When Tanner & I penned our last entry, Summer was in full bloom and we were bracing for an invasion of Spirito relatives that were about to descend on Calif for our niece’s, Margaret’s, wedding. As it is most years, the weather was sunny and cool so I phoned my brother and sisters and told them to pack accordingly; this wasn’t New Jersey with it’s scorching temperatures and brutal humidity. Hah. Mere days before their arrival a heatwave hit, bringing unseasonably high temps and tropical moisture. My sibs were miffed and poor Tanner, who hates the heat the way most people hate taxes, was drained. He lazed around panting and huffing like he was circling the drain.
Bad enough that the ‘monsoonal’ flow (whatever the heck that is) wrought havoc on our routine, forcing us to cut short morning walks and to skip our dog park play dates. With the heat came an onslaught of ravenous fleas that feasted on Tanner’s delectable pink belly and rump. Every morning Eugenie and I would decimate the little buggers only to have them return in greater numbers the next day. Frontline, borate powder, flea shampoo – nothing stemmed the insatiable horde.
As often happens with Pit Bulls, the bites led to a nasty case of folliculitis, and a three-week round of Keflex. At first, getting Tanner to take the pills was a snap. We’d wrap them in a piece of cheese, and down they’d go. Somewhere around day 3, he sussed out our ruse, and so we moved on to turkey, deli ham and Prosciutto di Parma. For the briefest moment, I thought about trying to force-feed the pills to him. Then I thought about his timid nature (and his shark jaws) and decided to spring for rare roast beef. The bloody meat did the trick, and the bumps disappeared. To prevent another attack, we blasted the house with diatomaceous earth. The cleanup was messy, but the fleas have cleared out.
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One month later and the heat has finally begun to ease. Football dominates the sports pages, crowds are enjoying one last beach hurrah, and we’re celebrating Labor Day working like dogs, that is, doing nothing in particular. Despite the heat and my sister’s emergency root canal, the wedding was a huge success, as Margaret and Ryan pledged their love surrounded by their dearest and dearest. Eugenie and I gladly played host to family I hadn’t seen in years, and Tanner got to meet and charm a host of two-legged ‘uncles’, ‘aunts’, and ‘cousins’, all of whom fell madly in love with him. Natch. We’ll do it all again 4 months from now, when we fly to NJ for a second niece’s (Margaret’s sister, Kristina) nuptials. If the cool weather holds, we’ll resumed our long morning jaunts and our doggie play dates with Kona, Luna, Dexter and Charlie. Fingers crossed.
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I wanted to share a photo from my oldest sister, Honey, a Lieutenant with the Hudson County (NJ) Prosecutor’s Office. A lifelong dog lover, she’s had a slew of big, feisty pups. The current roster includes ‘Aldo’ a 100-pound hurricane refugee, and Harley, a Rottweiler rescue (her 4th Rottie).