Monday, April 12, 2010

Year of the Dog IX: $125 Poisons and Apologies

Lately I've found myself apologizing to the dogs when I bump them or otherwise cause them to yelp. Kitty the Boston Terrier needs her ears cleaned regularly, a process which invariably produces a yelp whenever I become overly thorough. "Oh, I'm sorry," I say as she jumps down and runs off.

I've come to the point where I sometimes feel I should apologize for dousing them with poison -- also known as Frontline or K-9 Advantage or worm medicine. I wonder if I'm shortening their lives. I hate fleas. And lice. And ticks. And the parasitic-engendered viruses and bacteria.

I compromise. I give them a full dose to begin the summer and a half-a-dose each month thereafter, unless we see fleas circulating. And that amount (for three dogs) cost me $125. That's more than a hundred bucks to apply poison to dogs!

And yes, I know there are homeopathic remedies, mainly regular bathing and using a flea comb and a natural diet. I've got the diet part covered -- although according to other homeopathic pet care sites I need to add Brewer's yeast and/or a liquid garlic extract -- and I suppose it wouldn't take much effort to flea comb them.

As with my own health -- I work hard but not always successfully to eliminate refined white flour and refined white sugar from my diet -- I suppose laziness plays the trump card in this game.

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