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Well, I totally asked for it. On Saturday there was an "emergency" escape at the shelter where one of our guys got loose. Our shelter is surrounded by "naturalized" area. Think "weeds and grasses as tall as your waist or TALLER". Lots of wildlife in there, and then down the hill is the Rouge River basin.
I became aware of the situation when one of the employees came outside babbling and pointing. She asked if I would get in my car and slowly drive along the road bordering the property in case he came out that far, so I jumped in my car. After a few passes I parked and headed back into the "naturalized" area to help search. The dog that was missing was a Min Pin named Isiah, and he really wasn't small enough to get through the fence anyway.
As I entered the gateway my mind flashed on the REASON that no one ventured back there; Too many ticks. Then the CRAZIEST thought crossed my mind ("I don't SEE any ticks.") and I forged ahead. As I walked along the path I kept thinking "this place is beautiful! I HAVE to come back sometime!" Yep, nothing like a little denial to get you into trouble hehe. Long story shorter, the dog was located and unharmed. He hadn't gone far, although he WAS in the "tick" area lol. We all went back to our Sunday duties and never gave it another thought.
Monday morning I was sitting at the computer and I felt a tickle on the back of my neck, at the collar line. Reaching back, I expected it to be a hair. It was not. When I brought it around to see what it was, I was HORRIFIED to discover that it was a tick!!!!! (*shudder* I'm still paranoid even now lol) I killed it and stuck it in a bottle and called the doctor. To be safe, she made an appointment for me. There was no way to know if it had bitten me, although I didn't have to pull on it to get it off of me so that was comforting. While waiting for my appointment time I researched a little (big surprise, I know). Here is what I found:
1. Ticks are arachnids. So essentially they are little spiders that shove their heads under your skin and suck your blood. They are VAMPIRE SPIDERS!!
2. All of that stuff about burning their butts with a cigarette or painting them with nail polish to force them to let go... yeah, turns out that's a terrible idea. You don't WANT to know why, but I'm gonna tell you. It's because when the tick becomes "agitated" it will "regurgitate" the contents of it's stomach INTO you! The vampire spider will puke INTO you!
3. Even handling a tick with your bare hands can cause you to be exposed to bacteria and viruses that it carries! I HAVE read, however, that it's unlikely for a tick to pass either Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever unless it has been embedded in you for at least 6 to 8 hours.