Sunday, 20 June 2010
Tics and Buzby
If you recall in my last post on our tour of Scotland, we had decided to take the backroad through the mountains from Newton Stewart to Gatehouse of Fleet. We left the lovely little wildlife sanctuary that we'd found at the side of the road and headed up into the mountains. The air was fresh and it was so peaceful, I suppose we'd been driving for about half and hour and hadn't seen another vehicle. Every now and again there was a sight to behold, as the side of the hill was covered in young Christmas trees, and there was me thinking that they all came from Norway, perhaps it's all fibs, and Santa doesn't come down the chimney after all.
Anyway, this was one of those magical spots that you sometimes find when you are on holiday. After driving a little further we decided to stop and let our dog Buzby stretch his legs. I guess we also wanted to revel in this paradise we'd found for a little bit longer, as we knew that sooner or later this lovely little lane would throw us back onto the main road, and we'd be joining the ceaseless traffic heading to, or away from the Stanraer ferry.
And so it was that our mountain journey came to an end as we pitched up in Gatehouse of fleet. We called at the nice little craft shop in the centre and then went to have a look at the main attraction which is the Mill on the Fleet (photo on the right). I guess we had an enjoyable hour in the place looking at the books, crafts etc and even found time for tea and cakes. However, it was soon time to head back to the cottage and it was while we were heading back that we discovered something awful. Mostly, Buzby travels in the back of the car but every now and again he wants to come into the front. He makes some terrble whining noises that could drive a person insane. We ignore him for a bit and then shout at him to be quiet, but it doesn't work and eventually, Terry Anne's resolve weakens and she allows him to come through to the front and sit on her lap. Buzby is only a yorkshire terrier I don't know what she'd do if we had a great dane.
Anyway, we were talking away merrily when she shrieked, "Oh no."
Bloody hell I thought, she must have left her handbag at the mill.
"What's up?" I enquire.
"Buzby has got a bloody tic."
Now at that point I couldn't see what all the fuss was about because I'm not a doggy sort of person. Terry is my second wife and dogs came with her, previously my only pets had been some tropical fish, and a little white mouse that kept running up my sleeve(I was too young to have my own clock). So I imagined a tic was one of those nervy things that people get when they can't stop one of there eyebrows twitching. I didn't know dogs could get tics, but there you go you learn something everyday. "He'll be alright darling," I say, "he hardly sees any other dogs and I'm sure they won't laugh at him that much."
At that point I was admonished for talking drivel, and was directed to drive to Newton Stewart, where hopefully we could get something to remove tics from a pet shop. I know pet shops can't get tics, but I didn't want to rewrite that sentence.
Anyway, she explained that tics are nasty little blighters that have legs like claws, and with these they attach themselves to various animals like sheep and dogs. Once attached, they suck the blood out of their host and can make them proper poorly. Apparently once a tic's attached itself, it's harder to remove than marmalade from your best cardy. The problem is, if you just pull them off they leave their claws in the host animal and this leads to alsorts of on infections. Terry had heard that it was possible to remove them by holding a lit cigarette end over the top of the tic's head and when it gets hot it pulls out its legs to shade the top of its bonce and then falls off.
We couldn't try this cure because my wife doesn't smoke. I offered to give it a go with my pipe, but was admonished for the second time that day.
Eventually we reached Newton Stewart and with it not being a big place we soon located the pet shop. Hopefully, the would have just the stuff to fix tics.
I'll let you know about the great wisdom we received in the art of removing tics next time. For now I'll leave you with a picture of Scotland, and remind you that more photos of this lovely land can be found on my website.
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