Summer, Fleas and Festool

I don’t know how it is with other regions of our country, but I would assume that fleas are a real challenge to pet owners.  Here in the deep South, fleas are omnipresent in the warm months.  We have kept them at bay by numerous ways, but some work better than others, and some are very expensive to maintain.

The usual is to use the chemical back of the neck products, but with 5 dogs and 9 cats, that can get expensive every month.  So we have adopted some new and different methods and so far, we are flea free….at least in the house and it seems that it’s working on the animals.

1) We give them bi-weekly flea baths with puppy flea shampoo.  Just fill up the very large wheel barrel with water and soap away.  Works,,  but it’s best you do that bi- weekly, and since it’s puppy, it’s not overly chemical.

2) Diet:  We have basically gone to a raw diet…with suppliments of foods and vitamins.  Raw chopped up chicken is excellent ….the bones are what they would be eating in the raw….(not cooked, either) and their teeth look good.  We do suppliment with scrapes from the table, because , well, raw chicken seems a bit bland.  We also have big containers of brewer’s yeast and leicthen.  They seem to be thriving.

The brewer’s yeast (and also garlic cloves weekly) change the ‘smell’ of the blood and fleas and ticks don’t bite.  Well, they probably bite but they don’t like the taste.

3.) Right before Christmas last year, we bought a Festool vacuum along with the very expensive saw, etc….something that my carpenter  husband (he’s actually more than a carpenter) thought would be used only when he cut wood….. built something. (I Bless the man who told us about Festool…he may be wanting in many ways but he did introduce us to the Festool system.  Thank you, M.)

However, my husband was WRONG!!!  I have commandeered that CT22 Vacuum, a product and delight of German technology  and I use it every day.  It has a marvelous ‘suck’, many good attachments for cleaning the house, and it has made our lives so much easier…and the house cleaner…especially while we are in this state of renovation.  Which we are.  Plaster dust, the bane of any restoration project (and we have a whole house restoration going on right now….the only positive of my husband’s furlough days…..and we are finally getting done the things that need to be done in this 1880’s house.

The other day the hose coupling fell off from the attachment I was using and I thought I had broken it.  I glued and taped it back and it was fine…but my smarter son took it apart and showed me that the GERMAN part of this was that it screwed in the opposite way of our American way.  Reverse.  Counterclockwise.  There was no reason for tape or glue.  Blessed Germans….

This whole Festool was a very expensive venture, and I thought for a while that it was just…..stupid.  Until I found ANOTHER use for the vacuum.

Dogs.  And Fleas.

It works great!  The dogs were at first suspicious of the noise, but the suck (using the little attachment for  upholstery) is like a deep massage and the dogs all like it.  And these dogs are so funny.

Gally, (Galahad) was found three years ago on the side of the road, a three month puppy almost dead of starvation and heat stroke (92 degrees)  And the kick here is he was found at the end of the driveway of his bastard owners.  Later their house burned down.  Good.  They deserved it.  If this sounds harsh they were lowlife drug dealers.  Gally is a Shiloh Shepherd, about 90 lbs now.  For a month he couldn’t walk because he was so weak.  He was pink because he had no hair.  Extreme mange.  He only wanted to lie under a shade in the grass for a while.  Now?  He’s huge, bouncy, the most intelligent dog we have ever had, and part of our family.

Charlie is 15, a Husky neighbors found on their lawn at 5 months….abandoned we thought, (he wasn’t but we refused to give him back after we spent $$$ on the medical bills) and 15 is old for a Husky, especially in the South.  Beautiful dog, and going strong still.

Two spaniels….one found running down a busy street with an auto chain around his neck and brought to us by another rescuer….he’s doing great, recovering from an ear mite infection.  Check for ear mites…easy to control only if you get to it fast.

One spaniel is Sparky, an English Field Spaniel….when he came to us, he bit everyone, except me.  I was momma….but no one was safe from him.  Scared and abused terribly. Won’t go into details, but it was horrific.  This dog is my personal favorite  and one  day, after about 3 months, decided to  ‘trust’.   He became the  greeter of our house.  Everyone loves Sparky, who climbs up on the couch to lick the unwary.

Merlin!  A red Golden Retriever who was thrown out of a car window into the parking lot of our vet.  It was right before Xmas and no puppy, no animal should spend the holidays in a cage.  Or life.  So Merlin came home with us, and he is a big mook with a ton of personal toys.

They all now love  the Festool vacuum running up and down their bodies, and if you do it a couple of times a week…..
NO FLEAS!!! A chemical -free solution to these pests.

The cats are next, but we have to get heavy welding gloves for this trial.

Lady Nyo

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10 Responses to “Summer, Fleas and Festool”

  1. Margie Says:

    Sounds like quite the Noah’s ark you’ve got going there! See, when I read things like this I really miss animals. At the moment we don’t have any little fur babies at home. When we moved to a very small condo in NJ, we had to find a home for our beloved Max, a keeshound rescue that Roger had for quite a few years. Max was used to having the run of the house, inside and outside for a long time, and when we had to confine him to a leash, he was so unhappy. Luckily, we found him a home with kids and a big yard, and he was happy on our follow up visits to see him.

    My heart was broken, however, to let him go and I didn’t want any other dogs or cats for a long time. It’s only just now that I’m starting to think about a dog joining my family again. Sounds like you have fun with yours!


  2. ladynyo Says:

    I’m so sorry you had to adopt out Max, but I understand.

    Today I was driving through the neighborhood, and there was a tiny black kitten asleep on a porch of a house that has a lot of cats. This man doesn’t take care of any of them, and they are dying from disease or being hit on the streets. I went back with a bowl of food, and the kitten looks sick. Wet eyes, very thin, tiny…probably 8 weeks old, should still be nursing, but no mother around….and snot coming out of his nose. I left but it bothered me.

    If he lives, fine…if he dies, better he dies here with care at least. So I went back and took him off the porch. Neighbors, who don’t give a cold damn about the kitten were asking me IF I had asked the man inside. I have had words with him years ago about his cats, and he’s a thoroughly unpleasant lowlife. I just rolled my eyes at them. Let him look for me, this cat has more value than his approval.

    So I have this little tiny black kitten hunkered down in a cage outside. I gave him a bath immediately, and he was filthy, cleaned his ears, gave him a dose of antibiotics for the snot which is hopefully just an upper respiratory infection, gave him a sliver of garlic for the obvious worms (distended stomach, and it ain’t food) and he ate a little chopped clams and water.

    We will see, but damnit, I HATE people who don’t take care of animals. That is EXACTLY why we have so many.

    He probably will be leukemia positive and that will eventually end his little life, but until then, we can do what we can do. Every little animal deserves better than they get from humans.

    Jane…keeping him isolated from the other cats just in case he’s really sick.


  3. Margie Says:

    Oh, the poor kitty – well, he/she can’t possibly have a better friend than you! I’m sure you’ll do what you can to save it’s life, and if that’s not to be, at least the kitty will be clean, fed and cared for. I hate the mistreatment of animals – it’s in the top five things I hate.

    I would have done the same thing – the heck with that guy!


  4. ladynyo Says:

    Yeah….I’ve seen this so much before…and I guess it never leaves you. I hope he will survive, but he at least will have the comfort he deserves. He only ate a very little bit of clams.

    I will go get the nursing formula tomorrow because he will need it. Obviously weaned too early..probably the mother dead. But he’s actually rather friendly. That is good because he seems to trust a bit.

    Thanks, Margie….I know you would do the same thing. Bless you!



  5. Margie Says:

    Oh, and by the way, you are the only one I know who is so in love with their vacuum!


  6. Berowne Says:

    Oh, my. You have quite the menagerie there; good for you. A neighbor’s cat decided some years ago to allow us to provide food and lodging after the neighbor got an alpha cat who chased Tiger out of their yard. Haven’t needed to vacuum her, though.


  7. ladynyo Says:

    ROTF!! After the amount of clams we paid for that baby, I damn well better sleep with it!

    Actually, it’s amazing. It reaches to the moon, the cord is longggggg, the hose is long, and there are so many attachments to play with. The bags are expensive, around $5.00 a piece, but they don’t have to be emptied for a long time….

    And did I mention the suck? Wow! And the dogs love the massage.


    Hugs, Jane about to go use the Festool again.


  8. ladynyo Says:

    You have the right relationship there, Berowne….it’s this issue of them ‘allowing’ us to fed and nurture them….LOL!

    And Tiger wasn’t Alpha?? With a name like that….she should be.

    Vacuuming cats is a tricky and probably dangerous idea….


  9. Berowne Says:

    > Tiger wasn’t Alpha?

    Actually our neighbor named her Tigger after the creature in Winnie the Pooh, but I thought a fiercer moniker might be a good idea. She has definite predatory hierarchies:
    – small (e.g. mouse, sparrow); stalk and pounce
    – large (dog, stranger); run away as fast as possible
    – in between (squirrel); real ambivalence there. She tends to follow a squirrel at a fixed distance; if it stops, she stops, when it proceeds so does she. This can go on for half an hour.


  10. ladynyo Says:

    Hmmm…stalking behavior on the squirrel. Amazing concentration and determination in cats here. Knows the squirrel can out climb her fast, but I think cats get a sense of their limits a la wildlife.

    Ours tend to catch a field mouse and sit with it in their mouths, just with the tail swishing out, a very angry mouse. We try to liberate the mice.

    What is really funny is to watch them catch a butterfly: they don’t taste good, but they don’t want to let them go.

    LOL!….Tigger’s a good name…A good name for the new baby here, who is probably 7-8 weeks old, but tiny, …it’s eyes are now green but they have blue interiors ….that means this little one is over 6 weeks old but is more like a 5 week baby. Seems to be adjusting though.


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