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| Bob & Sue Jaussaud | Trip Reports

Desert Foo Dogs

Desert Foo Dogs

By Sue Jaussaud

"Wow, what's that? Let's stop and take a look." Bob and I were headed toward home on National Trails Highway (Route 66), less than 4 miles east of Amboy. We had arrived back in California the day before, after 15 days of travel in Iceland with friends Allan and Ding Wicker, so we were a bit jet-lagged, but not THAT jet-lagged. A large "For Sale" sign sat close to the road, and behind it was a tall white statue of a....lion? Closer examination showed that it was indeed a stately marble lion, balanced on concrete blocks, his paw atop a ball of some sort. Cool!!!

     A bit further east, we spotted another white lion statue. This one, also placed on concrete blocks, had its paw on top of a miniature version of itself. Both statues had red paint on the base, and there was red paint splashed on large rocks nearby. After sending her a photo of the beasts, Anne Stoll said that she suspected that they were guarding something, and later she followed up with a lot of great information from Wikipedia, which explained that they are indeed Chinese guardian lions, traditionally called "Shi" and also referred to as "Foo Dogs" in the West.

     So now we know what they are, but I'm not quite sure WHY they are. Do they mark the boundaries of the property that is for sale? Are they guarding the entrance to the property? And why isn't there a phone number to call if this is the property I've been looking for all my life? We may never know the answers. And that's just one more reason to love this vast, mysterious place called the Mojave Desert.