Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Camping with Dogs

Every year, my agency hosts a weekend campout. I “taught” Coffee to camp out early in our relationship, resulting in the ruination of only two tents before we got everything resolved. Last year when the rapid acquisition of canines began, K was out of town for the weekend campout, so I participated as a day camper and drove home to attend to dogs and chores in between.

This year, we camped. Lest anyone think we are completely out of our minds, we didn’t camp with all five plus one more of the dogs. Just three of them.

Now, a lot of the folks involved in the Dane rescue seem to camp, and they seem to take their dogs with them, even foster dogs. Were that I could claim to be this brave.

When I went for my day trip last year, I took Mercy and Trinity out for the evening. Mercy spent the entire time barking and drooling. Although usually I take this as evidence of a good time in humans; I think not so much for Mercy. So Mercy was out of contention for this year’s camping event.

I knew of some other dogs who would be attending the campout, and Skeeter doesn’t make a very good first impression. Early in our relationship, after K had met Coffee, and after I had met K’s mother and her two dogs, Susie (RIP - old gal) and Skeeter, we decided it would be good to try to introduce the kids. My parents divorced when I was about 10 years old, and I resolved the experience the way I resolve most experiences, by reading absolutely every book I could put my hands on about it. I cannot tell of the many travails and tragedies I read about in these tomes as they described the “blending” of post-divorce families. Let me just say that nothing I had read prepared me for what happened when I brought Coffee into K’s mom’s house and Skeeter went after him.

The end result was: K was clutching Skeeter by the collar and shaking, she was so mad. I was crying and holding an 80-pound male Laborador Coffee-dog. Although she has resolved her issues while at the Farm, Skeeter was not invited to the campout.

Azure. Azure has eaten industrial strength dog beds and chew toys. She could tear through a tent in about a millisecond. That lovely canvas fabric wouldn’t even represent an impediment.

So Coffee (of course), Trinity, and Emmett went camping with us. The campground is a great place – group camping that is relatively secluded with a good combination of cleared fields, high grass, trees, and tick nests. Suffice it to say, we tromped through them all.

The three we took were absolutely wonderful. After the first night, when every single person seemed to be consumed with the question, “You are going to sleep in that tent with all three of those dogs?” folks grew accustomed to having three oversized dogs prancing around the campsite.

Some, you might say, even loved having them there.


Anonymous said...

That, my friend, is one of the best pictures ever . . .

Anonymous said...

MISFITS! No one told me camping was a skill I have to actually teach the majordanes?! Oh no! Good to know. I would have taken them camping and just expected them to get it. That would have been unfair of me.

Hey and the visual of Azure going through canvas...

just plain funny!