Shortly before my return to the North, the Professor noticed that Miss Dog had picked up a tick, which had lodged itself about an inch and a half above her eye. We tried an application of gin-soaked cotton wool, with minimal cooperation from Miss Dog, and, alas, no cooperation whatsover from the tick. We made a foray into Banff yesterday to drop my sweaty coat at the dry cleaners and buy some this and that, and stopped off at the vet’s for a tick extractor. There turned out to be two of it, or rather the same thing in two sizes, a sort of miniature, bifurcated adze in green plastic. The instructions were simple. You slide it under the body of the tick, lift slightly, then twist. In practice, though, you don’t. I’m sure it works a treat if you’ve picked up a tick yourself. The fact that in this instance the head of the tick was protected from green plastic intrusion by a dense coat of short black fur was somewhat more practically relevant than the instructions implied. There was also the jerking and squirming of the dog to take into account. With the dog’s head securely in chancery, the wretched green plastic thingy was (probably) manoevered into the correct position. But the tick, which had not been long in possession, was flat like a lentil not plump like a grape pip, and when it came to the lift slightly and twist, it simply slipped through the gap. By this time Miss Dog was getting pretty captious, of course, since we were quite near her eye. Eventually I gave up on the tick related technology and pulled the little sucker off her with a pair of square ended tweezers — not recommended since it’s easy to leave the head still attached, but I’m pleased to report that I got the tick, the whole tick, and almost nothing but the tick — a weeny bit of black fluff came too but she can spare it. The Latvian Lady called Olga turned up, to our great relief, and the sweet, shy countryman who chauffeurs her to and fro took Miss Dog’s mind off her grievances completely by giving her a bone. I thanked him on her behalf and he explained that someone had left it in the back of his taxi. ‘It’s nae use to me’, he pointed out. All the same, it was nice of him.