|From Reid at Random|
As I mentioned in my previous entry, Pepper was groomed this week. She had been shedding clumps of black fur all over the place; more important, all that fur can't have been comfortable for her in all this 100-degree-plus heat. So I took her to PetSmart on Tuesday for the "Furminator" treatment. Most of her undercoat is gone, her coat is soft and shiny, and she has hardly been shedding at all. She also acquired a bandanna that actually looked semi-decent, before shedding it in the back yard.
It was suggested to me the other day that the problem of taking the dogs out in the Arizona heat might be solved by taking them out early in the morning. I try never to be conscious that time of day, if I can help it; but nevertheless I tried it on Thursday morning.
By 8 AM(?) we were at Miko's Corner. Even at that time, things were heating up. Most of the humans were congregated at the picnic tables under the ramada roof. Even the dogs tended to be in the shade, and did very little running around. All in all, it was no improvement.
There was a definite advantage, though, when we left the dog park itself for the wider romping grounds of Reid Park. The dogs and I finally got to see the critters that have dug so many holes in the ground outside the rose garden. I had thoughts of gophers, or possibly something even more exotic, but the truth was more prosaic. The morning shift at Reid Park featured lots and lots of rock squirrels, the Arizona equivalent of the common gray squirrel. They were popping in and out of holes, some of them freshly dug, peeping and peering warily at the dogs.
And the dogs were peering right back, making noises of their own! I have never felt them tug on the leashes quite this hard. But no, I didn't let go!
**Update: after posting this I went to Steven's newest F and FF entry, and learned that his beloved cat Pickle will probably be put to sleep on Monday at the end of a long illness. Let me take this opportunity to extend my sympathies to Steven in this difficult time. Exactly a year ago, we took our dog Tuffy Toro to the vet for the last time, and felt the gamut of guilt and grief and relief as her evident suffering came to an end. The next day, we adopted a dog called "Ireland," who was soon renamed Cayenne - not a replacement, but a new friend. Tuffy and Cayenne are very different dogs. This isn't necessarily the right answer for everyone who loses a pet, but for us it was. **