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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Thanks for Your Kind Words on the Loss of My Kendall; I'm Taking a Break

A lot of you e-mailed such kind words of sympathy and comfort; I'm sincerely touched. And it's probably good timing that I'm off today for a weeklong vacation in Arizona, where every spring, my galpals and I hike in the desert (and encounter all sorts of exotic critters, including rattlers. Eek!)

We'll be at a Nature Conservancy reserve in Southern Arizona called Muleshoe Ranch, which has bunkhouses and a natural hot spring that's pumped into livestock troughs used as hot tubs. After a long day of hiking and birdwatching, it's great to get into that hot water - as the desert temperature plummets - with good friends and a bottle of red wine. Pretty soon, you've got 10 old girls in their 50s singing Marty Robbins tunes loud and off key into the fragrant night air. It's too much fun.

I'll update the blog when I can, but will be blissfully unplugged for the better part of a week.

In the meantime, my remaining dogs will be in the care of the "Uncle Scott,'' a Herald colleague who's been dogsitting for generations of my critters. He has one of the all-time memorable stories about Kendall (that has morphed into a real "shaggy dog story,'' if you know what I mean).

Years ago when I lived in Hollywood, Scott awoke to an unholy racket at 4 am-- snarling, snapping, howling inside the house. Kendall had cornered a rat that probably had sneaked in through the dog door. She chased it through the house into the bathroom, and dispatched it with a chomp of her mighty shepherd jaws.

Being that she was rather slow-moving and portly even then, Scott was astounded that it was she, not one of the younger, more agile dogs, who saved him from what has by now become "a herd of rabid wharf rats.''

She was a real hero.