Thursday, May 29, 2014

One Crazy Week

Sorry to have been out of touch for a full week!  Bloggers are supposed to post at least daily, but I've been too tired to get to the computer.

May 21 -- We reached Needles safely.  Na'ilah turns out to be a good traveler for road trips (even when she's not emaciated and terrified, as she was last August 25).

May 22 -- As we passed through Flagstaff, I pulled over to take a photo of the smoke plume from the forest fire between here and Sedona.  It just took a few seconds to snap a couple of photos from the driver's seat window, but suddenly I heard a thrashing noise and realized Na'ilah had taken the opportunity to jump out another open window and chase off, probably after seeing a deer.  

After getting her back in the car, we drove on to Dinosaur Tracks, where I had picked up Na'ilah as a skin-and-bones stray.  Two Navajo women selling jewelry there recognized her and gave her a warm welcome.  We spent the night in Tsegi.

May 23 -- We drove back to Dinosaur Tracks to visit again, then on to Colorado, arriving at 10 pm.  Snow on the ground but dogs were well behaved.

May 24 --  At 7 am I took the dogs out on leashes to relieve themselves.  But Na'ilah took off after a snowshoe rabbit.  I managed to keep the leash in my hand and not lose her, but she pulled me a ways before I sat down in the snow in mud with my foot against a rock to stop her.  We all three sat there and watched the rabbit hop off across the snow.

At 9:30 am I allowed the dogs to be off-leash while I unloaded the car and got ready to drive into Telluride.  I recalled them successfully a couple of times with jerkey treats.  But then I saw Na'ilah way off cross the meadow near a neighbor's house.  I called her, and she turned her head, looking at me.  

"Obedience or marmot?" she must have been thinking.  She then ambled down the hill toward the river, out of my view.

Stormy and I spent the next hour looking for her as I called out her name.  Finally we spotted her and all got in the car to go to Telluride and get the program for the Mountainfilm Festival.

May 25 -- It snowed 4-5 inches, but the dogs were well-behaved.

May 26 --  We took a hike to the foot of Bridal Veil Falls.  Dogs were leashed all the way, or Na'ilah would never have been seen again.  She pulled me up the mountain, actually.  Snow banks by the side of the road and animals under rocks were the main attraction.

May 27 -- I learned that I need to drive back to Los Angeles for a blood test.  I have breast cancer stage 1.  (See my blog on it --  )  The dogs spent most of the day on the front deck with the ramp to the driveway blocked by a children's plastic gate and a deck chair, but Na'ilah escaped a couple of times.  I chased after her and put her in the house for a while each time.

May 28 -- My neighbor told me that there are a lot of porcupines around our area this year.  He's shot three so far, but they keep coming back.  I thank my lucky stars that Na'ilah didn't stick her nose into one yet.  I got out the stake and long wire to hook her on a 30-foot leash.

I walked the dogs by the lake before starting the drive to California.  Some Canadian geese followed us as we walked around the water's edge.  Na'ilah walked forty feet away and watched them sweetly--until they suddenly flapped their wings and lifted off from the water. At that point she tore the leash out of my hand, bounded toward the water, and plunged in.  

We left Trout Lake at 2 pm and visited Na'ilah's friends at Dinosaur Tracks again before driving on to Flagstaff.

May 29 -- The dogs patiently sit in the car while I catch up on my blog.  Then we will drive on toward Los Angeles with no more adventures--please!  However, we will turn around and drive back on May 30 and 31 after my blood test.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Return to Dinosaur Tracks

Today Na'ilah, Stormy, and I start the drive back to Arizona, where I found Na'ilah by the side of the road, and on to Colorado, where we will stay for four weeks.

My goal tonight is just to get to Needles, CA, during the cool evening and to leave in the early morning before it gets hot.

Will Na'ilah recognize the place where she was abandoned--Dinosaur Tracks, Arizona, near Tuba City?  (See first post on this blog, August 25, 2013.)

Will the dogs be good travelers?

Will Na'ilah get into trouble in Colorado with porcupines or skunks?

Stay tuned.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Canine Good Citizen!

Na'ilah passed her C.G.C. test today.  She's officially a canine good citizen.

Clearly the American Kennel Club did not run a background check on her.

Her criminal record apparently has no bearing on whether she's worthy of this award.
What she had to do was:
1) Accept a friendly stranger.
2) Sit politely for petting.
3) Allow a stranger to groom her and examine her feet and ears.
4) Walk politely on a leash next to her owner.
5) Walk through a crowd without trying to sniff or interact with strangers.
6) Obey the commands "Sit" and "Down" and "Stay" (while owner walks away a short distance).
7) Come when called.
8) Ignore another dog when being walked and when two owners shake hands.
9) Ignore a couple of distractions such as a jogger or wheelchair passing by.
10) Sit quietly with a stranger while the owner disappears for three minutes.

Na'ilah did all these things--no problem.  She passed with flying colors.  

For the various distractions, she was unflappable.

When you've survived on your own in the Arizona desert for a week or two, been adopted and moved to Los Angeles, and received chemo and radiation for cancer, I guess cooperating through this little test is not a big deal.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Therapod Tracks

Those dinosaur tracks near Moenave, Arizona, (close to Tuba City) were made by therapods.

Go to Cory Richards on Instagram to see similar tracks he photographed:

Here's his description of where he found them and when the therapods lived:

Theropod tracks, up to 17 inches long, cross the sandstone of Flag Point near Kanab, UT. They’re relics of an era that predates the Late Cretaceous, (likely Lower Jurassic), by 100 million yrs. Dinosaurs ruled the American West for a very very long time. This image was taken on assignment for @natgeo profiling the work being done piecing together the history of a landmass that existed roughly during the Late Cretaceous (100.5 to 66 million years ago. Exciting new paleontology is being done every season in the remote Escalante Grand Staircase National Monument, pulling species new to science from the badlands so frequently it seems that aforementioned landmass, Laramidia, was a veritable dinosaur factory. The article profiling the exhaustive work being done is in the May ’14@natgeo

The photo shows tracks with a sprinkling of snow atop a mesa against a setting sun.  Spectacular!

Check out the May 2014 National Geographic Magazine to see more.