On particularly hot days, which has been every day as we passed through Oklahoma and Texas, he has taken to moving up closer to the front of the car and resting his head and paws on the front seat console, so that he might absorb a little more coolness from the air conditioner vents.
This also puts his head just inches from the dual cup holders. That way, when I am mostly finished with my Big Gulp, extra large iced coffee or other mega-beverage, I can easily hand feed him ice cubes while I drive. He likes this very much.
The heat has been, far and away, the biggest challenge on our road trip — which enters its third month today.
Month two of our travels — aimed at finding interesting dog stories, seeing America, and exploring the relationship between America and dog (all on a shoestring budget) — saw us spend a little more money than month one.
Though trying to live on roughly the same amount we were paying for rent and utilities at our ex-home in Baltimore — about $1,100 — we spent about $1,300 on food, gas and lodging, even with our ten days of free housing in Santa Fe, in exchange for petsitting duties.
That means we need to do a whole lot more freeloading as we head off on the next leg.
We will soon be making our getaway from Texas — where both of the ohmidogmobile’s door magnets were stolen, one in Dallas, on in Huntsville. We plan a quick revisit to Houston before heading on to Mississippi, then spending some time in North Carolina.
After that, we’ll head north, pop in on Baltimore, check the mail, pay some bills, and venture into New England before heading west again, on a more northerly route.
(“Dog’s Country” is the continuing account of one man and one dog spending six months criss-crossing America.)
Posted by jwoestendiek July 26th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, ace does america, air conditioning, animals, automobile, car, cup holder, cupholder, dog, dog's country, dogs, global warming, heat, hot, hydrate, ohmidog!, oklahoma, pets, rides, riding, road trip, texas, travel, traveling with dogs, weather
Ace, while enjoying the wide-open West, seems less than pleased with one of its characteristics. He — and I could be wrongly reading his mind now — is tired of the blistering hot pavement and the pebbles, large and small, that most folks around here opt for when landscaping.
He was longing last night — again I’m mind reading — for a soft green carpet to do his business, which is what led me to approach my Motel 6 neighbors two doors down after seeing they had a dog. They appeared to have been there for a while, based on the clutter in their room, so I figured they knew the ropes.
Ace and I were headed out for a walk, when I spotted them. Not wanting to alarm them or trigger a bad reaction in their dog, I shouted my question from a distance.
“Do you know where I could find some grass around here?”
“Do you know where I could find some grass around here?”
The second time I said it, the double meaning dawned on me. Fortunately, no police cars were passing by, though, who knows, the moment could have been captured for posterity by a security camera. Big Brother is pretty much everywhere these days — from Motel 6 to your more classy joints, like Howard Johnson’s.
Fortunately, too, my motel neighbor took my question with the intended meaning and pointed us down the road, past four more motels, to the Cracker Barrel.
“Cracker Barrel’s got some good grass,” she said.
She was right. Ace sniffed it for 30 minutes, watered it three times, and gently dropped a load (subsequently scooped) upon it. By then, I was ready to get back to the room, but he lay down in it, knowing it would be more hot pavement and pebbles on the way back.
I gave him a couple more minutes, for he was right, as dogs usually are when they make us slow down. There was no hurry. We lingered a bit, inhaled a few more times.
It was good stuff.
(To read all of “Dog’s Country,” from the beginning, click here.)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 28th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace does america, animals, arid, arizona, climate, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, dry, flagstaff, grass, hot, landscaping, ohmidog!, pavement, pebbles, pets, poop, road trip, scoring some grass, terrain, travel, traveling with dogs, waste, west
China’s hottest dog won’t fit in your lap, drools copiously and was once banned by the Communist party.
With pet ownership booming in China, the must-have dog for the ultra-rich is the Tibetan mastiff — a breed the Communist Party once deemed bourgeois, the Associated Press reports.
How much times have changed was evident at the 6th annual China Tibetan Mastiff Expo this past weekend, where hundreds of the massive dogs were on hand, parading down catwalks like fashion models and strutting their high-priced stuff.
Some carried the names of wealthy Americans like “Warren Buffett,” while others were called “God,” ”Prince,” and “King” – the latter so prized that one breeding session with him costs $40,000.
“I used to invest in German shepherds, but Tibetan mastiffs are what’s hot right now,” said King’s owner, Sui Huizheng, a businessman who has about 20 of the dogs.
Breeders in China say adult Tibetan mastiffs sell for tens of thousands of dollars, and can even go for more than $100,000.
One of them sold for more than half a million dollars last year to a woman in northern China who then sent 30 black Mercedes-Benz and other luxury cars to fetch the dog from the airport, according to a report in the state-run China Daily.
Tibetan mastiffs, most recognizable by their mane-like hair, can grow to 180 pounds.
After splurging on real estate in Australia, American thoroughbreds and European designer fashions, China’s rich see the Tibetan mastiffs as a new status symbol, the Associated Press reported, and among the must-haves for rich men in northeast China, the official Xinhua News Agency recently said, are a young beautiful wife, a Lamborghini and a Tibetan mastiff, “the bigger and more ferocious the better.”
(Photo: A Tibetan mastiff in South Korea — one who happens to be a clone. By John Woestendiek /ohmidog!)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 25th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, breeders, breeding, breeds, china, china tibetan mastiff expo, clone, communist, dogs, expensive, hot, mastiffs, news, ohmidog!, pets, popular, popularity, status symbol, stud fee, tibetan mastiff, trend
A 24-year-old man from North Dakota is facing animal cruelty charges after police say he left his dog in the car while his girlfriend auditioned for “American Idol” in Denver.
Police say Quincy Vanderbilt has been charged with one count of animal cruelty, 9 News in Denver reported.
According to police, Vanderbilt, who was visiting Denver from North Dakota, left his dog in a car parked near INVESCO Field at Mile High. When he checked on the dog later in the afternoon, it was dead.
The Denver District Attorney’s office says Vanderbilt had come to Denver with his girlfriend, who was auditioning for “American Idol.”
He is due in court on Aug. 20.
Denver Animal Care and Control reminded residents that it only takes minutes for a pet left in a hot car to die from heatstroke or suffocation. On a 78 degree day, temperatures in a car can soar to 90 degrees if it’s left in the shade and hit 160 degrees if it’s parked in the sun.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 16th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: american idol, animal care and control, animal cruelty, car, denver, dies, dog, heat, hot, invesco field, north dakota, police, quincy vanderbilt, tryout
The handler of seven show dogs who died after being left overnight in a hot van has been charged with eight counts of animal cruelty, authorities said.
Mary Wild, the handler, is free on $2,500 bond, according to a report in the Kansas City Star.
Police said Wild left eight show dogs in the van last month after returning from a dog show in Iowa. Authorities said the temperature in the van could have reached 120 degrees.
Wild, 24, had been hired by the dogs’ owners to present the dogs at a show in Iowa. When she returned got home, about 1 a.m. on June 22, she left eight dogs in the van and went inside to sleep.
Seven of the eight dogs died of apparent heat stroke. The eighth dog, a Siberian Husky named Cinder, recovered and went home last week.
The other dogs, all purebreds and mostly large breeds, included a malamute, a dalmatian, three golden retrievers and an Akita.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 7th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: akc, akita, american kennel club, animal cruelty, charged, cinder, dalmatian, dead, die, dogs, golden retreiver, handler, hot, malamute, mary wild, overnight, purebreds, seven, show, siberian husky, van