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When we lived in California I could hardly wait until summer arrived.  The warmth, the sun, the ability to go out at night and leave my various “car” coats in my closet and not having to wait until mid-day to take my power walk.  Heaven.  

Don’t get me wrong, we had plenty of 80 degree winter days-but somehow the winter 80 was a lot less warm than the spring or summer 80.  Even autumn 80 was pretty darn hot, but then we’d call it “Indian summer“.

When living “on the face of the sun” you start looking for indoor activities to keep busy with because even going to the community pool after 11:30 a.m. (or one of our fantastic splash pads) is just not as fun as you might be imagining.  

The “person” I feel the sorriest for is our little Chihuahua Lucky.  Her favorite time of day is when she sees me suiting up for that daily power walk I mentioned a few seconds ago.  She has 3 coats:  one for brisk mornings, one for cold and one for our few freezing mornings.  But summer?  Ugh!

Our first summer with Lucky, Steve and I found some cute booties to try on.  For those of you who have either never been the pet parent of a dog or just never wanted to go out in either the freezing cold or blazing heat-the booties are meant to do just what shoes do for us-stop our feet from blistering!

Well, Steve got the front two booties on her, she gave him the fish eye.  Then she saw the third one in his hand and growled the doggy version of “Don’t even think about it Dad!“.

Steve said, “Put her down, maybe when she sees what we‘re trying to do, she’ll like them.”

Yeah, right.  I put her down and she looked like a toddler wearing their first ever winter coat!  Big eyes, snarly nose and stiff from nose to tail tip.  We took them off, packaged them up and took them back to the pet boutique we purchased them at and (obviously) returned them.

If you ask people out here how the dogs cope about walking in the heat, well, we “good” parents will tell you from about the end of May until Mid-September-we just don’t take them on a walk.

Some people say to just take them at the horrible hour of 6 a.m. or after dark.  Really?  There are two reasons why this is not a good idea:  

1-During those months our temps reach 120 and only dip to maybe (on cool nights) 105.  The sidewalks are too darn hot no matter what time of day it is!  The sun disappearing for a few hours does NOT make anything feel the least bit cooler!

2-I can’t speak for downtown Phoenix or Scottsdale, but out here in the “boonies“-we have a lot of critters that can do something we mere humans cannot:  See in the dark.  I for one do not wish to go out in the dark and run into a coyote, a wolf, a javelina or a flying critter of some kind. The other DAY my neighbor and I saw a vulture flying about our daily walking route.  Ew, thankfully I didn’t see the dying/dead critter and for that I’m eternally grateful.

A few weeks ago the two of us (Lucky was enjoying her walk in my arms) saw a dead coyote on the curb-I wasn’t even asking, I just said, “Let’s go this way” and proceeded to go through the houses instead of on the main road.

So here we are about to start our fourth summer in paradise and I’m thinking a tune up for the treadmill might be in order.  I don’t enjoy being a hamster, but it beats not moving.

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