Let's give a big hand to Rudy and the Tadpoles!
It was so great to be back in El Malpais! What a place of power! What a place of danger for giant poodles!
I left the Monument visitor center at the same time as a very married couple, older than me, traveling with Rudy the Giant Poodle. We arrived at the first scenic overlook within seconds of each other. Rudy escaped from the car, and galomphed to the water pools on the sandstone ridge. I tried to gaze off toward the perfect blue Mt. Taylor like some inscrutable Tony Hillerman character, but I couldn't pull it off. I was too busy laughing at Rudy's discovery of tadpoles in the rain pools. Rudy was trying to catch the tadpoles with both paw and mouth, and dancing all around the edge of the pool. Rudy's classic tourist owners were hollering warnings to the poodle about falling off the cliff, while shrieking about guppies and trying to sneak up on Rudy with a red retracto-doggy leash. I had to go off hiking and clambering around on the rocks because I wanted to holler, "Run, run like the wind, Rudy!"