Danger in the Desert for Dogs: Rattlesnakes

I got bit by a rattlesnake when I was young. It was my second summer. It was in the yard. We had a fenced yard but somehow it got in.

Brian was digging in the yard and I tried and tried to get him away from the snake but he wouldn’t listen. So the snake bit me instead of Brian. I saved Brian. I still get treats for that today even though it was a long time ago.
Now there are rattlesnakes in the desert. Most of the time you don’t see them or hear them. There is nothing that sounds like a rattlesnake.

When you’re out with your two-legged companion, keep them on the trail. Don’t go off into the bushes. Don’t put your nose where you can’t see like behind a rock. Snakes like to hide behind rocks when it gets hot because the rocks provide shade.

A couple more things. Rattlesnakes don’t always rattle before they strike. The one in our backyard didn’t rattle. Also rattlesnakes don’t hafta be coiled up to strike. They can strike more than half their length, which means if the snake is four feet long it can bite you up to two feet away. And it’s hard to tell how long a snake is when they’re all coiled up.

Some gopher snakes — I dunno why they call them gopher snakes, I mean do they like gopher pizza, or gopher a walk — look sort like rattlesnakes. Rattlesnakes have eyes with slit pupils and gopher snakes have round pupils. Yeah, like I’m gonna look a snake right in the eyes to see if its poisonous. No way.

Always be careful for snakes in the desert.

Rose, the Irish setter

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Danger in the Desert for Dogs: Critters

Javelinas are bad news for four-legged companions. They don’t look like much, sorta like pigs. But when they open their mouth they have these big canine teeth. They can’t see very well so they charge first and bite and then think about it later. Mama javelinas are the worst ’cause they think everybody is out to get their babies. Javelinas travel in packs of all females, babies and juvenile males. When the males grow up they go off by themselves.

Don’t think these piggy like animals can’t run fast. They can and do.
We used to go for walks with two Jack Russel terriers. They got chased by javelinas once and got chewed up pretty bad. Terriers are pretty fast but got caught up by the whole pack so there wasn’t any place to run.

Skunks stink. And they live in the desert. We had one at Roosevelt lake that used to come by every early evening. I would bark and he would skitter off. Or maybe he was just going that way anyway. Dee told me that tomato juice makes the stink go away but who wants a tomato juice bath? Not me.

Then we have the assorted rats and mice. The pack rats are the problem because they like to get up in the car engine and make a nest. That wouldn’t be so bad. I mean the nest is messy but the problem is that the pack rats chew up the wires and hoses. That is bad. And expensive.
Kate, The Cute One

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Dangers in the Desert for Dogs: Cactus are Not Your Friend

There’s all sorts of stuff in the desert that can either sting, stick or bite you. And us four-legged companions hafta be careful. Don’t just go running around all over the place — Kate does that she sees a bird or a shadow and she’s off.

Now Brian and Dee keep us on leashes while we’re out camping, but sometimes Kate manages to get loose. Anyways here’s more stuff you hafta be careful with.
Stickery stuff like cactus: Some of the cactus have big broad needles like saguaro or barrel cactus. You hafta really work at getting one of those stickers in your paw.

Other cactus like cholla are nasty, nasty, nasty. See they have fine stickers or needles they almost look fluffy. But those needles get loose from the cactus really easy and they’re really hard to get out of your paws or anywhere else. If you try to bite the needle out of your paw you get it in your mouth. And let’s not even talk about getting the stickers in your nose. Stay away from cholla cactus.
Prickley Pear cactus hae two kinds of needles. Really tiny ones and then bigger ones. Both hurt. Prickly pears have pretty flowers in the spring and red fruit in the summer. Dee tries to pick the fruit but can’t get all the stickers off. You don’t want to eat stickers.

If you’re going to hike in the desert make sure your two-legged companion takes along a first aid kit that has pliers and a fine toothed comb. The comb gets the stickers out.
Rose, the Irish setter

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It’s My 15th St. Patrick’s Day

HI, This is Rose the Irish setter. Anyways. Today is my 16th St. Patrick’s Day. Yup 16th. We’re camping by a beautiful lake and enjoying the sunshine. If you want you could read about St. Patrick’s Day and other stuff in the book me and Kate wrote. You can get it as a Kindle book or paperback at Amazon. Rose and Kate Unleashed.

Rose the Irish setter

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Three O’clock Celery

Three O’clock is a long time from breakfast and a long time from dinner, so we get a snack. We used to get those snacks you buy in the store, but have you ever read the labels? Some of what they make them from is kinda yucky. Anyways, I don’t remember how it happened but one day Brian gave us a stalk of celery. It was yummy, all crunchy and juicy. Then because me and Rose liked it so much, Brian tried some kale, that was good too. The cucumbers were okay and Rose really like the carrots. Me, I like sweet peppers. We don’t like spinach, there’s no crunch and it sticks to our teeth.

Celery is the best and what we get most of the time.

Kate, who likes vegetables

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What are New Year’s Resalootions?

I dunno.  Why is everybody going around saying they want to stop this and start that? Makes no sense.  I mean Brian, my two legged companion tells me I have to learn to stop barking when somebody goes by the house.  Does that make any sense?  At All? No. So why should it be a New Year’s Resaloootion?

And I smell just fine.  So why do I need to take more baths? Okay I get it that my nails have to be clipped because when they get too long it’s hard to make the blog with the tappity thing.

If those two companions want to make resaloootions they should resaloot to take me and Kate on more walks. And give us lunch along with breakfast and dinner.  And wake up early in the morning like me and Kate, not stay slug a bug in bed until the sun rises.

Now those are New Year’s Resaloootions I could go for.

Rose, the Irish Setter

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The 12 Days of Christmas

The Twelve Days of Christmas
By Rose and Kate
On the First Day of Christmas
We gave Brian and Dee
A partridge without the pear tree.

On the second day of Christmas
We gave Brian and Dee
Two sloppy kisses
And a partridge without the pear tree

On the third day of Christmas
We gave Brian and Dee
Three long howls
Two sloppy kisses
And a partridge without the pear tree

On the fourth day of Christmas
We gave Brian and Dee
Four muddy paws
Three short barks
Two sloppy kisses
And a partridge without the pear tree

On the fifth day of Christmas
We gave Brian and Dee
Five lovely howls
Four muddy paws
Three short barks
Two sloppy kisses
And a partridge without the pear tree

On the sixth day of Christmas
We gave Brian and Dee
Six torn up toys
Five lovely howls
Four muddy paws
Three short barks
Two sloppy kisses
And a partridge without the pear tree

On the seventh day of Christmas
We gave Brian and Dee
Seven geese a missing
Six torn up toys
Five lovely howls
Four muddy paws
Three short barks
Two sloppy kisses
And a partridge without the pear tree

On the eighth day of Christmas
We gave Brian and Dee
Eight ducks we’re chasing
Seven geese a missing
Six torn up toys
Five lovely howls
Four muddy paws
Three short barks
Two sloppy kisses
And a partridge without the pear tree

On the ninth day of Christmas
We gave Brian and Dee
Nine balls for throwing
Eight ducks we’re chasing
Seven geese a missing
Six torn up toys
Five lovely howls
Four muddy paws
Three short barks
Two sloppy kisses
And a partridge without the pear tree

On the tenth day of Christmas
We gave Brian and Dee
Ten socks we’ve stolen
Nine balls for throwing
Eight ducks we’re chasing
Seven geese a missing
Six torn up toys
Five lovely howls
Four muddy paws
Three short barks
Two sloppy kisses
And a partridge without the pear tree

On the eleventh day of Christmas
We gave Brian and Dee
Eleven minutes more sleep
Ten socks we’ve stolen
Nine balls for throwing
Eight ducks we’re chasing
Seven geese a missing
Six torn up toys
Five lovely howls
Four muddy paws
Three short barks
Two sloppy kisses
And a partridge without the pear tree

On the twelfth day of Christmas
We gave Brian and Dee
Twelve months of joy with us
Eleven minutes sleep
Ten socks we’ve stolen
Nine balls for throwing
Eight ducks we’re chasing
Seven geese a missing
Six torn up toys
Five lovely howls
Four muddy paws
Three short barks
Two sloppy kisses
And a partridge without the pear tree

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Tips to Stay Safe This Howliday

From Thanksgiving to New Year’s it’s one fun day after another. Cookies, candy, lights on the tree, punch and pretty wrapped packages. It’s fun but can be a scary and dangerous time for us dogs. Wanna know why? I’ll tell ya.

First of all there’s all the strangers coming to the door. Which means the front door opens more which means “escape time>” Now I’m perfectly happy to say hello to whomever is at the door. But not Patches. See he was the spaniel before me. He’s in puppy heaven now. Anyways he used to run away every time he could when the door opened. So be careful opening the door. Train your four-legged companion to sit and stay when the door opens.

Chocolate is toxic to us dogs. The darker the chocolate the worse it is. Lots of Howliday candy is covered in chocolate, so keep it away from us dogs. Maybe put it on a high shelf.

Alcohol is bad news. Lots of grown up two-legged companions have parties and serve wine, beer and mixed drinks. I guess they call them mixed drinks because after you’re had a few you act all mixed up. Even a few sips of wine can be a little bitty dog really sick.

Not all dogs like kids. Some dogs are scared of strange looking little creatures. Anyways when we’re scared we may try to bite.

I’ll blog more about safety tips during the howlidays another time.

Rose, The Irish setter

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My Nemesis

Kate the Springer Spaniel here. As you may know, I love to go camping. We live in the desert, where it is usually hot, hot, hot. So hot that you can burn your paws if you walk down the street in the afternoon. So it is great fun to go up to the cool mountains and sit in the shade of the trees. I take a nap every morning and every afternoon, enjoying the cool breezes.

Dee gets mad at me sometimes because I forget to come in the tent when it starts raining. She doesn’t like “soggy doggies” in the tent. When I’m really wet I make sure I sit on Brian or Dee’s pillow on the bed. They get upset, but just for a minute, because I look so darn cute lying there. When you’re cute, you can get away with a lot of stuff.

There’s not much I don’t like about camping except for my nemesis, THE SQUIRREL. I call it a tree rat because it has this bushy tail it waves at you and it scampers up a tree when I try to chase it, then taunts me because I can’t go up the tree after it. Don’t think I haven’t tried, though.

Brian says it is called “Abert’s Squirrel.” Well, this Abert guy should keep it in his own backyard. It follows us wherever we camp. I’ve seen it all over Arizona. How did it follow us all the way from Tucson, to Flagstaff this year? What does it have against me and my sister Rose the Irish Setter?

When we get to a new campground, I sit outside the tent and wait for it to show up.

I chase it out of our camp because I think–no, I’m sure–it wants to steal our food. It eats those yucky wild mushrooms that pop up after it rains, so it must be really hungry.

One time, just after sunrise, I spotted the squirrel in a clearing. I pulled so hard on my tether to chase it that I broke my collar. All of a sudden I was loose. You should have seen the look on the squirrel’s ugly face when I came charging after it. Brian had to put on his shoes before he could run after me. I chased that tree rat deep into the forest, but pretty soon I felt sorry for Brian and came back to him. He’s not used to running and got tired. Dog are better athletes than humans, you see.

The squirrel got away that day, but there’s always tomorrow. When it shows up in my campsite, I’ll be ready.

By the way, Mr. Abert, if you want your squirrel back, please contact me. I know where it is.

At all times.

And Mr. Abert, you might keep it on a leash. If a good girl like me has to be on a leash, so should a naughty little tree rat.

Even better, get a more respectable pet. Who wants a tree rat for a pet? Even a cat would be better. Sheesh.

Posted by Kate, the Watchful Springer Spaniel

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I Like the Rain

I like the rain. I like the way it pitter patters on top of the tent. I like all the clean smells, I like to snuggle down and take a snooze on top of the blankies on the air mattress. and then Kate jumps on the mattress and rolls around getting everything all muddy.

Rose, the pissed off setter.

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