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Excuse the poor quality of this photograph but behold the blood sucking varmint that I removed from my poor Oscar’s lovely face, just above his mouth, in dog class this afternoon. Luckily one of my classmates had a tick remover so I was able to flick it out almost immediately I discovered it – apparently they’re difficult to notice until they’ve gorged themselves on the blood of your beloved.

But what to do with the thing as it lay there on the worktop, prone and vulnerable, possibly with some legs missing, still embedded in my dog? I didn’t want to leave it there in case it hitched a ride on the rest of the doggery present. And my cultural background militates very strongly against taking the life of a “dumb soul,” just because I don’t like the look of it.

There’s more to it than that, of course, ticks are nasty things. They latch onto your best friend and bury their numerous limbs right into their flesh and hold on for dear life until they come face to face with either the tweezers or a strong insecticide or, apparently, gin. They carry Lyme disease which is nasty and long term. I remember having a tick bite once in France. My leg swelled up like a hot, hard dirigible and I had to have antibiotics for four weeks, just in case of bacterial intruders in my bloodstream. Well, this WAS France.

But I couldn’t bear to squish the thing. In the end I wrapped it oh so delicately in a tissue and popped it in the bin. Now get out of that you vampiric bastard!

It’s unusual for my dogs to get ticks. Oscar must have had about four in his whole life. I always thought it was his silky fur, so it’s really odd that I’ve had to deal with two in less than a week. Maybe they’re more prevalent this year than normal or perhaps they’re just lurking in the unkempt remains of our garden.

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I took Raffles for his his class earlier this evening when there was a meeting going on to oppose the upscaling of London Biggin Hill Airport, which has already been passed by the council I think. This meeting increased demand for spaces in the Village Hall car park and I was directed by a man who had decided to take charge to a very tight spot, from which I knew it would be difficult to exit. When the time came to leave class, he took it upon himself to direct me out.

Will I never learn? Why, when elderly men say they can direct me into or out of a parking space, do I trust them, assuming they actually know what they’re doing?  Backwards and forwards, I went, backwards and forwards, warning lights flashing, the car sensors beeping indignantly all the time until I, inevitably,  got myself stuck in a really tight spot. The man stood there impassively, a phlegmatic look upon his face.

“You can’t go back. There’s a bush behind you.

Oh really, you mansplaining vol-au-vent effer? The very bush that you’ve just directed me into? In the end I left him standing as I went back to the class and asked Kirsty just to move her car forwards by about 15 cm. Job done my way.