Monday, July 6, 2009

Hot, Hot Heat. Canine Casualties.

Yesterday Dave Rivas and I took the kids (Carlo, Ruby, & Zero) down to Tar Creek in 90+ degree weather. By the end of the day we had two casualties: Ruby was bleeding from her paws, and Zero was blasted from the heat. Ruby has had this problem before. Zero, not so much. I guess I need to remember that dogs ride much closer to the ground which means that they get less breeze and more radiated ground heat. Couple that with the canine's inefficient cooling mechanism and I can see why Zero got so messed up. Never the less, by the time we got back to Ventura he seemed to be okay, mostly fatigued. Of unusual note, on the drive up we saw two pairs of healthy looking deer, one pair being mother/fawn.
When we got to the pools, naturally the half way point for a round trip, Ruby just lay there in the shade looking miserable. Zero, on the other hand guzzled water and swam, stood, waded in water with me. It was a gorgeous day for the humans, clear and blue and sunny. Not to hot for us. The water was cool and nice, though it was starting to get the dry season greening as water flow has been diminishing. Still, it was very nice. I got to park on a rock and work on a novel.
The hike out, though all uphill, was no more difficult than usual. Certainly I have hiked it in significantly hotter temps. Zero, however, was panting the whole way. He played this little game where he would get ahead of me and crawl under a bush for it's shade, let me catch up and pass him, and then repeat the process. My "Last Shade 'Til Top" tree has really blossomed into a nice, shady rest stop. It is high up on the way out and usually gets a fair breeze that helps. I had to give Zero a full 15 minutes to get his respiratory rate closer to normal before we finished the final 1.25 miles. Once back at the truck he conked out under the shade of the truck and gobbled down about a 1/2 gallon of H2O. So the lesson is that hikes in 90+ heat is too hot for the dog. Inhumane (I got that and a few other words from Ruth last night). Also I'm going to get him some booties which might help with the ground heat on even warm days. Great day if you're not a dog. Zero got himself 200mgs of Advil and a couple slices of BBQ tri-tip for being a tuffy.
Check out this video of Aqua Zero!

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