Friday, October 26, 2012

The Times... They Are A Changing

It's been some time since I posted, and a major change has taken place. After several more episodes of destructiveness when we left Chase alone for a few minutes to a few hours, and after working with an animal behavioralist, we agreed that Chase's separation anxiety was not going to improve with the standard cures such as long walks, etc.

Life in a motorhome just was not great for Chase, so he has found a home with folks who have a large yard and do not work. Meanwhile, we brought home Bingo, an eight pound ball of matted fluff who had been picked up by Animal Control. He probably got lost from his family not long before being picked up because he is not equipped for life on the street and would not have lasted long at all.

Bingo got the cone off his head today and, after a visit to the vet for motion sickness pills and a shot, was bathed, shaved and groomed, not to mention a pedicure! Jasper went to see the vet today also. He has stopped peeing in his littler box and is now anointing every corner, nook and cranny. So, he was catheterized and we will have his results tomorrow and know if it is behavioral or physical. He is pretty upset he cannot go in and out at will, but even as I type this Bingo is up in the front window barking at the group of coyotes just outside.

One of the many perks of our volunteer gig is training field trips. We recently were sent on a bus tour which included Wetlands Park along the river created by treated water returning from Las Vegas to Lake Mead and a visit to the Atomic Testing Museum. Lunch was also a freebie. Nice trip, great day! We both had fun and learned a lot.

Until last Tuesday, we had no regular vehicle, so cleaning out the recycle carts took several pickup loads, but now we have a stake truck parked at our RV site at the ready to work whenever we are.

Here, the truck is ready to haul a load of plastics to the city recycling center. The objective we have been called to is to reduce the number of pounds of plastic and aluminum Lake Mead deposits to local land fills and, of course, contribute to the overall recycling effort of the nation.

This load is the amount of plastic we gathered in two mornings from metal carts like the one in the picture below. Most RVers and campers are diligent recyclers as well, so they use the carts.

Here are the unsorted bags (2 truckloads) gathered on 2 mornings in one campground (3 carts). It would have taken so much longer to do this with a pickup!

We service carts like this one all around the Lake Mead National Recreation area, collecting recyclables from as far as 90 miles away.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Settling In

As we settle into a routine with our volunteer work and life in the Lake Mead National Recreation area, Chase is becoming more comfortable with life in a motorhome and dealing with his separation anxieties.

Even though Chase has found and chewed up my name badge, our Volunteer handbook, the back cover to our Mifi, my 100-year old phylacteries, Richard's Bible and several cloth items, he has not damaged anything in the past two days.

Nonetheless, we still get a few butterflies in the tummy each time we come back from being gone, even for a few minutes.

We were away three hours this morning and when we came back, everything was in place... well almost everything. Chase had visited the dirty clothes hamper. It was very touching to find our faithful dog cuddled up on the bed with a PAIR of Richard's socks. A PAIR of my socks was on the floor at the foot of the bed. So amazing he got PAIRS of socks to comfort himself. What a smart dog is he!

Another good report for Chase The Wind was his trip to town. We went shopping at Petco and worked a bit with the dog trainer. Chase tried on several collars and toured the store, happy as could be with all the attention, smells and sights. It was a cool, rainy day, so we opened the windows a bit and made a short stop at Wal-Mart. We left Chase in the car and snuck back to see how he was doing. He was a good boy, just gnawing away on his Nylabone. We were gone 20 minutes and he did fine. I am so proud of our pup!

I'm also proud to be part of the recycling team and find it very satisfying to empty and process the plastic and aluminum the public leaves in our containers. We are still working on coordinating and unifying efforts at the various marinas, campgrounds, residential areas, etc. of this vast recreation area comprising of over 1.4 million acres!

There are carts like this one at most public areas plus several other containers that require more frequent oversight. This is my favorite because it is secure from animal pilfering and does not allow large garbage deposits. Also, it can hold a lot, and since some of our sites are over 100 miles away, large carts allow us to make less frequent visits.

Richard and Chase took a long walk yesterday afternoon and discovered a spring. Chase loves water and had a big time playing and rolling in it. He was having so much fun he almost missed the big horn sheep on the hill just above them! There were seven, a family with a ram, ewes and a young one. Over a thousand big horns live in the Lake Mead Recreation Area. It's exciting they come so near our house!!

Speaking of excitement, this week was deeply significant and filled with joy as special holy days observed by Jews and Messianics ended with Simchat Torah (the Joy of Torah). We were so thankful to celebrate Sukkot and Simchat Torah with Congregation Lev HaShem where we have been attending since coming to this area.

Below is Temple Bar where there is a marina, camping and serenity, not to mention the friendliest staff anywhere.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

New Beginnings

Well, on September 27, we pulled all the plugs and made our way from Cedar City, Utah to Lake Mead Nat'l. Recreation Area,  near Boulder City, Nevada.

Jasper did not approve of the move and made his opinion known as only he can do, but we were quite thrilled with the easy ride and a great spot in the Volunteers Campground.

This shady desert oasis is secluded from the public and has a limited number of sites. There is even a free laundromat! Volunteers stay here free, and it is one if the nicest campgrounds we have been to. Right now, there are only a total of six RVs camped here.

We spent a few days getting settled in and going through orientation, and then succumbed to dog loneliness and went to search dog pounds for a canine friend. It is always so hard. We wanted to bring them all home, but eventually a mixed breed won our hearts.

Chase the Wind (Chase for short) was neutered and came home with us yesterday. Today was his first day in his new home and our first day on duty as volunteers...
 That's right, we even have uniform tops and hats. Pretty dashing, I must say.
And while we were out checking the recycling situation, Chase was recuperating quietly on the couch... NOT!!!

When we came in the door, Chase was falling off the dash. The laptop and mouse were on the floor by the fuel pedal, the cat water bowl was in the waste basket (it had been on the dash along with the cat bed and cat food dispenser) the cat food was spilled and the couch pillows were all over the floor. Chase, himself was a disheveled mess, cone unhooked and dangling from his neck by one corner, paws all wet and spittle all over his chest.

What was it the vet said about him being drowsy and taking it easy for several days...

Oh, well, everything is now cleaned up and Jasper has demonstrated that he was not cowed by Chase's antics. Jasper came and took over Chase's new bed, while Chase curled up on the floor next to it.

As for us and our furry family, we are ready for tomorrow... Looking forward to another day in a great working environment.