Roxy training diary month 28
September 2005

Catching up.  It's been pretty busy here, but this is the story of the Mississippi happenings, including those that led to our being back together.

September 20 or thereabouts - Jackson, MS.

Since the dogs were in Ogden, I was able to offer a place to stay to Jenny Pavlovic and ACD Katie.  Katie had been plucked off a roof near the 17th Street Canal in flooded New Orleans and taken to the shelter set up at the Lamar Dixon arena in Gonzalez, LA.  Jenny had flown to Louisiana to volunteer at the shelter and was driving Katie back north to Minnesota in hope of finding a new home and life for her there. Katie is an incredibly good-natured, resiliant dog who deserves a new start in life. 

If anyone is interested, I can put them in touch with Jenny.

Katie immediately found a safe place to hole up.

After her first peaceful night in weeks, Katie was happier.  Jenny was happy to see the change in her.


Early September.  Jackson, MS.  

When Katrina took aim for Jackson, Dylan, Roxy and I (and the Duck, of course) evacuated to the Hampton Inn in Blythville, Arkansas, where Jim and Annie had stayed the first night of their pioneering journey west.  Three days and nights stuck in a motel were pretty hard on all of us, but the cattlekids played (during the afternoons) and gnawed on their cheese-stuffed bones in the evening.  The trip was made stressful by knowing that once we got back in Mississippi, gas would be very difficult to come by, although some of the places visited for fill-ups provided comic relief.  The Duck helped by plotting our course back home, where we found a huge pine crashed through the fence and across the yard, no power, no phone, no water.  That prompted our exodus to Ogden. 

Gas(oline), food, and a giggle.

Motels are for playing.

The Duck plans our route.


Roxy sensed that something was wrong and that this wasn't like the usual trips we'd been taking together.  She was really disturbed to see a license plate that said "Jimmy & Denise".  "I didn't know my dad and my breeder were that close.  There's even something that looks like my leash in that picture!" Roxy muttered.  I know that OUR Denise would never dot her "i" with a butterfly, and I assured Roxy of this.  I still can't figure out what the pink and purple things are.  Demented winter mittens?

Back in Jackson, our realtor kept saying   "Oh my goodness!"  I'd left because I was afraid of a tree hitting the house.  [The tree seems fatter in person.]

Sept 29 - Ogden, UT.  Dad and I plan to go to Yellowstone tomorrow.  Earlier this week, I got Dylan and Roxy to the vet to be vaccinated so I could board them if I wished. 

This morning, I whisked all three of the ACDs to Ruffledale for doggie daycare.  I figured that we would see who could behave and who acted like a butthead (this is directed at you, Dylan). 

Then, about 3 this afternoon, I called TeAnna, the owner of Ruffledale, and asked her how the guys were behaving.  The convo went something like this.

Me: This is Jim Hutchins.  I just called to check and see how the cattle dogs are doing.

TeAnna: They're fine.

Me: Are you sure?  Is Dylan behaving himself?

TeAnna: He's an angel.  Roxy, on the other hand, is not getting along with the other dogs.  I had to put her in a room by herself.

It turns out that Dylan, bless his little heart, has a crush on TeAnna.  As soon as she arrived for her shift at 2, he clambered up on her lap for a hug, the little suck-up.  Meanwhile, Roxy started mouthing off to the other dogs there so the principal put her in detention.

Now comes the ironic part.  Since Annie and Dylan are behaving themselves, they get put in Ruffledale while Roxy, because she is a jerk, gets to go on a cool trip to Yellowstone with Dad and me.

Roxy's trip to the vet was also notable because he noticed a molar is broken with an exposed root.  We will have to have it extracted.  Meanwhile, I plan to get her hips OFA'd and PennHIP'ped. 

Sept 26.  New duck update for you Société de Canard de Chien de Troupeau fans.  Apparently, the duck is responsible for all the recent changes in the weather, not the Japanese Mafia (Yakuza) as previously reported.

Dylan Yogurthead

Sept 25.  As is my wont, I started the day with a smoothie made from skim milk, nonfat yogurt, and whatever fruit I have around.  Today was peach-banana-raspberry. 

It was the end of the yogurt carton, so I put the carton down for the dogs to finish off the dregs.  Dylan was the first to capture the carton, so he set about the work of cleaning the inside.  It is a quart size, so there's just enough room for him to get his face well into it. 

Roxy and Annie were unable to peel him away from his mission, so he pretty much cleaned it out.  When he was done, however, there was a pretty big wad of yogurt on his nose, on his chin, and a smaller spot by his left eye. 

I tried to get either of the girls to clean him up, but they either refused to accept that it was yogurt (since it was on Dylan's face, and not in a container) or they were worried about Dylan's cranky nature and didn't want to get involved with anything that close to his bite. 

So, I ran to get the camera, and took a picture of him looking slightly guilty but happy nonetheless. 

After that, I took pity on him, and cleaned his face with a wet paper towel. 

The tough part of this morning was deciding who was going to go hiking in the mountains with me.  I had decided to tackle Mt. Ogden again, but since I was going alone, I needed to be able to drive back to Ogden when I was done.

So, I decided to hike the mountain from the east face (i.e., the Snowbasin side) and ride the gondola back down.  I'm pretty sure the gondola is closed after October 1, so this may be my last chance this year for hiking this way.  My next trip, I hope to ski the mountain.

Roxy got picked for the honor of going on the hike with me.  I was worried about encountering other dogs, and did not want Dylan to be a jerk about that.  I was worried about whether Annie had the stamina for the trip.  I was worried that Roxy would be scared of the gondola.  So there were no good choices.

So, the backpack was packed, the crate went in the car, and off we went.  As a consolation, Dylan and Annie got the run of the house (Annie used to get that when she was an only dog; it was the first time for Dylan).

As I mentioned before, the fall colors are spectacular, which you can appreciate in these pictures.  The hike up was not too bad, except that I kept getting lost.  The good thing about going up Beus Canyon (as I did last week) is that there is only one way to the top; because it's a ski area on the east face, there are multiple ways to the top. 

The hike took us about 2½ hours.  (Going up the west face via Beus and Burch Canyons is about a 5½ hour trip.)

Up at the Needles Lodge, Roxy and I had a late lunch on the patio and enjoyed the crisp fall air.  The good thing about a hike like this, when you're living the Weight Watchers

Our Objective

lifestyle, is that you can eat whatever you want.  Roxy and I shared a burger and fries, and I kept a massive chocolate brownie to myself.

Then it was time to ride the gondola back down.  We met Mike Hernandez from Geosciences and his wife Rebecca, got our picture taken, and I tried to get Roxy to hop into the gondola.  No go.

So, I picked her up and lifted her in, and away we went.

She wasn't too thrilled with the whole experience, but a few dog biscuit bribes later, she was reasonably calm and settled in.

She even began to do a little sightseeing.

Unloading was uneventful and she hopped right out.  She was probably happy to get the heck out of that deathtrap.

While at the base lodge, I took the opportunity to buy my ticket book for the year.  I'm not sure I'm up for a season pass, so I got the 10-ticket book.

Roxy, Unaware of Her Fate, Poses With the Evil Gondola Looming Behind Her

Midway Roxy

"Uhh...Dad...Not too sure about this gondola thing..."

"Still not sure about this..."

"You're absolutely certain this is safe?"


Sept 24.  Thanks to The Economist, I discovered .  Thanks to, I discovered this blog chock-a-blog with lifehacks: 43folders.  It's sorta like Hints from Heloise for the 21st century digerati.  Trés froid.

And by the way, when the @(&#$ did Heloise get a website?  That probably makes over 50 years for that column, which I remember from when I was a kid.  Something has to be incredibly special and useful to be as needful in the 20-oughts as it was in the 1950s. 

The autumnal equinox came and went, and I never even noticed it.  The days are definitely getting shorter, and I miss the long evenings.

On the plus side, there is a good bit of color on Mt. Ogden.  It's impossible to describe how ineffably beautiful the slopes are, with the autumnal light and splashes of gold, orange and red. 

My musical tastes, are, well, eclectic.  I never knew how broad and varied until the Coolest Wife in the World gave me an iPod for Christmas and I started loading it with everything I had.  Then, I winnowed out the songs that I never wanted to hear again.  That didn't reduce the total number too much, and I was stuck at 5200 songs or so until I got the bigger, 30 GB iPod.  Now I'm at 6398 songs and counting.  I already got the new New Pornographers album loaded.  (Do not, under any circumstances, forget the word 'the' if you try to hand-type the URL above.)  When the new Bonnie Raitt comes (it's in the mail), I'll load that up, and in a few days, the new Sheryl Crow is released.  Then, it's time for the new Fiona Apple release.  All in all, a good few weeks for music.
A sample of my iPod as I write this
Still...You Turn Me On Emerson, Lake and Palmer —One of the great 70s art bands. 
Summer Nights John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John —A guilty pleasure.  I've seen this movie, what, 27 times?
99 Ways Jane Wiedlin —The best of the former GoGos, which is not saying much.
Fairy Tale Frank Sinatra
Mesopotamia B-52s

—I do know one thing, there are a lot of ruins in Mesopotamia.

I'm In the Mood for Love Julie London
Buttercups Dressy Bessy Great unknown band from Denver.  Like 60s Garage with a 21st century groove.
Love in Motion Icehouse f. Christina Amphlett —Anything Chrissy does is great. Love the Divinyls. ("Divinyls": best band name ever, too.)
Price to Pay Lucinda Williams  
I Want to Be Free Ohio Players  
Wish I Were You Patty Smyth —One of the best singers ever married to John McEnroe.
Pale Ednaswap —Anne Preven is one of the three greatest living songwriters.  Don't believe me?  Who else could write a song that makes Natalie Imbruglia sound good? Preven is now with Annetenna, an even better band. If you go to their website, you can download "Ultraviolet" or "74 Willow".  For me, listening to "74 Willow" is like lime sherbet on a hot day.
Magic Man Heart
Young Americans David Bowie
Let Me Be There Tanya Tucker
Get Down Tonight KC & the Sunshine Band
Secret Life Soft Cell
Money for Nothing Dire Straits

The dogs are making new discoveries as they settle into their new lives.  Last night, it was a pleasantly cool evening, so I left two doors open.  One upstairs lets out from the master bedroom onto the deck, and the deck has stairs down to the yard.  One on the main floor goes from the kitchen to the yard.

At first, each dog has to be shown how all this fits together.  So, if you let them out one door, you might find them barking at another door — "This is the door we always use to go in the house". 

For the last few days, I've been letting them out on the deck directly from the bedroom.  They go down the stairs to the grassy area, do their business, maybe sniff around, then they go to the kitchen door and bark.  I stand out on the deck and motion to them to come up.  They run under the deck and look for me, then return to the kitchen door and bark again.  I motion again; they go underneath me again.  Finally, one of them figures out how to get up the stairs they've just descended.  Then, the other two follow.

Last night, Roxy discovered that she could come in the kitchen door, go up the stairs behind me as I sat at the kitchen counter reading, through the master bedroom, out the bedroom door, out onto the deck, down the stairs, and in the kitchen door again.  She thought that was the coolest thing that ever was.  She did this maybe a dozen times, with a huge grin on her face each time.

After a rousing game of "jump from the couch to the loveseat and back again", the caster which normally sits under the loveseat was knocked loose.  I didn't notice this at first, but then Roxy was chewing on a small piece of something and I knew I hadn't given her anything crunchy to eat.  I confiscated it and thought, "hmm...clear plastic...looks like the corner of something..."  Then I focused on Dylan, who was merrily holding one of his 347 chew toys between his paws and working on it.  Except it wasn't one of his 347 Approved Chew Toys — it was a 348th chew toy, the loveseat caster, which is an Unapproved Chew Toy.  That was confiscated, too.  The next step in this process is to find all pieces, and ensure that no large pieces are missing.  That can be a challenge, because the shape of things changes when they are squashed between doggie molars.  All pieces accounted for, the caster was retired to an inaccessible place.


Sept 18.  Since my sister Lisa was visiting, we decided that a day trip to Antelope Island would be a fun outing.   It is almost time for the annual buffalo roundup, and herds of buffalo could be seen near Frary Peak.  What are buffalo doing on Antelope Island?  Shouldn't it be called "Buffalo Island"?

We were all ready for a fairly easy hike, so we opted for the short but somewhat steep climb on Buffalo Point.  This afforded some great views of Mt. Ogden and Ben Lomond.

Buffalo Antelopers

Mt. Ogden from Buffalo Point on Antelope Island

Ben Lomond from Buffalo Point on Antelope Island

Greetings from Antelope Island


Sept 17.  Today was the annual Mt. Ogden Hike, sponsored by Gary Willden and the Weber State University Wilderness Recreation Center.

My coworker Greta von Plant (not her real name) and I decided to hike up together, meeting at 6:30 am at the 46th Street trailhead for a hike up Beus Canyon

It was a little chilly and pretty darn dark at the beginning of the hike.  This was the second time I had done this hike, and I was quite proud that I did not miss the turn at the top of Fern Valley where the first third of the hike segues into the middle third.

The funniest thing that happened on this hike was that Greta was mistaken for my daughter.  That produced mixed emotions:

  • Yes, I am old enough to be her father.
  • I'm honored that someone thinks I have the genes to produce a daughter who is so attractive.
  • I'm glad that we comported ourselves as father and daughter would, and not like a couple of teenagers.
  • Do I really look that old?

Once you round the south face of the canyon, and can see the west face and the summit, it makes for a much easier hike.  Gail Niklason, a group of four people I had not met before, and a squad of ROTC cadets all made the same hike, so it was relatively uncrowded on the way up.  Most people went up the east face of the mountain (i.e. the Snowbasin side), while some went up Taylor Canyon.

Greta von Plant and Strawberry Peak

Greta von Plant at Beus Canyon

At the Mount Ogden Saddle

Sept 12.  If we had any doubts about whether the Red Dogs would fit in with the new house, they were dispelled tonight.  As you can see, there is plenty of time and space to relax in the new place.  Roxy and Dylan are starting to see the new house as Home.
Sept 11.  A good day for Rally-O!  It was a little chilly in the morning, but by afternoon had turned into a glorious day and Annie and I were signed up for a shot at her sixth Novice B Rally-O! leg.  You would think that would be a slam-dunk, but you would think wrong.  The judge slapped me with an NQ for having a perpetually tight leash.  I thought that was a bit excessive, but most of the photos did show a tight leash, so I guess I'm not the best judge of my own performance.
Sept 7.  Fans of the Société de Canard de Chien de Troupeau will be interested in the duck's escape from Hurricane Katrina.

Sept 5.  Roxy feels this new house has many nice features.  The grouchy and unreasonable blue caretaker who calls herself "Annie" is not one of them.  Annie is glum and frustrated, while Roxy and Dylan are quite pleased with their new surroundings.

Among the great discoveries Roxy has made — she wants me to note here that Annie, who thinks she is smart, did not make this discovery in two months but Roxy, who people say is a ditz, found this in less than 16 hours in her new place — a truly great discovery, better than the acorns, better than the pine bark mulch, "oh," she says, "where was I?"

A great discovery Roxy has made is this Tennis Ball Tree, pictured at right.  Not only does it produce some really neat tennis balls, but they are tasty as well, not like the tasteless and tough tennis balls found in Mississippi.

Technically, these tennis balls belong to the neighbors, but Roxy feels that she can probably get them to contribute if she only uses her canine wiles.  Those long eyelashes that she inherited from her dad, Tate, should come in handy here.  If that doesn't work, then the ancient dog principle of "What's mine is mine, and what's yours is mine, too" will be applied.  This discovery is too great to be left in the hands of humans and their pitiful property laws.


Sept 2-4, Amarillo, Texas to Ogden, Utah (Jim & Rosemary).  The August 2005 RoxyLog was the last of the geographically split ones.  From here on out, all the dogs are in one location again.

The circumstances surrounding the re-joining of our households was not an especially happy one.  On Monday, August 29, Hurricane Katrina destroyed New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  Even though it had weakened considerably, there was still significant damage to Jackson, Mississippi with estimated 75 mph peak wind gusts. Fortunately, Rosemary, Dylan and Roxy had evacuated to Blytheville, Arkansas and were well out of harm's way. 

Rosemary and the dogs returned to Jackson on Wednesday, August 31.  The house was not damaged, but a city full of downed trees (including one in our very own back yard) plus no electricity, no gasoline, and a boil-water alert all combined to make the city temporarily uninhabitable.  So, Thursday afternoon Rosemary started the long trek from Jackson to Ogden.

Southwest flies to Amarillo, Texas, so Jim took a one-way ticket there on Friday night and surprised Dylan and Roxy in their new motel room.  Even though Jim brought Roxy a cute little Booda cow, Roxy was understandably confused by all the changes.

Jim's mom and stepfather had come to Ogden to dog-sit and house-sit.  That was a huge help.  Rosemary had already driven alone from Jackson to Amarillo.  The plan was for Jim to take over the driving and help get Roxy and Dylan to Denver, where we would all spend the night at the house of Jim's dad.  Then, the two humans, Roxy and Dylan would follow Pioneer Annie's trail to Ogden.

Amarillo to Denver is a pretty easy drive, and Jim has driven by the Capulin Volcano National Monument perhaps two dozen times in his life and never stopped there.  In fact, it was called Capulin Mountain National Monument the first dozen or so times Jim passed by, back in the days when he was too young to drive.  For some reason, when Jim was a kid, the folks were not too keen on stopping at random sites of interest. 

There's a spiral road which ascends the cinder cone and a nice view from the top.  Among other things, you can see a lot of other cinder cones in the same area.

I'm Confused

Capulin Volcano: Inside

Capulin Volcano: Outside


Leaving Denver, it was time to retrace the path Pioneer Annie took from Denver to Ogden.  First stop was the wind farm outside of Rawlins, Wyoming where Annie wanted to homestead on her July trip.  Roxy does not see the potential of wind farming.

Next, we stopped at the place where I-80 first crosses the Continental Divide.  Roxy holds the distinction of being the only dog in our family who lived on the Pacific side of the Continental Divide, having been born in suburban Los Angeles.  So, she failed to see why we made such a big deal of the Continental Divide sign.  Further, she was dubious about our assertions that if she peed at the base of the sign, some of the water in her pee would make it to the Gulf of Mexico while some of it would not end up anywhere at all, but would be trapped in the Great Divide Basin.  She was a lot happier about that part than she was about the idea that half of her pee would end up in the Gulf.

Finally, Dylan and Roxy found a wagon at the Bear River Visitor Center in Evanston, Wyoming.  It was much nicer than Annie's wagon, and they didn't have to wear bonnets to be photographed with it.

You Want Me To Farm What?!?

So, If I Pee Here, It Ends Up Where?

Our Wagon Is Better

Upon our arrival in Ogden, everyone was surprised to see everyone else.  Annie forgot her normally staid personality and turned into a total Love Sponge when she spotted Rosemary for the first time in two months.  Best of all, she didn't have to wear a stupid bonnet.  Dylan and Annie were the next to re-acquaint, and there was some wary circling and sniffing before final acceptance.  Roxy is still a mannerless, rude little upstart and must be periodically put in her place, according to Annie.

Rosemary will stay long enough for power to be restored to the Jackson house, then go back and finish up on her work and get the house ready for sale.  The cattle dogs will stay here with Jim, which should be an experience all its own.  Who knows when Roxy's OBM will arrive?

Annie Turns into A Wiggle-Worm

A Happy Kiss

Where Have You Been?

I'm Not Sure About You



Previous RoxyLogs
RoxyLog January 2005 (month 20)
RoxyLog February 2005 (month 21)
RoxyLog March 2005 (month 22)
RoxyLog April 2005 (month 23)
RoxyLog May 2005 (month 24)
RoxyLog June 2005 (month 25)
RoxyLog July 2005 (month 26)
RoxyLog August 2005 (month 27)