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By the time we got to Phoenix …

It was 104 degrees.

Too hot for dogs, in Ace’s view — even though I pointed out to him it was a dry heat. Too hot for fleas, too. I’m told. Temperatures get so high in summer, that pesky species doesn’t even bother to book reservations. Survival is impossible.

Humans, on the other hand, despite their bigger brains, don’t seem to  have figured that out yet — my father and brother among them.

Both of them have lived in Phoenix for a while now, leaving me with good freeloading opportunities — oven-like though they may be.

So, as this will be our base for the next week or so, we plan to do a lot of what people who live in Phoenix do — stay inside in the air conditioning. But we’ll be setting off some day trips, too, and exploring the dog friendly side of Phoenix.

Saturday’s day-long drive from Santa Fe was half Interstate highway (with nearly every exit sporting an Indian trading post, and/or casino, and not much else), half back roads (most of them cutting through the Tonto National Forest.)

It was all evergreens as we climbed up and through the mountains after crossing the border, then turned to desert and cactus as we came back down and approached the Phoenix area.

Ace and I are staying for now in Gilbert, at the home of my brother, who, along with his yellow lab, Roscoe, we’ve visited before. Last time there was some bloodshed, when, as I recall it, the two got snarly with each other and Ace bit his own tongue.

This time there was one brief growly period when they first approached each other, outside, but the two have been getting along just fine since. To make sure that continues to be the case, Ace is taking dinner outside by the car, which he’s come to view as a big red feeding machine. He will sit and stare at it, just as he used to with the treat shelf back home in Baltimore.

While Ace likes to keep his visits outside short, Roscoe is the opposite. The heat doesn’t seem to bother him at all and, given the opportunity, he’d lay on the hot cement for hours. Maybe, living here all his life, Roscoe, who we featured here in his puppyhood, and who we’ll be telling you more about later, has adapted. Ace prefers my brother’s cool tile floor, right under the ceiling fan.

That’s where I’m sleeping, too, on the couch, with Ace stretched on the floor out next to it. Last night, as I was falling asleep, arm dangling off the couch, Ace got in a hand-holding mood (which he often does), reaching his paw out for my hand every time I let go.

I’m pretty sure that’s how we, or at least I, fell asleep.

(To read all of the continuing series, Dog’s Country, click here.)


Comment from susan
Time June 21, 2010 at 11:16 am

You and Ace have obviously traveled before but do you think you typically feel/create a deeper bond when you’re away from home?

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