I'm the gardener of the family. And for all of you gardeners out there, to be a gardener first you must weed. Throughout the thirty-five years of our marriage I would call out to my husband, "Larry, how many leaves does poison ivy have?"
To which the one time camper, Boy Scout would reply, "Leaves of three, let them be!"
Now, you would think that I would remember this for I am a fairly educated woman. My husband, over the years began to lose his patience with me. If this was really getting under his skin (pardon the pun), you would think he would label the plants for me to avoid. Actually for an entrepreneur out there gardening gloves with the message would make a nice gift. But, I digress.
So this is the summer of Cooper; our little beagle puppy that loves to roam and romp the back fields and bushes and explore the flora. And this is the year that I, yes I, discovered poison ivy on my own. What a proud moment that was for both myself and Larry; I could count to three! I warned our kids to be vigilant not to let Copper get in that area.
I had to go away for a few days to attend a workshop. When I came home my husband greeted me with .... poison ivy! While we had been careful not to let ourselves get tangled up in those shiny leaves of three, apparently at some point our puppy had. For the poison ivy was on my husband's arms exactly where he held our beagle. Cooper had been bathed to get the oils off of his coat, but the damage was done.
"Don't do it. Don't pick him up. You'll get poison ivy," he warned.
But there on the grass was my tri-colored pup, wagging his tail like no tomorrow. He was climbing on my legs, begging to be picked up, pleading with those sad brown eyes. And so I did. About a week later in the crook on my arm I noticed a few tiny pink pimples that spread and started itching.
Our poison ivy lasted about a month. The tell-tale scars from it are fading. Was it worth it? I have lots of lick and tail wags and snuggling time to prove it.
As for my husband? We were walking Cooper in the back fields and Cooper got tangled up in some underbrush. Ever the Boy Scout, Larry went in after him. When they both emerged Larry said, "Well that's just great ... more poison ivy."
When we got back home we washed Cooper down, gave him a treat, and Larry took out the Windex and started spraying himself. My daughter and I were rolling on the floor laughing. Just like My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
That was several weeks ago - no poison ivy on Larry!