Thursday, June 26, 2008

Baloo's Best Friend, and Mine too

Before Baloo was Jazz. Jazz has been with me since she was found as a small undernourished pup that wandered out onto Route 66, at Peach Springs, AZ; sat in the road, looked at my coworkers and wagged her tail. We had stopped on the Reservation on our way to the Music Mtns a few miles west; we needed a permit. I waited in the parked truck, my coworkers had gone into the office and were walking back. It was 1994, my second summer as a wildlife biologist intern and I was on my way with 2 others to trap endangered Hualapai Mexican voles for study. When the scrawny dog came out to the road, I watched the ooooh factor hit double digits as she used her best puppy in need face and wagged her tail at a distance as if to say, "it would really be great if you'd take me and help me, but I'm kind of afraid of being rejected so I'll wait over here while you decide". There was no way 3 women were going to leave a small starving puppy sitting in the middle of the road. We loaded her in the truck. Who would keep her? None of us felt our situation was ideal - one lived with her parents, one was spending the majority of her summer in a tent, and I lived in an apartment that wouldn't allow a second dog. We decided at least we could take her to a shelter so she wouldn't waste away or get hit. After arriving at our camp site, as we pitched our tents the little puppy followed close to our every step. Later we took a hike to watch the sun set at a nice lookout. We forgot the puppy momentarily and she evidently decided to explore a little. When we realized we hadn't seen her for a couple minutes, we began to call (we were nervous then, we had seen a bobcat cross the trail on our way). No answer for what seemed like 2 or 3 minutes (but was probably less) and then suddenly a rustling under the brush and puppy whimpers as she burst back into view. She jumped into my arms and started licking my face and her relief was so apparent and so real that it sealed the deal - Jazz was my dog from that moment on.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Baloo's Quote of the Day

"Histories are more full of examples of the fidelity of dogs than of friends." Alexander Pope