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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