|So over this wilderness thing|
Callie and I like to adventure in some of the large city parks. I love to give her a chance to get off leash, where she can run and smell and just pretend to be a wild dog for a couple hours. I always kind of believed in letting a dog be a dog. Letting them make their own decisions. Cal has her own mind and doesn't need me dictating her every move but alas, the city can be a dangerous place for a dog without rules.
My parents own a chunk of land a couple hours north. We try to make it up once a year at least and it's just great. It's in the middle of freaking no where but has a house that runs on a generator so there's lights. No running water but my stepmom is a miracle worker so the outhouse smells fresh as a daisy. A ways down the path from the house is a little two room bunkie on the water. No electricity there, but it is the only reminder of human kind on the entire lake - we're the only ones with access to the lake unless you have a plane. What this all means is epic freedom for the four legged members of our group!
We went up a couple weeks ago and it was great. Our last weekend with Rocket and a much needed break from the city. We spent our days down by the lake getting some sun and drinking way too much. One of our friends is a avid fisherman type and managed to catch us a decent sized pickerel for dinner.
The dogs were hilarious. Callie was overjoyed when she realized my dad just cut the grass and spent her time rolling in the clippings. Rocket, this being his first taste of real freedom, didn't leave my side for the first little while. He almost had a panic attack when Callie and I took a swim. Then I started catching him going off on little adventures with Callie. Neither would go very far, but Callie would lead him off a few minutes at a time. Callie, I learned, has amazing bathroom habits and the only place she's do her duty was in the tall grass far from the bunkie. Pretty much the best dog ever, don't be jealous, lol. I always sunscreen the little patch on a dogs snout just after their nose, ever since our first foster, Beans, got a sunburn there. I quickly realized I also needed to lather it on Rocket's belly, it being nearly hairless and exposed to the sun when he lays down. The bugs were also terrible which meant bug spray for everyone. Even so we all ended up with an obscene amount of bites and were itchy for days.
Rocket soon discovered fishing. My dad bought a pontoon boat and we went for a few rides. The boys would fish as we went, occasionally have us stop in the "good spots" for some real fishing. The first fish Rocket saw was pretty much as big as he was. The thing could have swallowed his leg whole if it wanted. Yet the little guy was MESMERIZED by the damn thing! Soon he was running from fisherman to fisherman as they caught their fish. We'd let him get a little sniff in, but soon he was trying to lick them and of course that quickly graduated into "I must eat the slimy creature" which just wasn't going to work for me. Even with the loss of his sniffing the fish priveledges he kept a constant watch on the rods. Soon enough every part of fishing was interesting to him: the rods, the lures, the tackle box, sudden splashes in the water.
My thirteen year old cousin came up for the weekend as well -brag time! He just graduated from grade 8 and got athlete of the year! - and he's always excited about my fosters. He has a little Jack Russell himself so Rocket was a cool experience for him. The three of us were sitting on the front on the pontoon boat as we puttered along and Rocket became a little too interested in the way the water splashed at the side of the boat. As I said the words "Hey Jake, doesn't it look like he's going to jump in?!" Rocket jumped in. Well, Rock hates the water so we think it was more he leaned a bit too far over the side and then face planted into the water, but either way he ended up in the middle of a lake. Our shocked screams sent the Ryan and one of the other guys jumping into the water after him. But don't you worry readers, it didn't phase the little guy at all! After a good shake he was right back to fisherdog duty.
|Camp in 2009, Cooper, Callie, & Skipper|
By the second afternoon Callie was over the whole camping thing. Maybe she played a little too hard chasing sticks in the water and rolling in grass, but all she wanted to do is sleep. On the boat she demand shade. She liked to sit up on the back and watch the world go by, but once we shifted direction and the sun was hitting her she was unhappy. Hence the picture of her wearing a hat, covered by a towel. She laid like that for hours.
The second night we slept up at the house with my parents. It was nice to sleep on a mattress but Ryan and I managed to get the only bed without pillows and blankets, which was fine since the house was a million degrees. I fell asleep with Callie at my feet, Rocket snuggled into my side and Ry to my back. I woke up in approximately the same position. Little did I know that Rocket was a bit of a player. Apparently as soon as I fell asleep he got up and adventured to each room, having cuddle time with just about everyone, and then ran back to my room before I woke up.
After a few more hours at the lake we all packed up and headed home. The dogs slept the entire ride home. Rocket discovered the spot on the floor behind the seat where he could curl up undisturbed by Callie's long limbs. After baths all around (the dog-friendly bug spray was oil based and STUNK) we went to bed. Cuddles the next morning until Rocket's new mom came and got him.