Ziggy is not the kind of dog who likes to hang out in the house watching T.V., munching on milk bones all day. In fact, he is just the opposite.
As such, he could care less that the thermometer outside has exceeded ninety degrees for the past 44 days in a row-A new record for this part of Nevada. I, on the other hand prefer to remain in the swamp-cooled comfort of my humble abode until the evening comes and offers a bit of respite from the exhausting heat of the day.
Ziggy (in case you don’t know) is not a “normal” dog. Whatever is considered “normal” for a dog, I can assure you that he is exactly the opposite. This year has been a crazy weather year. I not-so-affectionately refer to the season just prior to this record breaking heat as “The Never-Ending Winter”.
“The Never-Ending Winter” included record-breaking snow here. So much snow that the majority of ski resorts in the Reno-Tahoe area were still open on the Fourth of July-Enough Snow on their runs for skiers and snow-boarders to take advantage of, despite the ninety degree temperatures.
Ziggy has no problem with snow. In fact, he loves to “help” shovel snow. He focuses all of his OBSESSIVE attention on the shovel as it scoops up the snow and just before flinging the shovelful of snow onto an existing pile, he charges the shovel at full speed and attempts to sink his teeth into it. If he is unable to achieve this task, he will get airborne in the direct path of the flying snow in an attempt to either bite the offending snow, or just plain stop the “shoveler” from completing their task in a timely manner. I guess he feels that this is his canine duty, but only he knows and he’s not talking. (Technically).
When it is cold outside, he knows that he will be going with us anywhere we go. He would rather sit in the vehicle and wait for us (if we are unable to take him into the place where we have to go) than sit at home where it is warm…Alone.
Once spring arrives and the thaw begins, the temperature here rises to what I consider to be perfect. Low to mid 70’s.
Ziggy loves springtime here. He knows that he will be invited to go with us and that we will more than likely take him for a nice long run every time we go. It is his favorite time of year. Tons of critters to chase and perfect weather to do the chasing. Not too cold, not too hot.
This year though….Spring never came.
Ziggy waited and waited for it. I felt terrible for him as March turned into April and the snow was still falling, he looked at me with his big brown eyes full of hope and anticipation of the coming spring. I could not bring myself to tell him that spring had decided to take the year off. Marty and I discussed the fact that it was probably going to go from below zero to triple digits with no spring. (We had to whisper in order to keep this news from Ziggy as he stared out the window awaiting the arrival of his favorite time of year.)
Poor Ziggy waited and the seasons changed. All of a sudden it was 90 degrees outside. Ziggy is not too fond of summer here. He knows that he will not be invited to join us when we leave during the summer months. He does not understand that we are leaving him home because we love him…A Hot Car is No Place for a Dog!
Ziggy, as I mentioned above, hates being stuck in the house. He is a Border Collie/Pit Bull mix, a “Working Dog” who is at his best when he has a “job”.
According to him, his main “job” is to accompany us whenever we leave the house. His other “jobs” include getting his Papa’s boots in the morning, killing them (Giving each boot a murderous “death shake” prior to dropping them at his Papa’s feet) and regular “Cat-Scans” of his yard-to insure that there has been no offensive feline activity in his domain.
*For the past couple of weeks he has had to include “Deer Scans” to his “job” list due to the almost daily visits from a Doe and her Fawn who have been in HIS yard eating all of the blooming flowers, as well as the apricots and grapes that are just now ready to be picked. Unlike the “Cat Scan” which ends up in a good chase, the “Deer Scan” generally culminates in a one-sided conversation with Ziggy talking to the Deer from the safety of our porch.
Yes, I said talking. He does not “bark” at the deer, he talks to them. It’s quite amusing to listen to him…”rar, rar, ruh, rah ruh rah” like he’s asking them to please eat someone else’s yard. The doe will look up as he’s talking to her and with her large doe ears, she listens to what he has to say, looks at her fawn then lowers her head and finishes her meal before moving on to the next yard. She has made it clear that she is not afraid of Ziggy and he has made it clear that he knows she is a lot bigger than he is. As such, she will not run when he appears on the porch. (No fun if they won’t run!)
Unfortunately, he can’t go to work with his Papa everyday like he does in the colder months. Some days, his Papa has to do a job at a non-dog-friendly place and it is far too hot to leave him in the vehicle while he works. On such days, Ziggy spends the day with me. I work from home which gives me the freedom to take off for an hour or two during the day and take Ziggy out to get some exercise when he tells me it is time to do so.
As I have mentioned in several of my past posts, Ziggy is relentless when he has decided it is Ziggy time. He has a special “Bark” that he uses when he has decided it is time to GO! It is a high-pitched screech of a bark at full volume that is accompanied by his placing one of his fore paws on my knee to emphasize the request. The “Hairy Paw” (as we call it) is Ziggy’s exclamation point…. “NOW” is the time to GO!
Yesterday was a scorcher, over 100 degrees by noon. Ziggy decided that I was going to take my break at noon…I do not have a choice in the matter, when he’s ready to go, we go…end of story. Needless to say, we hopped in the truck, turned up the A/C and headed off to find a suitable area for him to swim. He does not like to hit the same spot every day-he believes that change is the only constant in life. This belief has forced me to find local area places that are A) suitable for “Ziggy” water sports and B) have a shady spot near the shore so I can keep my eyes on him without baking in the hot sun while he gets his fill of swimming and chasing rocks into the water. (Rocks that I MUST throw-according to him).
We drove to a little section of the Carson River which is known as “Ambrose”.
We haven’t been there since last summer and I was curious to see how it fared after the “never-ending winter”. It is an area that features a grove of Cottonwood Trees which provide a nice cool blanket of shade all the way to the water’s edge.
We drove the ten minutes it takes to get there with Ziggy barking at top volume the entire way. His bark easily exceeds safe levels for human ears.
We turned off the main road and onto the dirt road that leads to the trail we have to walk to get down to the river.
I parked, he barked.
We hopped out of the truck and started walking down the trail. I was already sweating like a pig after the first few steps. He was just ahead of me making sure to keep the trail “critter free”.
Just before we got to the shore, we had to make our way over a downed Cottonwood. We made it over that obstacle and found that the river had carved a new tributary over the harsh winter which was now just a large gulch with a muddy bottom. The water had been deep though…the sides of the gulch were a good 5 feet high.
I was surprised by the number of downed trees and to the serious changes that had occurred to the landscape since our last visit here.
Mother Nature is amazing…and Ziggy is right…”There is no constant in life but CHANGE”.
The remainder of this post is visual…We hope you enjoy your visit to the “Ambrose” area of the Carson River as much as we did….
Until next time….Woof…(Enjoy your summer!)