Last weekend was a first for the LIN Crew-we took our dogs camping with us....
For many people, sharing their experiences in the great outdoors with their pets is a calm and relaxing experience, but when one dog's standard MO during thunderstorms is to gnaw on door frames (we've had to replace three) and the other tucks his tail and runs when someone sneezes, you swallow your outdoorsy pride (and a couple hundred bucks) and drop the pups off at the doggie hotel. So, when Curby suggested that we bring the dogs with us for this trip, I was a little nervous but knowing we'd put it off long enough, I didn't object. We packed the car and headed out-two adults, two kids, two dogs.
Our wonderful dogs' lovely list of personality traits and accomplishments:
~Failed obedience school
~Won't poop on a leash
~Afraid of manholes and storm drains
~Been in a dog fight
~Jumps fences better than most fleeing criminals
~Unfazed by shock collars
~Escapes electric fences
~Digs up gardens and shrubs
The four-hour drive was pretty non-eventful. Aside from the random barking at people on motorcycles or walking along the street, the dogs were pretty quiet, sleeping most of the trip. When we arrived at our campsite we knew we'd made a good decision to bring them with us. The sites were spacious, shady and set back about 25 yards from the road. We staked the dogs to the ground on a 30 ft chain, began to unload and set up camp. It wasn't long before "the barking" began. Zilla (yes, like Godzilla, a name we'd chosen before even bringing her home) barks at leaves blowing in the wind, so we knew that keeping her quiet was going to be an issue. While there was a lot of space between campsites, you could still easily see people (and other dogs) moving around and Zilla was determined to let everyone know that we'd arrived. And so began the weekend-long chorus of "Quiet, Zilla. No, Zilla. Zilla, hush. Zilla, that's enough." It wasn't long before the boys were shushing her so much that we had to tell THEM to keep their voices down!
Saturday morning started off a little rough when an un-leashed dog on his morning walk, decided to come and check us out. We're still a little apprehensive when unknown pups approach Zilla since she was attacked and bitten pretty badly about a year ago. Thankfully, the situation was under control quickly and the owner was very apologetic. Plus, I couldn't help laughing at the dog's name, Ricky Bobby! The rest of the weekend went, surprisingly well. The dogs enjoyed morning walks along the lake, sniffed the bluebonnets, and joined us on a couple of bike rides. Since they were so active during the day, I noted to Curby late in our second day that the dogs hadn't napped at all, they slept soundly at night.
We decided to have the pups sleep in the garage attachment of our Kingdom 6 tent. Staking them on their leashes kept them in the garage with all barking targets out of sight. They were close enough to us to sense our presence (read: didn't howl all night) and we didn't have to worry about restless pups waking up sleeping kids or long doggie nails tearing holes into the tent.
All in all, I must say that our experience was positive. We had no major mis-haps, saved a bit of cash and everyone enjoyed having our furry family members with us. We'll definitely bring them along again!