Izzy the Dog at Slide Rock State Park

“Dogs come into our lives to teach us about love, they depart to teach us about loss. A new dog never replaces an old dog. It merely expands the heart.”―Author Unknown

I knew when I met Izzy that she was a special dog.  Her heart is just about as expansive as the universe, and she let me know right away that her love was unconditional and BIG.  I loved spending time with her at Slide Rock State Park and watching how excited she became with balls and sticks in the water. I think one of the things dogs can teach us is just how to live in the present.  The other is to just live in love.

I’m speaking from experience when I say the only hard part of owning a pet is recognizing the end of its earth journey in its physical body.  I knew when I left, that Izzy would soon be making her transition to the energy of the universe.  I knew that many tears would be shed in her honor, but also, that many hearts grew a hundred times their size from knowing her.  I know mine did.

Enjoy your angel wings sweet girl.  Stay close and watch over all that loved you, we need  the help.  And, I can honestly say, I love you.


Slide Rock State Park, originally the Pendley Homestead, is a 43-acre historic apple farm located in Oak Creek Canyon. Frank L. Pendley, having arrived in the canyon in 1907, formally acquired the land under the Homestead Act in 1910. Due to his pioneering innovation, he succeeded where others failed by establishing a unique irrigation system still in use by the park today. This allowed Pendley to plant his first apple orchard in 1912, beginning the pattern of agricultural development that has dominated the site since that time. Pendley also grew garden produce and kept some livestock.

As one of the few homesteads left intact in the canyon today, Slide Rock State Park is a fine example of early agricultural development in Central Arizona. The site was also instrumental to the development of the tourism industry in Oak Creek Canyon. The completion of the canyon road in 1914 and the paving of the roadway in 1938 were strong influences in encouraging recreational use of the canyon. Hence, Pendley followed suit and in 1933, built rustic cabins to cater to vacationers and sightseers.

Today’s visitors can still enjoy the fruits of Pendley’s labor. Historic cabins are available for viewing, and the creek offers the park’s namesake slide for adventure seekers and those looking for a place to cool off.

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