Friday, March 30, 2012

Desert update with Big Red

Yes, the desert agrees with Easton. We have a new feeding routine and a wonderful new kibble (Natural Balance Alpha Dog) that is blended with his regular NB Venison and sweet potato canned food. Combined with big, off-leash romps every day and plenty of brushing really makes him glow. About the only thing I don't indulge is his desire to have you throw every rock he picks up along our walks. Needless to say, there is a never ending supply of racket ball sized rocks here in the Sonoran Desert for Easton to carry around. Don't worry, he has such a soft mouth there is no problem with him chipping his teeth. His previously injured leg is doing so well, I just don't want to take a chance his exuberance gets the best of him. He is very play obsessed, so I try to drain his energy with walks and wrestling matches. He has really loosened up over the past year. Not bad for a nine year old, 95lb Golden. Here are some recent pictures. Sorry about the shadows, but I could not resist that face and the blooming cactus.

Monday, March 26, 2012

AU Jenga Dog

Amazing - one of KT's Goldens, Sunny, could balance treats on his nose for a minute or two. Sunny and I never ascended to the heights you'll see below. Remember, the dog in this video is not being harmed in any way. I can't believe some of the comments on YouTube about this video. Goldens live to please their peeps and to show-off.....nothing makes them happier.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Todd Toy Caper

Don't you just hate it when you "toy-nap" the wrong toy? Our friend Toby at Golden Pines has been complaining about all the annoying noises coming from a variety of toys in the mouth of the ever zealous Todd the Scottish Terrier. Easton was dispatched to toy-nap the offending item, but Mapquest sent him to the wrong farmhouse in Virginia! He brought back a red, squeaky ball and thinking it was Todd's, held it in captivity until Toby got around to sniffing his pee mail at the big oak tree message kiosk to confirm the job was done. Even though a ransom of yummy dog biscuits was paid, Easton is feeling sad (but full of biscuits) that someone ELSE actually toy-napped a quiet, red, puzzle ball belonging to Todd.

K9 toy-napping guide
Noisy balls - OK
Puzzle balls - off limits.

Easton would like to offer up a toy to Todd as a gift to soothe the temporary loss of "red puzzle ball". This toy was handed down to Easton from a Labby friend named Sadie, whose Mom thought Easton was just the most awesome Golden and deserved this fun (but odd looking) toy. Editor's note: as odd as this toy looks, the sound it emits when squeezed will make the hair on the back or your neck stand at attention!

The best description we've heard is: "cow-hippo-worm", along with "weird", "annoying" and "get this GD thing outa here". Legs, arms and other nubs have been nom-nomed off by Easton. So now it's a "custom toy" (it's value has sky-rocketed).

Dear Toby, our most humble apologies. We're thinking you'll still be spending time with your paws over your ears.

I need to learn how to read a compass....BOL

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The long way home

Bell Rock as we started our hike

When Easton and I set off on our day hike, my intention was to walk from the parking area to where the Bell Rock Trail meets the Bell Rock Pathway. Once there, we only need to climb a few hundred feet up Bell Rock to have a spectacular view to the west, take some pictures and do what we came to do; leave a few of Lady's ashes behind. Mission accomplished on this lovely day in Northern Arizona. About 68 degrees, high clouds and no wind.

Looking west from Bell Rock to Sedona

I did not look at the handy, dandy map at the trailhead, because I planned on coming back the way we came. It was such a lovely day, Easton was having a good time, so thinking the Courthouse loop went between the two mountains; "heck, that's not that much farther at all". Not until we were well under way on the loop did I realize this was going to be a long hike. We had water and Easton was as enthusiastic as I've ever seen him - full speed ahead. 3 hours later we were at the car and tuckered out. Easton did great, leading the way on the narrow path around Courthouse Butte. He relished this assignment and was gung-ho the entire hike. Here are a few pictures from our adventure around Courthouse Butte (including a back-country avalanche):

Courthouse Butte - Bell Rock as we started the loop

Courthouse Butte

Dry Beaver creek bed

Needle, name unknown

Bell Rock from the north side

Ouch, Easton decided he needed to taste a Prickly Pear.
Not a good idea, his tongue bled a little. Never even phased him.

This back-country avalanche (OK - a "rock slide") sounded like a crack of thunder.
The picture was taken about 30 seconds after I realized what happened.

Courthouse Butte

I took this after finally linking up with the original trail we started out on.
I It was a beautiful hike and I'm not a bit sorry we did it. Even though it wasn't planned, we had water and saw a few hikers along the way to stop and chat with. Everyone was very nice and talk always got around to what a fine dog Easton is and how lucky we all were to be in beautiful Red Rock country. I never disagreed with anyone!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

On the road to Red Rock country

After a slow morning, Easton and I finally hit the road around 10AM. Our first stop was the rest area at Sunset Point. It's not that far from Phoenix these days considering the speed limit is 75MPH, but we use to stop here all the time when I was a kid. Chugging and gasping for air our 51 Chevy needed frequent rest stops after enduring the Black Canyon climb. My Mom, with her walnut sized bladder, required a stop every 50 miles anyway. Sunset Point was always there with dug out toilets and a magnificent view. It's improved a lot with multiple flush toilets, fresh water, vending machines and a special pets only area. I haven't been there in many years, so we stopped just to say we did. Proof below!!

View from Sunset Point - These are the Bradshaw mountains. I spent many summers as a camper and councilor at the YMCA camp tucked up in these mountains. Pine trees, rattle snakes, mountain lions and the best overland hiking anywhere. Those were some great days.

Arrived at the southern entrance to Red Rock country. Stopped for a coffee and to "carb-up" + Easton needed a piddle. Decent place, nice people but no dog cookies!! Oh well, we drove a couple more miles to the trail-head parking lot where Easton struck the pose above. We stretched, gathered our water and headed out to Bell Rock. Tomorrow: Lady, Easton and the long trail back.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

My name is Easton, and I approved this message

Why should you consider adopting a Senior Golden Retriever?
Here's 13 Lucky Reasons why we think you should!

1. Seniors are almost always house-trained. Just show them the door and where to go potty, or take a few gentle walks; and they figure it out in no time. Accidents happen with all dogs, but much less often with a Senior.

2. Senior dogs are not teething puppies, and won't chew your shoes and furniture or clothes or carpet or woodwork. They are content to gnaw on a raw bone or rawhide and ignore everything else.

3. You can teach an old dog new tricks! Seniors have great concentration and are pretty smart because they've mellowed and matured. Therefore, they learn quickly. Unless you have bacon in your pants, they will focus on what you have to say and what you want!

4. Senior dogs have learned what "no" means. If they hadn't learned it, they wouldn't have gotten to be senior dogs.

5. Seniors dogs settle in to new homes easily. They've learned what it takes to get along with people of all ages, other pets and dogs and how become part of a pack. They move right in and you'll feel like they've always been there.

6. Senior Goldens are champion lovers. They want nothing more than to be loved and they return it many times over to their family. They are grateful for the second chance you've given them and they show that gratitude by being your big golden lovey.

7. What You See Is What You Get. Unlike puppies, Senior Goldens have grown into their shape and personality. This is as big as they will get. This is who they are. No surprises.

8. Senior Goldens are instant companions -- ready for hiking, car trips, and other things you like to do. They almost always know how to walk on a leash, ride in a car, and be great traveling companions. All they want is to be with you!

9. Senior dogs allow you time to yourself. They love your companionship, but they don't demand your undivided attention like an energetic young dog. You won't be chasing them down hollering "NO!" every 5 minutes. They are happy laying at your feet while you do something else.

10. Seniors let you get a good night's sleep. They're already accustomed to human schedules and don't generally need nighttime feedings, comforting, or bathroom breaks. They're also champion sleepers, but they might snore!

11. Seniors are economical! They arrive at your home already spayed or neutered, fully vetted which includes senior blood panels, medical evaluations, heartworm tests and other diagnostics, if needed, and they come with their own first month of parasite preventives! The adoption fees for a Senior are much lower than the cost of a puppy! Economical! And Seniors tend not to be the big chowhounds like young dogs! Also economical!

12. Senior Goldens are your own personal art masterpieces! Who doesn't need more artwork in their homes? Da Vinci and Michelangelo could only imagine the beauty of a white-faced Golden. And they are portable art! You take them with you where ever you go!

13. Adopting a Senior is good for you! Doing good deeds and helping others is a proven stress reducer. Wouldn't you like a little less stress right now? Opening your home and your heart to a Senior Golden is the best good deed you can do! They will entertain and reward you by being their silly, playful, joyful Golden selves. All they ask in return is that you love them and provide them safe shelter in their final years. But don't be surprised if they look at you as if to say..."What took you so long?"

Saturday, March 3, 2012

A Poem for The Precious Golden Oldies


With still so many sunrises and sunsets yet to enjoy;
Would love to spend them with you, my tennis ball
and maybe a favorite toy.
You know…someone no longer wanted me,
and decided to just give me up;
Was it because I was no longer a fuzzy, yellow pup?
I'm so proud to be a precious Golden Oldie, and
that fact is very true;
With so much love yet to give…can I spend my
"golden" years with you?
It would be heavenly to rest my head upon your lap,
with your arms enfolding me;
And once again feel safe and loved, with us
just sitting under a majestic, old tree.
I've come such a long way…and my journey has been
extremely hard;
Would love to just sit by your side, or peacefully roam
around in the yard.
So won't you please adopt me soon, and my "new life's story"
can begin to unfold;
For as we all know, there is nothing quite as nice,
as precious old gold!


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