Archive for May, 2011

But She’s Not Broken

May 22nd, 2011

This is serious business

She knows something's up

I’m not looking forward to altering my dog. Unfortunately, spay day is fast approaching. Sigh.

*the spay link is graphic… pictures of innards.

I know it’s against the grain and might ruffle a few feathers, but in general, I am not for “fixing” dogs. At least not mine.

I have always felt that it is our responsibility, as her owners, to make sure that she doesn’t get a chance to become “with puppies”. I’m not saying it’s not the boy dog’s owners responsibility too, because it totally is, but first and foremost, it’s ours. And really, it’s pretty darn easy to prevent. Dogs come into season on a (mostly) regular schedule. In general, they start bleeding least a week before they will accept a male. At that moment, you slap on the diapers and put the pup in 24/7 lock down for the next month. Completely doable. Been there, done that. Heck, Rain’s first estrus happened while we were at the slabs, a place notorious for roaming males and unplanned pregnancies.

On the verge of being obsessed

Not interested in growing up

We started discussing the pro and cons almost immediately after she came into our lives. We researched and talked about the increased risk of cancer (osteosarcoma, hemangiosarcoma, etc.), incontinence, weight gain, possible mood changes, and surgery complications if we do modify her. The pros are mostly obvious. It would mean less stress for us, a lower chance of breast cancer, no chance of her dying from pyometra (an infection of the uterus), and of course a 0% chance of an unwanted litter.

In addition, Rain requires more run around outside time than my previous dogs who were quite happy chilling and snoozing until it was time to go hunting. It feels cruel keeping her on lock down for the length of time needed to guarantee 100% that there wont be any pups. This reason has more weight than almost all of the others. What good is a long life if she has to spend 1/6 of it on restriction?

We had decided, when she was about two months old, to wait until she had had her first reproductive cycle and was a year old to spay her. It seemed to be the best way to negate the negative effects. But, now that time is here, and I am not happy about it.

We Are Still Floridians

May 20th, 2011

Highlands Hammock, FL

Highlands Hammock State Park

I posted the following in response to the comments I received on My You’ve Got Mail post. I decided to make a post out of it, in addition to the comment, as it will most likely get lost otherwise.

Wow! Seems like, if you are going to get a South Dakota address, MyDakotaAddress is the way to go. Not a negative review in the bunch. Thanks to everyone for your feedback.

After running all of the numbers, we have decided to remain Florida residents. For us, it all boils down to the points noted below. We calculated the following figures using American Home Base as our Florida address and MyDakotaAddress as the South Dakota address.

  • It turns out that our $1000ish a year auto/camper (Florida) insurance would only be reduced by about $80 a year in SD. Not the 1/2 price reduction everyone else experienced

  • Our registration would go down significantly. It is currently $185/yr in Florida. It would be $75/year in South Dakota.

  • We would have to find a new health insurance provider. Humana doesn’t do business in Madison, SD. None of the comparable plans that with providers that do service in that area were any cheaper than our current ones.

  • Our mail service, while HIGHLY recommended, would cost us $36 more per year.

  • We would have to travel to Madision, SD sometime within the next year.

So as of right now, the $230 savings are not worth the hassle nor the 1400 mile trip from our current location to Madison. If/when we do pass through South Dakota, we will most likely make the move.

Thanks again to everyone for your input. I am sure this post will be helpful to others in the future as they contemplate making the same choices.

Schnebly Hill Trail

May 19th, 2011

Schnebly Hill Trail - Sedona, AZ

The Cow Pie Vortex

This is a great trail with spectacular views of Red Rock Country and downtown Sedona, Arizona. Horses, mountain bikes, and dogs are allowed on this trail.

Schnebly Hill Trail - Sedona, AZ

The trail up on the mesa

If you start at the trail head, you will need a Red Rock Pass to park there. I also suggest starting early in the morning. That way, the Mogollon rim will shield you from the sun as you walk the first 1.25 miles from the trail head. The rim provided shade until 10am or 11am on the day we were there.

If you take the trail head near the overlook on Schnebly Hill Road, it is 3.1 miles one-way. We didn’t. We traveled cross country from our campsite on top of the plateau. So instead of climbing up to the top of the plateau via the trail, we walked along the rim above the trail and got on the trail at the 1.25 mile mark. This is where the trail enters shade. There is also a rock retaining wall there. It was built to keep the old wagon trail, that the trail is based on, intact and level.

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