Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Burr, It's December

I got burrs on me today for the first time in ages. And my dog got, not burrs, but some of those weird stickers that stick up and other crap that sticks to fur and makes dogs unhappy.

It was the Last Nice Day (until The Next One), so I decided to take Underbrush, my dog, to the park. It's kind of a park, where people camp in the summer but it's abandoned the rest of the year. There's a bunch of brush and a tiny creek on one side. I've seen deer back there before. One day I thought maybe it was a big dog, so we didn't go back there. But since then I noticed it was deer.

We got back there, crossed the creek over some rocks, then I discovered the ground was kind of muddy and soft. I was sinking an inch or so, so I stood on some sticks, then moved quicker whenever I needed to move. The dog wasn't sinking, but was busy checking out the wild stuff.

I didn't notice we had burrs till probably 20 minutes later. We came up out of that and continued our walk. I was taking pictures. Then I noticed the dog's feet looked dirty. Suddenly she started running about 30 mph at random and I thought, Wow, even the dog knows this is the Last Nice Day and is sowing her oats in One Last Frisky Reverie. It turns out maybe she was just trying to outrun the stickers on her feet. I don't know.

We got back to the car, I sat on my seat and immediately noticed a clump of big burrs digging into my butt. Then I felt down and there were more on my leg, like those burrs that are about ¾ an inch in diameter. I felt on Underbrush and there weren't any of those on her. But now I'm checking her feet and there's lots of this little crap all over her.

So we got out, I pulled off a bunch of the burrs off myself, then I rolled her on her back and was checking for burrs. I was trying to pull off the little sticks and stickers that were tangled in her feet, etc., but it was a mess.

She's chewing her feet on the way home and I'm apologizing for not sticking to our normal course, which would be the civilized world. No more wildlife for us!

At home, I tried to brush it out. But that's no good, she hates it and it must feel terrible. So I was trying to pick it out. Then I put her in the sink and was washing the mud off her feet and hoping the water would loosen up the stickers. It didn't really, but a few of them came off as I was using the towel to semi-dry her feet.

What a mess. I know that over time all this will somehow be worked out. But until there, there's still a few stickers.

This happened to me -- a similar incident -- around 20 years ago.

I had a beautiful collie and took him off in a beautiful field. It was like a calendar picture. We were frolicking, laying down, rolling around, like something out of a nature film. But the part they don't show in nature films is the part when you get up and you have enough stickers to make your own porcupine. I had them, the dog had them, and it was miserable.

I believe I swore off going into nature that time too. But I must've forgotten. Now I'm reminded why nature sucks. So I won't be going into it for at least another 20 years, or however long it takes me to forget this time.

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