Yuma and Mexico Dental Work

December 17, 2020. I spent a couple of days reorganizing and re-doing the inside of MissAdventure. The bed platform needed a bit of tweeking, and I had bought a couple of cabinets from a lady down the street from me and needed to install them. Now that we are not living full time in the van I am going for a more cute and stylish look rather than stuffing everything I own into every nook and cranny I could find. It will be nice to have items with a permanent place and out of sight!

My first dental appointment is Friday, but we leave in the early afternoon Thursday because no trip to Yuma is complete without time spent at the Bark Park and I want to make sure The Chiweenie Brothers have a great time. I get in a lot of walking, and an afternoon’s worth of running, hiking (in every sense of the doggie version of ‘hiking’) and sniffing for the boys leave all three of us worn completely out.

We spend the night in Wally’s parking lot only to wake up and find a flyer on the windshield stating they no longer allow overnights in their lot. Alrighty then. We head out onto I-8 West toward San Diego, and in just 8 short miles we take exit 166 and head south to the border and my dental appointment with Dr. Dennis Cochran, DDS, whose goal is the become the best dentist in Mexico. She’s on her way to being that in my opinion.

She preps my mouth for the ‘installation’ of two zirconia crowns on the implants I had put in a couple of years ago, takes impressions and I’m set free until tomorrow. Our adventure part of the trip begins.

I looked up a couple of places I wanted to see this trip and first up and just a few exits from the one I take to get to Los Algadones is Old Plank Road off Gray’s Well. This is a small preserved section of the wooden plank road built to connect the lower section of Southern California to Arizona. Built in 1915 the east-west route over the Algodones Dunes provided the last link of the commercial route between San Diego and Yuma.

Constructed of huge, thick, wooden planks linked together with metal strips and big bolts, it is a testament to man’s ingenuity of doing what needs to be done to go where he needs to go. I cannot even fathom the work that went into this endeavor nor the muscle used to keep the planks free of blowing sand.

Not wanting to press my luck with trying another night at Wally, the boys and I locate a LTVA (Long Term Visitor Area) off Sidewinder Road and ask the host if there is a section where one could park just for the night. He says no, not in this one, but if I go back to the Chevron Station just this side of the freeway and take the service road for 3 miles there is a 14 day stay free area right after the pavement ends.

This service road may be paved but it’s the roughest damn thing ever. Slowly we drive, slowly we get there rolling forward a few feet, BUMP, and then another few feet and the back wheels BUMP, and so it goes for three long miles, but we finally arrive and shockingly nothing inside MissAdventure has been jarred out of place or fallen over. We are rewarded with a nice spot to park for the night with no neighbors within 1/4 mile.

After a good night’s sleep we are up early and head back to Yuma on the 8 and I head into Walmart to purchase a new battery for my solar setup in the van and get a few groceries. A quick stop at the ATM to pull funds for my crowns and we head back to Mexico for my 10:00 a.m. appointment.

The second half of the crowning appointment didn’t go quite as planned. Due to a power outage my zirconia crowns are not ready and I sit in the reception area for four hours. They must have noticed me getting a bit worried when it got to be 1:00 p.m. and I kept looking at my watch wondering if I would get back into the US before they closed the border at 3:00. Poor doggies still in the van all this time.

The receptionist, Margot, a VERY young lady, asks if I want to go see the new office they are moving into next year. I jump at the chance to get my mind off the border crossing and my boys being stuck in the van all this time. We walk out to the sidewalk between two vendors where her scooter is parked and she tells me to wait, she will go get the car.

Margot makes it back in jig time in a beautiful what-looks-like- brand-new white four door Chevy. Is this Dr. Dennis’ car? Yes, she says. I hop in and we buzz along back toward the crossing and she makes a right turn and up the hill we go getting a few looks from some pedestrians as she whizzes by leaving a hair’s breadth of space between them and the side of the vehicle. I let out a breath I didn’t know I was holding when she pulls in and parks in front of Dr. Dennis’ new place.

It’s big. It’s beautiful. The interior has some Spanish style roundtop windowless cutouts in walls between some of the rooms, and there is room left for her to expand her business. In my opinion no one deserves it more than this young hard working dentist that wants to become the best dentist in Mexico. From one chair to two, and with this move two chairs and a dental surgeon she will rent to. She’s smart as well as deserving.

Part of the interior walls are painted this gorgeous shade of green, one of my favorite colors. The perfect shade. That, of course, has no bearing on my love of her new building. 🙂 We wave goodbye to the young man swiping what looks like spackle onto a section of the entry and get into the car.

Young Margot starts the car and begins to back up. I glance behind us just as a woman begins to step behind the car. I yell stop and Margot slams on the brake. The pedestrian glares and Margot laughs and says she glad she didn’t hit her. Oh yeah, me too!! I’m grateful she didn’t hit any cars either, I think to myself.

Margot says when she was hired Dr. Dennis (and this is pronounced like our female Denise) asked her if she could drive. Margot told her yes, and that she had a license. Welllll. Margot confides in me that she just said that so she would get hired, that she doesn’t have a license. You told her the truth, though, right Margot? She laughs and says yes, after she was hired. Oh dear Lord. 🙂

When we get back to the office I am whisked into a chair and the crowns are screwed onto the posts and cemented around the bottom or whatever it is they do. I won’t be able to eat for an hour. Lordy, it’s been a good eight hours since I have eaten, but I still have enough padding to get me by I am sure despite what my stomach is telling me.

There is a line today to get back across the border, as there always is when you stay in Mexico past noon, and that gobbles up a good half hour. People are desperate in this Covid pandemic and the usual vendors who ply the line headed back across to the USA seem especially desperate. Selling everything from masks to yard ornaments to ironwood statues these merchants have a different look in their eyes this year.

One young woman with two little girls sits on the low rock wall playing an accordion. She looks tired and sad. As I get closer I see a quiet desperation in her lovely eyes and I give her a dollar. The look she gives me and the quiet ‘gracias’ in thanks breaks my heart. It’s a dollar; her gratitude and her eyes tell me it might as well have been a hundred as far as she was concerned.

Spending more time waiting for my dental work to be finished than I planned on, I forego the other places I wanted to explore and will save them for next time, but I do stop to get these photos of the All American Canal.

The All-American Canal is an 80-mile long aqueduct, located in southeastern California. It conveys water from the Colorado River into the Imperial Valley and to nine cities. It is the Imperial Valley’s only water source, and replaced the Alamo Canal, which was located mostly in Mexico. The Imperial Dam, about 30 miles northeast of Yuma, Arizona on the Colorado River, diverts water into the All-American Canal, which runs to just west of Calexico, California before its last branch heads mostly north into the Imperial Valley. Five smaller canals branching off the All American Canal move water into the Imperial Valley. These canal systems irrigate up to 630,000 acres of crop land and have made possible a greatly increased crop yield in this area, originally one of the driest on earth. It is the largest irrigation canal in the world, carrying a maximum of 26,155 cubic feet per second. Agricultural runoff from the All American Canal drains into the Salton Sea.

The wait in line to cross the border, stopping for the photos of the canal and the short trip back to Yuma with some traffic eats up most of the Do-Not-Eat-For-An-Hour order I decide to stop at In and Out for a burger. The line is long and it takes about 40 minutes so I am good to go… I mean eat. A burger never tasted so good!! The Chiweenie Brothers enjoy an unsalted hamburger patty and we are on our way home.

Thanks for stopping by 2DogsTravel. We are hoping for more travel in the coming year. Praying all your hopes come to pass also. Hugs, Shawna

Books read since last post: Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore. Very good read about a rape and the effects on the victim, the town and its citizens. *****

This Magnificent Dappled Sea by David Biro. The Holocaust, an Italian family, a Jewish family, a baby, a disease. Another good read. ****

The Ultimate Road Trip Guide by Christina Bogantz and Melissa Rios. Their trip to visit 47 state parks in two months. Some good info here. ****

Holbrook AZ

September 4th. I packed up last night and we’re ready to roll. It’s a lovely morning; a clear sky and air warm enough to make one understand it will heat up fast today. I give The Chiweenie Brothers their breakfast and while they eat I get dressed. A quick walk for their morning business, and we’re on our way. Goodbye Bluewater. We’ll be back!

Once we are back at I-40 we cross the freeway and catch the on ramp heading west, Gallup NM our destination. It’s only about 30 miles away.

I need to find the library, the post office, and a branch of my bank. Gallup is an old town, and to my dismay all the places I need to be are in the old part of town which was built on uneven terrain. We go up and we go down, circle the library a few times and still cannot find a place to park.

We go up and we go down searching for the bank. Geez, one could easily lose a mirror on these narrow streets! Once I locate it I see a couple of parking spots, but the lot is TINY. I pull in and jockey MissAdventure around, finally getting her parked. Being careful not to hit the car next to me with the door I squeeze out and head for the bank’s doors. They aren’t quite open yet. I get in the line waiting.

In just a few minutes the doors are unlocked. In I go and get my business taken care of, trot back out to the van, and decide once I get out of this parking lot that I will forego the post office and will not even try for the library again. We’re outta here.

Back on I-40 we say goodbye to New Mexico and enter Arizona where we stop in Holbrook and 2DogsTravel get a romp at the town’s lovely dog park.

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Several large hunks of petrified wood line the roadway leading into the town of Holbrook.

The Chiweenie Brothers have a great time at this lovely park.


Thanks for stopping by 2Dogs! Hugs, Shawna

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Durango, Colorado and Mesa Verde National Park

After the marvelous tour of the Aztec Ruins we get back on Hwy 550 and head north to Durango, Colorado where we find Walmart and get our supplies and ice before catching Hwy 160 toward Cortez, Colorado.

Looking for a place to stop for the night we come up short and end up staying in a rest area just a mile beyond the entrance to Mesa Verde National Park. Any port in a storm, right?

We are up early and 2DogsTravel can’t wait to go through another ancient ruins area.  My senior pass gets us into the park for free, but guided tours here require a purchased ticket available at the visitor center that is located below the entrance to the park itself.

The ancient people who settled here were cliff dwellers and the tours involve a lot of climbing,  some steep stairways, and ladders so I forego the tours, choosing instead to get the best photographs I can from afar, which of course, I haven’t found for this marvelous stop either. *SIGH*.

The park is huge, and we spend almost the entire day here. Lots of driving, and climbing in and out of the van getting photographs of this land the Pueblo people made their home over 700 years ago.

One can see the dwellings just fine, but you miss out on a lot of information by not taking the tours.  I do purchase several informational brochures so I don’t think we miss any of the facts by not taking a guided tour, but I know I miss a lot of the personal observations a guide would have given.

  • The park protects over 4500 known archeological sites including 600 cliff dwellings.
  •  The cliff dwelling known as Cliff Palace includes 150 rooms, 75 constructed open areas, 21 kivas, and two “kiva-like” structures.
  • Balcony House has 38 rooms and two kivas.  The site is divided into three plazas or courtyards with associated rooms:  Lower Plaza, North Plaza, and the Kiva Plaza.
  • The six-mile long Mesa Top Loop Drive shows the full range of architecture in this national park from the earilest pit houses to the cliff dwellings. 
  • The Puebloans lived here for six centuries, from around A.D. 600 until about 1300.

Read about the magnificent Mesa Verde National Park HERE , and if you are in this area it is MUST SEE.  They have a campground in this park, places to eat, and much more.

The Boys and I end up back at the rest area where I observe a guy go to the back of the rest area where he goes through what looks like a locked gate. He’s gone for a while, but once he comes back out we go to inspect the area where we find the gate isn’t actually locked, but a sign cautions to keep the gate closed.

The method for keeping the gate closed involves a heavy chain that is looped around a post and one of the links is to be inserted into a channel cut in the iron.  This keeps the gate closed and from afar it appears to be a locked gate.

It is BLM land!  BLM land means public access is allowed, and we trot back to MissAdventure , fire her up, drive through the gate closing it behind us, and find a spot to camp for the rest of the week. It’s good to be shut down for a few days and just kick back in the cooler temps of the mountains.  Warm days, not hot days, and wonderfully cool nights make for some good rest.

On August 12th, rested up and rarin’ to go we head to Cortez, a short 10 mile drive, where we find the dog park.  The Chiweenie Brothers get their freedom to roam for a couple of hours.

Once The Boys are worn out and ready for a nap, I then mark the required Walmart stop off our list, and begin planning our next stop.  Do we take in Canyon of the Ancients? Four Corners? Hoven Weep?  All three?  Decisions are to be made, but we’ll worry about that tomorrow.  Walmart is our stop for the night, and as I lay my head down on the pillow a decision is made on where we’ll head tomorrow.

Thanks for coming along with us on our adventures. Hugs, Shawna

CURRENT READ:  What you Did by Claire McGowan

It’s Here!

Friday, June 28th. Having gotten almost everything loaded up last night, we are up early. This isn’t unusual but actually it is a bit earlier than our normal routine. The dogs are put out on the lead to do their business while I gather items for a quick shower before leaving City of Rocks for the last time. The generator will be here today!

The shower feels marvelous, but what is going to feel even better is getting up into a higher elevation. This has been a tough few weeks dealing with ever increasing heat, but it is finally going to end, and I am excited.
We head to Deming where we pass the time waiting for FedEx to deliver the goods by checking supplies—we’re okay—getting ice and water, and a session at the dog park.
The boys romp while I visit with an elderly veteran. He and his wife settled in Deming a few years ago. He flew planes in Vietnam and had always wanted to become a commercial pilot after the war, but his eyesight was a smidge off and he was declined. Instead he bought a small plane and learned aerial acrobatics! He no longer has his plane, but keeps busy with his own two rescue dogs as well as volunteering at the local shelter. Another very interesting person.
The call from MotoTech comes in around 12:30. The genny has arrived, and we’re off to pick it up and be on our way to Las Cruces to get another problem solved.
It is very hot and quite humid in Las Cruces. As we are stopped at a red light I hear yelling and warnings to our right. I see a man with a gun. Oh shit. It takes a beat or two and hearing the words GET DOWN ON THE GROUND. DOWN ON THE GROUND NOW!! Before it registers that it is the law that has the gun, and as I am pulling up my camera two more vehicles, unmarked, pull in front of a black SUV with a very damaged front bumper and left fender. I get a nice shot of the unmarked’s. DSC_0005 (2)LEO Take Down in Verizon Parking Lot, Las Cruces
The two gals they had on the ground were in tank tops and shorts. That pavement must have been broiling hot!!
NOTE: Later after getting another SIM card for the Mobely (internet hot spot) and getting it working once again we head over to Wally. I see a piece of a black bumper and a left fender just lying in the parking lot. Looks like this is where the black SUV got into trouble! Wish I knew the “rest of the story.”
Our next stop is Leasburg Dam State Park a bit north from Las Cruces. It’s an okay park and there is a Fort Seldon nearby to see, but one night here is all we do.

In the morning, I reorganize the back between my bed and the back doors to once again accommodate the generator. I’m thinking maybe we will do one more night in the now vacated spot that overlooks the river below, DSC_0008 (2)We Were Going to Stay Here For Night Two, but ...

but go back to Plan A and we head out after spotting this guy crawling around the shade shelter in broad daylight. DSC_0007Bat Closeup

Thanks for stopping by 2DogsTravel!  Hugs, Shawna

Rock Hound State Park

Thursday the 23rd of May we head out early. A coffee at McDonalds, the boys pushing in close in case I order a sausage McMuffin—I don’t—and I catch I-10 (Freeway! UGH!) to Deming NM where I search for the dog park.
We find it pretty easily, and it is a beauty. No less than eleven mature shade trees, mulberry and juniper, make the small dog side a shady oasis. The big dog side looks equally as shady. Having it all to themselves this early in the morning, The Chiweenie Brothers run full tilt until they can run no more.

With two exhausted wiener dogs napping, I hit Wally for supplies, and then drive the short distance to Rock Hound State Park where I purchase a New Mexico State Parks Pass good for an entire year of camping, up to two weeks at a time, in their parks’ primitive campsites. Primitive being tables with shade covers, fire rings, and a garbage can. Water is available and showers, too. All for the sum of only $225 . Did I mention this is for an entire year? *smiles*.

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So there it is, our summer adventure: Exploring New Mexico’s state parks! So glad you are coming along for the trip! Hugs, Shawna

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Our View

 

FINALLY! We’re off!

FINALLY! We’re off!

It feels good to be back on the road. It was quite a feat to get to this point—delays in getting delivery on my car, delays getting a package I ordered—but finally we are on our way.
May 18, 2019 we are up at first light getting the final items on the To-Do List marked off, and we head east to Buckeye, AZ where The Chiweenie Brothers get in a couple of hours of dog park time.
It’s a lovely, well-kept park with shady sitting areas, a side for the big dogs, and a side for little whippersnappers like Charlie and Fries. They spend a couple of hours running, sniffing, and, of course, marking everything.

With the intention of staying around the area for the night I look at the time and Lordy, it is only 11:30! What say, Boys, shall we travel on? They agree, and are ready to roll.
From Buckeye we turn south and drop down to Gila Bend where we eat our lunch at the 9/11 Memorial Park, a tiny park with a couple of concrete picnic tables, lots of lush green grass, some shade to park in, and not a single soul here.
It’s heartbreaking to relive, in my mind, that horrible day in 2001 when the world as we knew it disappeared. I will never forget where I was that day. Had stopped in Merced, CA to fuel up the truck and walking into the TA Travel Center noticed everyone in the store huddled around the television area, not a sound coming from anyone. Images of the Twin Towers in New York City on fire kept everyone’s attention . . .
Years later, Gila Bend was one of the towns that applied for and received a piece of the demolished Twin Towers and a volunteer went to NYC to haul the piece back to this town in Arizona and this little park was built around it. Solemnly we I gaze upon this piece of our history.

DSC_0017Piece of Twin Towers and Van

I decide I want to drive some more, and we head east again, to Coolidge, AZ where I buy supplies and here is where we stay the night.
Thanks for coming along on this summer’s adventure. Nope, not telling where that will be yet, but soon!
Hugs, Shawna

We’re Back in Q

                                                                Life is short

November sure has whizzed by.  The Chiweenie Brothers and I made it to Arizona, spent a couple of nights at Craggy Wash in Lake Havasu where some guy tried to roust us from our spot beside a nice shade tree by whining about how this was the third time he’s lost out on this spot and HE needed shade­­­—like we didn’t!—and when I refused to give it up  he hopped in his rig and peeled out spraying us with small rocks and dirt!

When we left a couple of days later I got the tires rotated on MisAdventure, and then we spent some time at the SARA dog park. SARA Park has much to offer besides a wonderful dog park: Hiking and biking trails, an equestrian area, and more.

We move on to Parker where we spend one night off Hwy 62.  Last year’s camping area is inaccessible. Not sure if it was due to flash flooding or just the fact the road has been graded, but nothing looks familiar and I can’t find a spot with shade. One night here and we move on. Q (Quartzsite) here we come! 

I drive straight into town, get ice and fill up the generator (I love being able to use my Instant Pot!!) then head to the dog park.  Big surprise here.  The “Big Dog” side is closed for some unexplained reason and all are using the “Small Dog” side.  It isn’t working too well as the big dogs have pretty much taken over and there are plenty of little dogs that don’t like being in with them.  But, it is what it is. We will either spend more time in other areas of La Paz County or we can change our preferred time to be at this dog park to later in the afternoon. We’ll work it out!

Once the boys are ready to leave the dog park I drive to the library and try to get a blog post done.  I no longer have mobile internet as ATT said I used too many roaming hours and they cut me off everywhere there is no ATT cell tower.  Hmph!  This may be a long winter with fewer posts. Not surprisingly I still have to pay until my contract is up so I won’t be getting anything different at this time. Again … It is what it is.  I’ll work it out!

Meanwhile, out in the desert we settle onto BLM land with a sweet, shady spot at the Hi Jolly 14-day area.  Long walks with the boys in the chilly air of morning, some reading, checking email­­­—fortunately I can get my email and get onto the internet with my phone, but no way can I do a blog post from it— and I am able to make an appointment with my dentist in Los Algadones. But, before that happens we will head to Bouse and stay a night or two.  The boys will get to romp in the HUGE dog park there, I will get veggies from the truck that brings in produce fresh from the fields, and I will also attend a get-together with the Bouse Genies, the local genealogy group. 

This trip to our wintering grounds has brought some frustration, yes, but there has been blessings, too:  Lying in bed one night with the back doors open I watch the space station glide silently through the night sky.  Early mornings, before sunrise, I watch Venus hanging huge and glittering, low in the east as day tries to make her disappear for another 24 hours, Sun demanding her time in the sky. One morning Venus was next to the quarter moon; so beautiful!   

Some mornings Sun brushes past the distant mountains with a silent but huge burst of light, other mornings she makes a magnificent entry wearing a cloak of the softest pinks and lavenders or bright red and gold if she’s feeling brassy.

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Coyotes howl across the desert.  I do consider this a blessing, although it’s not much fun when they come in close trying to trick The Chiweenie Brothers into coming out to play which they did three nights running at one point.  Sends a chill up my spine.

Gorgeous sunsets and sunrises.  They make my heart sing in their beauty.

Thank you for stopping by 2DogsTravel. We appreciate you coming along on our adventures, and appreciate your patience while we get through this little internet glitch. Hugs, Shawna

Ashland Dog Park

We are so close to being back in California, but the boys need some off-leash time, and I look for a dog park. Ashland has one and once we have the morning chores accomplished: Potty walk for the boys, coffee made for me,  breakfast for The Chiweenie Brothers, MissAdventure tidied and things in place for travel, we head out.  The park is just up the road. It’s an interesting roundabout way to get to it, but we finally arrive.  The boys have a ball.

 

 

After the boys have a good long romp in this park, we head south stopping once at another rest area inside California for a short break before heading on.

After a couple hours drive we are here—Hello Redding!—Negotiating traffic and eagerly looking forward to seeing everyone,  I pull MissAdventure into my sister’s driveway and head to her door. So good to see her!

My brother-n-law is not the man I have known my whole life. In the year I have been gone dementia has set it. He doesn’t know who I am. He doesn’t know who his kids are. To him we are “That Girl” or “That Guy”. Heartbreaking. My sister has her own health problems, but no dementia thank God.

Home base is under a nice shade tree in Sis’s side yard, and I will make small journeys in the area to see my sons, grandchildren, and friends, and try to remember the layout of town! How sweet it is.

And this is where I leave you for a few weeks, taking a break from blogging as the boys and I enjoy our time here reconnecting with family and friends.

THANK YOU for coming along on our travels, and we will “see” you sometime in November when we head to our wintering grounds in Arizona.

Hugs, Shawna, Fries, and Charlie B

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The Sandy Dog Park

After our very quiet, very restful night at Zig Zag Falls we head, early in the morning as usual, heading for Sandy, Oregon and the dog Park!  I take a chance and mention it OUT LOUD.  The boys know.  Yes, they know, and they are excited.  I sure hope the grocery store doesn’t show up first, because then they will think I am teasing.  😉

The grocery store does not show up.  Walmart is nowhere to be found anywhere near where my GPS says it should be.  There’s a big building that looks like it could have been a Walmart at one point, but … No worries.  I plug the address to the dog park into the GPS and we’re off.

As the van gets moving again, the boys are beside themselves with excitement.  It isn’t far to this park, located in a residential area, and as we pull up it doesn’t look like anyone else is around.  It IS early.  Come on guys, let’s get in there.

They do the usual; circling the perimeter, hiking their legs, doing their business.  Before all that is done a lady pulls up with a beautiful, older yellow lab, and a large beagle.  The beagle, Parker, is sooooo happy to be at the park.  He and The Chiweenie Brothers get acquainted.  Soon other dogs come to play.  They all have a grand ‘ol time.

Try as they might, still there are those that do not feel it’s their responsibility  to clean up after their dogs,  but the towns and cities keep trying to get the message across.

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Thankfully there are those who will pick up a few piles of other dogs’ poo when they are there. I do it as a way to say thanks to these cities and towns for these parks. Thank you Sandy, Oregon!

Love this information on spotting aggression:

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They day is warming up. The Chiweenie Brothers have had a great time, and they are getting tired.  Charlie looks for, and finds, a nice shady spot.

DSC_0004Thanks for stopping by 2Dogs!  Hugs, Shawna