So, for those of you who listen to country music you might be familiar with the song Ticks by Brad Paisley. Basically, a guy picks up a girl at a bar and wants to go out in the country and check her all over for the nasty little blood sucking bugs. Of course, Mr. Paisley makes this sounds like a fun and possibly romantic experience. I assure you, ticks in real life are nothing that I would describe as ‘fun and romantic’.
Now, I feel the need to assure my readers that I live in an area with almost no tick borne disease. So, for us, attached ticks are more a nuisance than a health hazard. For that, I am grateful. A couple weekends back the whole Royal Coonhound clan decided to go hiking. I found a nearby trail that would lead us through the woods (and since it is hot here-the shade was needed for hiking) to a spring run. Spring runs are pretty cool-nice clear water that is a balmy 72-74 degrees year round.
I chose this trail because it was only a couple of miles long and had a loop in the middle. Bella does not agree with backtracking. Once she has sniffed the trail, she does NOT feel the need to do it again. I also have learned I must use an easy walk on Bella when we are hiking in this type area. On the way out to the run Bella was of one mind. Some animal (probably possum or raccoon judging by the tracks) has used the rustic trail as a forest interstate highway. Bella completely lost her mind. Her nose was her master and every ounce of anxiety faded away once we started hiking. I really wanted to get video but it is hard! These dogs are so focused when they think they are hunting something down. Our hikes are almost jogs-especially in the beginning when the girls are still full of energy. Bella is methodical and thorough, even with her speed. Nose to the ground, back and forth, also checking up trees we pass on the trail. She makes sure no animal has turned off the trail. In fact, when she knows an animal went off the trail, suddenly she is trying to go off into the dense underbrush. At least now with the easy walk, I can let her sniff and pull without choking. Bella never has been a puller on walks-but out in nature she is a different dog.
We hiked down to the spring’s run. It ended in what was a wooden dock out near the water. I didn’t really realize it would be like this. I had hoped the girls could cool off in the water but there was just no way to get to it with the thick underbrush growth. So, we sat and rested a few minutes. I tried to get the girls to take pretty pictures but they were not having it! They were hot and tired and still amped up from the animal smells they had been tracking.
The humans were hot and tired too! The biting deer flies were terrible. It seemed to be a constant battle to keep them off of us, even though we were hiking a break-neck speed. The girls were much calmer on the way back. Bella was still tracking but had slowed a bit. At one point Daisy just stood at the edge of the trail and bayed into the forest. I think she was frustrated that we wouldn’t go out into the woods and follow one of the side smells they were finding.
Now, I am sure you are wondering where the country song comes into play. Grannie was sitting in the backseat with the girls on the way home…when she found one. Then another. Then another. Then I saw one on me, then one on dad. The ticks were crawling all over us!! We got home and brushed the girls really well. They both wear Preventic collars for ticks since we’ve had an issue with them just in the neighborhood. Bella has bad reactions to the topical stuff so the collars were the next best thing. We humans all threw our clothes into the washing machine and took showers. there were dozens and dozens of ticks around. Of course, even with us being extra careful most of the house fell victim to an attached tick. Daisy won with the most attacked ticks-two! I promise checking and removing each others ticks is not the experience the country song makes it out to be.
Pretty much everywhere has ticks so if you are going to hike with your dog make sure you know the proper way to remove a tick. Doing it the wrong way can introduce bacteria into you or your dogs system which could be bad based on what it is.
I’m joining the Saturday blog hop. I, in almost a year, have never been able to get the link thing to work. Below is what shows when I use the WordPress code I am supposed to use. I’d like to post like everyone else, but I am not tech savvy enough to understand it. In fact, it took a few weeks for me to figure out the new format they are using with the pictures instead of the links.
Powered by Linky Tools
Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…