We were a bit naive, when we first moved to Mena, Arkansas to live in the country. After about a year there, we figured we needed a hound dog to watch over our home in the woods. So we bought a mixed hound from the pound and became fast friends with this pooch.
So I am in town working when I get a call from my wife, Sue.... She is a bit frantic and was telling me about this huge tick that was on Judy's head, (the hound dog, nearly full grown now). It had really dug itself in deep and was all swollen with the sweet blood of Judy. I have no idea as to what to do, so I told her to call the neighbors across the creek. So she calls "Bud", a local retired Baptist preacher who we visited on occasion for some sound advice.
Bud instructs Sue that the way to get that tick out is to hold a lit match near that little bugger. "You don't want to burn or kill the tick, but heat him up enough to make him uncomfortable", says Bud. "Shortly ,he will back out to get away from the discomfort". Sue calls me and tells me she went through a book of matches with no effect.... I tell her to try another neighbor.
She calls Oren, the father of a large Mennonite family that lives across the dirt road. Oren stated "to get that tick out, you need to pour alcohol on the tick. The alcohol will irritate the tick, and he will back on out of there." So Sue tried the rubbing alcohol, completely exhausting the whole 12 ounce bottle on the head of our poor Judy. This again was to no effect. The tick remained dug in deep with no apparent desire or intention to vacate our poor Judy. In frustration, Sue decided to go back to the matches, not realizing the flammability of alcohol. As soon as she again held that match close to Judy's head, there was a poof!!!, And Judy's head was ablaze. So Judy is running around on fire and Sue is chasing and beating on the poor dogs head trying to put the flames out. Must have been quite a sight.
She did not call and tell me about this incident, but when I got home Sue looked like she had been caught with her hand in the cookie jar. I asked her what the problem was, and she sheepishly admitted to setting Judy on Fire!
So we go out to inspect the damage to the dog. Eye lashes are gone... eyebrows are scorched and the hair on her head took on a curly-cue mess of burnt hair. She smelled kind of bad too. Kind of like burnt dog I guess. But she looked okay, and it did not look like there was any damage to her eyes. Sue felt so bad, and I could not stop laughing. Especially when I looked close at Judy's forehead, and low and behold, right there in the middle of the scorched forehead was the tick.... still holding his ground! Man.... that was one tenacious tick.
This was some great story to tell through the years.