Yesterday Jonathan came home from work to find me passed out on the couch watching Army Wives, with a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel curled up at my feet and a box of animal crackers still in my hand. I’m sure that in that moment, he questioned my decision to quit work a few weeks early so that I could help with the relocation. But wait, I can explain:
The past two days have been traumatic in my household. I know better than to compare my dogs to children, but a good analogy would be: imagine if you discovered your children had head lice, and then imagine if one of your children had a severe allergy to head lice so bad that their hair was falling out. And then imagine that the head lice were in your yard, carpet, couches, neighborhood, basically everywhere. I’m talking about fleas, people. Fleas of Biblical proportions.
Our dogs are 6 and 7 years old and we have never had a flea problem before now. They are on Frontline, a monthly flea and tick preventative treatment that thus far has worked wonderfully. But apparently the combination of last year’s drought and this winter’s rain have created a flea paradise in Houston. They are everywhere and I feel absolutely powerless to fight it. And poor Samson is highly allergic. He has a rash covering most of his body and the hair on his chest and back is falling out in clumps.
Jon and I stayed up until midnight on Tuesday bathing him with flea shampoo and spraying him with another flea preventative. Wednesday morning, I was up bright an early with both pups in the tub. After their bath, I gave them both their monthly Frontline and took Sam directly to the Vet.
The doctor gave Samson a cortisone shot to help with the itchiness and advised us to treat the environment. We’ve hired a pest control company to spray our house and yard, but the earliest they could come is next Tuesday. Until then, I have thrown away all of our dog bedding, have vacuumed obsessively, and only allow my pups outside twice a day to use the bathroom. At this point, I’ll do anything.
Sam is just so miserable, it absolutely breaks my heart. How do you explain to a dog that scratching will only make it worse? Poor thing is simply trying to get some itch relief and yet I have to fuss at him anytime he scratches. He must be so confused. But if he doesn't stop, we'll have no choice but to put a cone around his neck.
The Vet could tell how worried I was and put his hand on my arm to ask if I was okay. Big mistake. I immediately started crying and said, “I just wish there was something I could do. I just wish the fleas would bite me instead”. Yes, I said I wished the fleas would bite me instead. Again, I know better than to compare my dogs to children, but that is some mad love right there.
There is no doubt about it, I love my dogs to pieces. I know when we do have children, my entire concept of love will change, but I don’t think my feelings about my fur babies will. They aren’t just dogs, they are my family.
Wishing I could take the flea-bullet for Sam is evidence that I quite possibly love them more than I love myself. More evidence? It’s a little known fact that I’m slightly allergic to dogs, especially dogs that shed and have a lot of dandruff. When my dogs get baths, they tend to lose a lot of hair which then tends to get in my eyes, nose, and mouth.
Needless to say, after bathing both dogs, taking Samson to the Vet and vacuuming my whole house, it was time to take a Benadryl, which explains the passing out on the couch for 5 hours. Do housewives get sick days? I’m guessing they do, at least until they become Stay At Home Moms.
This morning, Sam and I are both feeling much better. I only spotted one flea during his inspection this morning and believe me, that flea rued the day he landed on my baby boy. Sweet revenge...