I will start of with my rants...so that way I can get my complaining over with and finish up with the happy notes :)
So this past weekend, I went to Arizona to visit a friend of mine that just moved there a little over a month ago. I figured it would be a good time to go since I am so close (literally took a 2 hour drive to the airport, and then a 45 minute flight to get there) and I found an incredible deal on a flight (more on that later...I'm ranting right now).
The sucky thing about traveling when you are a pet owner, is finding a place to keep them and/or someone to take care of them. Let's face it, nobody will take care of your pets like you do (unless they are my friend Cortney. She probably takes BETTER care of my dogs than I do when she doggy-sits for me...haha :) When I'm home in Arkansas, I can usually get one of my roommates to take care of them, or a friend to just come by a couple times per day to feed them and let them poop. Not when you're in a town where you know practically no one, and your roommate goes out of town the same weekend you do. So...to the kennel (a.k.a. Doggy Jail) they go. I hate boarding them...but sometimes I have no choice. I found this little place down the road from my house that only charges $10/night/dog...which is pretty outstanding compared to pretty much any other rate I've ever found. The downside...you get what you pay for.
I picked my dogs up yesterday evening and brought them home to find them covered in ticks. My dogs have never had a tick on them in all their 3 and 4 years. I used to keep them on Frontline, but just recently switched to Sentinel because I was informed by my vet that Frontline was loosing it's effectiveness, as medications usually do over time, due to the pesky little insects developing an immunity to them. So I thought, "Well, surely my vet knows what he's talking about," and switched them to Sentinel. One of the major downsides I found to Sentinel, was that while it was a worm and flea preventative combined, it was not a tick preventative. My vet assured me that this would likely not be an issue, being that they are predominately inside dogs and I keep my grass mowed. So I made the switch.
I am now regretting it. Painfully regretting it. While I am told there is a good tick collar out there called Preventic, it is NOWHERE to be found in Ridgecrest. In fact, I had multiple vets tell me today when I called about it tell me, "There is nothing that is purely a tick preventative. All of them are flea and tick combined, or just flea only." I'm not retarded, but thanks anyways. And because I already have them on Sentinel, I cannot give them any other flea/tick combined preventative, because I just gave them their monthly does of Sentinel yesterday (I always give it to them on the 7th of the month), and I will cause them to overdoes if I give them anything else containing flea preventative. Awesome. The vet tech also informed me that they don't even have so much as a shampoo or dip that would work for just ticks. Even better.
On top of that, there is not a pet store for approximately 100 miles. And though I haven't had a chance to check at Wal-Mart yet, I'm guessing the lack of supercenter-ness is going to mean they probably don't carry anything all too effective. I will look this evening, but I'm not holding my breath.
So here I am, 1500 miles away from home and my vet (so I could give him a piece of my mind), 100 miles away from a flippin' PetSmart or Petco or something of that nature, and not one of the local vets carries a freaking tick killer. Fantastic. One vet told me I could bring my dog in and they would remove the ticks by hand...hello, but I'm quite capable of ripping the little creatures out of my dogs skin, without paying you the $50 or whatever you're going to charge me to do it. Thanks anyways.
So...I found the Preventic tick collars online from entirelypets.com and ordered a 2 pack for roughly $25 with shipping. They are supposed to kill all ticks currently present on the dog in the first 24 hours, and then they are supposed to work as a preventative for 3 months. I will probably only put the collars on my dogs initially to get them tick free, then they will only wear them when they go to the kennel to prevent this disaster from happening in the future. I hate that it is going to take 4-7 days for them to get here, so I'll probably have to resort to pulling the little pests off by hand, one by one. Yuck. Rubbing alcohol is definitely on the grocery list for this evening. Thank goodness I only have 6 more weeks in Ridgecrest, and then I can go back home. I also plan on switching vets. (*Disclaimer: Not just switching vets for this reason...there is a vet down the street from my house that has much better prices than the vet I have used for the past 3.5 years)
So now that I'm done with my ranting, I will finish up as promised: on a happy note :)
Southwest might possibly be my favorite airline. I have not had the opportunity to fly with them as much since moving to NW Arkansas, because they don't fly out of the airport there...but they do fly out of both Tulsa and Little Rock, which is just a hop, skip and a jump away from both my family and my soldier's family. And they fly out of Ontario, CA, which is only about 2 hours away from Ridgecrest. I know...only 2 hours...but seriously, if you've ever been to Ridgecrest, you understand why 2 hours really doesn't seem like that bad of a drive...
I'll admit, it can be a little bit of a hassle if you're traveling with a family...because they don't assign seats. But I think maybe that's why I like them. If I'm flying alone, it is really convenient. I just check in, they give me a boarding pass with a group letter and number on it, and I board when it's my turn. The seats are basically first come, first serve.
Additionally, I'm pretty sure they are the only airline that a) does not charge you for checked baggage, and b) still gives you free peanuts. While I didn't actually have a need to check any bags for my short weekend trip to Phoenix, the option is still nice. And they actually gave me TWO free bags of peanuts. And they were the honey roasted kind. Yes, please :) If peanuts aren't your thing, they also have pretzels available for free. I like it. The staff is also very friendly (at least in most of my experiences). I actually had a super nice flight attendant on Southwest a few years back take my crying nephew and hold him as she walked around the airplane until he fell asleep...Now THAT is some service. (*Disclaimer again: Jaxon was only a year old at the time, and he was just flying with me as a lap child...his momma was not present on the airplane, and he was NOT having it one bit....that woman was a godsend). On top of the good service, my round trip flight to Phoenix was a whopping $159. I don't think I could've made that trip just in gas for that much, much less factor in the time that it would take me to get there. My $159, 45 minute flight across the desert was well worth it.
Anyways...all that to say, I am very pleased with Southwest Airlines. They may very likely end up being our airline of choice when me and the future hubby move out here for good in a year or two. I will share more of my adventures in Phoenix in a later post. This one is getting awfully long.