From Paula: Once a month on a Sunday (usually the last one in a month) I post a combined photo challenge theme for Black & White Sunday. It is called AFTER and BEFORE and it invites you to post the same image in black & white, and colour.
My choice for black and white are typically high-contrast and/or high texture. Architecture, urban landscape and anything with a lot of texture works well for me. Also head and shoulders portraits which I think are beautiful in monochrome. In this case, I used swans against dark water. To be fair, the swans are almost black and white even in color, so it isn’t a stretch converting them. I used a sepia toner to soften the monochrome.
One of the side effects of a day at the spa was the discovery that Gibbs ears are not looking good. Bring on the blue stuff! If you don’t know what blue stuff is, allow me to introduce you to the world’s best cure for whatever is bothering the dogs’ ears (other than mites).
BLUE POWER EAR TREATMENT
16 oz. Isopropyl Alcohol (or 16 oz. Witch Hazel if ears are very inflamed or sore)
4 Tablespoons Boric Acid Powder
16 Drops Gentian Violet Solution 1%
Mix together in plastic bottle and shake well.
You will need to shake the solution every time you use it. Purchase a “Clairol” type plastic bottle to dispense solution to affected ears. These bottles can be found at beauty supply shops.
I make half this amount, then I warm it to body temperature in the microwave.
NOTE: If you don’t own one, buy a dropper. The gentian violet does not come with its own.
If you aren’t absolutely sure what you are dealing with, a trip to the vet is your best start.
Warm the solution and shake the bottle each time before using. Flood the ear with solution (gently squirt bottle). Massage gently to the count of 60, wipe with a tissue. On first treatment, flood the ear twice, wipe with a tissue, and leave alone without massage.
The dog will shake out the excess, which can be wiped with a tissue.
NOTE: Gentian Violet STAINS fabric and FUR! Be careful. The stains are impossible to remove.
Many people ask why this miracle preparation isn’t commercially available. The answer is, it is available. You can buy it on Amazon for $20 per 8 ounce bottle. Or buy the ingredients from your pharmacy, which is a lot cheaper. You used to be able to buy gentian violet in the pharmacy any time. These days, you have to order it and it cost more than it used to. It’s still much less expensive than buying the solution in a bottle. I’m betting you can also get it from your veterinarian. Vets have come a long way in dealing with using non-antibiotic ingredients.
For a long time, it wasn’t available anywhere unless you made it yourself. That never made sense to me. I had hounds with long, floppy ears. Infected ears are extremely common in long-eared dogs. We were back and forth to the vet over and over until someone in my hound group introduced us to the blue stuff.
It still works.
Gibbs is a most unhappy dog. It’s not that this stuff hurts. It doesn’t. It’s just the Gibbs has strong feelings about being treated. For anything. Ever. For a relatively small dog, he is surprisingly strong and it is a serious job to hold him still. As far as he is concerned, treating his ears is an insult. He isn’t even speaking to us until he is sure a treat is in the works. He softens in the face of treats — what a surprise.
How do you explain medical treatment to a dog? Or any animal? Or for that matter, a baby? I always tell them this is for their own good. Infected ears are definitely worse than any amount of blue stuff, but they don’t listen. Gibbs is seriously upset with us. The worst part of this is we are going to have to do it again tomorrow.
I hope he is still talking to us when his ears are cured.
That’s right! It’s the quarterly cleaning up of the grubby Scotties. For a few glorious days, they are silky, soft, and they smell good. Probably less this time because it has been raining all day today and it’s supposed to pour throughout the weekend. It seems a bit unfair that we can’t have at least one long weekend of clean dogs, but the weather just is.
After all the years of drought, this is great for the aquifer. It just makes for a pretty dreary spring.
It was quite the day for taking pictures. Not only were the swans enthusiastically cozy, but it was the last nice day of that entire week. We had a few minutes of sun today, but I think our first clear day will be Monday. If we are lucky.
We’ve been following the life and times of our local swans for a long time. In a few weeks, the cygnets will be up and about. We’ll have to go back and take some more pictures as the family sets sail.
When the babies, mom and day go swimming on the pond, they look like a flotilla. A formation of huge swans setting forth into the world.