It's a good year for fleas if you're a flea but not so good if you're a dog. Mild winters encourage explosion in the flea population, leading to misery for poor Hopeful despite our best attempts to protect her. The other day when I took her for a walk she nearly got clobbered because she was too busy scratching to notice an approaching car.
So this morning we gave her a good flea bath and then watched her shake off the water and run to the woods to roll in pine needles, and then after the walk she took a plunge in what's left of the creek. Despite the proliferation of pests, she seems happy--friendly and frolicking and full of energy. She hasn't brought back any horrid dead things for a while, or maybe she's just hiding her treasures more carefully. She was very proud, though, of her utter domination of a plant pot that formerly housed a small bay tree. She stood over the destruction looking as if she expected, at the very least, the Nobel Prize for Mayhem. How could anyone punish such an eager-to-please face?