Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Dog Free

This is Emma, a dog my wife and I recently rescued from a foreclosed home in Fort Myers, at the request of an ex-husband who abandoned his wife and their ten year old dog and called on me to save Emma before the ex-wife had her put to sleep. Lisa and Josh took Emma in and she is thriving on Sugarloaf Key.
Emma lived as basically a houseplant for almost all her life, never exercised, never given much attention and never stimulated. When we brought her to Josh and Lisa's should couldn't climb the stairs, now she accompanies Josh on his exercise. She is a happy dog and I'm glad of it. Though let me start out by saying that dog sitting for four days was great- and confirmed the fact that for both of us, my wife and I, dog free is how we want to be for now.From time to time it happens that we look after a friend's dog and we enjoy it very much but each time we also enjoy getting back to an empty house once again. I fear I tend to prefer the company of dogs to people and the fact that we haven't rescued a dog from the pound makes me feel guilty when I know there ar eso many thta could use good homes. However the work involved in keeping a dog and the emotional commitment feels overwhelming...
Emma it turns out is a very tractable dog, eager to please and i think she would be easy to train. She enjoyed our walks together over the course of four days and spent a fair bit of her time sticking her nose into mangrove bushes.When I'm out walking a dog, on leash or off, I like to pause and let the animal set the pace. I can't imagine how frustrating it would be to keep getting dragged from interesting spot to interesting spot with out the opportunity to really get one's fill. So my dog walks tend to be rather on the languid side:
The day I took these pictures, last week on Middle Torch Key the weather was doing its best to misbehave. We'd had heavy rain the night before so the fire roads were filled with more puddles than usual, though the mosquitoes hadn't yet had a chance to breed in the puddles.

The skies were leaden and for the most part the light was crappy for shooting outdoor pictures though the sun did show up momentarily:I take great pleasure in wandering the back country, but this winter I find the dry season is almost over and I've hardly done much wandering at all. It's shocking how time flies, so it was an extra pleasure to clump around in the mangroves under Florida's Big Skies with Emma. We walked out to an old dumping ground in the wilderness. A few years ago this trailer was parked upright but someone took the time to tip it on it's side; Emma found it fascinating:We found all sorts of trash showed up around the trailer, like this wheel and even a sea buoy:This sign said: No Dumping. Fat chance sez I.I had a similar reaction to this one, though I doubt it was a serious offer in a semi submerged National Wildlife Reserve:One thing that did puzzle me was where did all the broken glass come from? I guess the heaping mounds of trash all over the back country are testament to the inefficiency of the waste removal system or the frugal nature of earlier Keys residents who would rather foul up their back yards than pay to dispose of this stuff. Still the carpet of glass was quite intriguing, all those bottles:These waterways are no longer a mystery to me or long time readers of this endless blog. In two words:mosquito control. Apparently they dug out the little canals, and put fish in them that eat mosquito larvae and that hibernate in the mud during dry season. Apparently someone planned a development in this most unpropitious spot:I was, it turned out properly attired for the wet conditions, though thorns have a habit of penetrating the soles of the clogs and they hurt when they work their way through the rubber:And there in the distance was the Maxima, ready to haul us home to refreshing cups of tea (me) and cold water (Emma):Th pity of the dog is that it interferes with one's ability to ride a motorcycle. And no, I'm not yet ready for a side car, thanks for offering.