Ticks... A Constant Battle For Buddy

Paul Morrone |

By Thomas Morrone, CFP®, CPA

Just about anyone that has a pet that ventures outdoors, even if only to do “their business”, has dealt with ticks. Well Buddy is not immune to these nasty little critters. People are also common victims of ticks as well. All it takes is a hike in the woods, working in the yard, or searching for an errant golf ball. I have my share of memories of noticing a tick walking on my leg or finding one starting to be embedded and getting all creeped out. By the way, most of my tick encounters have come from searching for errant golf balls. Let’s go back to Buddy. Our yard is fenced in and landscaped so he is not out gallivanting in heavily wooded lots chasing rabbits and squirrels. I am sure he would love to be free wheeling and be off leash to wander and sniff at will. That would not be safe for him, so he has grown accustomed to being leashed or in a fenced in area. Even on the leash, he certainly does love going for an adventurous walk around the neighborhood or wherever else we take him.

We have our yard treated for ticks as well as other insects for Buddy’s protection. He also wears a flea/tick collar that we regular replace. Even with these measures that we take, ticks seem to find their way onto his body somewhere. Usually we find ticks on him when we come back from a walk and he is outside of our controlled yard. He sniffs every bush and tree along the way. I can just imagine all the ticks lined up on a branch waiting for some dog to walk by and jump on their body and hopefully go unnoticed and try to latch on. Luckily for Buddy, and us for that matter, he has white fur, so the brown ticks are easily spotted. Every once and a while one of those ticks does go unnoticed on Buddy and when Cathy is brushing his fur, giving him a bath or just doing a tick inspection, one will get discovered. It is always an adventure to first confirm that it is a tick. We take turns looking and of course we need to put on our glasses for a clearer view because some of them are so small that we just want to be sure. Buddy hates when he sees us with our glasses on and trying to inspect him for ticks. He knows that something is going on and it is not good for him.

Pets of course do not like being poked and prodded any more than people. At least when it is happening to us, we know why it is happening. Buddy just sees that “his people” are putting on their glasses and knows they will be coming at him to do something that may not feel right. We always try to console him and tell him we are trying to help by removing the tick before it gets engorged. Those words fall on deaf ears. Once we have confirmed it is a tick, glasses are on, we go in as a team for the swift and precise removal. Sometimes it goes off without a hitch. Other times, depending on the tick location, the process is much more strategic and stressful for us all. Once the tick or ticks are removed, we always reward Buddy with a treat and hopefully the stressful situation that we all experienced is soon forgotten.

After a tick removal session, Buddy is not the only one that earned a treat. Cathy and I usually treat ourselves to something as well. Our treat does not come from a bag in the draw. There is usually a corkscrew involved...

Until the Next Tom’s Take…