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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A walk with the dogs

Walking the dogs in the early evening has now become my summer routine. As soon as I touch the leashes the dogs go beserk. Sammy, in his ever-emotive way, jumps with excitement, something he only does when he sees me touch the leash, grab my keys and camera and put on my hat. But it's usually the leash alone that gets him excited as I don't normally wear a hat or grab my camera in the evening.

Last night, with a near full moon rising, I walked the dogs down the dirt road a block away, walking in a southernly direction with Montezuma Peak ahead of us. Then, at .6 mile, I turned west toward the highway. The highway is the mile mark where we turn around. This is the route I normally take the dogs when time is of no essence, as once on the frontage road one can walk for miles along the highway.

Last night as we approached the highway, with enough light to see three adult men walking north on the highway, I got concerned. Three men walking north on the highway? Were these illegals again? They looked clean and weren't carrying backpacks, so they didn't stand out to the typical dirty, darkly-dressed and tired border crosser staggering along the road shoulder hoping a good Samaritan would stop and provide food and water. One man even wore a white t-shirt.

I stopped the dogs and they complied. I watched the men stop as a full-sized white pick-up that was driving southbound stopped in the northbound shoulder. Its headlights were dimmed. Two men jumped out of the pick-up. Was I witnessing yet another illegal pick-up?

I was wearing a white t-shirt that I was afraid would give me away. I ducked behind a desert broom (large shrub here that growns prolifically) and tried to hone in on what the men were saying. I could not hear whether they were speaking English or Spanish, or even what they were saying. I didn't see much action other than a group of men chatting on the side of the road.

But then the pick-up's whoopie lights came on from near the headlights, and a minute or so later a marked USBP SUV, that approached from the south, pulled over on the shoulder.

Relieved that the USBP were now on the scene, I quietly pulled the dogs to alert them of my intention and turned them around to walk back home. It was now dark, and when we got back home at 8:40pm Kevin was already asleep. These walks at night have potential of being dangerous; I need to stick to the paved roads of the neighborhood.

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