A Day in the Life of Neela, a Desert Dog Living in Baja

neela guest blogHello! I am Neela Bear. A few months ago, Mommy packed up my dog bowls, my blanket, my leashes, my toys, and… oh yeah, a bunch of boxes of her things. She stuffed the car really full. Even the top of my big crate was covered with stuff. She brought along some of my very favorite treats, the CANIDAE PURE Heaven Biscuits with sweet potato and salmon, and gave them to me on the long drive when I was being good. I was very good.

We drove so far. It is really different here in our new home than where we were before. It is hot. I mean really  hot. I have to pant a lot when we are outside. Mommy calls this place the desert. There is no green cool grass here, just brown stuff called sand.

The landscape is covered with prickly plants, and so much sand that is fun to dig in. I tried to chew one of the prickly plants, but it poked my mouth. I was okay, but now if one pokes me I growl at it. Once in a while I still try to eat one.

Sometimes when I go out in the morning, this bird likes to chatter at me from a tall cactus in our yard. It’s called a saguaro, but this one is dead and brown. It doesn’t have any pricklers like the green ones. The big bird sits way up high on it where I can’t reach her. I watch her very carefully, in case she finally decides to come closer for a visit. Mostly she just caws at me really loudly.

neela guest blog 5Sometimes we go to the beach where I can run and run. My feet get hot if we go too late in the morning, so we go early, or in the evening. There is so much water there. I get wet, sandy feet and my legs get covered in it too. Mommy laughs at me when I dig in the sand and cover my face with it. There are interesting smelling things there. Mommy has to wash my feet and face before I go in the house again. I guess I get messy, but it is fun. I always take a really long nap after I run on the beach. She says it’s a great place to take an energetic dog like me for exercise, to wear me out.

The rest of the time I can go outside in the small fenced yard, and run up and down the steps outside that go to the roof. That is my favorite place. Up on the roof I can see everything around us on every side. I can see the big sky and birds, and mountains. I can see all the blue water where the beach is. I can see the guy who walks his dog every evening. I bark at them to come visit me, but they just keep going. Up on the roof, my Mom says I am the queen of my castle.

There are funny things that run across the yard. Mommy calls them lizards. There are big ones and tiny ones. They have long tails and very short legs. They like to sit in the hot sun. I try to sniff them, but they run away really fast and I can’t get near them. I haven’t caught one yet. They don’t seem to want to get close to me for some reason. They don’t like Mommy either, but my human sister can catch them.

My dog sister Cody and I can catch the fuzzy desert mice. Cody likes to eat them, heads first, which makes her mom and mine make scrunched up faces. I tried one, but mostly I like to sniff and chase them.

neela by fanSometimes I get too hot outside, so I come in and rest by the fan. The tile is cool on my tummy. I get cold water from my bowl and beg for ice from Mom’s big glass of water. After the moon comes up, I go outside and up to my roof to cool off while I contemplate the stars. There are a lot of them up there. We are in the country, so they shine really brightly. I sit up there and then run around as fast as I can for a while. From downstairs Mommy says I sound like a herd of elephants.

I find really big bugs outside that flutter their wings next to the lights. I jump to try and get them; I can’t reach them unless they come down lower, but it is fun to try. I do it every night. I can get one every once in a while if it flies low enough.

On the ground I like chasing big beetles across the patio, under the chairs, behind the pillars and everywhere. I chased a really big black one into the house one night. Mommy screamed when it startled her by crawling on her bare feet. She got it with a broom. She said it was about the size of a dinner plate. She was kidding.

There are also really mean little black things that come in under the door and try to eat my dog food. They come in a long line. I would’ve been glad to share with them, but when I tried to take bites, they crawled on my face and bit me all over my muzzle and a couple got in my nose. I rubbed my face all over the chair and with my paws to get them to go away. They got Mommy’s feet too, and gave her red bites. I won’t share with them anymore. She finally got rid of them, but I see little sandy mounds with them coming out of a hole on top while we’re out on our walks. She said desert bugs are tough.

I’m getting pretty tough surviving in the desert now too. I like it here. Next, I am supposed to try swimming. I don’t know about that. My water bowl is fun to stick my whole head in when I am really hot after a walk. I make a big mess on the floor that Mom has to wipe up. I am not too sure about that great big sea, but I like the desert. There are so many good sniffy things to explore here.

Photos by Laurie Darroch

Read more articles by Laurie Darroch

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