A month or two ago, I began to notice dogs wearing nets over their heads. I couldn’t imagine their purpose, but one day, I asked a couple walking by why their dog was wearing the net.
“Foxtails,” they replied, pointing to the plants nearby. They went on to explain the multiple expensive surgeries ($500 a pop) their dog had to endure after inhaling foxtails. They tried to reassure me. “Your dog will probably be fine because you keep her on a leash. Ours likes to wander through the grass, and that’s where he picks them up.”
I looked at the yellow plants choking out everything else and wondered how on earth I could possibly keep my dog away from them, short of a head net.
My usual path is lined with these plant beasties, and in some places, they completely span the trail.
Not to spoil the surprise, but these aren’t foxtails.
Uncharacteristic for me, I didn’t immediately search online for more information. I told my husband about the nets and the thorny plants—we had both wondered about the nets to each other—and he said, “Oh, I hate those plants. They have vicious thorns.”
They do, these yellow plants. Brush against them as you walk or run past, and you’ll come away with scratches. Ouch. But it turns out they aren’t yellow foxtails. Continue reading