As my long-time readers know, we live on the North Shore of Massachusetts, just up the hill from a gorgeous public beach. We also live on a “neck”, or a peninsula, so we are surrounded on 3 sides by salt marsh or ocean, only connected to the “mainland” by a strip of road called a causeway. Any time that the tides are high and it rains, there is the possibility of the causeway being covered by water, which means we are either stuck at home or stuck away from home. We have a lot of “greenspace” near our house, so we end up with a fair number of wild animals, which seem to each carry their own fun problems.
Today’s a dreary, damp, rainy day, and those days tend to bring out dark thoughts. I was just made aware that a coyote attacked a dog in a neighboring town! Eeep! We are always on the alert for coyotes and foxes, as there are quite a few around the area. Yuki will be on enforced “indoor cat” mode – sometimes on pretty days we let her out for a bit. Maybe not during coyote mating season!
Meanwhile, let’s talk about other animal safety. Avoid wild animals. Keep your pets under your control at all times – you really don’t want your dog in isolation because of a rabies scare from an unknown wild critter!
As a family that has more than its fair share of Lyme disease, please vaccinate your dogs against Lyme! And then also use a flea & tick killer for them. We think at least one of us got Lyme from a tick which dropped off the dog and onto a bed or chair. Not Good.
As a family, we have made the decision that in our neighborhood, in our situation, the risk of cancer from DEET is less of a worry than the risk of Lyme from not using DEET on the humans in the house. Every family should make that decision for themselves, but think hard and research it from both perspectives. Ticks can be anywhere. I’ve found them on kids after they ran in the field next to the library. Since ticks are active from 40F on up, it’s time to keep an eye out.
As a less serious tip, make sure you have a cooler that closes when you go to the beach! Sea gulls are thieves. They will steal any and every piece of food they come across. So pack your beach snacks in a tote bag that zips shut or a picnic basket with a lid! My darling girls have been in tears more than once when a sea gull snagged their bag of Salt & Vinegar potato chips. It may be comical watching a sea gull fly away with a full bag of chips, but then you just lost $3 worth of chips, and you’re nowhere near a store.
Anyone have any other animal warnings? We’ve also dealt with raccoons and skunks, but those weren’t as much of a big deal. Be wary of random animals, but enjoy the nice weather that is allegedly coming soon!