Zen On Dirt


Dogs and Racing and Scamps

Well. I had this thought that when we finally moved into the Scamp, this massive inspiration to write would wash over me.

It didn’t.

To be honest, the past two months have been rough. What is it that I always say, Expectations lead to disappointments?


Scott said that if Sparkles was a unicorn, we could keep her. I had to try.

Through the whole Saga of Sparkes, which ended well for everyone involved (even me, if I’m being honest), I kept waiting for Scott to have a change of heart and to wake up one morning and say, ‘Let’s keep her, she’s a sweet dog.’

It didn’t happen, and since it took us nearly two weeks to get ahold of the rescue that had adopted her out in the first place and then another nine days before we got confirmation that they couldn’t get ahold of her owners (ie She’d been dumped), that’s a lot of time for a lot of stress to build up in our lives because, well, I wanted to keep her, and Scott had put his foot down that he wasn’t going to suffer from allergies on account of a dog living in the Scamp with us.


Scott and I don’t fight over much, neither of us are the bickering type or the confrontational type, but over dogs…we’ve had arguments over dogs in the past, and now there was a real-life dog in our life.

After the rescue finally got back to me, they offered to a) let me keep her b) let me foster her through their program or c) take her back into foster. I told them (c) and was given a three day waiting period while they found her a new home.


That was when my mom called and offered to take her. She’d fallen in love with her just through pictures and couldn’t bare the thought of her having to jump around homes any more. I just had to figure out how to get her to Boulder.

Luckily, 24-Hours of Old Pueblo was coming to town and Amy and Chelsea, the dynamic duo behind Yeti Beti and the Beti Bike Bash, offered to drive both me and Sparkles back to Boulder after the race.


I spent the week leading up to the event sick in bed with either the stomach flu or food poisoning. It was awesome. Short walks with Sparkles were the name of the game, and I struggled to get calories down whenever possible without violently ejecting them out one orifice or the other.

Still, I pulled it together enough to race duo with Alexis, per tradition. The racing was fun and hard and all, but really, the best part of that event is the fact that all of my friends come from cold places and hang out in the desert for a long weekend.


Friend pre-ride!

It was a blast, and when it was all over, I took the travel bag that Scott had packed for me, Sparkles, her travel bag, and loaded myself into the Beti Bus for the long drive to Boulder.


Team Shake it Off sponsored by Taylor Swift held it together. Barely. 

It was the easiest drive to Boulder ever, mostly because I slept the whole way while Sparkles got loves from the others. Sickness + racing leads to a depleted body, and I wasn’t stomaching much food besides crystalized ginger.


Sparkles didn’t take to Boulder well. There was the attacking my parents’ dog. There was the growling at my parents. There was the protective behavior of me and her toys. What a disaster.

Long story short, I decided that the best solution was to take her main source of affection (me) away, and let her realize that all pats and scratches and good things now came from my parents, so I got on a plane back to Tucson with the promise to come back and clean up the mess if Sparkles continued to be a disaster.


It was absolutely heartbreaking to leave her, even though I know that for a dog like her, the stability that my parents can provide is the best thing she can hope for. She’s settled down nicely, loves my parents to death, and is even tolerant of their big ol’ hound dog Huck.

And so, back to the Scamp. We spent a few nights camping in it upon my return and a week getting rid of the last of our stuff and moving into it. Several trips to Goodwill, one to Bicas, one to the dump to get rid of the broken awning that came with the Scamp. Through it all, I was barely holding it together. I missed the dog dearly.


And the whole situation of still being tired from Old Pueblo + traveling  + giving up the dog + moving + the unknown of Scamp life was stupid stressful. And miserable. And I did not cope well.

But, as they say, ‘You can’t change the direction of the wind, so adjust your sails.’

Or, ‘Sparkles is the happiest little dog right now in Boulder and you get to go visit as often as you want, you’re living the dream of living out of a trailer with a partner who is completely on board with the whole idea, and you have the whole world to explore. Get your shit together.’

Easier said than done. I know. Trust me, I know. But I’m working on it. Each hour of each day.

So, in the spirit of moving on from the Saga of Sparkles, this blog post. And a picture of our Scamp parked under an oak tree outside of Patagonia where we lived for all of last week.


And we got to see an Elegant Trogon, one of the more elusive birds around.