Friday, April 10, 2020

Ticked Off!

I'm not angry at any one person per se,  just angry at an insect. A parasitic insect. A tick.

This week something unexpected came up, or I should say, burrowed in, that required some creative problem solving. Our poor Smidgey got a tick in her neck.
Mr.Tick was right under her harness.














When we discovered it, we had a moment of panic. Does this warrant a trip to the vet? Is the vet even open during the current Covid-19 shutdown?

Luckily, Joe's boss' wife (how's that for twice removed?) is a vet so we called her.












From the pictures we texted her, BossWife saw immediately that Smidgey indeed had a tick and it needed to be removed, but not by a vet. She recommended going to the Apotheke (pharmacy) and asking for a Zeckenzange. After a beat, and a quick scan through our limited German vocabulary which came up empty, we asked, a what? Apparently a Zeckenzange is a tick tweezer. And they sell them in Swiss pharmacies. At that point it was pretty late in the afternoon and the thought of getting on public transport to go to our local Apotheke did not appeal to us for obvious reasons.

So Joe did a quick search of Swiss online sources for a Zeckenzange. He found an affordable source, but it would take 10 days (if we were lucky) to be delivered. Not an option.














After seeing a Zeckenzange online, Joe realized he has a solution sitting in our guest room: our 3D printer. Another quick online search yielded a Thingiverse 3D CAD model.**
Joe opened the CAD model in a 3D printer program (Slicer Software):

The Slicer program.


And then he printed a Zeckenzange on our 3D printer:
Being printed.
All finished.

An hour and half later we had a tool ready to use on Smidgey.

Success! With a slide, a twist, and a pull, Smidgey got Ticked Off!

The nasty culprit.
This tick trouble is exhausting.
From the first discovery of the tick, to it being removed was about 2 hours!

And Smidgey is feeling fine...but now we have to worry about social distancing from her because now they say animals are at risk for the Coronavirus. Ugh.

**Thingiverse is a website dedicated to the sharing of user-created digital design files. Providing primarily free, open source hardware designs licensed under the GNU General Public License or Creative Commons licenses, users choose the type of user license they wish to attach to the designs they share. Wikipedia

Today's poem chronicles yet another adventure with our furry girl :

tall grass
uninvited guest
burrowed in
my dog's chest

action needed
pandemic on
Thingiverse tool
tick is gone
©2020, Bridget Magee. All Rights Reserved.

Join me! I am proud to announce that I will be hosting a Poetry Webinar: Poetic License: Road Tested Methods for Adding Poetry to Your Writing sponsored by SCBWI-Switzerland on April 16 from 8:15 pm - 9:30 pm CET. If the time doesn't work for you, it will be recorded, and available for viewing for two weeks following the completion of the live presentation. At just 15CHF for SCBWI Members and 20CHF for Non-Members it is a fun way to spend a little time...talking poetry. :)
(Current exchange rate is 1 CHF = 1.03 USD.)
All the Details and Registration Can Be Found Here!

Today, Poetry Friday is being hosted by the amazing Children's Author and Writing Teacher, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater at The Poem Farm. Not sure what Poetry Friday is? A great explanation can be found HERE. Join us for all the poetry goodness!

35 comments:

  1. Oh Bridget, I am sure this was stressful but your retelling was very entertaining - and your husband's ingenuity amazing! Glad it had a positive outcome.

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    1. Thanks, Sally! Yes, Joe (and my daughter Maureen) know a thing or two about 3D printing their way out of assorted pickles - fixing the arm on my glasses last week. Smidgey was the beneficiary this week. :)

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  2. Poor Smidge! How tricky of the tick to hide under her harness. This is a great time to have a 3D printer (and know a vet)!

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    1. Thanks, Tabatha! Smidgey has had many near misses in her storied life: snakes, coyotes, scorpions, pit bulls, Valley Fever, and more - sometimes chronicled here. Never a dull moment with this pooch. :)

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  3. I'm glad Smidgey's tick has been safely removed. How cool that you were able to print the tool you needed with the 3D printer. That boggles the mind--in a good way.

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    1. Thanks, Kay! Yes, the 3D printer has been a fun tool for lots of projects, but this one really improved the quality our lives, especially Smidgey's! :)

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  4. Creatively solved! Where did that tick-tock poem go? It very effectively expressed the time pressure of a ticking clock!

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    1. You caught me, Liz! After I posted the initial poem/time ticking element post, the peanut gallery around here (Joe and Mo) felt that it was off topic when it came to the tick. In the end it became a two-for-one post. Thanks for reading both versions! :)

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  5. I found one burrowed into my side the other day. My husband was able to remove most of it. My doctor said to keep an eye on it & let her know if I want a telehealth conference. It couldn't have been there long, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. No fun! I love your creative solution!

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    1. Oh no, JoAnn! So far we haven't had any ticks burrow into the human members of our family. Here in Switzerland, disease carrying ticks are such a problem that they have encephalitis vaccine that is required for kids (and suggested for adults). Our daughter has had the 3 injection series, but Joe and I need to still need to do it. I hope nothing comes of your parasitic guest. :)

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  6. OK, that's a pretty epic backstory to a jolly good poem. Keep 'em coming...but maybe with a little less danger.

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    1. Thanks, Linda! Yeah, Smidgey could do with a little less danger. She's been through a lot in her short life. :)

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  7. Wow, I am impressed by your ingenuity to create one's own "Zeckenzange". You could start a business! Tick gone is a very good thing, for animals & humans! Congrats on the coming Webinar, too! Glad you all are humming along, solving probs at home!

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    1. Thanks, Linda! Another unexpected bright side of this experience was that we even learned a fun new German word, Zeckenzange! The letter z is not used much in Deutsch, but when it is, they use it twice in one word! Will you be able to join me for the webinar? I'd love to 'see' you. :)

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  8. So glad Smidgey is on the mend. What a story!

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    1. Thanks, Christie! We are too. Smidgey is a special furry friend - who doesn't need 'sucky' friends hanging on to her. ;)

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  9. So impressed with your resourcefulness! Glad that nasty tick was removed and Smidgey is doing okay.

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    1. Thank you, Jama! Smidgey appreciates your well wishes...and the tiny cheese reward she got for being so brave. :)

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  10. THAT is flat-out amazing! Two hours from discovery to removal! Brilliant. Great poem, too! :-)

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    1. Thanks, Mary Lee! Thank goodness, BossWife was available when we called. My Joe is a problem solver and a good doggy-dad. :)

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  11. So clever! Our pup had a tick recently too (despite taking the monthly meds.) They are definitely uninvited guests. Your webinar sounds wonderful!

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    1. Thank you! Yes, I'm glad Smidgey was up to date on her meds. She's like having another child, always trying to keep her out of danger/worrying about her. I hope you can join me for the webinar - it'll be fun to share my giddiness for poetry with the more the merrier. :)

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  12. Bridget it is great to hear from you but so sad that your dog had to experience a tick during COVID19. Lucky for you that your husband's knowledge of 3D printers saved the day. You even got a poem from the incident. Stay well, dog and humans.

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    1. Thanks, Carol! I love when life informs my poetry, but then again, sometimes poetry informs my life. Yes, Joe (and my daughter Maureen) are handy with the 3D printer. Smidgey and I are just lucky beneficiaries of their expertise. :)

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  13. Whoa. Kudos to you for ticking the problem-solving and resourcefulness boxes. ;)

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    1. I see what you did there, Michelle! I can see that you share the talent of 'ticking boxes'. I like the way you think, my friend. :)

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  14. I am so glad Smidgey is okay! We have recently had many ticks here in Western New York...on cats and dogs...and sometimes us. We bought one of those tools, but before we had that, a big pinch and squeeze had to do. Sigh. Loved reading your poem. And genius to print your own tick twister! Be well. xx

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    1. Thank you, Amy! I know, this little tool is revolutionary compared to how we had to deal with ticks in the past! And to be able to figure out how to print it on demand is nothing short of amazing. We are very thankful we were able to help Smidgey so quickly. :)

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  15. Wow! What a story! I'm glad you were able to solve the problem in spite of everything!

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    1. Thanks, Ruth, for sharing in our mini-crisis of the week. Felt good to be able to do something tangible to solve at least one problem we are facing. We'll take the win when we can get. And Smidgey will take the cheesy treat for her bravery. :)

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  16. That is the. best. story. of resourcefulness I've heard in a long time. Imagine finding a pattern for a Zeckenzange!!! Hooray for you and your 3D printer, and glad Smidgey will be all right.

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    1. Thank you, Heidi! These times are for resourcefulness for sure. Smidgey is glad to not be fussed at anymore...until she wants some cuddles.

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  17. Thank you for sharing your story. Even simple things can be challenging right now! But you figured it out--good for Smidgey and for you! And good think you have a 3-D printer!

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    1. Thank you, Susan, for stopping by. Our 3D printer gets a lot of action from both my husband and my 16 year old daughter. She is designing an elephant to print...super cool. :)

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  18. Bridget,your husband's ingenuity to the rescue! What an amazing solution to the problem, and a poem from the whole episode. We also have to be careful of ticks in our woodsy New Hampshire.

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