Sunday, October 28, 2018

Good-bye, Mack.

Mack -- aka The Scrunt, Mr. Mack, Mackie Mack, Mack Attack -- passed away on Friday night. It seems unreal. Just a week ago we were hiking around the cliffs of Kanab looking for arrowheads together. And tonight he is gone. We miss you, Mackie. We'll love you always.

Born as a stray in the wild west, Mack was troublemaker from the start. He was found by tourists driving through Monument Valley, Utah. He was a scrappy little rez mutt, no more than 8 weeks old. They stopped to ask a tribal member about the pup, who said he was chasing them on horse, and they should take him. The couple took him to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, as they could not keep him, and so begins his story.

It was 2005 and Steve and I had recently moved to Kanab, UT to work for Best Friends. Best Friends was still a tiny animal welfare organization -- but that would change. Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and we were thrust into National news for the work we did saving animals during and after the storm. As part of the efforts to help animals, foster families were in desperate need to care for all the displaced pets. We became foster parents to a tiny 4 lb yorkie named Yoda.

I fell in love with this little squirt, but as fate would have it (and very happily so!) his family was found and so we had to say good-bye. I was heart-broken. It was bittersweet.

This is the same time that Mack arrived at Best Friends.

Knowing that I was mourning my loss, adoption specialist Kristi seized on the opportunity. I remember the convo going something like this "hey, we have this new terrier that just arrived. I know you're really sad about Yoda. I think you'd really like him. Are you up to fostering him?"

In my mind I was picturing another 4 lb designer dog, specifically one that I could carry around in my purse, go to coffee shops and basically be the Paris Hilton of Kanab. "OK!!" I said. "When can I meet him?!"

I drove up to the Sanctuary and let the staff know i was there to meet "Mack". I went around to the back of Dogtown Headquarters, and there in a crate was a wiry, scrappy tank of a puppy. He was NOT happy. He had a drastic underbite and looked like he was somewhere between being really happy or possibly quite annoyed. If he could talk I'm sure he would have been cusssing and demanding he be LET OUT.

I drove home and told him he was safe -- he'd have a big ol' yard and a brother dog (Gandalf) and sister (Tae). He did not seem impressed. What was this crap about brothers and sisters?

First impressions -- not so good. This little 8 week old puppy decided he was now the boss. Our husky, Gandalf, was found cowering in a corner. Tae was not impressed. Mack growled and snarled. I told Steve "I do not like this dog."

Steve, always the voice of reason, said "he is a baby. he's been through a lot. He is scared. Let's give him time."

That night he slept like a rock. he woke up and was a little bit less grumpy. He ate like a champ. He decided this was a pretty nice life.

A couple weeks passed and it was time to get his pic up on "petfinder". Ok good -- I thought. This is good.

The second I saw his scrappy little mug up on the website, I broke into tears. "WE HAVE TO KEEP HIM. I CAN'T LET HIM GO." And so, that very day, he became Mack Williams.

Over the years there has been a few consistent traits about Mack. 1.) He HATED gandalf (and generally any dog that had wolf-like qualities -- except Flora). 2.) He LOVED people. He wanted nothing more than to be with his people. 3.) He was fiercely loyal. He NEVER strayed on hikes. NEVER. "oh, see that bunny? I didnt.. I'm staying right here with you, my people!" 4.) He was WHATEV about cats -- but cats LOVED Mack. ha! why? we still dont know.

When I birthed out human children, Mack was ecstatic! "more people!!!!" yes! he loved his boys. He made them laugh when they were tiny tiny babies. He protected them from that big ol' wolf, Gandalf. And they loved him back.

Over the years, Mack never changed much. If he was upset, you knew it :) He looked just like Stripe from Gremlins. It was funny and terrifying. When he was happy? He looked like a grateful dead bear. He was the dog that would come with us everywhere, because he could be trusted to stay right by our side. He never strayed.

A couple years ago when Gandalf suddenly died and our family was thrown into utter depression, Mack gloated. It was Grateful Dead bear 24/7. He was SO happy, that little shit. Seriously, SO HAPPY. It was maddening.

Then, a month later, we acquired Swagger. :)

Oh, that was not a joyous day. Mack was SO MAD. He didnt even pretend to be OK with it. He snarled, grumbled, growled. But, after a while he was "OK". He learned to deal.

As it happens with life, time goes by, kids get bigger, life gets busier. Mack was always our "GO TO" dog for any adventure. He was dependable. We loved to give him special MACK time -- one on one w/ his family --- time to be spoiled and let him know he was DA MAN. He was so predictable!

Last week Mack started to cough. A LOT. He just didn't seem like Mack. He was sluggish. He seemed a little out of it. We got him an appointment w/ the vet and it was discovered he was in the late stages of lung cancer. We were stunned.

We decided that we'd do whatever it took to  make sure that no matter how long he had on Earth - we'd make it count.

It's crazy to think that the diagnosis wasn't even a week ago. And here I am tonight -- writing this tribute to my best friend. Mack lived his life fully -- and with so much love and emotion. He was fiercely loyal to his human family.

This weekend has been a blur of memories and tears -- we'll never have another Mack. Mackie, we love you. I hope you are somewhere over the rainbow, causing trouble and scrunting around. You'll always be remembered as the little gremlin with the biggest heart. I wish we could have more time with you, buddy.

Love alway, mom, dad, Harry and JJ xoxo

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Quail Creek Petroglyphs WOWZERS!

Rock art everywhere!

Living in the middle of nowhere means that we have to travel a good distance to go shopping. I try to make the most of the drive (3 hours round trip to the "big city" of St. George, Utah) by planning out a few side diversions along the way. Today Harry and I decided to check out Quail Creek, a reservoir just outside of Hurricane, UT. We heard there were some petroglyphs in the hills, and my little hiking bud was excited to find them.

Harry checks out a big rock with lots of art

The hike was super easy -- most of the time we just followed the graded track that circles the reservoir. There are signs posted that gives you clues to find the petroglyphs.

I love petroglyphs! Especially ones that look like people.


The entire hike took about an hour -- give or take. I would have loved to stay and explore more (I have a feeling there are a lot of neat things all over this mountain!!)  but we had to get to Costco :) Next time!

Remember to always respect the ancient rock art. Do not touch, walk on, or in any way deface these amazing sites. Thank you!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Davinci Man

Davinci Man panel in southern Utah

Let me tell you about our day. It was pretty SWEEEEET.

We were all set to go to Harry's Lego scrimmage (this is a thing.) but JJ got the pukes so it was just me and Harry on our way to Dixie State University to battle some robots.

Robotic Legos are really cool
That lasted all morning and we were really hungry. We stopped at Menchi's to fill up on froyo.  I was trying to butter him up to go with me and find a nearby petroglyph panel called Divinci Man. He was totally game :)

Menchi's FTW
After "lunch" we drove a couple miles through the Virgin River gorge to a pull off on the side of the highway. I had some rough GPS for the panel and we decided to go for it.

We hiked up and around and down and back up and over rocks and boulders to alongside the Virgin River.

Our playground
When we found Newspaper Rock (below) we knew we were close! Harry scoped out the landscape and spied what looked like a trail heading in the right direction.

Newspaper rock
Close up of newspaper rock

His spidey sense seemed to be tingling because YUP within about 100 yards we found him. Hooray!


Top of panel
A super fun day -- ended with a trip to Costco (why not) and then the long drive back to Kanab. I LOVE YOU, UTAH!!!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Twisted Hoodoo craziness

I'm totally obsessed with this place! Located kinda near Page, AZ (Churchwells, to be more precise), this super remote and other-wordly place is called Colorful Canyon. And it's FANTASTIC! Uh huh.

Where's Waldo?
We set out to find the Twisted Hoodoo -- a really top heavy rock spire with a big bulky rock hat placed on top of a skinny twisted body. :) (I think that's maybe the best way to describe it)

Swagger approves of this place
The entire adventure was pretty rad. The hike is weird and sandy -- and you won't see a single human being (maybe an alien or two).

You can see below why this place is called Colorful Canyon. The rocks are literally bright pink and purple with a splash of yellow here and there.

Colorful Canyon

JJ takes a breather on this wacky yellow stool


Lunch break!

Wow that was fun! Can't wait to go back. LATER!