Kate Travels the Carefree Highway

Carefree Highway is a road that runs east-west, north of the Phoenix, Arizona area. It is also the title of a beautiful song by Gordon Lightfoot.

Recently, we went home to Scottsdale after a long road trip, and Kate found herself in a reflective, albeit hungry, mood that night as we drove the Carefree Highway. She was thinking about her lifelong friend Rose, our Irish Setter, who recently passed away. She’s not used to being without her best friend.

So Kate has her own version of the song.
Take it from here, Kate (never knew our madcap Springer Spaniel was capable of tender ballads):

“Sittin’ in the back seat as we glide down the road
I wonder when we’re gonna stop and eat
Her name was Rose and I suppose we’ll miss her all our days
She left us at least a year too soon

Carefree Highway, hope we see fast food on you
Carefree Highway, a Carl’s Jr. let me find
French fries to ease the pain of never seein’ my best friend again
Carefree Highway, let us stop to eat on you

“Lookin’ through the mem’ries of the fun we all had
I wonder how the years went by so fast
I was a tiny pup when we first met, you made me feel at home
And every day, you took great care of me

Carefree Highway, I’m lookin’ for a sign
Golden arches would be fine
Got chicken tenders on my mind
(Just not Taco Bell, this late it won’t sit well)

Now we’re stoppin’ at an Arby’s to get some hot roast beef
Dee and Brian always give me what I like
Though sharing would be much better…
…with my big ‘ol Irish Setter
Rose, I’m sorry a big bunch that I always stole your lunch

Carefree Highway, our back seat’s lonely it is true
But I guess that’s how it goes, when you say good-bye to Rose
Carefree Highway, let us weep a bit on you
Carefree Highway, let me weep a bit on you

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Treats, Treats, and More Treats

There are treats on the shelves. Treats in baskets. Treats in Buckets, Treats behind the glass. Big treats. Little treats. Chewy treats, Soft treats. I love Whiskers Barkery in Prescott Arizona. And you know what? I got treats. I also got lovies and I like lovies as much as I like treats.

There was one thing I didn’t like about this place. It has grooming like buzzing and baths and brushing. Don’t like that at all.

Besides treats, there are leashes, and collars, and beds, and vitamins. That’s all good stuff.

Oh, after all the treats I got a big drink of water.

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Dog washing machines!

So I’m at this really strange place with Dee, my two-legged companion. It’s got all these big white machines. Dee put her and Brian clothes in the machines. Then she fed it a bunch of quarters. Then she put soap in. Then she pushed a button and the machine filled with water and the water got all full of soap bubbles. I could tell because one of the machines had this window on the side where I could see everything.

Let me tell you it was kinda scarey. See I thought maybe it was a dog washing machine. There’s no way I’d get into to one of those machines.

After a while the machines stopped. Then Dee took out all the clothes. They were wet. She put them in another big machine that had a window on the side so I could look in. She fed that machine lots of quarters. Then turned it on. I hope it’s just a clothes drying machine and not a dog drying machine.


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What is Kate Doing?

Let’s ask her…it sounds like she’s singing something…

Kate: “Well, anyways, I’m standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona;
What a dog-friendly place to be.
We’ll find an eating place–with a patio space,
And a cheeseburger just for me!

“Take it easy, take it easy,
Don’t let the sound of your own howling drive you crazy…”

Brian: “You sang/howled that tune beautifully, Kate, and I’m sure the ‘Eagles’ rock group appreciates your tribute to them. But actually, we’re in Prescott, Arizona…
We won’t be in Winslow until next week.”

Kate: “Oh. Okay. But I still get a cheeseburger today, right?”

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Kate’s National Forest

They made these picnic tables just for me. I love to hide under things. I used to do that a lot when I was a puppy and could fit under the chairs. Now I like to sit in the shade under the picnic tables when we camp which is like all the time. Of course I’m still on a leash. It’s a long leash. Brian is a messy cook and drops food all the time. So I help him clean up. I mean we don’t want to attract those smelly black and white critters now do we? Once he dropped a piece of chicken. I cleaned that up real fast.

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My Best Friend Left Me

Rose went to heaven. Her back legs didn’t work very good anymore. She couldn’t stand up long enough to pee or poop so Dee or Brian had to hold her up. She didn’t want to eat any more and Rose loves to eat. She once ate an entire chocolate cream pie. Now she doesn’t even want her chicken and potatoes that Dee makes her.

I’m sad but I don’t want her hurting. She told me the day Dee and Brian took her to the vet that she wasn’t scared. She was looking forward to playing with Patches. Patches is already in puppy heaven. She kissed me. She’s a very friendly dog but she doesn’t give kisses. She told me not to worry. And that it was up to me to take care of Brian and Dee now.

Anyways. We said goodbye. I know she’s not coming back from the vet but I was hoping. I was hoping

Kate, a very sad Kate.

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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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