It all started at the dawn of time, really. Or maybe a little bit after that. But it was certainly by the time our ancestors in Africa were following the stars and the seasons. Maybe it was a nomadic band who decided to explore Eurasia, and then they met these other travelling folks from China, and they did a swap. Or perhaps in a valiant attempt to escape a large predatory beast, someone dropped their sack of seeds. Or really, it could have just been a bird. Or a pack of Wooly Mammoths.
Wait. Did we have Wooly Mammoths in Africa? Hold on a sec…
Yes, we did. Thanks Google. ANYWAY…
Sometime after that, (but before Colombus was stumbling around Central America and insisting it was India) some Scandinavian Viking dudes crashed into the east coast, so since they had boats and undoubtedly sacks of food (plus, we all know they wore fur, a point which will make more sense in a minute) maybe they can take the credit. Or more likely it was the asian ancestors of the Native Americans who crossed the Bering Strait.
Then there was also this well documented introduction in New York in the 1920s. Not like they needed our help, but humans seem to like to mess things up with agriculture…so all in all we’re looking at global domination. Plants can dream big too, yo.
How do they do it? Very simply, and very ingenious. The seeds of Setaria are barbed, with a sharp and finely pointed head. For a grass that needs to self sow, it’s a remarkable device. Essentially, these seeds are specifically designed to burrow into soil, but are also defended against being pulled back out.
However, the seeds don’t know the difference between soil and clothing or fur or…an ear cavity. A nostril. An eyeball. Any orifice (and I’m talking ANY) of any animal. Flesh is really less resistant than soil. So the barb can just scoot its way along until it meets, oh, I don’t know…let’s just throw out a few possibilities…a heart. A lung. A bladder. A brain. Death by a weed in your sock? Probably not for you or I. But it might as well be a poison dart for old fuzzy fellers who are heavy and methodical sniffers.
Sometimes you take your dog into the vet and several hundred dollars later you realize it was a false alarm and you could probably have just waited it out.
And then other times you take your dog into the vet and after $400 and the removal of a GIANT pre-historic foxtail booger, you have just saved your dog’s life.
Thanks to Care Credit, I’ll be paying this off for the next 18 months. Thanks to quick responsiveness on the part of myself, I will hopefully be enjoying my companion much longer than that.
Although, he’s been whining and telling me about his veterinarian trauma for the last 12 hours, so I’d be lying if I said my gratitude wasn’t also cut with a pinch of exasperation.
Wouldn’t *you* do anything for this face?
The vet didn’t save the foxtail culprit. I wish she had. I want to gold plate that fucker and mount it on the wall.
It’s foxtail season, so if you’re a dog owner, do watch out. For more info.