Thursday, March 29, 2012

Mowing, ticks & teeters

Check it out! I mowed last night for the first time this year -- On March 28!! I haven't found anyone who can recollect ever mowing this early in the year. My neighbor mowed this weekend already, I just didn't have the time. My yard could have been done several days ago judging by how much wet spring grass clumped up in my mower....

I played with my gps on my phone (something I've been using to track our walks lately) and it says I covered 1.32 miles while I mowed! If anything, there's a chance it was more than that because it pauses when it thinks I'm not moving, so who actually knows, but the geek side of me still found that very interesting.

The bad thing about all of this glorious, freakishly untypical-for-Wisconsin-in-March weather is that we are going to have an absolutely horrible year for ticks and other bugs. I actually applied Frontline Plus to the dogs back on March 1 because I knew they'd start popping up at any time. I can't say I'm impressed with Frontline this year, as I've already pulled several ticks off the dogs. I know Frontline doesn't repel ticks whatsoever, but all of these ticks were engorged, so that says it's not doing its job. :o(

Last night was just.... Ewww. We had just gotten into bed and I reached over to pet Secret on the head and felt two lumps on her head. Blech. I got up to turn on the light and sure enough, two ticks -- one was so engorged that it was probably ready to come off on its own shortly (into my bed, yay!). I plucked them and deposited them into our handy "tick jar" (rubbing alcohol) and then dug around to see if I could find any more. I didn't find any ticks, but I did find a lovely mat behind Secret's ear that needed to be cut out. Oops. Hence why I need to stick with total smoothies in the future. lol

This morning I noticed that Secret was acting funny and drooling. Oh, yup -- She pulled another tick off herself. Where did that one come from?? This is going to be the worst year ever for the stupid things. I am so not looking forward to it....

Time for a teeter update!!!

I believe the last time I posted about this was back in January when I started to shape Secret to control the motion of the teeter by touching and bringing down the end of it. This was to increase her confidence with the motion as well as teaching her to be okay with the rebound action of the teeter (something I failed to do when I originally taught her because my teeter wasn't weighted at the time). That post and video can be found here.

I decided to do another video last night after mowing to show how far Secret has come in the last two months. She has progressed to doing her slam for toys and is really enjoying the whole game! We don't usually focus much on entire sessions of slamming -- since the teeter was moved outside I've more or less just had her slam a few times for her ball or frisbee at the end of a play session.

My hope is, of course, that this level of enthusiasm will carry forward to make "other" teeters fun for her as well. I am not concerned whatsoever about speed or technique (such as having a "sliding" teeter), I simply want her to be having fun and in control of the motion. I don't care a bit about her end position -- she could do a four-on if she wanted to, but Secret's default behavior always seems to tend towards the two on, two off, so we go with it.

One thing you may notice in the video is that Secret has a pretty poor (to non-existent) release with her toys. But you know what, that is A-OKAY with me. :o) For as much work as I put into getting her to show *any* interest in toys, I wasn't about to try to squash any of her enthusiasm with releases. It's something I put up with in the interest of keeping her happy. For whatever reason, prying her mouth open at times seems to just jazz her up more. Ha! I'm such a good trainer, I know. *wink*


  1. I think your banner looks great. have you tried Certifect? It's frontline plus a low dose of Amitraz. I'm not crazy about putting amitraz on my dogs but we don't have a tick problem in our yard so I have not used it. But for places with significant tick problems it may be a good thing.

  2. One of my vet tech friends tried Certifect on her two dogs last year (Vizsla) and not only did it make both of her dogs sick, but it made her sick as well. She heavily warns against its use, so that combined with the multitude of negative reviews online makes me very wary to try it.

    Secret reacts negatively to Frontline Plus, so honestly I'd be terrified to try anything stronger. When I apply Frontline, she's very off for the next 24 hours (acts jumpy, drools, etc.).

    I reapplied Frontline this week and haven't pulled off any attached ticks since then. Maybe I will just need to apply it more frequently than monthly this year -- like every three weeks? I'm sure all of the swimming we do doesn't help, even if it says it retains efficacy through bathing & swimming.

  3. You can definitely use Frontline every three weeks. Glad to hear about someone who actually used Certifect. I was afraid it would have some side effects like Promeris did. Shockingly the Merial rep promised that it wouldn't!

    We use Vectra 3D at one of the clinics I work at. The clients seem to like it but it has Permethrin in it so I'm not a fan of that either. We sold tons of Revolution at the clinic I used to work at-people seemed relatively happy with it but I don't think it worked any better than frontline for the ticks.