Utah Blues (and Reds)

Enjoyed a lovely stay at the grassy park outside of Capitol Reef NP. A bit noisy from road traffic, but perfect for pup. So nice he didn't want to leave. But leave we did, to take the scenic drive through the NP. Turns out vehicles under 27' were allowed off the paved road and onto the washes. That was a fun drive! Bago *seemed* to be enjoying things, though, as we enjoyed a mile-long walk through Echo Cliffs. (As with Nick, we did have to tease Bago a little bit with the echoes ;-)

When it was time to get back into the RV, pup took a little more convincing than usual. Lisa then opened the screen door to reach out and get main door to close. In the blink of an eye, Bago darted out the door and ran full speed up a trail. Lisa reacted on instinct understandably and gave chase. Oops. Dog saw a game....  Since I'm not a runner of any kind, I had a moment to think through the panic. I grabbed a squeaky pull toy, waved it to get his attention, and threw it from the RV out onto the trail. That got his attention. He dodged Lisa to go after it, while I grabbed the high-value hot dog treats. Threw a handful of those on the ground (which made him not look at me) and grabbed his collar before he knew what hit him. He clearly was being a mischievous boy. They say that all your hard work at training comes and goes during this adolescent period and not to despair. Oy. We almost despaired. But we are the humans. We have tricks if necessary.... The stakes were just too high. We were in the middle of the desert, for heaven's sake. I don't think pup would've done too well on his own.

So, we got underway and he became a holy terror: crying, pawing windows and doors, crawling on laps, just desperate to get out. We though tough love was in order, so we kept driving. Shoulda taken the upmteenth clue (his refusal to chew on a beloved pizzle stick) and pulled over when we could. Turns out the poor guy had diarrhea. We are eternally grateful it landed on the linoleum, and not the bedspread where he had just been. We were driving on a VERY rural 2-lane road--no shoulder, no pullouts, and VERY windy--so I just kept driving while Mama Lisa pulled janitorial duty. I have never been happier to have that driving shift.

Bago promptly settled down and went to sleep after this episode. Whew. At the height of his panic, we were discussing if we could continue on the trip! So, as soon as we reached civilization again, we pulled off at Green River (where we'd stayed a few years ago and knew there were oases) and made for the city park. No dogs. Drats. Carried on to the state park, where for $5, there was grass galore and pretty river scenery. We picnicked and played with the tease toy (with dropped leash when the ranger wasn't looking--Bago ain't a-gonna run away when this toy is involved) and got rid of more of the mystery tummy upset (probably just panic-induced).

It was a short day and we made it to Moab before 2PM. Grocery store followed by city dog park. All is well. The RV park where we're staying is, unfortunately, a cheek-to-jowl kind of a place with only gravel, but it is in town, so we can walk to the river walk, the dog park, etc. And the dog park is uniquely Utah in its composition:

And next door to the RV park is the town's softball field, where the little girls were practicing with the pitching machine. Bago quivered with excitement. Little girls AND a ball machine that never got tired of throwing balls. Heaven!

Off for our next adventure. We really do need to pace things for pup, who truly seems to be getting exhausted and overwhelmed with all of the new things. Allowing him to curl up in his "den" under the dinette, away from external stimulation (people walking by, etc.), periodically seems to help. Live and learn--

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