I’ve got nobody to hug – I’m such an ugly bug
I’m not an ugly bug. I am a really really ridiculously GOOD-looking dog. A dog with a serious message to share. I am The Bean.
I may look like a handbag dweller (I am Metrically less than 4 kilos which makes me Imperially 8 and a half pounds) but I am feisty and fit.
In order to keep my sleek appearance I take a lot of exercise. I walk many miles a week with my humans – mostly my mummy (because he is busy doing something called ‘bringing home the bacon’ although in truth I have not seen any evidence of this bacon, to which I am very partial) but bestly with both of them. We walk and hike on trails here in the USA just like we do in Europe.
The winter here in New England has been unusually mild. I am grateful for this fact. I like snow but I am told that sometimes it falls in metres rather than inches and being quite economic in the leg I would soon be unable to walk at all. We had some of the deep stuff but mostly it was the sort of snow I am used to and I had plenty of fun diggering and snuffling on my walks.
But now it is really quite Springy here and this is the point of me hijacking my mummy’s blog. I got a tick. I didn’t feel it. It just sat on my back which is black. Then it started to grow – at first my mother thought I had some sort of blemish. She can be exceptionally stupid. Obviously a dog as beauteous as I has NO blemishes. These little blighters sit on leaves and blades of grass and wait for a likely victim (they call it a host but surely a host invites people to the party and I did not invite any ticks to mine). They can crawl but they cannot leap or fly.
By the time my retarded people realised what it was, several days had passed and it was Sunday with no vets except emergency ones open. So they did what all humans do and they Googled. I don’t really know what Googling is but it seems to be regarded as a fast track to wisdom. Personally, I prefer to use my nose. I’m a dog – it’s what we do. My daddy was satisfied to discover that his method is the right one. You take tweezers and make sure you pull it hard and straight without pinching the skin. But mummy was insistently maverick. She had found an article written by someone who suggested something unbelievable. My daddy was mistrustful. But he agreed to try it. Probably in the interests of shutting her up. When he was deciding on a career many aeons ago, he considered being a surgeon. He did a very passable impersonation of having trained thus as he got ready for the operation. Sterilised tweezers were laid on the table for the inevitable moment when she was proved wrong and he was proven right and he had to operate with pincers as he had first suggested. He donned blue surgical gloves and I was taken upon mummy’s knee (which I like very much) and stroked tenderly whilst she held my head in a vice like grip lest my teeth got the better of me and decided to nip. Which I have to own up, they occasionally do. Under stress, you understand. Like the time when someone tried to sit on me when I was a puppy – I was under a cushion and they forgot to check – I was extremely small and the posterior bearing down on me was extremely large. I had no choice. Anyway, he started to rotate the critter quite rapidly with his pointy finger. His face had incredulity virtually tatooed on it and he was clearly just going through the motions to keep her quiet, so imagine his amazement when after about a minute the tick leapt off me. Maybe it was dizzy with all the whirling although I don’t think ticks have ears so that can’t be right. Or maybe it just didn’t like the sensation of being whirled but whatever it was, it jumped leaving no bits of itself in me although it had made a crater in my skin to sup my sanguine fluid out. Which is extremely rude for an uninvited guest.
And to prove the point that we weren’t fantasizing, two days later I got another one (purely in the interests of research you will understand) and the people did the same trick again and after about a minute it simply flung itself off me.
Daddy put the tick into a pot full of something called Gin and covered it with clingfilm. Mummy says Gin is also called mothers ruin – well it ruined this mother. After several days it was very definitely a dead tick. I don’t know if it was helplessly drunk before it’s demise – I am not that well acquainted with tick habits and I don’t intend to enlighten myself further.
The day after the first tick was removed my daddy rang my mummy and said he was going to the hospital. He had removed a tick from himself after a run and left it wrapped in paper in a freezer bag in the kitchen. His work people told him not to take any chances. He asked mummy to take a picture and send it to him so the hospital could identify it. I don’t really understand how they do these things – I just know how to pose for pictures and I know it makes them smile so I have become something of an expert at it because it usually generates pats and treats.
Daddy’s tick was a Deer Tick. My tick was a North American Dog Tick. I think this is a bad name because clearly no North American dog actually wants to be associated with these vile beasties. They steal our blood. Deer ticks carry Lyme Disease. This is a very bad disease and it can kill people. It can also affect dogs. My daddy is fine because the hospital gave him antibiotics but he did have the start of a bullseye blemish where it had started to bite him. This is a sign that the tick is infectious.
My people now spray themselves with DEET and their clothes too. They went to the hunting store to get some. The hunting store is full of stuffed animals. I did not go with them. I do not want to be stuffed. They also annointed me with anti-tick drops which last a month. I despise these. I have them inflicted on me in France where my Vet refuses to believe that they hurt me very badly. Because I can’t talk human (though I bark very eloquently if you speak dog) I can’t explain what the problem is and they say that my skin doesn’t have any signs of anything bad. But I really really NO like. I try extremely hard to rub the stuff off. Therefore, they used trickery by getting me in the car (which I love), taking me to the running trail (which I love) and with my guard down they squoze it on me and then took me for a long, reasonably fast, run. Each time I tried to roll they distracted me and by the time I got back I was so tired I had forgotten it. Until next month. Sometimes being a dog is very very hard. This is why I have to have a cupboard full of snacks. Because my life is tough. It’s a dogs life ….
PS: The title is from one of my mummy’s favourite childhood songs – Burl Ives ‘The Ugly Bug Ball’. Interestingly even the bugs seem not to have invited ticks to the party ….
Well done! Ticks are bad!!! Have you ever read “The Art of Racing in the Rain”? It’s a beautiful story written from a dog’s point of view. I recommend it… 🙂
Thank you – I shall find a copy tout de suite because I am certain I will love it 🙂
Ticks are no fun at all. The technique you used sounds intriguing and we’ll have to try it when this inevitably comes up this year. Yes, Google is the font of all knowledge…I agree…Cheers!
I would not have beleived it had I not seen it myself – certainly give it a whirl (if you’ll excuse the pun) 🙂
This interests me. One of the few things Finbar hasn’t done yet is pick up a tick. I’m waiting for it to happen. How did you twirl the tick round? It sounds like unscrewing it, but I’m sure it was more choreographed than that.
You literally take your finger and twirl it fairly fast in one direction without increasing pressure and hey presto bongo off it comes. The Bean has never had a tick in France but that is probably because I was always so diligent with the Frontline. Here, because it was so cold (even if considered mild by New England standards) I hadn’t bothered. Hopefully Finbar will not add a tick to his list of mishaps but if he does I really recommend giving this method a try before resorting to tweezers 🙂
Sounds like a very new age sort of idea. Does it have to be done widdershins and only if there’s a new moon? I hope Finbar doesn’t get one. If he does, it’s bound to be one with jaws like a pitbull that we’d have to take a stick blender to.
I’m about as New Age as HRH Prince Philip but I agree it does sound particularly woo-woo but I promise it does work whatever the phase of the moon 🙂
Oh The Bean, I am very happy you made it through surgery. And I am also very glad your daddy will be ok. Your mommy however, I am not so sure. Thanks Osyth for this lovely post today. I laughed and it was educational. 🙂
Glad you enjoyed it – as you summise there is no hope for me whatsoever 🙂
That’s a new technique! Leo picked up Lyme’s Disease while in France – just to ring the changes on his other illnesses – and we had to check the dogs regularly – as we do here.
The chemists used to use ether to detach them…in the absence of ether I was told to seize the head with the finger nails and twist sharply anti clockwise which has worked so far for me…but massaging the brutes is totally new!
Poor Bean…and poor husband, come to that,but we must respect the pecking order.
The irony was that I was entirely paranoid about them in France and then forgot to top up the Frontline here. But I will be ever vigilant in the future. Lymes is ghastly and I am so sorry Leo picked it up. Ray will be fine as will The Bean who thanks you for understanding the food chain in her world 😉
Wow ticks are no good!! So glad you got it taken care of! Wow weird technique! Interesting Fiona!
It is certainly weird but it does work so if you need to attend to a tick give it a twirl before you reach for the tweezers!
Wow that is quite the trick!
Most pet supply stores carry a neat tool that you slide under the ticks body and quickly pull it off.. The biggest worry about tick removal is speed without giving the tick time to react and vomit into the host.. That’s the highest risk of transmission..
Frontline bought in the store isn’t the same as you get from the vet, I don’t know how they get away with it but it looks the same but it isn’t.. I found out the hard way with Stewie..
The American dog tick can be a vector for rocky mountain fever and 2 orher doggie maladies that are bad.. I’m glad you’re doing well little Bean bug.. 💚
Thank you for this thoughtful comment. I have the treatment we get from the vet in France which is a different brand but the same ingredients and quantities as Frontline from the vet in England. So I will continue to use that I think rather than risking the pet suppliers here. Hopefully the tick didn’t have a chance to vomit …. they are certainly a big problem for dogs and owners alike.
Ugh! Welcome to New England!!! 😢 We are constantly doing tick checks, but haven’t started back up yet this year. Thank you for the reminder! Did they prescribe your husband antibiotics to be on the safe side? We just got a puppy and are going through her vaccination process now… they actually have a Lyme vaccine for dogs! I had no idea. Also did not know that you have Lyme in France!
Yuck indeed! To answer your questions in reverse – yes, we have Lyme in France and in England. I use a treatment prescribed by the vet in either country – usually France. I am interested in the vaccine though – I wonder if The Bean could have that now – she’s 8 years old. My husband got antibiotics for which I am extremely relieved … he’s told me some pretty awful stories of people he knows. I’m guessing that the mild winter brought the little sodskies out earlier than normal so we will all have to become Orang Utan and check one another from now on in!!
Come on, let’s crawl to the Ugly Bug Ball
And a happy time we’ll have there
One and all at the Ugly Bug Ball
I absolutely LOVED this! I am so sad that I shall not meet with her ladyship The Bean when her mummy comes to Blighty.
It is such a shame 🙁
But reading this was very happy making and I was glad The Bean was all well and tick free.
We loves you Bean….!
There will be other times – she’s keen as mustard to meet you and Archie the Wonderdog. So glad you enjoyed it … and thank you for the refrain of the song which I have an unending love for 😀
Oh she is a little belter😊😊😊😘
Quite a story and great pictures. Cute dog!
Thank you …. I wanted to share this extraordinary and successful technique. And the tick thing – they are quite the critter. Beanio is rather cute and extremely bossy!
Ticks are tricky. Good job! Beanio is very cute. Bossy remains to be seen🐩
Poor Bean! Vinny can relate as dog ticks are rampant in Maine almost year round. He also brings them into the truck! Feeling one crawl on you at night is almost as bad as the cockroach in my bed in Florida one time! The neighbors heard that one!
Ugh cockroach! I think the reaction to them is instinctive and primeval – instant revulsion! I’m guessing that the climate and habitat in New England is a perfect storm for ticks. Vinny is so generous sharing them with you 🙂
Ha! Brilliant guest blogger post! Although I much prefer to the photos of The Bean than the bugs! Yuck, yuck, yuck. Interesting removal tip though.
I love the car distraction technique tale, it brought back memories of our crazy old Boxer dog when I was a child. When he occasionally escape the garden we used to have to quickly dash to the car, start the engine and open the door for him. He’d come hurtling in – he LOVED being in the car!
I can just see the boxer doing that! And yup – if you want to snare a Bean you turn on the engine and open the door!
I love Burl Ives. He was a great entertainer,his voice unmistakable. I have a Teddy Bear’s Picnic 45 record but not Burl Ives singing. Children love his Frosty the Snowman here. 🙂
Your dog, The Bean knows how to pose well, dear. He also was quite funny telling his tale of woe. Poor little muffin. <3
She’s a little poser! I wanted to highlight the ticks and tricks and her voice seemed appropriate 🙂
Oops, missed that the Bean is a girl! 🙂 Tell her I am getting old and my eyes don’t work, Fiona. Ha ha! She is a funny and sweet dog. My Mom saved a 1/2 dachshund and 1/2 beagle from boys cruellt trying to drown the dog. Mom named her “Bella.” She would get along with your dog, I believe.
By the way, this dog was too active to stay with my Mom at her senior apt so my youngest brother now has Bella.
Bella sounds adorable – what is a Beagle/Dachs called? A Deagle or a Bachshund? Or a Dasheagle? Bean would definitely make friends if they met though she does tend to be a little suspicious when she first meets new anything. Quite sensible really!
What a clever tail…oops I mean tale and a great way to share information. Clearly Bean you are a dog of the highest intelligence. I do hope your mummy and daddy are providing you with extra treats to take away the pain and suffering you so bravely endured. Happy fossicking 🙂
Fossick is such a marvelous word. I felt the need to share this story and my people have been fairly reasonable with the treats – there can never be enough, you will appreciate 😉
I’m glad you’re OK. If your people could prevent you from feeling any pain at any time, they would proceed in a heartbeat. Knowing that might help you through the next painful moment. Take care my friend.
Thank you Jane … I consider you to be one of my people by proxy. You are a key member of Pack Bean 🐾🐾
Reblogged this on Humanity is Action and commented:
Because we love them so,sometimes the pain we feel for our animals is greater than the actual pain felt by them. If it’s not, read ‘The’ Bean’s Blog.
What wonderfully written post. Thoroughly enjoyed it. And passing it on to my husband as getting a dog is fairly imminent (at least hoped so) in our future, just to add to the menagerie.
Hallooo! I’m so glad you liked it. Amongst all the comments I have discovered there is a dog vaccine for Lyme Disease … Well worth considering in France when your dog appears over the horizon 🙂 The Bean is occasionally allowed to guest on the blog when she has something of importance to share 😉
Glad it all worked out well for The bean and the Husband.
Loved the doggy perspective, just the right sort of words that made it come alive.
I’m glad you enjoyed it – I felt The Bean was appropriate to write this – it’s quite an important issue to highlight. We are now like a tribe of apes examining one another for ticks after every walk or run!!
Superb fun and informative post Osyth. And great to highlight Lyme’s disease, there is a young woman here in Liverpool who has been bed bound for many years due to this debilitating illness, don’t take any chances.
Tell Beanie that I am glad he is tick and fancy free – most astonishingly that he is the same weight as Pussy Willow!
She is tiny – at the tunnel port in Calais there are always hundreds of bunnies out when we arrive in the small hours and she is smaller than even them! Pussy Willow is such a gorgeous name for a pussich 🙂 Lymes is dreadful – Ray has a colleague rendered helpless by it and another who died. My heart goes out to the poor Liver Bird … Shocking 🙁
P.S. The Ugly Bug Ball was from one of the very first films that I saw as a child, I think it was ‘Summer Magic’? and it starred my idol, Hayley Mills. Who I of course wanted to be…….xx
Hayley Mills! Gosh yes … I LOVED her 🙂 The Ugly Bug Ball was such a part of my childhood soundtrack. My mother had it on 45 and used to play it often in the afternoon when we were doing quiet things like jigsaws or, if my grandmother was about, learning Poker!
I went to a fancy dress as a ladybird on the strength of this when I was about 5
I would have been so jealous of that!
Oh the fun of trying to fool a bright dog.
Please convey to her mini-majesty that I am not averse to handbag dogs per se, my ire is reserved for the owners who turn them into furry mascots , dress them inappropriately, leave their caca for me to step in when I am drinking in architectural splendour; and who seem to forget that, schnauzer or St Bernard, they are all DOGS
The Bean approves of your words entirely. She did deign to wear a gingerbread man costume at Christmas which my youngest had found in the pound shop in Liverpool but only briefly and only on the promise of a morsel of Roquefort! Other than that she is a dog. A dog. A dog. Not an ornament nor accoutrement and it incenses me when I see little dogs so abused!!
Oh Bean, thank you for the insight into your tough and active life. You certainly are very beautiful (and athletic too). No tick can take that away from you, though you must be SO careful. I am sure there are fewer snacks in your cupboard than there were before this happened, but you need to keep on top of the ‘bacon’ situation x
Thank you Posh … It’s a relief to know you understand my struggles! And that bacon is essential to my overall well-being 😉 🐾🐾X
A joy to read! I’ve never found ticks so interesting !
Now THAT is high praise!
What a wonderful post, loved it. Glad everyone is ok. That is one bad thing about spring and summer – the ticks and bugs are out again.
Thank you Nadia …. I’m glad you enjoyed it! My aspirational Buddhism falls down when the bugs appear 🙁
Glad you got the little beggar out of him intact….bummer for your husband…my niece and brother in law both have Lyme disease….glad your husband found the tick…Chika has had her share of them…there is one part of our yard in Calif. that seems to be a breeding ground, regardless of all the poison we put out…we just keep it behind a gate……I can’t think of any good reason for ticks to be here….with the exception of being a nasty little bug!!!! glad Bean is okay…kat
Of all the hideous bugs, the tick comes top of the list. Absolutely repulsive as well as potentially dangerous.
I haven’t tried twirling them, but am adept at wrenching the little bastards from where they are anchored – years of practice while living in Kenya where they were a real plague on the horses.
Once unanchored, they are firstly checked to see that the head and legs are intact, then thoroughly mashed into a pulp, then flushed down the loo for good measure.
Do hope that neither Bean nor Two-Brains suffer any ill effects from the blighters.
You ought to let Bean write all your blog posts. 🙂
The twirling though unbelievable works really well and because they throw themselves off the host they leave nothing behind. I imagine Kenya comes in mighty useful with all manner of bugs and beasties. The second tick was given a total smashing before going on the fire. Both Bean and Brains are doing well and she shares your view that she should be writing the blog from now on 🙂
Ugh, ticks make me shudder. Our dog gets them ever summer but they don’t seem to bother him too much. Neither of us have had one, but we’re very careful if we go into the forests to cover up and wear bug spray. I’m trying to avoid chemicals and now make my own bug spray, good for ticks, mossies, horseflies, stable flies and other annoying biters. If you want the recipe give me a shout! Lovely photos of your gorgeous dog, too.
I would LOVE the recipe …. The reason I wasn’t using DEET before is because I wholly loathe chemicals. I’m looking into getting The Bean vaccinated which one of the commentators says is now an option but I don’t think they will do me or Two Brains!
30ml vodka (or any neutral alcohol – vodka is cheapest here!), 30ml water, 10 drops citronella, 10 drops lemongrass, 5 drops tea tree. Put into a spray bottle and shake well before each use. This works brilliantly for me (and I’m a bug magnet) but I can’t make any guarantees. Take sensible precautions when in the vicinity of biting bugs!
Thank you so much June …. I’ll give it a go definitely – I rather like the idea of spraying myself with lemony vodka!!
Does imbibing it double the efficacy?
Who knows but it would be rude not to try 😉
Hi osyth loved this post, ticks are the pits. When living in the uk we becamd aware of them in the new forest where it was recommended that you walk in trousers rather than shorts to avoid the ticks. Here in france we found them on our cats so use frontline as a precaution but also bought a neat little tool from the vet. It came in two sizes for big or small ticks, bien sur. You slide the split hook end between tick and flesh of cat and twist to release the said tick. The twisting action means you avoid leaving the head in the cat. I have never witnessed the tick flinging itself off the cat. (I am twirler in chief!) The tick stays stuck in the hook and is violently dealt with. When the old man comes in from gardening i give him the tick onceover and have been known to deploy the hook and twirl procedure! A bientot….
That’s a great post – Bean seems like quite a character. I used to remove the ticks from the street dogs’ ears in Egypt. Somehow I managed it just with tweezers and then squashed them flat. I can’t stand the smell of DEET and found an organic one at the supermarket that works just as well for our southern bugs (no ticks here). Will try and find the name.
Oh please do because the DEET is playing havoc with my asthma …. Lovely June in Lithuania has given me the recipe for a non chemical home-madey but if you have a branded one that would be great too. The Bean is bigger in character than stature but we have a constant battle not to let her ego run amock!
It is called All Terrain Herbal Armour. It got an award for it’s effectiveness and you can get it on Amazon. It smells of lemongrass and doesn’t irritate my very sensitive skin.
Like a greyhound from the slips I’m straight on this …. thanks so much 🙂
De nada. 🙂 BTW, Bean looks adorable with a naughty look in his eye.
She’s a hussy 😉
oooiie definitely spring. I’ve tried everything to avoid the dogs getting ticks, from shampoos, tick collars, and the latest thing is a prescribed pill from the vet. Haven’t seen any ticks so far, so maybe the pill works? They are suppose to have one pill a month, for 3-4 months in the spring, and that is suppose to get them through the ticks season, where we live. Just gave my dog the last one a couple weeks ago. We’ll see…I hope you don’t have to get acquainted with another one of those little devils. Very cute dog!
Great tip! And, The Bean is very cute! 🙂
I was entirely amazed that it worked. The Bean is cute but we don’t tell her – she thinks she’s the pack leader as it is!!
Our dogs do, too. 🙂
That canine sense of entitlement!
HUGS Bean!! ♥
The Flying Bean now – she thinks she’s a pilot!!
She’s a little darling! Kisses to Bean! ♥
Ticks are such horrid things. We have a lot of them around here, since it was formerly a sheep-rearing district. They are not dangerous for cats, although the bite can get infected, but they certainly are for dogs if not removed. Hope the Bean has recovered from this unpleasant experience.
We think she is fine though apparently symptoms of Lyme can take a long time to manifest in dogs (up to 6 months) which plays to my latent anxiety. I’m fairly certain hers were North American Dog Ticks not deer ticks but whatever their flavour they are highly unpleasant – not a lot to love even for someone who claims some Buddhist tendencies!