Our pets Petro, an Alsatian dog, and Pisa, a Persian cat, were our constant companions, except on ‘Dip Day’.
Ticks and fleas were a bane on all households with pets and especially so in the tropics. On a regular basis, the ‘dip man’ would come and collect our dog. When dip day arrived, Petro was nowhere to be seen, her internal clock would tell her to disappear. My siblings and I would be sent out to search for her, along with other children looking for their ‘Rover’, ‘Lassie’ and ‘Spot’.
Sometimes we were lucky, but more often than not, she would get away. When the coast was clear she would return sheepishly. We had no alternative but to put her into our car for the ride to the vet for her to be submerged into a vat of chemicals and suffer the smells emulating from a damp dog on our return journey.