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January 17, 2011

Greetings and... Da Bears!!!

Many of you may, or may not have noticed I published back to back
columns on Wed/Thur instead of Friday. I didn't realize it because
I was so fired up at the behavior of the attendees at the Tucson
memorial service, my fingers went on fire immediately! I decided to
answer a question that kept coming into my mailbox for days since
there were too many to personally answer. I answered the first few,
then realized a mass "answer" would be easier and quicker...

The answer? Yes, I did email Robert Shelton, the University of Arizona
President, and yes, here is his email address...

We had a "heart-stopping" incident at home on Thursday. For those
who don't particularly care for "dog stories", now would be a good time
to exit. This is long, but there's no way to shorten it without "losing"
key points...

As is the Thursday routine, the pool man came to clean the pool, followed
by the landscapers. I opened up the doggie door after everyone left
and continued to wait for my morning caffeine to kick in. Flyboy had an
8:00 A.M. appointment at the dealer to have my oil changed etc. I finally
came to life and went to take my shower and begin the day...

When I came back out into the kitchen, I noticed the pups were still not
inside, which isn't abnormal since the weather has been warmer again. I
went to the door to look out and didn't see them. Again, not abnormal
since they are always roaming around the yard in and out of the trees
and bushes, hunting for whatever it is they never find...

I called them and what was abnormal is that they didn't come running. I
immediately had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. I went out
there, called again and again...nothing

By now I was very afraid, afraid the landscapers had left the gate open
and went to the side to fearfully look. My worse fears were confirmed.
Gate open, dogs gone!

I went to the front and started calling...nothing. I went down the block,
called...nothing and then the panic started. I didn't have my SUV and
had Flyboy's 2-seater in the garage which would have done me no good
if I did find them. I called Flyboy, told him what happened. He said
they were almost done and would be home within an hour. An hour for
Danes on the run covers a lot of territory...

As I walked down the street again, a neighbor pulled up at what seemed like
a hundred miles an hour and screams, "Your dogs are at the other end
of the subdivision running and having a ball!" Get your car and go get them.
I had the garage door opened and she saw the car she was asking me to get
into to go Dane hunting and said, "GET IN"...

Before I continue, I have to tell you a little about this neighbor to give
you a feel for what the next hour was like for me. She is an
"extreme" dog lover. She is the first one who found EInstein years ago
and brought him to us and will go searching for lost dogs at all hours
of the day and night. She is very nice, do I say this...a tad
on the "wacky" side...OK, borderline nutzo...but nice...

She whips the car around and is driving through the neighborhood at, I
kid you not, 50-60 miles an hour! I tell her to slow down because IF we
find them, she will hit them! She isn't listening, she is in "Dog the
Bounty Hunter" mode...

She pulls over to the wash that runs the length of the whole subdivision
and yells GET OUT! She jumps out and starts walking like an Olympic
power walker. Me, on the other hand has to take it slow because I am
still not 100% over the pneumonia and the lungs will only let me go
so fast. She goes so fast she disappears down the wash. I head the opposite
direction in case they U-turned. We both screamed their names and 15 minutes
later, we still had no dogs. She walks back and I, gasping for air get
back into the car. Again, she fires up the Mario Andrettimobile and off
we go, out of the subdivision to widen the search. She's going so fast
the only thing I can see is my life flying past. She tells me to start
yelling for them at a certain area, but the window is locked, which I tell
her to unlock. She doesn't, and says...just start screaming! I tell her SHE
is the only one that's going to hear me with the damn windows closed! She
ignores me and drives about a mile down the street, pulls over and again,
says..."GET OUT". OK, I figure were going on another nature walk/hunt, but
nooooooooooooooooo...I get out and SHE LEAVES!!!! POOF! Gone! I'm about
a mile away from home, screaming for my dogs and losing my voice in the
process. I thought she would return after a quick trip to...MARS, but she
didn't! I headed back home after looking all over the place for Moosie
and Ginger. I'm out of breath, hoarse, and crying like a baby because my
babies are gone...

I got all the way back to my subdivision and was ready to turn to the gate
when she shows back up. She asks me if I want a ride back home, which is
still a few blocks away and I admit, I think my eyes shot out fireballs
at her. With that, I see Flyboy heading out of the gate to come looking
for not only his dogs, but his wife!!! She asked me if I wanted to get
in his car and I wanted to say, "Nah, we've been having SOOOOOO much fun

We looked all over again and had to go back home because I had a doctor's
appointment and at this point, I couldn't miss it because I was hoping
to get a shot of oxygen at the doctor's office! By now, the pups were gone
almost three hours and we were beyond panic, we were both in "what if"
mode. I couldn't bear to think of them being gone after dark. The packs
of Coyotes have been very active out here and they wouldn't have a chance
against packs of wild animals that have the killer instinct. I worried
about them getting hit by cars and a dozen other horrifying scenerios...

I really didn't want to leave, but HAD to and hoped I wouldn't have
to wait too long. Flyboy said he was heading out in various directions
to look for them and grabbed both leashes in case he found them, Moosie
had a collar on, but I had taken Ginger's off the day before because she
had a little rash and I was letting it "breathe" I didn't worry too much
because I knew she wouldn't leave her sister's side...

I went to the doc, I told them my blood pressure which is usually low might
be higher because of what was going on. My Oxygen levels were low and I
had flashbacks of my "joyride from Hell". I finally got out of there an
hour and a half later and called Flyboy immediately and started crying
again when he told me he had no luck. By now, the dogs had been gone
over five hours and this had never happened before. Anytime they had
decided to go on a walkabout, it lasted 10 minutes before we called them
and came back. Not knowing they had gotten out made all the difference
this time. I told Flyboy I would be home as soon as I picked up my

I waited for what seemed like hours, but in reality, was 20 minutes and
got in the car to head home. My phone rang and I took a deep breath, (as
deep as I could at the time), hoping it was good news. HE FOUND THEM!!!

He found them about 2 miles away. Ginger was on a sidewalk and Moosie was
in the middle of the road heading further into the desert. He called them
and Ginger ran to him all excited, squeaks, as if to say, "DADDY SAVED US"!
Moosie, on the other hand acted differently. She wouldn't come at first.
She turned her head and hung it as if she thought she was in trouble.
Flyboy got on his knees and gently and lovingly talked to her and she
came. He told me where he was and I went to pick them all up. I don't
think I have to tell you the relief we had and the tears I now had were
happy tears. Flyboy had taken a bottle of Gatorade with him because he
didn't know hwo long he would be out there and gave it to the pups because
they were panting to beat the band. Moosie had a stick stuck in her side,
both of them had a few broken nails on their back feet which were bleeding,
and were both so weak and tired, they couldn't get in the car. Flyboy had to
pick them both up. Their legs were shaking and you could see they were both

Their fun outing ended up with them getting lost. They don't know the
area, they are big, spoiled house dogs...

We took them home to inspect them to see if we needed to take them to the
vet and other than a few "war wounds" from the desert landscape, they
seemed OK. They drank gallons of water and you could see they were happy
to be home. Moosie continued to turn her face away from Flyboy even though
he kept telling her it was OK. She was fine with me and licked all the tears
off my face. It took Moosie a few hours to realize she wasn't in trouble
and love was in bloom again with daddy. Very odd because Flyboy is very soft
spoken, (as opposed to me) and never yells. Moosie was very pensive all
day as if she was thinking about it all while Ginger was just so happy to
be saved!!!

Their legs were shakey most of the day and we made sure they rehydrated.
They wanted to go back with dad to take a nap because all three of them
needed a good nap. They couldn't even get into the bed and he lifted
them up. They curled up and all was right in the world...

Ginger wouldn't let Flyboy near her feet because he's the one that cuts
her nails and even though he has never cut her, she gets paranoid when
he tries to touch her feet. I decided to try to have a better look and
was horrified to see the two pads on her two front paws all cut up and
"beaten up". I needed to clean them up and tend to them and hoped she
would let me. She did thankfully. I cleaned the pads, applied triple
antibiotic ointment on a sterile gauze pad and was able to wrap each one
up without her batting an eye or putting up a fight. Flyboy did the "HMPH"
and I explained I'm "mommy" and with them both 24 hours a day spoiling them
to death. I said it as I was cooking a pot of chicken and rice for them...

Ginger was limping when she woke up from her nap, but after covering and
padding her feet, she was able to walk fine, just slow, still exhausted.
It's not nice to laugh, but because both of Ginger's front feet were
bandaged, she waslked like a Clysdale, lifting each one alternately up
in the air. It took her about a day to ease up on it and she allowed me
to change the dressing and bandages the following day without any problem...

They slept and to tell you just how tired and traumatized Ginger was,
as she napped, she peed all over the bed and trust me, these dogs
don't pee an ounce or two. She didn't even know she did it, never has
done that and I made no reaction towards her when I saw it because I
couldn't further traumatize her, OR be mad at her. I was just glad she
was home!

Even though they're both still tired and very low-keyed right now,
They are eating fine, drinking fine and Ginger is going in and out to
do what she has to do, although I closed off the dog door for a few days
so they wouldn't have to jump through or put any extra pressure on their
paws right now. They do seem to be avoiding the rocks right now which
is understandable, using the grass for potty duty which they never do.
I'm hoping that changes before the lawn shows sign of damage. I know,
I know, I baby them. Can't help it, I never want to go through that ever
again and of course, made a very important phone call to our landscaper.
It wasn't his fault, he is very trustworthy, but has been home with a back
injury for a few weeks. His idiot guys are the ones who did it even though
he told them the gate MUST be closed before they leave. Previously. they
would just go in the back and start working, I told him that if he isn't
with them, they are to ring my doorbell to let me know they are here and
ring my doorbell to let me know they are done so I can double check the gate.
I went one further, I told them if they ring the doorbell and I don't answer
the door, go away!!! (They'll probably call the Fed-Ex guy to let him know
I'm gone)...

Flyboy had to leave Friday morning and pondered calling in sick because
his girls may need him after their trauma...

Never mind his wife with pneumonia and an unwilling passenger in Death Race
2011 was just as traumatized almost losing her babies! HMPH!!!

I apologize for the length of this but have to say one more thing. I want
to wish my dear mother a very happy 84th birthday tomorrow! I am truly
blessed to still have her on this earth and have the ability to hear her
voice when I need to talk to mama. Happy Birthday mom! XOXOX