Hello. My name is Oscar. I am a 4 year old male Dachshund. My adoptive Mommy and Daddy are unable to write this week’s blog. They asked me to do it for them.
First and foremost, I love to go camping. I get kinda tired of the same old smells in the yard at home. When we set-up at a new campsite and go for a walk I get to check out hundreds of new smells. It is an absolute delight!
I started camping as a puppy. If I remember correctly, I was about 3-1/2 months old when my Mom and Dad first took me to Virginia Beach. We stayed at the Holiday-Trav-L-Park on one of their new “Supersites”. Mom and Dad took their bicycles so they could ride them on the bike road fronting the ocean. Dad made a carrier for me that sat on the back of his bicycle. This allowed me to go with them.
Since we visited Virginia Beach before Memorial Day, I was allowed on the beach. That was when I discovered sand. Sand is the most wonderful surface in the world to dig in. One of my favorite games is for Dad to bury my ball deep in the sand, let me find it and dig it up. Sometimes he buries it really, really deep. I get to go to Emerald Isle, NC, for a few weeks every summer. We stay at the Holiday-Trav-L Park. Mom and Dad have been going there since my human siblings were little children. One of the things we all love about Emerald Isle is that I am allowed on the beach year round.
When I was about a year old my Dad sat me down for a really serious talk. He told me that if I could not obey his instructions, I would not be able to go camping anymore. He was really serious and made me promise.
First off, I am not allowed to bark and howl if I am left alone in the camper. There are some places I can’t go – like the grocery store and a restaurant. I would like to go, but Dad says the law won’t let me. Barking and howling can really bother other campers so he is real strict about my being quiet.
My Mom and Dad also carry a folder with them that has all my papers in it. You know, things like my vaccination records and county license, names and phone numbers of who to call if Mom and Dad are hurt. Sometimes the campground bosses ask to see the papers before I can camp there. I also wear a collar with a little USB drive attached that Dad puts our campsite number, dates, phone numbers and more on in case I do get lost.
Since I can’t use that human potty thing in the camper and doing my business on the carpet is a big no-no, I must go outside to pee and poop. I am not allowed to visit other campsites to poop. I must either go on the designated dogie walk or poop on my own campsite. Dad always carries some plastic bags and picks up my poop. I don’t think he wants the poop for anything; he just wants to keep someone else from stepping in it.
I’m not allowed off of my leash like I am at home. Mom and Dad are afraid I will wander off and get lost. I really don’t think I would get lost since I can always smell my way back to the camper, but Dad says there are leash laws that will not allow for me to run loose. So, I must always stay tethered to him so that he can say that I am under his control.
The one thing that I refuse to do is sit quietly when a stranger comes to our camper. As the number 1 dog in the camper I believe it is my duty to protect it with my life. I get in trouble a lot for barking at strangers and sometimes Dad makes me sit in the chair all by myself and tells me I am a bad dog. Maybe I am bad, but I love my owners and will always be there to keep them safe. That is why strangers should approach me and my cousins in the campgrounds only when Dad tells them it is OK.
We all have rules that keep us safe and happy. I know that I must follow my rules or Mom and Dad will leave me at home, or worse yet, in a yucky old kennel at the Vet!
Everyone camping with dogs should really read the Woodall’s Camping and RVing with DOGS paperback by Jack and Julee Meltzer. It is an excellent text. My Dad tells me he really learned a lot from reading the book.
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