So, I drove to work this morning thinking about how little I had on my plate there, and how much I have on my other plate at home, and halfway to work, I said to myself: "Self? WTF, take a few hours off and get caught up." Pond filter needed cleaning - we have very cold temps coming and water should be flowing freely - and dog was finally able to have another flea bath. The flea shampoo should only be used once a week, which meant days 2 through 6 were a living hell. So I left work early and took care of business.
Pond filter cleaning was uneventful. I moved on to dog washing.
THIS PART IS NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART. TURN AWAY NOW IF YOU GAG EASILY.
Next task - Murphy bath. I had been combing and removing fleas from the wee dog all week, spraying and vacuuming house, doing all I could manually, to rid the environment of fleas. A week had passed, and it was safe to bathe him with flea shampoo again.
I am still drinking wine and trying to forget the mental picture of this bath. After all my flea fighting, he had more fleas than ever. And when I put the flea shampoo on his body, the fleas all ran to his tiny head. I saw them on the top of his head and went to work removing them, all the time worried about the shampoo getting into his eyes. I am not talking about a dozen fleas here - think dozens. Countless fleas. On a tiny Yorkie head, no bigger than a cat's. He stood with his back to me and his head down, utterly miserable. And then I turned him around to see his face.
I will have nightmares about the sight. His tiny face was covered in fleas - they were on his eyelids, they lined his little nose, it was beyond belief. He looked so frightened and miserable. I wanted to scream and burst into tears, but I'm all he has, so I started methodically, delicately working on his face, until it was flea free. Altogether, the bath took an hour. My back is aching fiercely.
As soon as I was done, I called the pest control company - I can't be here until Saturday, but Saturday morning, the cats must go to the vet for a professional flea bath (I expect to be charged a hazardous duty fee for Higgins) and the pest guy will come treat the house. Murphy and I will spend 4 hours out of the house - I'm trying to figure out where we will go - it will be cold, and I can't bring a dog to hang out at Starbucks. This will be interesting.
The only good part of this gross story is that the weather is cooperating nicely on our behalf - we are going down into the 30s not for a brief moment, but for a few nights in a row. It hasn't done this in years. I'm hoping that will put a dent in the outdoor flea population as bug guy takes out the indoor crowd, and we can start fresh.
So, while ordinarily I'd be cursing a freeze for killing my plants, this time I'm rooting for COLD. Bring it on.