I have a couple of subjects I promised to follow up on recently. First of all, I wanted to let you know that Luke is doing GREAT with his newly earned freedom. I’m happy to report that he’s been left 3 days this week, and I have come home to no new destruction. He did chew and tear on a box of files in my office closet, but I’m not even sure when he did that, and I have tried to remember to close that door anyway. I want to thank everyone that commented and especially Emma and Pamela who suggested that trying to have him tired could help.
Tuesdays I usually work from home but this week I had some appointments and errands to run. Normally, I would just wait and play with them later in the day after I got home, but because of that advice, I got out in the morning and played chase and ball with Luke for a little while. Cricket even joined in for a few minutes (normally the girls like to go right back to bed in the morning after eating). It’s a bit more difficult on work mornings, because hubby and I have to leave for work at 6:30, and I can barely get myself up and ready in time to leave. Wednesday morning, Luke and Cricket were out playing chase before we left though! So if we can encourage that kind of thing, maybe we can keep him on the tired side. With my schedule, I am normally home every other day, so that helps too….they get more exercise and less sleep on the days I’m home which can wear them out a bit more for the next day.
Some of you thought Luke might be a little young to be trying this with. Neither my hubby or I can remember how old Sheba and Moses were when they gained their freedom. But they had each other for company in their room. Cricket always had her freedom since we needed her to keep Kobi company, and she never chewed anything! Again, I’m realistic enough to know this may not last, so Luke’s room is being kept just as it is in case we need it again!
Fleas and Ticks
In early May I shared our “Plan of Action” for fighting fleas and ticks all naturally. Here’s where we’re at: the dogs were treated with an all natural spot on treatment, and we added a garlic/brewer’s yeast tablet to their diets. The other side of the plan was to clean up the yard and try to get rid of the habitat that these bugs love. We cleaned out under the deck, and raked the whole yard under the trees and along the fence line to get rid of all the leaf clutter. My hubby got out the weed whacker to take down any brush on the edges of the fenced in yard. We applied “beneficial nematodes” (you can follow the link above to the original post for more details). It was really a lot of work doing all that! My hubby and I kind of laughed about the nematodes, because you get a plastic bag with a sawdust like material in it, and you have to take their word that there are millions of nematodes in there, and that they are still alive when you apply them. Unless you own a microscope, you can’t know! So we’re going on faith here.
The only part of the project not completed is clearing out on the outside of the fence, to form a barrier between the fence and the woods. My hubby cut down one pine tree that was inside the yard, and started cutting others to make a path for dragging brush. He’s opened up a little bit, but we still have a long way to go on that part.
In the meantime, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that we haven’t seen any fleas. The bad news is we’ve been seeing A LOT of ticks. We check the dogs nightly, and we often find some. A couple of times in the morning I’ve found one on Sheba biting her and engorged with her blood. We are adept at taking them off properly, but it still grosses me out every time. If my hubby is home, I ask him to do it. We have a bottle of alcohol with a collection of them in it. Ugh, I cannot tell you how much I hate these things and I was to the point of tears one time after taking one off of Sheba (it is VERY hard to see them on her with her long fur). I was ready to get the Frontline out.
The bottom line here is what am I more afraid of? Putting pesticides on my dogs, or running the risk anyone in the household could end up with a tick borne disease? I have to tell you that it is not an easy decision for me, and so far we’re still toughing it out. I’m hoping some of these things take a little time to work. I am also going to try some flea/tick wipes from Pet Naturals of Vermont (thanks to Jodi at Heart Like a Dog for sharing about those, I am getting a free canister). We are almost through our worst time of year for ticks….they are usually only really bad here in the spring. I’ll keep you updated on our battle.
A couple more quick things: The weather has been very summer-like here and we have been filling the pool just about every day! Somebodies are very happy about that! I just wish the weathermen would quit telling us it’s going to be cool and rainy. It makes it difficult to figure out when we need to water the gardens!
As a bonus to Sam’s birthday week, today Part 1 of her story is being featured over on the SlimKitty blog! Please go take a look if you can, by clicking here. More parts will be coming throughout this month.