OK I know it’s been a while, days seem to slip away unconsciously with the added relaxation brought on by another 5 year-old, one that doesn’t speak English to add to the one that doesn’t hear English if it doesn’t contain the words ‘candy’ or ‘play’.
Dolly went camping for her first time with us, I say with us because I’m not sure how many times my Mom packed up some grub and beers and slept in a tent in the woods, but I’m sure it was less than a thousand. Dolly fit right in to the great outdoors, as you would expect any five year old who could play in the dirt and pee anywhere they want. Come to think of it…
So we took Dolly to the camper and old campground, she sniffed the inside of the camper, and knew it was ours. She ran around outside and sniffed everything, and poked, and barked and jumped up all four legs at once at frogs or sticks or the ground perhaps. I think she thought “cool, a new place to pee”, because she did that quite a bit, marking as it were. I do that too, but really just because I’m lazy. Actually, that’s one of ‘the things’ about camper camping, you don’t really pee in the woods. “A toilet” should be a footnote to Camping, not to mention “a camper”.
As we were switching campgrounds that day we loaded up like we live in New Hampshire- Ford truck pulling a camper, truck bed full of flappin-around stuff, adults, kid, dog and some banjo music and we’re off. No, wait, Foo Fighters. Nick’s heard good music, has never heard Raffi, and I think we’re past the point of that possible infection now that he likes the Ramones.
A fun mountain ride, Dolly still getting used to riding around in my truck and bumping around a bit, which didn’t seem to bother her at all. When she first started riding in the truck would sit on a bed on the floor, but she was always looking out the window, so I put the seat down and bed on top of it. On this day there was a lot to see everywhere, and Dolly was pretty excited the whole day.
At the new campground we were reminded that Dolly is a dog. We drive in, and get to the campsite and find the manager, and eventually get the camper close to where it’s going to be on the campsite. Now I don’t know if this happens every time you try to park a camper at a new campground, but we met an interesting neighbor.
So Dolly and I are in the truck and about 4 minutes into the maneuver the camper is about a foot away from where it’s going to stay for a while, just leveling it and straightening it out, and we hear an accent say ‘it’s a little crooked’. Now I’m no slouch when it comes to backing up a trailer, what with my brain and such, but when you hear a little man with a German accent giving you instructions like ‘No! Turn Left! TURN LEFT!’, you don’t want to be rude.
That started another 15 minutes (OK maybe really 6, but it felt like 15) of backing up and adjusting, most of it the manager and the neighbor saying things to each other like ‘to the left, on this side, my left, yes, no, your right, that side- around this way’, and me trying to move the camper to where it should be and not run either of them over.
Finally it’s parked, we get out, and by this time I’m a little hungry. So it’s no surprise I like the smell of the rotisserie chicken we bought for dinner. Well, I’m a little surprised I’m smelling it so much now. That’s when the wave comes over you. Dolly!! I look, and yup, shes smacking her lips. When Nick and Sue got out of the car Dolly had full access to our dinner.
She ate the skin and pretty much the skin only. Now we don’t eat the skin, so it could have worked out, if not for my moocher dog. The rest of the chicken was intact, with the random tooth bite here and there, just no skin. Now, I don’t want this to sound gross, but I considered eating the chicken. O.K., more than considered it. I don’t have germaphobia, I don’t mind the occasional dog kiss, and I believe, from a germ standpoint, some dog slobber won’t otherwise harm you. Yet, I removed all the chicken with Dolly damage and pretty much there wasn’t anything left anyway, and it really was kind of gross, and we ate macaroni for dinner that night.
I wish we had learned a lesson from that, but we’re not fully trained yet. Dolly is a moocher, she grabs food off of the counters, and she can reach pretty high. You hear Nick calling, somethings going on here, a meal is interrupted, and next thing you know your wife’s burger is bitten but not eaten and on the floor, conveniently smearing ketchup everywhere. Dolly has the dog-power to bite food just enough so you can’t eat it, while not eating any of it herself. And she knows where to get it.
So we get setup around the campsite, and Dolly barks at the new things and people. I have her staked so she can run around but stops at the arc of her leash at the edge of our campsite. We go for walks, we meet people, she sniffs, we shake, and we make our way down to the beach for some photos. Now it’s the last day of the season so most have left and the remaining are tarping up their campers for the winter, so when I see the ‘no dogs on beach’ sign I pretend I don’t see it and challenge anyone to say anything (there was no one around, that helped too).