“She was free in her wildness. She was a wanderess, a drop of free water. She belonged to no man and to no city" -Roman Payne, The Wanderess

14 January 2017

Hiking: Madera Canyon, Super Trail

Jenn with Ginger.  This is Ginger's first hike.
Laura with Hera.

Ginger's white eyelashes slay me. 
Nibbling on grass.  
Hera will never be a "normal" dog, however, she is happiest when hiking.  She likes to greet people but won't allow them to touch her (yet).  
Beautiful views along the Super Trail. 
Ginger likes to put her head in holes. 
Hera and Ginger.
Pretty views along the Super Trail. 
One of my favorite pictures of the day. 

This was one of my best hikes.  Aside from the girls having a good hike, it rained and hailed.
Ginger's face sums up how she's feeling about being wet.  For her first hike, she was amazing.
Hera is happiest when hiking.  I think about Boca every day.  I thought about him a lot on this hike: places we'd hiked, stopped for water, posed for pictures.  I still grieve for him deeply.  
Hera being brave.
Hera likes to follow game trails, she seems to follow a lot of good scents.  
Post hike rainbow, a beautiful ending to a great hike.

11 January 2017

Welcome To The Pack: Liam

On December 24th two "German Shepherd" puppies became available for adoption at Maricopa County's East shelter.  Many people came to adopt them.  The Universe conspired, someone got lucky.  
Aunty Julie has kept an eye on the puppies while they were in the shelter.  Liam at 8 weeks. 
Brother and sister.  
Post-neuter and the ride home.
I honestly had no intention of keeping Liam.  My intention was to give him a good start and send him on his way.  After letting my big Boca bear go, I didn't think I was in a good place to adopt another.  
I haven't had a puppy this young in my care for many years, puppies are a 24/7 affair.  
There are some coincidences about young Liam that I couldn't ignore.  Liam's birthday is on a very special day.  
I can't pinpoint the defining moment I knew Liam had to stay.  I knew that I wanted to give Liam the chance to be the very best Malinois he can be.  In my search for opportunities for a working dog in Southern Arizona, I found SARCI.  I've long had an interest in Search & Rescue work.  Some pro's for me: I'm already a licensed ham radio operator, while working with helicopters I've had some exposure to high altitude rescues, and I like to hike.  I'll attend my first SRDI meeting in January.  Liam is a bright boy, I'm excited to see how a future as a SAR dog looks for Liam. 
Liam at 12 weeks.  Welcome to the pack Liam.  

31 December 2016

Good Night, Boca. I Love You, My Bear.

Oct 31, 2008 - Dec 31, 2016

Boca was rescued in December 2013 from a California shelter.  Thin, scarred and blind, he was extremely animal aggressive.  

Boca joined our pack and learned to behave like a gentleman.  He became a mentor to many rescued dogs who were also labeled as aggressive.  We adopted Boca as a permanent pack member.
Matriarch "Cierra" and Patriarch "Boca". 
Neighborhood walk. 
Despite being blind, Boca had a strong personality and was seemingly fearless.  Boca loved to hike.  
Hera came to us to be rehabilitated for severe fear issues, however, she became a permanent pack member.  Boca and Hera (aka: Papa Bear and Baby Bear) were best of friends, they relied on one another.
Hera, Ginger and Boca.
Boca became sick.  He rapidly lost weight, I was feeding him more than double what he used to eat.  His 105 pound body stabilized at 88 pounds.
A variety of tests from his vet ruled out a lot of things, but never what the root of the problem was.  His vitamin B12 levels were low and I began injections at home, along with a few supplements and probiotics.  
Boca bear didn't feel well and stopped eating.  He, and the pack, had given me many hints that I had a very difficult decision to make about the quality of his life.  
Snuggling with his blanket.
Boca, I love you so. 
An afternoon in our happy place, at Madera Canyon. 
"With blind eyes, I see how much you love me."  -Boca
Madera Canyon.
Madera Canyon. 
Madera Canyon.
Good night, Boca bear.
Wherever you are, I hope that your sight is restored along with the tips of your ears and that your heart is filled with love as big as your bear paws.  I miss you greatly.