Sunday, May 23, 2010

MOH: Morbidly Obressive Heat

It is going to be hot in Hermosillo. I know this. You know this, as I've written before about it. But Tiffy does not know this.

We've had her groomed once to lessen the heat burden she faces here in Virginia. Still, during one of the warmer, sunnier, humidier (new word) days during a walk with Natalie, she stopped during the walk twice to sit and catch her breath.

This caused Natalie to comment that Tiffy has no idea what she is in for, we're going to have to have her groomed a little bit shorter, and even still, she probably is going to die in the Sonoran Desert heat.

To which one of the current employees at the Consulate General Office in Hermosillo said she hopes not because she doesn't think the office can handle another death of a dog.

Another? Yes. Apparently one of the pets died of a heat stroke. The lesson is that we will have to keep a close eye on her during walks to make sure she isn't over exerting herself. Unfortunately, dogs are not smart enough to know they've reached their limits.

We also have decided we will probably need to shorten her walks and compensate by having more of them. Right now, she goes out for at least a half an hour at a time. Maybe we need to cut that in half and walk twice as often. This should help her keep rested while not sacrificing her exercise and treasured time outside. Of course, when it is pushing 120 degrees, she might not enjoy going outside as much as she does now.

Other than having Tiffy groomed properly in preparation of the move, I've started the process of gathering the could-be-necessary paperwork to cross the border with her. This is an inexact science, as I've heard several stories about border patrol not being very demanding about dog paperwork. But just in case we are the one they decide to harass, it is best to be prepared with excessive paperwork.

And finally, Tiffy also had her teeth cleaned, so she'll be the sexiest eunuch dog on the block in Mexico. (Blogging has been very educational for me. For example, while looking up how to spell "eunuch," I learned that this really only applies to human males. About two-thirds the way down this page, there is a list of words for neutered animals. Alas, there is not a word of a spayed dog, so I'm using eunuch anyway; my blog = my rules!)

The above left is a before, and to the right is the after. Now too much excitement, though if you look at her lower set of teeth, you can see she had some discoloration near the gums. The work she had done was not nearly as dramatic as the last time we had her teeth cleaned when we first got her.

Now if only the vet could do something about giving her sweat glands, she would be in better shape for Sonoran heat.


  1. Poor Tiffy!

    I kept a collie in South Carolina for about twelve years, and we did OK walking early in the morning, but of course, it wasn't quite as hot. Also, I had her groomed short (but not shaved - worried about sunburn) during the hottest months. Hopefully the air conditioning and short walks will be OK for her.

  2. We've been in MOH for our 3 overseas posts ... and the dog (for the most part) has acclimated fairly well. Of course, when it hit 120 in Oman, she did complain fairly loudly about being taken for walks as the ground was far too hot for her paws.

    One thing I've loved since being here in the hot and humid heat is my Furminator. If we brush the dog with that every week or so, it removes so much of the extra hair and A) it saves us from vacuuming up as much of it as we could and B) it removes a great amount of hair, thus keeping her as groomed as can be.

  3. Our friends here with dogs take a long walk early in the morning before the heat of the day is too bad. For all walks they bring along a portable water dish and water bottle and stop to offer a drink every 5 or 10 minutes. We have long-hair cats and keeping the shades drawn and fans on during the heat of the afternoon keeps them comfortable. Animals adjust, but you do have to keep an eye on them.

    Be careful cutting her hair too short -- you don't want her to get a sunburn.