Dot noticed dried foxtail grass by the roadside and in her silent way reminded me of how often these sharp awns land her K9 brethren in the veterinarian’s office this time of year.
Cut and remove them from your yard before it’s too late, she cautions.
Foxtail is an annual grass that goes to seed now at midsummer and releases its progeny on barbed tips which travel into the nearest flesh or fabric. Like fish hooks they travel only one direction - IN. Once inside they work their way deeper if not promptly treated.
Dogs sniffing around the dry foxtails so often found along fence lines snort them up accidentally. Inside a long snout, the foxtail causes sneezing and runny nose with great discomfort. They often get into the eyes and ears of small fellows like Dot’s scruffy little next door neighbor who is so close to the ground he must plough his way through the dry grass. Foxtails penetrate paws of even the largest dogs like her Great Pyrenees friend, Lilly http://www.great-pyrenees.us/. They’ve been known to travel through the bloodstream to heart and lung. If not treated promptly it progresses into serious infection.
Dot is moved by the words of Senator John Ingalls in his 1872 essay, In Praise of Bluegrass. Dot first got a look at the original piece in a 1948 Yearbook of Agriculture from my library. Being an aficionado of lying in the grass, she’s big on its larger role in the cyclical nature of things as Ingalls so beautifully states:
Grass feeds the ox; the ox nourishes man; man dies and goes to grass again; and so the tide of life, with everlasting repetition, in continuous circles, moves endlessly on and upward, and in more senses than one, all flesh is grass.