Cabana the Happy Camper

This past week, we went camping with a group of friends to Calaveras Big Trees State Park. It was a brand new experience for Cabana, as well as for us since we've never gone camping with a dog before.

I think camping might be Cabana's idea of heaven--loads of people to enjoy, squirrels and chipmunks bounding past, endless trees and shrubs to sniff. She could hardly contain her joy. Of course, we did keep her either on leash or in her ex-pen. (Our friends were amazed that Cabana never tries to escape from her ex-pen. She doesn't have a clue that she is quite capable of jumping over it--but sshhh, she never needs to know!) She didn't really mind the ex-pen because there was a lot of activity around to entertain her--but on leash, that's when she couldn't contain herself and pulled like the dickens no matter what.

Being a bit of a neat-nick, I TRIED to keep Cabana clean. I put a straw mat in her ex-pen to keep her from wallowing in dirt. My efforts were altogether futile.

Later, I gave up and just let her lay down in the dirt. After all, when you're already covered in dirt, what's a little bit more?

Running through the middle of the campground was a beautiful meadow. And how thoughtful--they had built a wooden path so we could easily walk through it. A wildfire was raging somewhere in the area--you can see the smokey haze in this photo.

But the best part for Cabana was when we hiked to a river. Because dogs are technically not allowed on the trails (silly rule, if you ask me), we had Cabana wear her jacket, just in case someone gave us a hard time. Now there's a perk for being a guide dog in training! But shortly after we got to the river, we took the jacket off since we weren't on the trail anymore and no one seemed to be monitoring us anyway.

Cabana had a blast, dashing about in the cold water. She couldn't decide whether to run, drink, or shake--so she often did all three at the same time. She even went into a deeper section and REALLY swam--but she only did that once. We tried to coax her out there a second time, but she wasn't buying it again. She definitely prefers being where she can stand as opposed to totally immersed.

But the best part of camping, at least in my book, is getting back home, where you can get CLEAN and sleep in a soft bed. Cabana spent quite a few hours napping on her own soft bed this afternoon--I think she appreciates those things, too!

Hobbes Dogs  – (August 2, 2009 at 8:18 PM)  

What a fun trip. I love camping, but sadly the rest of my family does not, so I have not been in a long time. However, this past week, some family friends and I decided that it would be a good idea to 'camp' in a tent in our backyard for a night. Friday got to tag along too, so that was my first experiencing 'camping' with a dog. It went well, so perhaps I'll have to take her again sometime ... and maybe travel a little farther from home too.

Also - just wanted to let you know that I received my sweatshirt in the mail this past week. I LOVE it! Thanks very much to you and your daughter. Now I just need a cool day so I can really try it out. :)

Ally, Teddy and Kira  – (August 2, 2009 at 9:00 PM)  

What fun! We took Iverson camping with us when he was around 5/6 months and that was an adventure! He was a major garbage mouth, not a fan of the water and similar to how you describe Cabana in a lot of ways! It was an adventure and we enjoyed it! Can't wait to take another pup camping, although Teddy Loves camping more than anything and went on his first trip at a mere 8 weeks old! (I know, bad mom for exposing him to where wild animals are at such a tender age, not to mention disease) but now his favorite past time is camping and hiking!

I'm glad Cabana did well for you, although I agree, one of the best parts is realizing how comfy your bed Really is compared to the ground!

Elizabeth and Peyton  – (August 2, 2009 at 9:08 PM)  

I was just thinking about you all today and wondering where you were. Glad you had fun!

OSU 98  – (August 2, 2009 at 9:11 PM)  

I am so glad you let Cabana be a dog and lay in the dirt...I share your need for clean, but sometimes, you have to just let them do what they have to do. It is somewhat painful to realize this as I am trying to get the dirt and smell out of the car, but walking in and finding Chelsie passed out on the floor after one of her great adventures makes it all worth it. :)

Cabana's Puppy Raiser  – (August 2, 2009 at 9:39 PM)  

Sam, I love the idea of camping in the backyard. We take along so much stuff, it's like we're moving our whole household--so why not just stay home with all the stuff?! Thanks for letting me know you got the sweatshirt, too!

Ally, I was surprised that Cabana didn't eat much stuff off the ground (although the first picture does show her holding a little piece of wood in her mouth). That was part of my reason for wanting to put down the straw mat--I was hoping to deter her garbage mouth tendencies. But that must be one thing she's slightly growing out of--thank goodness!

Elizabeth - hey, thanks for thinking of me!!

And Nicole, yes, we do need to let them be what they are. But it's tough when we're the ones who pay the price for it! But I agree, it is worth it--and what stinking choice do we have in the matter!!

Ellie's mom  – (August 3, 2009 at 5:25 AM)  

Wow! Sounds like you both had a great time! I haven't been camping in a while, and since I haven't been puppy raising that long means I haven't brought a dog camping either.
It looks like you found a beautiful campsite!

Becky  – (August 3, 2009 at 2:38 PM)  

Sounds fun! One more experience for Cabana ... its fun with a guide you keep learning about their experiences as a puppy. We learned last year that Cricket loved to go on hiking trails - we learned she had done that often as a puppy.

OSU 98  – (August 3, 2009 at 8:30 PM)  

Mimi....I am so excited to have won Becky's contest!!!

Erin and the Furry Troops  – (August 4, 2009 at 8:34 PM)  

I'd say she definatly gives the phrase "Happy Camper" a new menaning! What a fun time you guys had!

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