White Dog and the rest of the White Dog Army love the warm but not too hot, better than summer weather that fills our days right now. But each of them has a special dislike of the revitalization of the endlessly marching six-leggeds that cause us anguish from now through first frost.
Yes, we have a perennial problem with ants. Not a few ants but the invasion from the depths that as Hopi legend has it once saved humanity from certain destruction.
"With respect to the Ant People," White Dog complained, " the White Dog Army was not part of the greedy First People nor were we saved by hiding in the Ant Kiva. We should not be tortured for the fact humanity has taken more than its share once again."
Her unhappiness stemmed from the ants that drank and swam in their water bowl outside (despite being emptied and refilled many times across the day), the lurking hordes waiting for Steve to put food bowls on the floor, and worst of all the tiny black Lilliputians who climbed over the White Dogs burying themselves in the furs as the Army napped on the deck.
We put up a valiant fight to convince the ants that they would rather live elsewhere. For the safety of the WDA we won't use insecticide but have sprayed peppermint oil to break up their scent trails and surrounded their hill openings with cucumber peelings and yet more peppermint. Boric acid has not worked. And the live mint plants did not thrive in our environment although they seemed effective until the summer heat baked them.
We routinely brush every one's furs to remove hitchhikers and have sprayed a light mixture of peppermint oil and apple cider vinegar onto their coats to act as a deterrent. Every pup is very fragrant but the treatment only works a short while.
Yesterday Steve, in total frustration, snatched up and washed every dog bed cover and sleeping mat after seeing a brazen sixer crawling on Benson's sleeping face. This afternoon I slapped at movement on my arm as I worked in the office...looking down to see, you guessed it.
We wish the creatures no malice and point out to them that there are VAST stretches of mesa and desert that would provide no distractions or pursuit...in fact White Dog has even volunteered to help figure out how to move them there.
She walked away from the conversational impasse wen the ant people took the stance that THEY were here first and here they would stay. "Just how long IS the lifespan of an ant?" she asked.
"I think they were talking about their culture," I replied as I handed Steve the spray bottle to go around the area outside the kitchen window. "Unfortunately, diplomacy seems to be failing."