Yep. Still here. We go to town to spend the afternoon in the Black Cat Books. I want to sit inside with Sherman out of the wind. ¬†They’re closed. 😝 Today is a WINDY day. 30+ mph sustained winds with 50mph gusts. I think about getting tarps to put over the shelter windows, but then what do I do with them? I don’t want to keep ’em. So, Today is a van day. We sit in the van while it rocks. I go to turn on the key to open the back vent windows and the van won’t start.
At first I think it’s the battery. But, no. Not the battery. Everything works fine except start. Ohhhh! Been here before. It’s the alarm. The rocking of the van has set off the alarm. When I try to start it, I hear the clicking of the dash lights blinking. Hmmmm. I thought the alarm was on valet mode, which means off. So, we’re not going anywhere until the wind goes down. Weather predicts it’ll be down to 10-15 all day tomorrow.
Over the last 5 days we’ve been relaxing and walking. Yesterday, we went to the other end of Elephant Butte Lake and hiked about 4 miles south then back to the van.
At the north end of the lake we find the Rio Grande flowing south. Elephant Butte Lake is a reservoir behind a 100 year old dirt dam in the Rio Grande. I can’t believe how small the river is! My image is the big river on the Texas-Mexico border.

This deeper channel in the river is a bird playground. These groups of Egrets are hanging out in the shallows. There were swans that flew upriver 200 ft, floated downstream, then flew back upstream. I watched 3 of them do the cycle 4 times before we walked on.
The trail
I only saw this in New Mexico. A bench and trash can 4 or more miles from a trailhead.
Unique mileage markers
Three-Sisters area. There is a little lake community of 6 houses up the road. This area floods when the lake level rises after snow melt. The plants and ground had mineral scum on them.
Those rock are The Three Sisters.
And this… is THE Elephant Butte!! A kneeling elephant with the head and trunk to the left. Ear and folded legs clearly visible.
Back to today… There’s a 2 mile loop trail with an access right across the street. So we do that once a day. And we walk on the beach. The loop to the marina and up past the skinny island and back up to our site is about 3 miles. So, we’re getting in 5-6 miles minimum.
Remember the story about Sherman chasing cars and my buying a shock collar? Well, at Bottomless Lakes I started to use the shock collar with Sherman. Calibrating the level — turns out he can feel it at 8-10 out of 125. Very low. The trainers I’ve talked with said most small dogs don’t feel it until 15-20. He’s a sensitive boy…
So the first task is to get him walking with a loose leash. Not pulling. I’ve tried the quick yank with a NO. I’ve tried the stop and stand still until he stops pulling. I’ve tried the treats for staying close. He’s doing it his way! So now, every time he pulled, I push the momentary zap button, (this one gives a very short zap no matter how long the button is held) – tap, tap, tap until he stops pulling. Usually to 2-3 taps. In two days, he was no longer pulling, but walking with a loose leash. Not heeling. But out front with a loose leash. Next was to try it without the shock collar. So on day 3 when he pulled he got a verbal, Anh, Anh. He’d look at me and stop pulling. By the end of the walk he wasn’t paying attention to the verbal. So next walk back to zapper. I also realized I needed to have more treats to reward him when he was doing what I wanted. Not just negative feedback. Within 5 days he had than one down pretty good. Onward to other tasks/games.
I need to review some of the material I have regarding using the tool with heal and come. It took me 2 months after I bought it to have the nerve to start using it and to decode my and Sherman’s responses. Progress…