Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Journey to South Carolina and More...

I arrived in Arlington yesterday afternoon following a wonderful long weekend in Camden, South Carolina. Milly and I had a great time down there. Milly stalked my parents’ cats, but when she got close to them she didn’t know what to do, and got scared… so she ran and hid behind me, while peering out at the Munchkin Cats (a breed with regular cat bodies and short legs) from behind my legs. It was very funny to watch, and quite cute!

We spent two nights in Columbia, where Milly was able to enjoy a nice fenced in yard (1/2 an acre = land size that I can’t even fathom living in North Arlington!), and I attended a USC football game – those Gamecock fans sure do know how to party! They started tailgating at 2pm, and the game didn’t even start until 7pm!

After two nights in Columbia, we headed down I-20 for some time in Camden. My parents are moving soon, and I had the difficult task of packing my childhood bedroom and locating all of my belongings in the attic. In packing, I realized just how obsessed with animals I am – almost all of my books are animal related, almost all of the art or photography I own is of animals (mostly of horses), I have three huge boxes full of riding tack and equipment, and my horse and dog grooming products rival a salon’s supply!

While I packed, Milly and Lucy (my dad’s dog that we adopted last Thanksgiving) enjoyed frolicking on 68 acres, most of which is wooded. They would romp through the fields and trees for hours! I will really miss being able to take Milly somewhere with so much space and land for her to roam and simply be a dog. She clearly is much happier in that environment than she is living in the suburbs, but, like most Golden Retrievers she is very adaptable.

Two of the problems with having so much land with wildlife roaming on the property are fleas and ticks. South Carolina’s tick season can be out of control, and in past years, I’ve pulled more than 20 ticks off of Milly in one evening! This tick season isn’t so bad, but the fleas are simply out-of-control! Milly is on Frontline, as is Lucy, and both dogs get Capstar when the fleas get really bad, but even with all of the preventatives and treatments, they both were scratching at fleas by Tuesday morning.

I am thinking about switching from Frontline to Comfortis (a once monthly pill with mixed reviews), but I’m hesitant, because the only time Milly has any flea problems is when she is in South Carolina. I actually don’t use the Frontline after the first frost and until the weather warms up in the spring, because I hate putting the unnecessary chemicals on her body. This method, combined with regular bathing, has worked for her, and I’ve never seen a tick or flea on her since moving to Arlington – maybe the fleas don’t like urban living either!

Before I left on my trip, I wrote about purchasing probiotics from Nature’s Farmacy, and I am thrilled with the results (after only 2 feedings)!!! First, the product was waiting for me when I returned from South Carolina yesterday, and I love fast shipping. Second, a two pound container was only $34.95, and I feed just over ½ teaspoon once daily, so it will last a long time. Third, the container is very sturdy, which I like for travel. Lastly, Milly loves the stuff! It is a powder that comes with a little scoop and you simply sprinkle the enzymes over your dog’s food. I mixed it in with her Fromm Surf & Turf kibble, Wysong Rabbit canned food, and water, and she licked her bowl for 10 minutes after the feeding! Normally, Milly just walks away from her bowl when she has finished a meal, but she seems to really like her new supplement.

On one final note, I recently joined the Junior League of Washington, DC. Before you think this is an organization full of "ladies who lunch" or ladies that play bridge all afternoon, know that the community service requirements for me as a first year member are insane! But, I'm very excited to really become involved in my community! Tonight, I will be heading into the District for volunteer training for the National Book Festival, and on Saturday I will be volunteering at the festival. As many of you know, I absolutely love reading, and was an English major with a concentration in creative writing. Needless to say, I was thrilled when I learned the Junior League of Washington’s main project is literacy! For a long time I have been very interested in two programs called Paws to Read and R.E.A.D. (Reading Education Assistance Dogs), and I am hoping that in time I can encourage the League to become a part of this wonderful organization.

I also found this amazing photo of a Golden Retriever/Labrador cross dressed as Mother Goose. If only I could sew, I’d make this costume for Milly! How amazing would it be if I could work with children and inspire them to read with the help of Milly in a Mother Goose costume? I keep telling myself this really isn't out of reach, as the last time we went in public to work on our CGC test practice she was PERFECT (I even asked a stranger at the pet supply store to hold her while I walked outside for a few minutes!), and therapy work doesn't seem that far off!

I’m a dreamer… if you can’t already tell…


  1. Okay, first of all, the Mother Goose photo is ADORABLE.

    Secondly, I am so sad/happy that your parents are finally able to downsize. I loved that home in Camden, so I know that must be a big change for your whole family!

    Thirdly, best of luck with JLW. That is so exciting!!


  2. Lydia - if you can find the pattern, I can make that for Milly! No joke!

  3. Wow, I can't imagine packing up my childhood bedroom at this point... I mean, it's been many many years since my folks left that house! Must've been hard. Although, I still have 2 large tack boxes at my parents current home, out in the shed (they have 1 acre now). Every now and then my mom teases me about it, but hey, they don't need that room in the shed! Lol.

  4. Greetings!
    Fantastic costume!

    Best wishes with all going on with your journey! Great post.

    Hugs and snaggle-tooth kisses,
    Sierra Rose

  5. Wow - you were really close to me when you came to Columbia and Camden - I am in Aiken!

  6. Your article is really an inspiration to many. I'll be looking forward for more of your posts. Keep it up!

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