Sunday, April 01, 2007

Basic Black: Good for eveningwear, not great in the desert

Kirby is not a desert dog. We and the "grandpuppies" are paying a visit to my mom in the desert Southwest. We have, thus far, been blessed with absolutely perfect weather -- blue skies, golden sun and temps in the high 70s to low 80s. Yesterday we had a glorious morning. We went for a hike along a semi-shaded pathway that lead to an absolutely gorgeous area of red rocks. In the shade it was cool enough for long sleeves, but in the sun it was quite warm.

Of course Kirby was extremely excited about all the new sights and smells and things to discover, so he was pulling like crazy (no, we haven't yet taught him leash manners...shame on us...but anyway) and he was wearing himself out. Baxter is an old hand at desert hiking, and despite his tendency to want to stick his nose under rocks (bad idea) he knows how to pace himself pretty well. Kirby had no clue. When we got home Kirby sacked-out for hours.

This morning we went for a walk on the streets in my mom's neighborhood. Kirby took off with great zeal -- after all, it was morning and it was relatively cool and he was on a walk! Well, by the time we got about halfway through, Kirby was dragging. The sun was heating things up a bit and his little blackness was absorbing far too much of it for his taste.

Kirby slowed way down and his tail was dangling limply behind him (he's a tail held high kind of guy). His tongue was hanging out farther than I've ever seen it, and when we got to a little patch of shade he literally dove for it and flopped down the pavement. Baxter, in the meantime, was absolutely fine, as were my mom and I, because it really wasn't that hot and the walk wasn't particularly far. Kirby begged to differ.

Not wanting the little guy to collapse from heat exhaustion, I tried carrying him for a bit. He finally decided that was even worse than walking and struggled to get back down. He managed to make it home in his draggy, hot, hang-dog way.

Needless to say, it was a quiet afternoon at Mom's house. Both dogs slept for hours. Kirby doesn't seem any worse for the wear, but I don't think he's going to head out with quite so much gusto next time.

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