A bout with fleas causes a head-scratching for answers


I have had Bebe in foster care since just before Easter. That’s several months. From time to time, but apparently not frequently enough, I have questioned if she shouldn’t be taking routine meds for dogs like preventatives for fleas and heart worm. But none have ever been prescribed.

About a week ago, she began to exhibit some really odd behaviors. The first thing I really noticed was her restlessness at night. Ever since I’ve had her, she has slept on my bed. Once she settled in after being sure I was down for the night, she scarcely moved all night. But about a week ago she began moving from place to place for an extended period of time before finally settling in.

I certainly didn’t like that but didn’t know what to do about it. Was this just some new behavior peculiar to small dogs? And no matter how I prepared her meals, she turned up her royal little nose and asked if I really expected her to eat THAT.

She had recently started a supplement to deal with dry skin, so I stopped that. She still exhibited all the itching connected with dry skin. Then I noticed she had lost hair on her tail. Off to the vet!

The diagnosis? She has fleas! I have always equated a flea-bitten dog with an owner or handler who paid no attention to the animal. This was certainly not true in this case!

Her doctor gave her an injection to deal with the fleas and antibiotic for the inflammation associated with the hair loss. Last night, both she and I had a more restful night. She had slept a lot during the evening and resumed that when we went to bed. What a relief! Her appetite? Though still somewhat picky, she is back to three meals a day.

She is now on a monthly medication to deal with the problem. And me? I’m under strict orders to vacuum, vacuum, vacuum!

Right now, she is snuggled into her favorite spot – curled up by my feet under the desk as I write. And, yes, the vacuum job has been done for the morning. She and I can both settle in for an ordinary, comfortable day.

I still haven’t actually seen fleas on her but am witness to the havoc they have caused in her usual silky coat.

I think our lives sometimes play out just about like that! “Little sins”, like the fleas on Bebe, create havoc in our usually well disciplined lives. We have to inventory what has caused us to slip a bit away from our God. Have we missed our usual Bible reading and prayer time? Have we let the busyness of everyday living take precedence?

Oh, and let’s be careful to note as well, there are no “little sins.” Sin is sin whether what we call BIG (such as murder) or little as in trying to cheat someone in a business transaction. Sin is sin.

The antidote does not come in an injection but rather in the shed blood of Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for us. Have you accepted Him into your heart?