I started out the care-taking process as a dog mom. I did a couple trial runs early before I was married and had kids in order to make sure that I could keep a living being healthy and alive. To be honest, my past with plants was not a good omen.
In fact, the love at first sight I had with my Golden Retriever was magical and lasted right up to her last breath. But I would be lying if I didn’t acknowledge that having a dog also strengthened my gag reflex. Like I said, my dog was special and lovely, but she still pooped outside requiring me to pick it up. That’s part of the gig. There’s also vomiting that is foreshadowed by a workup of heaving so violent that you’re sure a small child might be produced. There’s breath that is rabbit poop scented, ingestion of toilet paper that sometimes can result in a human having to assist a poop out with her hands, ear gunk to end all ear gunk and much more, but I think you get the point.
The sad part is that this doesn’t even touch the nasty-factor that comes with kids, but it gets you a little raw in preparation.
However, just as I had thought nothing could faze me, I recently came head-to-head with a tick. No, seriously, there was a tick on my dog, Finlay’s, head. Between his eyes to be exact.
That, by the way, is the understatement of the year. My whole body puckers when I see anything with multiple legs and a pincher apparatus for a mouth. So, when my husband said, “Hey, what is this between Finlay’s eyes?”, I thought, “eye booger. No problem. I’ve got this.”
I’ll admit that my heart dropped a notch when I saw what appeared to be a skin tag to end all skin tags hanging from his brow line The most frightening part was that this lovely had not been there the day before which meant is was a very fast growing skin abnormality. You see where I’m going, right? Cancer.
As I spread the hair away from the protrusion, I mentally prepared to scoop Mr. Fin up and hold him until I could get him to the vet the following morning. I got a magnifying glass to get a really good look of size, color, and texture so I could look it up on the internet and really work my self up into a good panic. It was then that the world stopped spinning for me because when I got an enlarged view, I saw the unexpected… a couple of tiny legs at the point of insertion in the skin! It was the size of a corn kernel and had legs! Let the dry heaving begin!
I called screamed at the top of my lungs to my husband, “It’s got legs! It’s a bug! It’s got legs! You have to come down!” Thinking that I was potentially having the psychotic break that he’s been waiting for, he came down and we got to business on handling our dog’s latest tenant.
As you may or may not know, ticks are best removed with tweezers at the base, although I have also heard talk of getting fire involved. Since I figured that a flame headed between Finlay’s eyes would not be well received, we went for the tweezer and then bag to suffocate technique. Between gagging, I held the magnifying glass while my husband extracted the blood sucker.
Since I wasn’t looking to have another pet to take care of, I evicted Finlay’s new friend and chalked the experience up to an exercise building strength in my gag reflex which was good because vomiting hit the Stewart household this week!