The Hard Lives of Our Dogs

Sadly, our neighborhood has a tick problem. As soon as the weather gets nice again, we have to start treating the dogs pretty heavily to keep the ticks away. Usually, we bath the dogs in flea and tick shampoo every two weeks, squeeze a few drops of Hartz UltraGuard between their shoulders, and sprinkle tick repellent in the yard.

I’m not particular about the shampoo I buy because it all seems to work, but I won’t buy anything besides Hartz UltraGuard drops. Hartz is only about $4 for a pack of three bottles and it works just like the expensive medicine. We tend to buy the package for the large dogs and get two uses out of each bottle for each dog.

We treat the yard with either Sevin spray, granules, or dust. This helps us keep ticks out of the yard, so they are less likely to find the dogs. We only have to do this about once a month and each container can last us a couple treatments.

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Even though this treatment takes a lot of work and some money, I don’t mind because I love having healthy dogs who can come in the house all the time. What I hate, though, is how pitiful they act when they get baths. We usually give the dogs their baths outside so we don’t have a lot of clean up. They hunker down when they hear the water hose and act like it’s the end of the world. Then, as soon as it’s over, they run laps and roll in the dirt.

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Poor babies.

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A Rough Patch in the Road

The past couple of weeks have not been the best.

It started with Jesse’s aunt passing away and the stomach bug. Then, as I thought things were going to smooth back out, my (very senile) granddad became combative and unmanageable.

My grandmother had to make the toughest decision of all to move him to a home where he can get the help he needs. He’s having a hard time adjusting because he has been very confused about everything for a while now, from the day of the week to who we are.

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As all of this was happening, Granddad’s dog, Belle, stopped eating. Belle was a stray who picked our house as her new home a few years ago. She forced herself into our lives, but was exactly what we needed.She quickly became the center of attention.

Grandma took her to the vet, who informed her that Belle had advanced kidney failure. Today, Belle wouldn’t get up, so we had to put her down. Even though we knew it was best that she didn’t suffer anymore, it was still very difficult to let her go.

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While all of this really sucks, I know I have to feel the emotions that go along with these things, then figure out where I go from here. Unfortunately, life cannot always be pure joy, and life most definitely cannot stay the same. We have experienced a few big changes recently and we will have to figure out how to live with these changes.

I will have to appreciate the time we had with Belle and spend more time with our dogs. I will also have to spend more time with Granddad, even when it’s difficult to see him this way. Most importantly, I will have to be there for my family members who are going through these same changes.

While times like these are trying, they are a great reminder to focus on the important things.

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Introducing the Herd

I realized that I have not been sharing with y’all about one of the most important parts of our home: OUR DOGS.

Jesse and I both love animals, especially dogs, so we both got dogs as soon as we could. My mom’s dogs had puppies almost 3 years ago and we each got a puppy from that litter. Jesse got a sassy girl, Elaine, and I got a very sensitive boy, Willie.

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When Jesse took Elaine home, she was lonely and kept getting out of the yard to play with the dogs next door. Then a family offered to give him a golden retriever puppy for free because they couldn’t take care of him. Of course, Jesse took him in and named him Waylon. As soon as Elaine had another dog in her yard, she stopped running away.

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They’re personalities are all so diverse. Elaine is the pack leader and she’s pretty good at it. They play when she wants to play and sleep when she wants to sleep. She is very bossy.

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Willie is overly-emotional. He will fake that he is hurt so he can come inside and cuddle. He also thinks he can talk and WILL talk to anyone. I may have spoiled him way too much.

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Waylon is the typical gentle giant. He is scared of everything and very attached to the other dogs. He cries if they don’t cuddle with him.

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I love having all three of them together now. They’re very social and smart so it’s almost like having little toddlers around.

I don’t know why I haven’t written about them yet, but I will be more in the future. I definitely have a lot of stories to share about them.

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