After we left Utah, we stayed in Arizona for a really long time!

We got into Arizona on October 8th and didn’t leave until November 6th!  We hadn’t been in any other states besides Pennsylvania and Florida for that long.

I did like Arizona though, it was really nice, but there was hardly any grass around that whole state.  I didn’t understand that at all.  I mean where was a pup supposed to pee and poop without any grass?  There was a lot of sand and rocks and pavement, but no grass.  It was so confusing, but I adapted.  I learned that if I had to pee or poop, I could just let it fly no matter where I was at.  In the sand, go potty, on the rocks, go potty, I even pooped right in the middle of the street a couple times.  Daddy would give me a dirty look when I did that, but you know what, I didn’t care.  I had to go and they had me in a state that didn’t have any grass, so if I went poop in the middle of the street, that’s just where it was going to happen!  I told daddy that you can’t hold what you don’t have in your paw.

The other thing that I wasn’t really fond of in Arizona were the rattlesnakes, scorpions, tarantulas and black widows.  Because of those nasty creatures that lurked in Arizona, daddy wouldn’t let me roam more than about three feet from his side when we went for a walk.  I wanted to smell stuff and explore and he kept me on a short leash.  Mommy and him said that it was for my own good because they never want me to get hurt, but I said, “Bring ‘em on!  I’d take any of those nasty things down because I’m a tough guy!”  Mommy and daddy still wouldn’t let me roam though.

I never did see any of those things, but mommy and daddy got really close to a rattlesnake one night when they were walking off their pot luck dinner with their friends.  Daddy said that he almost pooped in the street that night.  I told him that it would have been ok if he did because I did it when I had to.

Our first night in Arizona, we stayed at a Pilot because the Cracker Barrel was already filled up when we got there.  The next night, we stayed in a KOA that was close to Picacho Peak State Park where mommy and daddy were going to be volunteering at.

We were at the state park for two whole weeks.  Mommy and daddy like helping with A Year to Volunteer.  It’s the same group that they were with when they helped all of those birds in Wisconsin.  Nobody gave us cheese at this project though.

Mommy and daddy really like their friends Phil and Shar, they are the people that started A Year to Volunteer.  Mommy and daddy say that it allows them to pay it forward.  They also get to meet some other really cool people when they help on these projects.  I approve of mommy and daddy helping on these projects even though it means that I am going to be in the house on wheels listening to music without them most of the days.  That’s ok though because I know that mommy and daddy are helping other people and that makes them happy.

Mommy and daddy would get up early each morning.  Daddy would take me on a short walk, only about a mile or two and mommy would do a workout with Shar and some of the other ladies.  Sometimes I would get to go over and say hi to some of them.  They would pet me and I would make them smile.

One day though, I was really upset because instead of mommy working out like she was supposed to, she was cuddling with another dog!  Phil and Shar have this little dog named Domino and I saw mommy rolling around on her mat with that guy!  Then to make it worse, I saw it happen again on our TV because Phil took a video of it just to rub it my face!  Can you believe that?!  I’m supposed to be the only one that cuddles with my mommy!  Well, daddy can cuddle with her too, but as far as other dogs, no way man, it’s just supposed to be me!

Anyway, when mommy and daddy would come back for lunch and at the end of their work day, they would have green paint all over themselves.  I was like, “Did you guys get any paint where it was supposed to go?”

Half way through the project, daddy went on a hike with some of the other volunteers.  At first, I was upset that I didn’t go with him, but I did get to spend time with mommy in the air conditioning.  When daddy got back and showed me the pictures and video of his hike, I was definitely ok with staying back with mommy.  It seemed more like mountain climbing than a hike to me!

After the project was over, mommy and daddy got really sad saying good-bye to all of their friends.  Daddy teared up a little and mommy blubbered like a baby.

One of these birds pooped on my mommy.

After we left the state park mommy and daddy went to Rooster Cogburn – Ostrich Ranch and Petting Zoo.  I had to stay in the house on wheels in the air conditioning, which was ok with me.  I knew that mommy and daddy would come back smelling like all kinds of other animals and I’d just have to deal with it.  I was right, they came out and smelled like everything on the farm, even bird poop!  Here I found out that mommy got pooped on by a Rainbow Lorikeet.  I tried not to laugh, but I couldn’t help myself.

We went back to the KOA that we had stayed at two weeks earlier so that we could do wash and get everything ready for the rest of our time in Arizona.  On Sunday morning, mommy cooked up some bacon and even gave me a piece – I was so happy to FINALLY get some bacon!

When we got up to Phoenix, we stayed at another Cracker Barrel for the night.  Mommy and daddy went in to have dinner and when they came out, they again had some bacon for me!  What an awesome day!  I had bacon for breakfast and bacon again for my nighttime snack!  After forgetting what Aunt Cheryl had told them all of those times, they finally remembered to bring me some bacon, and then I got it twice in one day!  This was the best day that I had in Arizona!

The next morning, we took the house on wheels to a place to get the front end aligned and new tires on it.  We waited in the lobby while the nice men got the house on wheels all ready to go again.  I was the official greeter for that place that day.  Everyone who came in, I smiled at them and they smiled at me and most of them even petted me.  One guy even got down on the floor with me and petted me.  He was a really neat guy!

After the house on wheels was all ready to go, we went to Wal-Mart for more supplies and then mommy got her hair cut.  Me and daddy napped in the house on wheels with the air conditioner on.

The next morning, mommy and daddy had breakfast with one of daddy’s old players, Isaac.  They came back to the house on wheels to pet me and do a podcast.  I like Isaac, he is cool.

We did a lot of things for the next few days in the Phoenix area.  I got a haircut, mommy and daddy walked me around Old Town Scottsdale, mommy and daddy went to see a Frank Lloyd Wright place and they also went to a baseball game.  We bounced back and forth between staying at two different Cracker Barrel’s each night, but I only got bacon that first night.

I love when I get to walk around the parks with my mommy and daddy.

We then left Phoenix and went to Sedona for the next four days.  I met some neat people in Sedona and made lots of people smile while we were there.  I got to walk in a state park and three different national parks with mommy and daddy.  That’s what I loved the most, getting to walk around with mommy and daddy and having all kinds of nice people say hi to me and pet me and smile when they see me.

We had dinner with another one of daddy’s old players in Prescott Valley, Dustin.  He and his fiancée both came back to the house on wheels to pet me.  Daddy and Dustin did a podcast too.

Daddy sure does have old players all over the place, that’s all I have to say.

We went back into the Phoenix area and mommy and daddy had lunch with their friends from A Year to Volunteer, Phil and Shar.  The next day they had lunch with daddy’s friend Shea.  Shea played with the Red Sox for a little bit and he came back to see me in the house on wheels too.  Daddy thinks that these people come back to the house on wheels to do a podcast with him, but I know that they just use that as an excuse to come pet me.  Shea knows the real Youkilis who I am named after, but I just tell everyone that I am the real Youkilis now.

We stayed at a bunch of neat Harvest Hosts places as we made our way out of Arizona and into New Mexico.  We went to Winters Ranch, Little Anthony’s Diner and El Pais Motel and Campgrounds on our way out of Arizona.

Mommy and Daddy almost bought a new house on wheels at Lazy Days in Tucson, but decided not to.  I was allowed to explore all of the houses on wheels that they looked at, which made me really happy!

Then we finally left Arizona and got into New Mexico.

We were staying at Shakespeare Ghost Town and I was allowed to go on the tour of the old town with mommy and daddy and the rest of the people.

The tour guide, Dave, was carrying a gun with him and said that he would shoot any rattlesnakes that he saw in the buildings.  I thought that he was just kidding.

Can you believe that the second building that we went into, daddy and I were still about twenty feet from the door and we heard a rattlesnake rattling and everyone came running out of that building except for Dave and his assistant.  A few seconds later, we heard a loud “pop” sound.  Dave took just one shot at that rattlesnake and he wasn’t rattling anymore.  His assistant scooped up that dead rattlesnake and tossed him into a field.

A couple buildings later, Dave had to shoot another rattlesnake.  At that point, I was ready for the tour to be over and I was really happy to only be in New Mexico for just one night!

The next morning, we were up early and off to Texas.

I was praying for grass and no more snakes, and I think that mommy and daddy were too!