It is storming incredibly hard out there. I have pictures of the storm, but no time tonight to post them. I was sitting on the porch with Basha – I had stepped out with good intentions of taking her for a walk – and watched the west as the clouds just rolled in. They didn’t actually roll – I’ve seen rolling clouds before in Madison – but they just shoved across the sky, and they were the darkest, meanest shade of dark blue-grey-purple I’ve ever seen. When lightning flashed in the distance, the horizon turned lavender. My first week here in Kayenta it was nothing but 100+ degrees every day, and now, my second week, it’s rained every day.

Speaking of Basha. The stupid dog wouldn’t eat her nice dog food. She ate a little of it the day she came home with me, but ate nothing at all on Sunday except a Milk Bone, and ate nothing at all today, not even the Milk Bone. I came home from work and found her food untouched and I panicked. It’s not like she has a lot of fat reserves to work with. I called the lady who lives across the street – she works at the clinic and has five dogs, four of which are rez dogs.

“Sandy, Basha won’t eat.”

“Take some chicken, boil it until it’s cooked, mix it with rice and a little garlic – dogs love garlic – and see if she’ll eat that.”

Yes, that’s right. Basha and I walked to the Trading Post, bought raw meat, walked home, and I made my dog some dinner. And she ate it. Thank goodness. I want her to fatten up overnight; she’s so thin.

She’s got such a sunny disposition. She’s afraid of other dogs – clearly not an alpha female, but loves humans. She wants to say hello to everyone. She loves talking long walks in the desert, and every time she steps on a pricker bush (of which there are many here; the plants are trying to kill the humans off), she waits patiently until I catch up with her and pull the pricker out of her foot.

I made Basha a little doghouse on Saturday night. I remembered that there was an old cardboard box that a prior occupant had left behind, flattened and tucked behind the bureau in my room. Turns out that box was Basha-sized. I put it together and put her bed in there, and covered the top with garbage bags (to keep it as dry as possible) and she loves her little house on the porch. I get up at 6 a.m. these days to take her for an hour walk in the morning, and she’s always in her house when I step out onto the porch.

I like my dog.

I have no idea how I’ll get her back to Wisconsin, or if I even should. I don’t really want to leave her; I’d like to take her with me, but I don’t know where she’d stay when we got back to Milwaukee. As for getting her home, I have three options. One, I can figure out a way to get her on an airplane, which I think would terrify her. Two, I can convince one of my friends from Wisconsin to road-trip down here to AZ and pick me and the dog up. I can reimburse them in September when I get paid. Three, I can head into Flagstaff or Gallup and buy a car, and drive back to MKE with the dog and sell the Transmatic when I get back to the city, and pay off the new car. Partly. I would need a little Toyota Rav4 or something similar, because Basha ain’t tiny, even though she’s skinny.

Or there’s option four, which is beg someone here in K-town to foster her until I get back. I think I would miss her, and she would miss me – she’s pretty attached to me – but I wonder if that’s better for her in the long run.

Basha doesn’t know it yet, but she’s getting fixed on Wednesday, as well as getting her vaccinations and de-wormed. She’s going to be pissed at me.

The clinic today was wonderful. Busy, crazy, lots of interesting patients. I became more familiar with patient charts, and got some more experience screening patients. I think my favorite moment of the day was screening a patient with the help of another aide, and we three ended up having just an easy-going conversation about nutrition and how hard it is to diet while raising little kids. The aide who was helping me is clearly one of the very best workers of the clinic, and she has an amazing repartee with the patients. I admire her a great deal, and since it was a little quieter in the afternoon, she and I were able to talk for a while.

I love patients who want to take control of their health, and start making definite plans to do so. That’s the best thing about outpatient care.

Navajo words today, in my own phonetic spelling:
Kwe e’n dah – Sit down right here
Ha’de? Where?
Kwe e’ – Here

Ha a’ ti? – What?
Ha’ko – Come here.
Ha’ing yeh? – What for?

I love “ha’ing yeh.” Not only is it sassy, it sounds great when you say it. Like a slingshot. By the way, when speaking Navajo, you have to spit the “T” sound out. No “ta” sounds that I’ve encountered so far. But, of course, I know fewer than 10 words.