emergencies
  4. hissy fits in my immediate vicinity
  5. ear infections which get worse because the vet didn’t fix them but are still not quite ear infections, and your dawg still won’t let you do drops to prevent a full-fledged three-week traumatic ear drop event, meaning you have to cancel plans and take him to the pet store before they close hoping they have enough people present to manhandle him and do another preventative ear clean-out
  6. mosquitos
  7. poison ivy sprigs
  8. snakelets
  9. goose eggs
  10. and fleas.

Oh wait. Is that ten?  If I had to pinpoint the moment the wheels came off of this July, I’d have to go back to the clam juice incident a couple of weeks ago.  That was when we had to do the emergency bath, got his ears wet, started a round of daily battles to try and do preventative ear care, and were entirely defeated.  He has anti-anxiety meds for ear drop days, because he’s a huge drama queen if you touch his ears.

Nobody has offered me any anti-anxiety meds yet.  And I’m the one who has to touch his ears.  “You know, you can give him up to a tablet and a half,” said the vet.  “He’d probably be kind of stoned though.  He probably doesn’t need that much.”  “That dog you just wrestled with?  When it took three of us to get him still enough for you to look in his ears?”  I said. “That was a tablet and a half.”

The vet just blinked at me.  You could tell she thought I was lying.  “Oh, well,” she said.

Thank you.  That was helpful.  

The rest of the plagues are all self-explanatory.  The mosquitos and the poison ivy are just summer.  I have not, praises be, contracted poison ivy.  It’s just popping up in little sprigs all over my yard. I’m pro-environment and pro-organic, but if you say “poison ivy” to me I will take a scorched earth policy.  I will go nuclear.  I think I have managed to destroy the mother ship, which is a huge jungle of poison ivy on my absentee-landlord-neighbor’s tree.  We’ll see if that does it.  I have a yard full of bald patches from the toxic chemicals.  I’d rather have that then poison ivy. I’m still being devoured by mosquitos, and we won’t even talk about the humidity and frizzy hair and the fact that my jeans won’t button and there is no way I am walking to work or jogging in this heat. Fall will fix most of that, and fall always gets here eventually.

The fleas were just mean, though.  Even worse because we’ve never missed a dose of flea prevention, so it never occurred to me that Fletch could get them.  No wonder he’s been cranky all week and ate my remote control.  When I finally saw the first flea this week, we did a round of flea baths, new flea meds, flea-combing, many rounds of Benadryl, and a Saturday of washing , sweeping, vacuuming, mopping, and flea-spraying everything in the house.  I’ve never been more grateful for a tiny house.  It took hours.

At the end of it all, I re-made the bed, and Fletch (who smells like bubble gum from the new shampoo) jumped up on the bed.  I told him he was very handsome and smelled nice, and looked to make sure his flea bites were doing better.  Just as a flea ran across his belly.

We started again.

Hours later, I re-made the bed.  Fletch was so excited from all the commotion that he did a rocket-ship move from floor to bed, just as I bent down to tuck in the corners.  Our heads collided so hard I saw stars, and there were little cartoon birds flying in dizzy little circles where my cartoon thought bubble would be.

And then there I was, standing in the kitchen with a bag of frozen peas on my temple, trying to figure out where it all went wrong.  Fletch seemed entirely unfazed by the collision, which means, if anything, that he is even harder-headed than I am.  Which is saying quite something.

I probably need a do-over on this weekend.  I’m going to the movies, and am going to sit quietly in the dark and have popcorn for dinner, then Fletch and I will go for a nice long walk after the sun goes down, and I hope to be sound asleep by 9.

Let’s pretend all of this never happened, shall we?  Let’s just go about enjoying our porch time and tomato sandwiches and outdoor concerts, and even our sweet snuggly dawgs who are worth the hassle even after a stretch like this?

Looking forward to Monday. Well, fall.  I’m looking forward to fall. But Monday is a good start.

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