Tag: Dog

Visual Journal Page 30: The Fleas Disease

      If your dog has ever had fleas… I bet this image makes you shudder… I have always had a family dog, but until a couple of years ago, never saw a flea. Nick and I got Jacob and Kody Bear in college, and they are quite a pair. Nick had Kody before we started dating, and is a beautiful, HUGE, German Shepard, Husky mix. We got Jake after we started dating partially for Kody, mostly for me… because I wanted a puppy. He and Jake are an odd combination, a big, fluffy, quiet, calm dog with a beagle, coon hound mix, crazy dog.

      Nick and I did a pretty good job taking care of those pups through college. We missed flea medication here and there but never had a problem. Eventually, after 5 years, we finally left Athens, and I moved to an amazing apartment in Candler Park in Atlanta.

      After I first moved there I noticed that Jake was scratching and chewing a lot. I finally flipped him over, and checked out his belly, expecting nothing, but I found myself staring at a flea colony. They were EVERYWHERE! They were running and jumping all over him, and I found them on Kody as well. For once I had actually consistently kept up with their flea medication, but apparently it didn’t work.

      I tried everything short of flea bombing my apartment… and I really considered it. I flea medicated them, I flea bathed them (full gloves and everything), I washed EVERYTHING in the apartment, vacuumed 10x a day… Still fleas… I researched, I waited a few days, re-flea medicated them, re-bathed them, re-flea shampooed, re-vacuumed 10 more times a day.

      I couldn’t sleep at night… I kept imagining fleas crawling all over me… I felt phantom tickles, every brown speck in my sheets transformed into a flea out to get me. At my wits end I went to the pet store to find a different flea medication, maybe the Frontline just wasn’t working. Hours after I put K-9 Advantage on them the fleas were GONE!! Weeks of trying everything I could think of and one medication did it in an afternoon.

      I really wanted to create a sense of space in this page, so I found images of hardwood floors to construct a ground, and cut out images of the furniture I wished I had to create different rooms. I found pictures I had taken of Jake and Kody in positions that could work with the furniture, to help them look more integrated into the scene. I then printed pictures of fleas and scattered them around the room. I figured the grotesque images of the fleas were enough to get my point across… I opted not to add words.

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Play Hard, Sleep Well, Peaceful House

Every now and then I babysit my parent’s dog, Dusty, for a few days. Dusty and my dogs, Jacob (a beagle mix) and Kody Bear (a German Shepard/Husky mix), love to play. Most of the time 15 pound Dusty spends his time jumping up on 75 pound Kody, so he can show him who is boss. It’s a funny thing to watch because Kody just stands there while Dusty, fully stretched, just barely reaches Kody’s mouth. Jake will play with anything that moves, and when he and Dusty get going they are running around in circles. Every now and then Jake and Kody decide to gang up on Dusty, they flip him on his back and Kody spends his time putting his whole mouth around Dusty’s neck, then jumping back. Jake likes to trade off between poking Dusty’s belly with his nose (he loves squeaky toys and I’m pretty sure he is convinced Dusty is a living squeaky toy) and gnawing at his hind legs. Needless to say when Dusty is in town our house is practically a zoo.

The nice thing after an afternoon of hard playing, is when all of the dogs collapse from exhaustion and   don’t move again until the next day. Even better is after Dusty leaves, because it takes a day or two for my pups to fully recover from all of the excitement. I really enjoy it when they play hard, sleep well, and I get my peaceful house.

I was very excited when I stumbled across this picture of a West Highland Terrier yawning. Dusty is a Westie and this image fit him well. It’s good to flip through magazines and rip out any image you like, not just images for a specific page you are working on. I cut the image out and glued it down using rubber cement. I painted a thin layer of gesso to tone down the background a little, then glued ripped up pieces of construction paper on top. I added another layer of gesso to create an area where the words would really stand out. As usual I used sharpie to add the words.