I LOVE Arizona! The heat can be deadly, but I’m learning how to live with it. Mom is careful not to let me burn my feet on the pavement, and I know what “shade” is all about. The yards aren’t green here, but I don’t need grass to take care of business. It’s all good. And the hunting is fabulous! I miss the Iowa goose poop, but there’s nothing like a lizard leaving its’┬ámark on the patio early in the morning. Awesome!

“Do you wanna go out?” Mom always lets me check the mail at noon, and today, as she opened the front door, a mama quail, a daddy and five of their six babies scurried out from under the shade of the porch. The sixth little baby took a wrong turn and headed to the corner by the door. That’s all it took for me to assume the “on point” position and ready myself for the kill.

In an instant, mom snatched me off the ground, leaving me looking like a fat hairy sausage swinging on a rope. I was screaming at the top of my lungs, “Let me at it, let me at it!” The baby quail, looking like a feathered marshmallow on legs, sounded like a chick with its toe caught in a car door. I never heard such a sound come out of a creature that tiny. Mom was yelling, “No, Gracie, no!”, to no avail. I’m good at putting that phrase on ignore. And dad…well, he was inside, mumbling something about, “What the hell?”

Gracie NapChickAs the tiny chick headed back and forth across the stoop, I was trying to maintain my hot pursuit. Mom kept yanking me off the ground and putting me down again, rather like a pot-bellied yoyo, and finally, the little chick found its way down the sidewalk to reunite with its family. I’ve only presented mom with two kills since I’ve been in Arizona…the first being a mouse and the second, a fly. This would have been an awesome trophy! I’ve yet to decide whether I’m a rodent dog or a bird dog. Only time will tell…but mom seems to have trouble letting me loose to pursue my natural instincts. Bummer!

I’m totally exhausted from the heat of the chase. I really need a nap!