I thought I’d covered all of the bases on desert hazards for dogs but then I discovered yet another — volcanic rock. Doesn’t sound like a big deal to you maybe, but it does a number on a dog’s pads after a few miles. In fact, at least in my case, it wears the surface right off making it extremely painful to walk on anything but a nice smooth surface. Luckily, I have very caring people, who bought me some boots to get around in until things were less sensitive. It was a bit embarrassing walking around camp and having people pointing and saying, “Oh, look at the doggie in the cute little boots!” But it was worth it. I seem to be mostly okay now, although rough surfaces are still cause for a bit of tenderness.
After a week in Tucson we spent a couple of days next to a lake in the far south of Arizona, Patagonia. Sandy soil, a lake to swim in, and grassy hills mostly without cactus, dog heaven! Well, almost. Dog heaven was actually the next stop just a few miles up the road near Sonoita at Xanadu Ranch. I felt like we’d come home — pastures, horses, wide open spaces — it was a sight for a travel-weary dog’s sore eyes. And then it got better. Owners Karen and Bernie came out to meet us in the driveway as we drove in. Chico and I didn’t get out right away, but the windows were down so we could hear the conversation. When Sa asked about rules for dogs, Karen said to make sure they didn’t put us on a leash or tie us up. That was the best dog rule of the whole trip!!
We spent three days at Xanadu and I made myself a nice spot underneath the horse trailer, just like I do at home. Chico and I played frisbee in the horse pastures, Sa & Nollind took us for long walks up the road. We even walked to a tack shop one day about a mile from the ranch. If the weather had been better we might have stayed longer but a storm rolled in, bringing first wind, then rain, and finally snow. That’s what can happen at 5,000 feet in Arizona. We pulled out in the blowing snow, heading for Tombstone.
In Tombstone we got to walk down the main street past the famous O.K. Corral. Seems odd that such a fuss is made about a bunch of cowboys killing another bunch of cowboys but humans are a strange lot. We dogs just go along with it and try to enjoy ourselves.
Yesterday we left Bisbee, the farthest point south we’ve travelled on this trip, and drove all day heading north. I hear we’re going home! Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve had a good time, but I am a bit of a homebody and I’m looking forward to my farm, my bed, my doggie friends across the road, and leashes that hang on a hook in the porch. Oh, and friendlier plants.