Not going to lie, we’ve been getting some pretty freaky storms up here in the northeast. Major thunder. Lots of hail. Intense lightning. Well, the other day one of these storms hit at about 10:30 a.m. I, of course, was still asleep, and mother was away, much to my dogs’ chagrin. I woke with a start as I heard a combination of booming thunder, pelting rain, and my bedroom door cracking as my dogs catapulted themselves at it, trying to get my attention.
They don’t like thunder storms. Though I would have preferred to sleep a tad longer, I grudgingly got up and went downstairs, where I sat in one of our tall white chairs (like bar stools, only comfy, white, and with backs). Clayo, a sprightly dog of 9, pranced around nervously and whimpered. Sammy, meanwhile, who is nearing 12 and is not the most active dog you will ever meet, expended literally more energy than I have seen him use over the past couple of years in his amazingly successful attempt to leap up onto my lap. Clayo, clearly jealous, then tried to leap up on top of me as well. Oh, goodness. It was quite chaotic. And there were many sharp dog nails.
Point being, though my first thought should have been to the intensity of a storm that could possibly provoke such behavior from my dogs, it was instead, TICKS. First of all, it should be known that my mother and I are no stranger to tick-born illnesses. We have each had Lyme Disease at least 5 times and other tick borne diseases Ehrlichiosis, Rickettsia, and Babesiosis numerous times. Which, though shocking, isn’t that surprising–we live in the middle of the woods in upstate New York, and we have two dogs that love to roam.
Luckily, when it became clear that ticks were, indeed, a problem, mother researched tick repellants like it was nobody’s business. Her findings? Nothing keeps the ticks away like a little rose geranium. If you have pets, just dab a tiny bit of rose geranium essential oil on their collars. (But not too much or it will drive them insane!) It’s amazingly effective. And if you work outside, or spend much time rolling around in the grass, then buy a rose geranium tick repellant, like Quantum Herbal Products’ 100% Natural Herbal Tick Spray. I wear it everyday at the garden, and I have yet to find a tick on me (which is amazing, since ticks seem to have a special affinity for me. Even in the winter.). So, while my first thought, as my dogs leapt onto me, was to the unfortunate possibility of Lyme Disease, my second thought was one of relief as I realized that, most likely, my dogs did not have ticks on them.
Note to self: Much love to rose geranium.
Lily Berthold-Bond grew up in a chemical-free zone and has struggled her whole life to understand and accept this non-commercial lifestyle. Now a sophomore at Tufts University, she has embraced her green life and hopes to share its possibilities with the rest of her generation.