Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Walking the dogs, part two...

At the end of part one, I had just removed a chunk of cholla from Mojo's paw...

So we kept walking along the wash. For you poor unfortunates who have never been here: This is a wash. A big cement ditch, to control the water when it rains.

(They are not all cement, actually, some are dirt with scrub brush, and some they call rivers. They are delusional, because these are former rivers, and are now dry river beds. Well, dry 363 days a year, anyway. 364, in leap years.)

Most of the time they are bone dry. But during monsoon season, they can have fast running water in them, and can be dangerous. Last year a man fell into one and his body was carried 15 miles in 4 hours. Kids walk in them and jump their bikes on the slopes, but when it's raining anywhere around, the kids know to stay out of them. The coyotes like them, too. Sometimes when we walk the dogs after dark we see a coyote running along one. (They are necessary because our ground is so hard water doesn't soak in, and during the monsoons the rains are heavy but brief. The yards flood, the streets flood, all that water has to go somewhere. How hard is the ground? If you are planting several trees they recommend renting a jackhammer...)

Behind the kids is the middle school Thor went to for part of a year, until we pulled him out of there because they had really bad ideas, like giving kids detention because they didn't have a pencil or they forgot their homework. Seriously. I know. Crazy. That's why we pulled him out.

The sky, the clouds, the Rincon Mountains, the stupid middle school, some lights, and a couple stunty trees. All the trees here are stunty. That's what you get for living in the desert.

Thor's hair is getting very long. It's very thick and curly too. He is completely uninterested in getting it cut, and is wanting to learn how to braid it. I like it. I wish it was mine.

Tess in the school parking lot. This parking lot is where we taught Mojo how to be off the leash. Mojo is very well behaved, except when Abe goes tearing off or barks like a mad dog. Mojo rarely barked until we got Abe, and he never ran off down the street, until he felt he must follow Abe. Abe is not allowed off the leash when he's not fenced in, because he is not all that well behaved. He's kind of flighty and insane. And annoying and loud. Good thing we love him.

We took 177 photos on Sunday. I downloaded 148 into the computer. We finally got some of the dogs where they don't look like complete gits, or insane. Abe generally looks kinda psycho in photographs, according to my sister.

Git is a new favorite word. I have been watching BBC America quite a lot lately. Plus re-reading some of the Brit Chick Lit I bought in London...

If you look at Thor's body language here you can tell that he doesn't have a lot of control over the beasties...they are pretty much pulling him along. His flip flops are slapping the pavement pretty good. They were pulling extra hard because I was sitting on the sidewalk in front of them, taking photos. They don't like me to get too far away from them. It's a little annoying sometimes, and I have stepped on their heads, their tails, and stuck my foot into Mo's mouth repeatedly because they have to lay right at my feet. They make great foot warmers, something I am sure I will appreciate much more once we move to Alaska.

The Dog Whisperer would be so disappointed in us, because our dogs are always out in front of us, which is the dominant position. Something I really need to work on...

This is a mesquite tree. Those thorns are unpleasant. I know, because Abe dragged me under one just before he stepped on a snake and then got attacked by a pit bull. Abe and I sometimes have very adventurous walks.

This is a soccer ball in a mesquite tree. It has lots of those thorns. I think ithe ball is going to be there for a long time.

This is our street. We are almost home. You can see the rear end of my red Suburban down there. Unfortunately right about the time we got to the second basketball hoop, our neighbor's dog -- a mastiff type who is a little bigger than Mojo -- came busting out of their house and ran up to us.

(The neighbor's dog is really good looking -- I am a complete sucker for muscle breeds like mastiffs and boxers and pits, and this one is that cool dark grey color.)

Did you notice the part where I said "a little bigger than Mojo?" Mojo weighs 100 pounds. He is extremely well muscled, especially in the shoulders and jaw. This dog wasn't as heavily muscled, but he was big.

So of course Mojo and the neighbor dog had to get all bristly and "get out of my yard" and "get away from my pack." Things escalated, and suddenly Mojo had a grip on the other dog's jowl and didn't want to let go.

Today I was watching the Dog Whisperer (I love Cesar!) and he said yelling when dogs are fighting only makes things worse. Uh huh. Okay. Then what am I supposed to do? I am pulling backwards on Mojo and he isn't letting go of the other dog's jowl and we are all yelling and the dogs are growling and snapping and the neighbor came running and yelling. Mojo let go, and the other dog backed off. Mojo really does have strong jaws. I would not want him yanking on my jowls...

Mojo has a couple scrapes under his chin, and I assume the neighbor's dog has a couple scrapes or bites on his face too.

Stupid dogs.

Abe I think just stood there watching the fight. He's not much for fighting -- when he was attacked by the pit bull right after he stepped on the snake (which he had a very healthy respect for -- he didn't want anything to do with it. Surprise! He does have a brain sometimes), he didn't even realize at first the pit bull wasn't playing.

(None of us thought to take any photos, because of all the yelling and barking and growling and stuff...)

Then we went home and had sloppy joes.


  1. Great post.. Thanks Julie. I had read about mesquite but never seen it. Harry is asleep here on the floor next to me. If I move, he will follow. If I am on the couch, I have to be careful not to step on him as he always lies on the floor as close to me as possible..

    I think that It is my turn to try and make us an avatar.. hehehehe

    Veronica was telling me about Sandy's ghosts and that was scary enough for me. I am a real sook when It comes to ghosts and spirits, unless it is tequila hehehe then I am bit of a looony..

    cheers kim..

    p.s Git is a good word.. I like to use Tosser as well.

  2. I'm happy to read that no toddlers were harmed in the writing of this post. But poor Mojo :(

    Thanks for putting up a picture of the mesquite. I've read about it as well and never knew what those thorns really looked like. Nasty.

  3. Hmmm...Tosser...might have to try that one.

    Mojo seems just fine. He gets over stuff really quickly. I on the other hand was kinda weirded out for a couple hours.

    There are lots of plants around here that have big spines and thorns. It's not a very cuddly environment.

  4. Damn. Those thorns look like they would HURT. Glad I live in warm and cuddly (if not a bit frozen) Illinois.

  5. Hey, Lou...I lived in Illinois for a couple years -- Fort Sheridan, near Lake Forest...I don't remember Illinois being all that warm and cuddly this time of year. Of course I also don't remember there being scorpions and tarantulas and rattlesnakes and coyotes and wild pigs either, just squirrels and deer and racoons.

  6. Wow! Those skies are incredible :) And those thorns look scary!

    I need to work on that leash thing too. My dog is a puller...Iwish the dog whisperer would come help me!

  7. I just love your dogs!
    Would not want them to get hurt though!


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