This morning I was looking down at Mango’s back and saw this brown speck of a thing that looked like a leaf but on closer inspection turned out to be the engorged bulbous rear of a tick.
So I get the tweezers and Elle’s with me so I ask her to Google what to do.
What you do apparently is clamp down on the base of the tick’s ballooned shit-brown rear, as close to the dog’s skin as possible (this is technically the tick’s head, where it’s burrowed in and drinking). Clamp down and pull “gently but firmly.” Don’t expect progress right away. Brace yourself for the heartbreak of watching your dog squirm and whimper while his skin puckers upward, upward, the parasite in his flesh just clamping in deeper.
Finally, it pops free, and a little pinprick bead of blood balloons outta Mango’s back and he squirms free of me and does a fullbody shake like if he’s just stepped in from the rain. I’m wondering if he’s got something like that flash of endorphins that comes from popping a really tight dense pimple. The bursting release of a terrible tension.
I look at the tick, still clamped in the tweezers’ end, and see its little mandibles (or were they legs?) scampering about, frenzied, angry.
Am I projecting this?
Earlier this morning I went to move Elle’s car and saw a possum go scampering across the road in a way that looked decidedly guarded and fretful. Humble. Mindful of things that want to kill her and could very well do so.
This tick in the tweezer’s clasp looked more aggravated than it did fearful or starved.
I went and dropped the tick in the toilet and it started to swim on the surface of the water.
Felt like I should probably do something to make sure it dies. Do it a little more harm.
I went to the pantry and got this heavy foam Clorox spray and spritzed it into the water. No idea how this works, but the tick immediately plummeted to the bottom of the toilet bowl and started scampering about there, like a man in a diving bell just waltzing along the ocean floor.
I watched for about a minute before flushing.
My hands are still pruned from so much wash.