Ticks, they're tiny and you might not even notice them at most glances. Whether the dog aquires the ticks or the ticks seek them out; their encounter typically occurs while in action toward something, i.e. the dog was on a mission. While going about its merry way or aimlessly meandering, the dog is typically unaware of the parasites that have hitched a ride.
But what of this parasite? Tick is the common name for the small arachnids in superfamily Ixodoidea that, along with other mites, constitute the Acarina. Ticks are ectoparasites (external parasites), living by hematophagy on the blood of mammals, birds, and occasionally reptiles and amphibians. Ticks are vectors of a number of diseases, including Lyme disease, Q fever, Colorado tick fever, tularemia, tick-borne relapsing fever, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis and Tick-borne meningoencephalitis, as well as anaplasmosis in cattle and canine jaundice.
Young ticks have six legs, and mature ticks have eight legs. They vary in size and appearance depending on the species.
But what of a parasite? parasite (plural parasites)
1. (biology) A (generally undesirable) living organism that exists by stealing the resources produced/collected by another living organism.
Lice, fleas, ticks and mites are widely spread parasites.
2. (pejorative) A person who relies on other people's efforts and gives little back (originally a sycophant).
Parasites can remain invisible for only a select amount of time. They prey on the host which begins to add weight their bodies. This invisible rider can hang on for free so long as it remains small and insignificant. But like most parasites, their success is what does them in. They grow to monsterous sizes that threaten to become their own entity; proclaiming to have just as much or more power than their host. The gains from stealing along for the ride become hard to ignore. Success leaves a trail and adds some pounds.
It is easy to realize that success not only attracts parasites but might even be somewhat due to parasites as well. Clearly celebrities are no stranger to these organisms. Even the scandals of the day are somewhat due to parasites. They started out harmless and insignificant; small and non-existent in the host's view. Its always a matter of time before the parasites bleed dry the host once fat with power, glamour and success; casting them aside like an old cicada shedding, split and useless. Perhaps these parasites have robbed us of our financial illusions, rock stars and innocences. And alas, the dog is spent and the tick moves on to the next victim.