Flea Treatment

Back in the 1960s, author Charles M. Schulz (of Peanuts cartoon fame) wrote a book called Happiness Is A Warm Puppy. Humph! Mr. Schulz didn’t know me.

People who know me well are aware I’m not a dog lover. I often explain that when I married my beloved, he wasn’t a dog lover either. I always thought we were a match made in heaven and I never expected that aspect of our compatibility to change.DSC_0354

Through the years of our marriage, we’ve had several dogs so our children could enjoy the companionship. But these were never long-term relationships; the first dog (Snoopy, a beagle) ran into the street, the second (Moonshine, a border collie) walked into our yard one day and stayed … until the day she walked away, a third (Daisy, a mongrel) got mean and unpredictable (and chased the mailman), a fourth (J.R., a sheltie) barked all night, and another (Baron, a chocolate lab) needed space to run so we gave him to a family that lived on acreage.

Then our older son adopted Booker (another chocolate lab) from his best friend’s litter. Under older son’s tutelage, Booker had exceptional training, growing from pup to obedient adult dog. (I tolerated his presence in our home.) When older son married, Booker moved out, too. And since our daughter-in-law had a yellow lab (Dixie), it wasn’t long before Booker and Dixie delivered their own offspring.

That’s when things changed. Son and daughter-in-law wanted to “keep” one puppy from the litter, but already having Booker and Dixie, they figured a third dog in the family might be unworkable and costly … two adult males and one female lab have ravenous appetites! Alternatively, they prevailed upon us, and a black lab named Tank (pictured above with my beloved) joined our family. (That was almost ten years ago!)

No doubt about it, Tank is an excellent pet and a great companion to my husband. The man I married has become a dog-lover (Tank exclusively) and I acknowledge I’m now one-half of a “mixed” marriage. Most days, Tank goes to work with my man … which is more than fine with me!

Anyone who owns a dog can probably sympathize with a problem we encountered with a couple of our dogs − fleas. These pests are beyond annoying, and we’ve endured horribly unpleasant infestations. Fleas always seem especially attracted to me (while others in the family appear to be immune), so I can tell you, I completely understand a modicum of how the dog suffers when flea-afflicted!

But what’s a writer to do? Why of course, turn my misery into a poem! That I did a number of years back. Though the poem didn’t bring relief, it was an enjoyable distraction. (In retrospect, eliminating the fleas was harder than writing the poem!)

Sang-Froid-Odium, dogs, fleas, flea bites, light verse, poetry, poem

Poem: Sang-Froid Odium

Wouldn’t it be fun if wordplay (such as this poem) could effect change?! Can you imagine it? Maybe you can suggest other words and playful “solutions.” Your comments are always welcome!