Hi, Everybody -
Time to move on. For one thing, the wind here is off the charts. It doesn’t bother Roo too much until the sun goes down and the darkness changes the way she senses the world. One minute she’s running around like a maniac - the next, when that switch in her mind is flipped and something in her brain is electrified, her tail goes down and she starts looking over her shoulder. And with the wind around here clanging and banging gates and windows and sending palm stalks and cardboard boxes and garbage cans flying around, let alone what I can’t hear and she can with those sensitive ears, Roo prefers her den under the bed. I can’t take the wind, either. After feeling better for a while, whatever I had is back, and the wind blasting in my ears when we go on her walks seems to make me more ill.
Rooki isn’t miserable at night. She comes out from under the bed several times, all smiley and stretchy. She has a drink of water and hangs out, picks up a bear to play a little, though she’s too tired for more than a few catches. If she thinks I need a reminder about her bedtime cookies and jerky she’ll come out and stare at me to see if she can detect any reason I might not be serving her. But, after ten or fifteen minutes, she will look up at the ceiling and see something she doesn’t trust. A dark spot or shadow or reflected light will send her back to her den. And why not? She likes it there. She has a thick, roomy quilt to lie on and plenty of headroom. It’s ideal for her. I’d like to replicate it for her wherever we go with a crate of some kind, something portable. Or a more permanent place, though I don’t think that’s going to happen, for a while, anyway. I don’t know where to go.
The only thing that has me a little worried is that Roo refuses to go outside at night any more. All it takes to put her most serious look on her face is a suggestion that we go outside. No interest. I think it’s because we’ve only been places where it’s so dark at night. Headlight beams making shadows through leaves on walls and dark corners to frighten her. In Los Angeles, were there were streetlights, she enjoyed going out at night. I hope it’s as simple as that.
We have to get back to the States for a week or two, anyway. See a doctor, take care of taxes, trade the little car in on something that can hack rocky roads, pick up a folding bicycle I have in storage so that I can put a dent into the three hours of walking every day. I’ll never get well if I keep it up. I can’t keep up with a young dog who is getting healthier and stronger every day. It’s a major concern. Something I think about all the time.
We’ll be driving north from San Carlos through Hermosillo and Santa Ana, then northeast to Naco. It sounds like the government is going to be adding to unemployment by furloughing tons of government workers for this stupid sequester. I just saw a piece online about how the town of Nogales, where we crossed into Mexico, is bracing for a business disaster as the border - and trade - becomes impossible. Naco is a sleepier crossing. Hopefully less of a wait.
That crossing also has a big advantage for the Kahoogi. If only she knew.
* * *
At a nearby bay there’s a little guard shack where a fisherman who has a little black puppy lives. The puppy’s name is Choo, rhymes with Roo. He’s a sweet (goes without saying, doesn’t it?) little black puppy of about four months. His dad, who doesn’t have much, takes good care of him. Choo lives in half an oil can that has an opening snipped out and a thick foam floor. Not a bad improvised doghouse, and there’s even a piece of fiberglass positioned to keep the wind out. Choo is a happy and loved little boy.
Choo, nonetheless, is at that age where his confidence and curiosity are developing. Choo is getting big ideas. Tonight, when Choo’s owner was absent from the shack and we happened to be passing, Choo puppy-stumbled on the great idea to follow us… all the way home. I couldn’t get him to go back. He was having the time of his life. What should I have done? There was no one to leave him with or any way to make him stay. He was a determined little guy. There was the problem of streets to cross, and though Choo will probably learn to become car wise, like many Mexican dogs, he’s still a puppy. Miss Kahoo is likewise not to be trusted anywhere near traffic, so she was staying on her leash. This meant picking this heavy little boy up and carrying him. He’s still young enough that when carried he slumps as if he’s being picked up by his mom, and his little puppy chin rested on the hand that held his chest.
Choo is well fed, but, like all puppies, he’s generally hungry. He’s also a vocal little boy, and as we walked - it was sunset and people were cooking - every time he caught a whiff of beef cooking, he whimpered and groaned. This gave me the idea to interest him in staying at his own place by feeding him there and leaving while he was eating. When we got to the shack, his dad was waiting for him. We all know the feeling of a dog gone longer than he should have been. That’s the same anywhere in the world. Dogs as one form of universal language.
All Choo cared about was the bag of beef he scored.
* * *
FINALLY. LOOKING BEFORE SHE LEAPS.
Roo caught in the act of seriously considering a 10-foot leap onto loose rocks. Fortunately, she decided against it and clambered down. As recently as November, she was not an experienced enough pilot to know better, and she still makes some injudicious take-offs. As she gets heavier and more experienced, though, she’s taking her flying - and her landings - more seriously.