Every time we do something like this we start worrying that our kids are wondering if we are becoming ummm senile or something. But we have decided to keep Giaco, so we now have four dogs. Giaco was a very sad creature when we brought him inside our gate. He was practically bald, could barely stand, smelled terrible. But as he gained strength, he gained personality and our hearts. There is some debate among people we know about whether he is a Saluki or an Afghan. We are getting pretty convinced that he is a Saluki, a close relative of the Afghan and, for that matter, the greyhound. These Salukis are a pretty interesting breed, possibly the oldest breed going at around 5000 years. They are sight hounds and online it is suggested they not be let off the leash as they may run and chase anything and not be retrievable. However, Giaco had been wandering our neighborhood for some time getting thinner and thinner of course and had never been seen chasing anything. He responds with a snap when neighborhood dogs growl and come close but he has not broken skin. He doesn't yank us to chase things when he's on the leash, and there's a lot to chase around here, especially chickens. One of our neighbors doesn't speak to the other in part because the other's dog caught one of her chickens!
So we have started taking Giaco with us on our trips, and this trip we let him off the leash. Jim takes GPS readings at churches in pueblitos and road crossings and so forth and so we are building up quite a useful Google Earth map with names of towns we previously couldn't find on any map. Friday we closed another loop, driving through Teocelo, past some previous stops, and ended up coming home through Xico. All these routes -- many of them are ancient: Who passed on them? What languages did they speak?What did they talk about? Where were they going? What did they believe in? If I weren't worried what the kids would think I would confess to catching sight of whisps and shreds of the long-ago drifting past me.
So here are some shots from this last trip. All the stream pictures are by Jim.
The road out of town. You can see bits of pine forest sticking up above the rooves. There is evidence of reforestation in this area, and it needs it. Lovely and lush as the pastures look around here, everywhere you can also see fallen-away places, black scars really, and you know the heavy rich soil is sliding towards the rivers and streams to be carried away.
We pulled off the road next to a stream. We went through the gate into the steep pasture where cows grazed on ledges. My ex-husband would have called them side-hill gougers. It was an idyllic spot. It couldn't have been better. We let Giaco off the leash. He came to life, sailing like a gazelle, as if he were made of air and wind. He didn't run off, but always looked behind to make sure his new family was nearby.