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An unwanted guest

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014 11:34 a.m. CST

Our dog, Homer, has brought us entertainment and unconditional love since they day we picked him up from my brother’s house (more to that story in a bit). But this past weekend he brought us another gift: fleas.

Homer came to us in a very unusual way. My brother really wanted a dog and without asking his wife, he purchased Homer. That was a big problem because they had a newborn as well as an almost 3-year-old at home already, and my oldest niece was not very excited to have a sibling. I was about 2 months away from getting married and was planning on getting a dog not long after. Although it was a little earlier than planned, I saved my brother by taking in the big, black ball of fur that needed a home.

Seven years later, Homer is just one of the family. My daughter even called me Homer’s mommy the other day. Part Black Labrador and part Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Homer has thick, wavy hair that shines gold in the sun and signature Chessie gold eyes. He greets me at the door everyday and lays by my bed every night. My girls love him and he has been great with them. Tail grabbing, hair pulling, putting their hands in his mouth, nothing phases Homer when it comes to the girls.

Which leads me back to his latest gift of fleas. Like most dogs, Homer scratches on occasion but for the past few days it seemed to be more frequent and vigorous. While lathering him up in his bath we discovered his unwanted guest. Since his fur is very thick and on the longer side, it was almost impossible to see where they all were on his body. We proceeded to give him another bath with special flea rid soap and called it a night.

Homer had a rough night, still nipping and scratching like crazy. Come morning, we knew we had a real problem. Little bugs were still all over Homer and had now taken up residence in our home. Since Homer has free reign to go where he pleases, we knew there was potential of contamination all throughout the house. 

After another good scrub and some store bought medicine applied, Homer was put outside and we began investigating. Finding fleas in almost every corner of the house, we decided to get a smoke bomb to set off while we were out in the afternoon. Upon returning, we discovered one smoke bomb wasn’t going to do the job.

Dropping off the girls at my parents house, we returned to give Homer yet another bath (which he greatly enjoyed and almost had a sense of relief) and began treating the house. My husband purchased a spray for upholstery and other cloth items that the fleas like to build a home in. We also opened all of the drawers, laid out all of the toys and set off three smoke bombs before heading out. Twelve hours of treatment had to do the trick, right?

Before my husband headed to work, he stopped by to open up and start defuming the house. After a quick look, he seemed to be pleased that our attack had worked. Homer, who had to sleep in the garage for the first time in his life, was also looking and feeling better. With a treatment from the vet we’re hoping he will be as good as new.

Now we have the task of cleaning the house, washing clothes and trying to get rid of the feeling that tiny bugs are everywhere!

Contact Staff Writer Jamee A. Pierson at (641) 792-3121 Ext. 6534 or

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