When my mom writes a blog, she looks for a theme. This one was hard for her so she gave it to me. I’m Elko.
Let me get my gripe out of the way first. My mom took me to Pet Smart for a Paw-dicure. Embarrassing! They clipped my nails and cleaned my ears and my mom tried to make me feel better with a new toy. I waited two days to play with my new monkey. I may be more cooperative with my dad next time.
We have been to this place before but I don’t know why my friend Jack isn’t here this year – at least we’ve seen our friend Beth lots of times.
One day my mom and Beth went to Mexico to have their teeth cleaned. For $35 my mom got an exam, X-Rays and cleaning.
Another day they went for a walk downtown. My mom has been sad for a while and it made her feel better to walk with 15,000 women, men and children who had been sad too.
When she found out that millions of other sad people in every state, other countries and every continent had taken walks on the same day, she felt even better. My dad wishes he had gone too.
We go on walks every day. I like it best when both my people take me to the Santa Cruz wash. Some days we see a coyote.
Some days we drive places. We went into the desert and it was bumpy.
We drove to the Ironwood Forest National Monument.
We found some old buildings and learned they were the ghost town Sasco.
These were the Rockland Hotel.
Another day we drove to Madera Canyon. Most people go there to see birds.
Dad likes birds, I like smells, and mom likes scenery.
She took this picture to show we have snow near Tucson too.
We don’t need to drive places to see hummingbirds. We have a feeder and they are always zipping around when my dad and I sit outside.
My dad and I sit outside a lot. I know how to get him to, even when it is cold.
Mom goes to Zumba, line dancing and Apple class. Dad goes for long walks and Mom and I don’t go because we aren’t fast enough. Dad mostly stays with me because he fell the first time he played pickle ball and thought he cracked some ribs. The doctor said they weren’t cracked, he just had a bruise inside. Dad hasn’t played pickle ball or golf the whole time we’ve been here. That makes him sad but I am happy to have my dad around.
We do boy things. Mom said the pantry drawer didn’t work right and that was a two hour project. Dad found a pepper mill we had lost (and replaced) a year ago.
I helped dad replace the dryer vent for the washer/dryer combo. I supervised because my hair is part of the problem. Dad thought the vent never worked as well as it should, but just like everything, my dad fixed it and it works much better now.
Every now and then I have to stay home while my mom and dad go somewhere without me.
One day they went to a presentation by the US border patrol. They learned the border patrol’s responsibility is the big backyard between entry points. They try to stop the illegal entry of people and drugs.
Border patrol agents must learn Spanish but not all people who come across the border speak Spanish. Tucson zone agents have caught people from 144 countries around the world. They are finding Chinese people lately.
Some people pay their money to have help getting here but are stranded by the “coyotes.” The border patrol rescues people who would die out in the desert. There are rescue beacons in the desert so people can get help if they need it.
In 2008, the border patrol got lots of new technologies. They have drones, mobile ground radar, night vision and infrared from the US Armed Forces and tunnel technology from the Israeli government.
Every person the Border Patrol finds is processed using fingerprints and eye biometrics. All are charged with a misdemeanor (unless they find some reason to make felony charges) and cannot file for legal entry for five years. If they try again and again, they spend increasingly more time in jail up to six months. Then they are charged with a felony, spend even more time in jail, and can never apply for legal entry.
This worker didn’t want to get political about “the wall” but said he likes fences because then they can see what is happening on the other side.
There are dogs working for the border patrol that are really smart. They smell drugs and people and can even do math. They alert their border patrol partners if they smell six people, but only see four. Very impressive! I’m proud of my dog cousins!
Well, it’s been fun. I don’t know when my mom will have me write another blog but maybe sometime. If you want to read the first blog I wrote, it is here: Guest blogger: Elko