I have lived in some version of our home since 1996, and those who know me, know I love to garden. So imagine my surprise when I found poison ivy growing in my FLOWER BEDS. Literally like I had planted it specifically for that spot. Strangely, other friends are reporting first-time findings as well. So strange. I know it in our woods, but to brazenly grow in my flower bed…. just RUDE poison ivy! But seeing it again made me remember a super funny story.
We lost our beloved Lab and German Shepherd in 2008. They were my first babies. Bear was a Christmas present in 1995, and Flash joined us 6 months later. They lived amazing lives, but when they were both gone, we felt like George the Basset Hound needed a buddy. So we adopted a 2 yr old German Shepherd named Sawyer from a lady with breast cancer that had returned, and the cancer was metastatic. Also, she was training Sawyer to be a police dog but he didn’t like the bite work training. Not a deal-breaker for us.
We spent that first summer trying to work on not jumping on us. The kids were young, so he could knock them down with a jump. What really worked was to squeeze your legs around his body when he tried to jump up on you. I was super consistent with the training.
Fast forward to July of that summer. I developed a HUGE rash of poison ivy on my inner thighs. Like, all the way up to the panty line. I put anti itch cream and prayed it would go away. I would wake up in the middle of the night scratching it. And after a week, I decided I had to go to the doctor. I planned my speech… “not sure how I have poison ivy on my inner thighs, I promise life with 2 tiny people has not driven us to do the nasty out in the woods.” She smiled her wise smile with years of seeing embarrassed patients and asked if we had a dog. That seemed like a strange question, but I answered yes. She then shared that dogs carry the oils from poison ivy on their coats. It doesn’t bother them, but the oils can be transferred to our skin… and bam, poison ivy on your inner thighs.
I learned years later that Dawn dish liquid is the best cure for a poison ivy rash. No generic brand will do. We have a bottle of Dawn under the sink with “DO NOT USE FOR DISHES” written in sharpie on it. I just dab that precious blue gel on my poison ivy bumps, and it is gone within days. No steroids needed. A miracle cure for sure.
So as we navigate the 2022 spring poison ivy flower bed invasion, I got to remember a funny memory from the past. Thanks, Storyworth, as always!