High Maintenance Mutt

I know I’ve not been the easiest dog to live with—anxieties, fussy eating habits, a fierce independent streak, and a bad leg—but now, I hate to admit it, I’ve officially become high maintenance. And, although I appreciate everything they do, I’m starting to feel a bit awkward about Teresa & Nollind planning the trip around me and my needs.


A low-maintenance moment.


They’ve always been play-it-by-ear, go-where-the-road-takes-us kind of travellers … until this year. This year, every move we make has to be considered as follows:

  1. Is there room and ability to put out a ten-foot ramp? A camp spot on a slope, a camp spot with a bush in front of it, or a camp spot in a parking lot or RV park are just not options this year.


    Room for my ramp. Check.

  2. Is there reasonable footing for me to walk on? I’ve always had issues with the rocky ground in parts of the desert but, until this year, they just put boots on me. Now, with my mobility issues, the boots add just enough weight and awkwardness to tire my arthritic leg more quickly.


    Plomosa Road north of Quartzsite where we stayed just two nights. Quiet, plenty of space, but too many rocks for this old dog.

  3. Is there a vet nearby? I have intravenous injections every couple of weeks so we can’t wander too far from an available veterinarian. Although, I’d be quite happy to give up the regular stab in the neck.


    My vet in Blythe, California,just a short drive from Quartzsite.

  4. Is it somewhere we can stay long term? My drugs are a huge help on moving days, but travel still takes it out of me. Teresa referred to me as a “noodle” after our latest travel day. Noodle… not something I aspire to.


    After our latest travel day. I guess I kind of see the “noodle” thing.

  5. Is the temperature moderate? My black coat has always been an issue on hot, sunny days, but, as I get older, I have less and less ability to deal with temperature extremes. I wilt in the heat and shiver as soon as it’s a bit cool.
  6. Can I be off leash? I’m very good about staying in camp and I love to just lie on the mat or under the trailer but, in some places, it’s just not allowed. Other places, people and their dogs are too close and I’m constantly inclined to wander over and visit. And I’ve just never done very well with being tied. There’s that fiercely independent thing.


    Enjoying my off-leash freedom at Plomosa Road.

Number six is part of the reason we’ve come here to Wickenburg for a couple of weeks. During the last half of January, Quartzsite fills with RVers. There are always a bunch of flea markets around Quartzsite, but during the last half of January are the rock & gem shows, a swap meet they call Sell-A-Rama, and a huge RV show. The town, the RV parks, and even the desert fills with people. The area at Dome Rock where we’d been staying had rigs rolling in every day.

So, here we are, camped on State Trust Land near Vulture Peak. We’ve been here before, and it’s a favourite for walking and, last year, became a favourite for riding. There are trails and mining roads all over the backcountry.


Home for the next couple of weeks.


I won’t be exploring very far afield this year, but that’s okay, there are plenty of sandy trails near the trailer that have easy terrain for me. And this area has a lot more wildlife than Quartzsite so many interesting things to see and smell along the trails. We even hear coyotes singing at night sometimes.


Sandy wash walk near our Wickenburg camp.


As for being high maintenance, I guess I’ll just have to get used to the idea and be thankful I have people who are willing to accommodate the new me. I have to admit, they don’t seem to be suffering.


The faces of suffering? I don’t think so.





Writer’s Block

11-chico-halfdogI think that’s what you call this … writer’s block. Merriam-Webster says that writer’s block is “a psychological inhibition preventing a writer from proceeding with a piece.” That sounds about right.

I spent all day yesterday trying to figure out what to write. Logan’s got it easy these days. Every couple of weeks he’s got at least one new ailment or condition to tell you about. Okay, maybe easy isn’t exactly the right word for what he’s got going on, but he’s definitely got things to write about.

I thought of writing about the arrival of winter, but that sounds a lot like what I wrote last time when I talked about having four seasons in one. But, just to update you, the cat house (aka Meowi) has been plugged in which signals the official start of winter on the farm.11-chico-meowi2

And then I considered writing about how I’ve been spending a lot of time hanging out near Logan, supporting him … but then this thing happened yesterday. I got a little rambunctious at the beginning of our walk in the afternoon and knocked him right off his feet when I ran into him. Oops. I went down too if it’s any consolation.11-chico-deckdogs

I also thought it might be time to start talking about our upcoming journey to the desert. Things are a little up in the air because of Logan’s health, but we’re planning to head out with Sid in tow in the middle of December. (I hope. I hope.) But that can wait. It’s still weeks away.

My dog park tales might have made a good blog post, but there just wasn’t enough to tell you about my two trips to the park. I met a few dogs, had some great play sessions, tired myself out to the point I was having trouble keeping my hind end upright but, other than that, not much to tell. Oh, and I just love small dogs.11-chico-dogpark

I could have told you about Logan’s great new bed they made for him right in the middle of the house. It’s near the heater, it has multiple layers, and it is just the comfiest thing on the planet. It’s awesome. He gets to sleep on it all night so I figure I should be able to spend some of the day there. Now that he’s feeling better, T and Nollind are less inclined to boot me off.11-chico-logansbed

It’s not much of a story, but I went along on Logan’s latest trip to the vet, and afterward, we ran some errands in Strathmore. I’m really happy for Logan that he’s travelling better, but his getting comfortable in the car seems to be taking up a lot more space than when he was nervous and wouldn’t lie down.11-chico-car

And then I considered writing a post on my recent role as trail dog when T took Storm out for a field ride. It is a super-important job and I think I did pretty well. It turned out there weren’t any partridges or deer to flush out, but, if there had been, I was on it. Don’t want them spooking the horse when he’s right on top of them. Although I have to confess, I did get distracted once and ended up being just the thing that spooked Storm when I came bolting out of the deep grass. I’ll do better next time.11-chico-horseride

So, here I am, still stuck. Maybe I’ll think of something to tell you about in a couple of weeks.

Foto Fur-iday – Triple H Camping

We had our second horse/human/hound (Triple H) camping trip of the season last Sunday-Monday. We’ll let the pictures tell the story.


Aaaahhhh … feels good to be back in the mountains.


Why lie on a man-made bed when you’ve got mountain turf?


Campfire time on Sunday night.


Logan likes the ground, I prefer to be more civilized.


The horses were almost right in camp with us for the evening. For you horse people out there, don’t worry, they weren’t left unattended with that hay net.


A chilly Monday morning in the trailer.


Forest fire smoke kept the sun from heating things up.


What happens when horses are fed leftover oatmeal from the pot.


This is Storm. Watch for his upcoming guest blog post.


Ice cream on the way home at Bragg Creek.



Me trying to get my share. It’s not easy with Chico around.


Until next week …