Under the San Francisco Peaks

June 18th, 2011

Rain enjoying her new big dog disc

Loving the B-day Disc

I really liked Flagstaff. It is a quaint little town, as little as a town of 60,000 can be, nestled in the Coconino National Forest. Amazingly enough, this desert forest actually has trees! Route 66 and the old Santa Fe Railway run through the middle of the city. Everyone there seemed super laid back and friendly. Granted, most of the people we talked to were seasonal.
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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.

The Big Room

April 15th, 2011

topless_cave

Strange day today. It’s our first day back in the desert after a nice week in the mountains around Prescott. Rain and I went out for a walk this morning and stumbled into a cave.

By stumbled, I mean we were well inside of it before we even realized we were caving. We were just walking along a wash, minding our own business when a room full of formations jumped out and nearly tripped me.

As near as I can tell, we’re camped on top of an ancient cave system, whose roof has eroded and collapsed, leaving the entire cave open to the sky. You can still see many formations and someone has been spending their spare time putting the pieces together… literally.

exposed_stalags

Broken pieces of stalagmites have been stacked together in what might initially look like random rock stacking. Upon closer inspection though, it is easy to see that these ‘stacks’ are in fact a reconstruction.

The entire area seems like a geologist’s playground. I think we’ll do some more exploring tomorrow.

Growing Up Is No Fun

February 28th, 2011

Poor little Rain Dog. The last twelve days haven’t been much fun at all. Just when the slabber dogs were starting to warm up to her and realize that playing all of the time isn’t so bad, this has to happen and she gets put on lock down. On the plus side, she has been getting longer and more frequent walks. And, she still gets to run with Blue since he hasn’t quite figured out that he’s a boy and she’s girl. It’s about half way over, baby girl. Then you wont have to sport anymore of my homemade diapers ever again.

Growing up is hard
Poor Rain

Poor Puppy

January 15th, 2011

It turns out that Rain doesn’t remember much about the desert from her infant days. Or really, that she never learned much about it and certainly not about the Arizona desert. Last night she got to play with some other dogs out here at Quartzsite and came back bloody and battered.

It looks like she ran right into a Cholla cactus. Those are the real nasty little guys that have way more tiny spines than nature should allow all going in different directions. It started out on one paw, but as she tried to get it off, it ended up in her tongue, gums and the roof of her mouth!

Now picture one scared, hurt puppy lying in Jenn’s lap while about eight people crowded around holding flashlights, pliers, dog parts and other implements of destruction. The extraction process must have taken fifteen minutes even with two to three people pulling spines at once. Despite all of this, Rain lay relatively calmly and let us work on her as long as the body part being worked on was held firmly to prevent her jerking away as a spine was pulled.

Of course, afterwards, she didn’t want to run in the desert for a bit. In fact, she didn’t want to touch the ground and went from person to person via lap. Today though, she’s all fired up and ready to conquer the world again.

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