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Monday, April 4, 2016

Desert Longing

I miss the desert. We still have lots of snow but it gets very warm everyday so the snow turns to mashed potatoes. Then, there is not much that's fun about slushy snow, as far as I'm concerned!

Shyla does think that "chilling out" on the snow is great. When it's warm outside, she loves to flop on her side and cool off by lying on the snow.

I think that she might have enjoyed some snow breaks back when we were in the desert. In deep canyons, it was hard to believe but some snow drifts did persist in the desert! However, we didn't take our mountain bike rides in those canyons so Shyla didn't have the chance to flop in the desert snow.

It is hard to imagine that there was snow on the ground fairly recently at a classic desert site like this one - but there was!
In the past, late winter and early spring has been my worst time of year for migraines. Thus, our March desert trip has often been marred by lots of migraine monster visits. This year, I had only one migraine for our whole trip - my recent realization that skimping on sleep was my primary migraine trigger has made a world of difference to me. I now only get 1-2 migraines every couple of weeks.

The one migraine I had in the desert was interesting because I think that Shyla knew it was coming on before I did. About ten minutes before the aura started, Shyla seemed very concerned about me. She nuzzled me - but I didn't "get the message". So then she lay nearby, keeping an eye on me. Very soon thereafter, the crazy light show started (the "aura"). I immediately took my meds, and the actual headache wasn't too bad. However, I wondered if I might do even better if Shyla could tell me to take my meds even sooner. I'm planning to look into this idea.
Shyla babysitting me just before my migraine aura
Shyla's extreme sensitivity has its downsides - like causing her to fear lots of things. However, it also means that she notices subtleties about us that another dog might not notice.

My headache didn't stop me from enjoying the sunset light (with dark sunglasses on). Ah - the light in the desert is so amazing! Here's R shortly before sunset. I tried to get lots of photos of him because he's going to be on "crate rest" for so long after his surgery.

And here's Shyla.  Chocolate fur was made to glow in red rock desert sunsets!

Shyla is a very patient model during our sunset photoshoots, and she's paid very well in the form of treats!
I'm already looking forward to our next trip to the desert!


  1. She's so beautiful! I'm glad your migraines were fewer this trip. Nola alerts me before I get panic attacks. They haven't happened in about two years now, but it was amazing to see how she just knew, and would alert a good 10 minutes before.

  2. I love the first photo of Shyla; she's a special girl.

    Aroo to you,

  3. They both deserve a lot of treats for being such great models. :)

    I'm happy your migraines haven't been as bad. It would be great if Shyla could warn you ahead of time.

  4. Sounds like Shyla is in totally tune with you. Such a special girl!!

  5. Mashed potato snow - yuck:)

    Hard to fathom snow in the desert - seems a bit contradictory.

    Interesting about the sleep. We have always heard that consistent sleep hours helps a lot too. How wonderful that Shyla can key in on the approach - that could be a very big help.

  6. How wonderful if Shyla can alert you.
    Mr BAiley, Hazel & Mabel

  7. Somewhere, sometime? I read of a dog that would sense when a fit of epilepsy would occur, or was it an asthma attack? They know, and can sense what we have no idea how or why. Love those desert photos.

  8. Shyla is so beautiful and I love the photo of R, too! That's awesome Shyla tried to tell you that you had an incoming migraine! I hope you are able to work with her more so you can tell if she's alerting! Neat!

  9. Your snow turns to mashed potatoe???? How lucky are you?? I LOVE mashed potatoe. Crikey ...... those photos are really beautiful.

  10. Oh and I forgot to comment on Shyla's ability to detect your migraines. I hope you can work with her to let you know sooner. I'm sure she can do it. You two are sooooooooooo close, aye??

  11. You are one very special girl, Shyla♥

  12. A lot of tranquility in the desert. Smart way to cool off S
    Lily & Edward

  13. do you think that our dogs can feel a migraine attack like feeling an upcoming storm/tornado? that's interesting, maybe Easy can be my early warning system and I could avoid the worst with taking my meds before the "nuclear meltdown"?

  14. We hope Shyla can help you with the migraines. We knew she was a special girl!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  15. Shyla is a beautiful and amazingly sensitive girl. Glad to hear your migraines are better. My husband gets an aura occasionally but they don't always turn into migraines. I've never experienced it myself. It would be interesting if Shyla can be an early warning system for you.

  16. Shyla is your very own therapy dog! I like seeing your desert photos. We got back today from visiting spring and drove in a snow storm from Vail to Breck! I kinda wanted to turn around and go back!

  17. Dogs can be trained to give the alarm that a seizure is coming. No one knows how they do it. My guess is that Shyla is picking up something and letting you know. It will be interesting to hear how taking the meds sooner works out!

  18. I have a longing for a snow free day too. We are getting another foot tomorrow (or so they say).
    It is amazing how attuned Shyla has become to you, that she knows that the headache is coming. I would listen to her:)

  19. I am glad your migraines are able to be managed recently. And it would be great if Shyla could help alert you - of course, someone like me would probably be too distracted to notice their signals!


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