Puppies, the big shaggy blonde wolf shepard died in her sleep last night. We saw her on Saturday night tucked into a red wagon because her back legs barely worked. So we all knew the time had come, but it still doesn't stop the sniffles.
Mike and laura had her for over 10 years, they were her 4th owners so the dumb name of "Puppies" stuck. She was Darwin's new mum. Darwin loved her and would jump all over her and lick her face and mouth like pups do with their mum's hoping for a tasty warm morsel. She tolerated it wonderfully, except toward the end she was getting frail and couldn't really withstand such enthusiasm.
She was one of the prettiest dogs I've ever seen, and very gentle. Other dogs always seemed to lose their aggression around her, whether it was her size or she was one step closer to the wild than they and knew she could fit their head inside her jaws.
I'm glad we got to spent lots of time with her, she had and great life and helped make ours pretty good too.
Watched 'Gods And Monsters'. ...finally. It was only released in 1998. Ian McKellen, is awesome, of course. Amazing facial and body language..sigh..... uber crush is me. Brendan Fraser was pretty good too for a young, strong, build, virile guy.
Work has been busy, interesting and long. Managed to drive the Mobile into a ditch while pulling into the carpark and having to get blokes with their monster trucks pull us out while 20 pet owners watched feeling mighty confident of leaving their treasured darlings in our hands. Its 30+ foot long, horrible visibility and turns like a cow...ok.
There was one guy with a pistol on his hip. Now I feel like I'm in America. There are plenty of signs going into shops saying "Check Your Weapons", but this was the first time I've seen someone packing.
Today was Howl-O- Ween. a fund raiser with stalls, dog costume competition and raffles. I was actually working on it, but it was mostly sitting around taking pictures of the funny looking pooches.
Not a bad way to spend a couple of hours on a Saturday arvo. Darwin hung out with me and managed to keep her Bat hat on for hours and mooch around.
There can be only one winner (I'll give ya a hint, it wasn't dufus dawg).
A pleasant walk came to a pointy end this afternoon. Was Darwin's and my first time seeing a Porcupine. I wanted to stay and check it out but then I saw Darwin's Hellraiser impersonation. I thought about taking a photo but worried about being thought cruel and heartless at the expense of my dog... She was really good about the whole thing, more annoyed than distressed about having quills in her tongue. Good thing I work for a vets, get to queue jump and assist. Good old fashioned Vinegar is the cure, it softens the quills up for easier extraction. That and some mild sleepy drugs did the trick. Now she is jumping about irked she didn't get her walk. Ahh the resilience of the young.
Jeez, she was NO where near as bad as this dog. She only had about 50 quills not 1000. ACK
This week saw the super dooper Mobile Vet Team in Peach Springs on the Hualapai Rez, Leupp on the Navajo Rez and Payson. Yesterdays little jaunt to Payson ended up being a 17 hour day and a minor cluster. It's a two and a half hour trip south through some very pretty winding mountain roads. I usually drive the Vet Mobile with S another tech (she can't drive for another 2 months due to suspended license) and the vet M and the other tech A take the support car. Well we got there a little after 8am we started dealing with the appointments. Usually we do 6-10 surgeries in the morning then a walk up Vaccination Clinic in the arvo. This day was just surgery with 20 animals to do. M turns up later telling us that A has been arrested and hauled off by the cops an hour or so up the road. She was speeding, then license problems...anyway she was handcuffed and taken. So we were a tech down for the first few hours but just had to manage. The shelter sent someone else to help out which was great but a long way to come. The mobile is a converted RV, it has two tables, sinks and cages. it means alot of bending, crawling and edging around stuff and each other. We are working out a system of doing things that reduces complications. M also likes music so I brought along a CD player and some music. The Cat Empire is a big hit, need to get thier new album, only have the two. We didn't finish till 5 and nobody had eaten or really even took a break. We needed to eat and rest before the long drive back. M called the cops to ask about A and was told they had released her. We knew she had no cash and a dead phone and a long way from home. She managed to phone M and tell her she was waiting on the highway we would drive back on so could we pick her up. No worries. Except we missed the turn off in the dark and ended up in Winslow which is hours away from her but only 45 minutes away from Flagstaff. I thought we were going in the wrong way but I was driving by myself and thought maybe A had gotten back into contact and all was fine....no she was still waiting and by this time it was 9pm. M called the police again and asked if they could find her and tell her what happened. I was ready to drive back down with M to find her but she said her husband would go with her instead. So I got home at 10:30pm and god know when they did. I will ring later and find out how everyone is. Crazy Days as a pet poker.
This is the view from the Mobile at Leupp. We had a few friendly dogs adopt us for the day. This guy just hung out and a Mum and her Pup wander through for a while as well. We patted them and fed them snacks...they know a soft touch. Also bought some yummy Fry Bread. A plate sized warm fried bread smothered in icing sugar, honey and cinnomann...good stuff.
Rob left for Kansas City last Sunday and comes back tonight. He has been working like a navvie aswell the last few weeks to get everything done for the Beta test, and it sounds like its paid off.
I forgot to mention last week all our stuff turned up....its like Christmas only with old things we have no room for. I have all these clothes now, and having the music here is very nice.
Its been a busy, interesting week and looks to continue that way. Got back from our Utah road trip and been working a whole bunch. The Mobile Vet Van started again this week after a long break because they didn't have a extra Vet to go out. Now we have one its all go. On Tuesday we went to Tuba City, which is the capital of the Navajo Nation. Its a bit over a hour away but runs on day light saving, while the rest of Arizona doesn't. So in order to be there before 8am (their time) we had to leave by 5:30 in the AM (our time)...and didn't get home till 7pm.
I've only done three days so far but its pretty good. Very long days though. The closest site we go to is an hour away and the furthest is 2 and a half hours each way. There is one vet and three techs, we do de-sexing surgery in the mornings and vaccination clinic in the afternoon. I never had to think about Rabies so much before. I'm sooo glad Australia does not have it. A Rabies Wombat would be a scary thing. So for three days every week we go out to a new town, and cycle back through every 6 weeks or so. I found getting up at 4 am not that bad but its getting cold, there was ice in the dog's water bowl this morning. I'm not looking forward to driving the huge vet Clinic in the snow.
Rob left for Kansas City, Missouri today for a week. He is the Tech Head for a BETA test, so he has been flat out getting ready for that. The week after that he goes to South Carolina. Hope he brings me something pretty....
The sheer amount of Halloween stuff here is boggling. So many costumes, food, decor, bottles of fake blood, gravestones and pumpkins. I did my bit and bought Darwin a costume. She was not happy despite how much I told her how cute it looked.
On the weekend we took a quick but long road trip up to Teasdale, Utah. Rob had recently got in touch with a old Uni friend. 14 years between drinks but who is counting?. He invited us to his and his girlfriend's housewarming party. Having no idea where this place was we consulted the all knowing oracle... According the Google Earth the most direct way was via dirt roads but would take us 9 hours. Yahoo said 6 hours. We scoffed..9 hours on a dirt road ahhhhaaaaa...how bad could it be? The way nOrmAl people take is a the highway which has to divert around all the canyons and cliffs, which seem to stretch out all along that part of the state. Southern Utah has way more than enough landscape and geography. Its everywhere. No wonder Australia is so flat, Utah stole its share and totally flaunts it.
The short cut was through the Glen Canyon Recreation area. We followed the signs and the road was good. Then we got to a fork. One way was a 16 mile divert which met up with the main road and was 4WD only, very rugged 'Abandon All Hope'. The main stretch recommended high clearance 4wd but sounded easier. We meant to go that way.
The road started out ok then became a river bed. Parts of it were nice and flat and easy. Parts of it weren't. Rob's elite driving skillz got us through some pretty rough patches. Our car is AWD, and it did great but it's not designed for that kind of terrain.
The road riverbed towhothehellknows
It was a very pretty and totally isolated. It the end we turned back despite trying to build sections of the road. Its amazing what you can talk yourself into...'it might get better around the bend', ' it looks clear up there', 'just one more mile'. We finally turned around deciding that breaking the car and getting stuck out there probably wasn't the best idea. We did have a day or two supply of meat, beer, snacks, dog food but no phone coverage.
We shall never speak of the shortcut again
Poor Darwin was so patient and good. She only threw up once and never tried to eat our face for putting her through all that. We got back to the sign and realised we took the Doom Road not the Less Than Doom Road....sigh.
That little side trip put 3 hours onto the time and we motored up the highway getting to the house about 9pm. They fed, beered us and offered us the spare room. It was freezing and I'm so very glad we didn't have to pitch the tent. I'm glad after driving 11 hours they were very nice and welcoming, and didn't try to offer Rob a few extra wives. Everyone was friendly and all seem to work for the various National Parks in the area.
The next morning was a relaxing sunny pancake eating time and then had to drive all the way back via a hike down to a waterfall, and lunch on a canyon rim.
A 850 mile or 1370km jaunt to the rest of the world metric users. Do it again?...hell yeah! Though next time maybe in three days.