My and Erik's birthdays are within a month of each other. This year, rather than celebrating individually and all that expense part, we decided to go camping for our joint birthdays! We went this past weekend, which also coincided with the end of my finals, so was like a triple treat for me. This was also Sammy's first camping/fishing experience. I assumed he would enjoy it, but you never really know til you put your pup out there if they will truely enjoy it. My friend who lived in a dorm across the hallway from me for 2 years was able to make it all the way from Wisconsin for our birthday trip. As well my friend and his girlfriend from class and Erik's sister and her fiancee. Erik's sister and her fiancee have a puppy as well, so it was double dog exciting! Haha. Their dog, Max, is a 6 month old Austrialian Cattledog.
We all met up at our campsite, Memphis Lake State Park (between Omaha and Lincoln), on Saturday morning. We intended for Friday, but everyone had some issues with schedules, so it was just an overnight camping trip. Sammy was sure confused with all the packing of the car. We have never had that much stuff in the car at one time. Plus us and my friend from Wisconsin! He was very excited, but confused about all that was happening. Once we got there, his intrest was greatly peaked! But, you could see him very worried about what was going on. We brought his stake and rope, and he was staked right away. Then we made trips from the car to our site for all of our stuff. When I walked away, he barked. He sooo did not want to be left behind! But could he really think I would do that?
Apparently so, when I walked up to get our water, he threw a tantrum! Oh, and Sammy was super helpful when I was trying to set up the tent. I am pretty skilled at putting up my tent in a plethera of conditions, if I do say so myself. (Last year we had a field trip for school through Wyoming. It was a 10 day trip throughout the whole state where we set up camp every evening, then picked it up every morning and made tons of stops during the day to look at different outcrops. Very fun. We had everything from wind warnings, thundersnow, waking up to 22 degrees to hiking searching for dinosaur fossils in 95 degrees, rain that flooded tents, and everything in between. Prior to that, we had a trip to Minnesota River Valley where our van broke down, and we were unable to drive above 45mph. We got to our campsite very late and I learned how to put up tents in the dark! It's a good thing I have a nice little backpacker tent! lol) I however, was not quite good enough for putting up the tent with a needy little corgi! haha. But eventually I did succeed!
After all of our tents we up, and gear moved into them, coolers unpacked and a fire started, everyone was able to pull up a chair and get comfortable. Sammy found this quite reassuring. This made him comfortable enough to let his troubles go and play with Max. Boy oh boy were they ALWAYS and forever getting tangled. State Parks require them to constantly be on a leash or rope with a max of 6ft. Max is quite a bit more energetic, large and way more aggressive with playing. Sammy, luckily, has been around all kinds of dogs in his 9 months with us. In the family we also have a Shar Pei and a Black Lab, so size is undaunting there. He gets all sorts of doggie friends at the dogpark as well. He doesn't really enjoy playing that rough, never starts that rough, but he can hold his own and prefers it to no playing at all. Max likes to step over him and such, Sammy retaliates by grabbing Max's face and pulling him down. Doesn't it sound grusome? Ugh. I hate it, but they both wag their tails (or nubs) and constantly go for more. This is the only dog Sammy does it with, so they must have their own way about them, and I try to let it slide.
Don't get me wrong. I love that Sammy is able to play with all dogs: energies, sizes, play styles, all that. But I think of him as my sweet puppy, and I just don't like the way this looks. Plus, playing like this, Sammy gets super worn out fast. Then he can get grouchy and put Max in his place. I like to end it before then!
After I had enough of this playing I took Sammy for a little walk. We walked around the lake some so I could get a feel for how he would respond to the lake water. I would like to take him swimming, and unfortunatley was unable to while he was still young. Now I will have to acculamate him as an adult dog. The water is freezing still because we have yet to get really warm. Our weather is still a bit of a roller coaster here. Last week we made it into the 80's for one day, then every day since then we have been with 60 as a high. Way too cold for the water to be decent. Anyway, we went around the rocky edge of the lake, and Sammy very easily told me how it was going to be. While I was talking to Erik about how he seemed very interested (while Erik was fishing) Sammy just dove off a rock into the water! I think the temperature really surprised him because he didn't want to jump back in, but he still wanted to be along the edge! Sammy smiled like there was no tomorrow! He just loved it. Then Erik came for a little walk with us, and we found a super tiny beachy area (lik 3 feet wide!) where there was a sandy bottom into the grass and no big rocks. Very shallow incline into the water. I took off my boots and Sammy and I walked in. Brrr....it was cold, but we both enjoyed the sand in our toes. Sammy went in and out of the water on his own accord like it was nothing! I can't wait to get him swimming!
We went back to camp after that and the boys worked on the fire. They, of course, went for the giant logs! I love this picture that I took of them getting the fire ready because Sammy is looking at them like, "really?"
Sammy was in his relaxtion state, and just enjoyed sitting around, or on our laps, enjoying the outdoors! Max was just looking for play! haha.
Sammy and Max protected all of us, let me tell you. They were playing bark tag! One of them would hear something, or think that they heard something, so he would growl or "huwoof" or bark. The other would take that as a sign to protect and repeat it. Then after a little while, neither would have any idea as to what the heck they were barking at, but the other was, so he would have to follow! This happened the whole time, and both were catalysts. We have been working on Sammy's barking alot, and this trip definately set us way behind. Max was a bad influence on Sammy's barking!
As the night continued, it got very cold. We of course kept the fire going and had to eat smores! Sammy got to try them, and was quite fond of them! Lots of drool goobers! This morning we had smores over the stove, and he remembered their goodness and just drooled in hopes of just one more bite! He was rewarded for his patience! The colder it got, the more I clung onto him. He was my own personal heater! I can't believe how warm his little body was! He didn't feel any cold!
Bed time came, and Erik and I each had a sleeping bag, and we had a down blanket beneath us to keep the ground from cooling us off more. I dragged Sammy into my mummy sleeping bag where we snuggled for half the night. He was over heated and left me to my own body heat! I do not pocess any! I found that out within 10 minutes of him leaving! Eventually Sammy felt it, too. He came back for some snuggles between us!
The next morning we were up with the light. Sammy seemed rejuvinated. I worked hard at separating the dogs because Max was beyond rejuvinated! He was quite the barker that morning and I didn't want to Sammy to be the annoying dog of the camp. I thought ahead! Sammy loves these yummy beef rawhides, however I do not. They stain the carpet. It took me months to fully get rid of the stain on our carpet. I brought him (and Max one, too) a yummy beef rawhide. Boy was he exicited about it! He licked his chops at the smell!
"Thank you Mommma! Thank you, thank you!!!"
Within 2 hours of our being awake, the wind had switched and was blowing off the lake. The clouds came in, and wind went up! We packed up! It was so cold! Sammy didn't seem too opposed to our tent coming down!
After getting the car packed, we loaded up. Sammy got in between the three of us and fixed his bed with our down blanket. He was passed out before we even hit the highway!
He was less than pleased when we got home. He had to leave his bed. Which he fought me on. As I pulled him forward, he pulled back. It was as though we played tug of war with his body. Good thing he was exhausted.
Sammy got over it as soon as he made it to the couch.
In fact, we got back at about 10:30AM Sunday morning. He slept the rest of the day Sunday. Got up only to eat and potty. We (people) met for dinner, and he stayed at home. When we got back and took him to potty, he came back in and beat us to the bedroom. Today, he has slept the whole day again. We made him get into the car and go to the pharmacy with us, and he just slept the whole time on my lap. It is now almost 5pm and he might have been awake for 2 hours total since we got back to Omaha! Currently we are in the bedroom because we have maintence working outside our living room windows (driving Sammy mad!) and Sammy has half the bed claimed as his is laying there spead eagle with his head on the pillow! Haha. He isn't even this tired after a day at doggie daycare! Can't wait til we get to go camping again, hopefully with better weather!