It was a year ago today that Susan and I found these four abandoned furballs on the side of the highway while coming through Monument Valley in Utah on the latter part of our 4,500-mile roadtrip vacation:

dogs5.JPG

July 11, 2006: We successfully smuggled them into our room at the Cliff Dwellers Lodge near Vermilion Cliffs, Arizona. We nicknamed the quartet (from left) Squeaker, Shortcut, Ranger and Blackjack.

With no hesitation we nurtured them back to health and rambunction, bringing them with us to Vermilion Cliffs and then to the north and south sides of the Grand Canyon and back to Los Angeles where we found homes for Squeaker, Shortcut (now Indie) and Blackjack, and made Ranger a part of the family.

I kept the box for the occasion and for scale:

rangerbox.jpg

Ranger wasn’t sure why I trundled this artifact up from the basement so I just gave her a big one-year anniversary hug after she obliged my request to have a seat next to it. She must’ve recently been rummaging around and in the backyard rosemary bush because that’s what she smelled like and I buried my nose in the hair on her neck because I gotta say the mixture of that dog and that herb is just about my favorite smell in the world.