One thing you’ve got to love about dogs, they are loyal. Even in those worst-case scenarios we sometimes read about where dogs are neglected, or mistreated, or even horribly abused, 99 percent of the time they keep loving the abuser.
I thought about that today as I tried for the millionth time to get our little dog, Misha, to stop licking and biting herself. This has gotten to be such a persistent habit with her that I have started giving her a little nudge with my foot when I see her going at it with full vigor. My husband accuses me of kicking the dog, but I am not kicking the dog. I just give her a nudge because she can no longer hear me tell her to quit and the constant biting and licking leaves her red and sore.
Misha, seen here in her younger days when we first moved to Grandma’s Ranch, is about 16 years old. She spent half of her life in Omaha, Nebraska where her yard was not even as big as our house, and adapted to being a farm dog quite well. Although she wasn’t sure about the horse at first.
What she has never adapted to are the fleas. She has been allergic to them all her life and when she was the only pet we could keep them under control. Not so out in the country with so many animals. In addition to the horse, we have two goats – that don’t have fleas as far as I know – three cats and another dog, all of which do have fleas. Trying to keep them all free of fleas is quite a challenge, and I never seem to win the battle even though I do put flea deterrents on them regularly. Our veterinarian is a strong believer in using Revolution, but we need something stronger. I’m thinking something along the line of an artillery strike.
The sensitivity Misha has to fleas seems to have increased along with her age, although I suspect all the licking isn’t just due to the fleas. Old dogs do develop some pretty annoying habits. And this is big-time annoying.
It’s a good thing this loyalty business goes both ways.