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More S’camping.

This was a week ago; I wanted to get it up right after I got home, but of course didn’t, and then it felt like it was history so not worth blogging, but I’ve been enjoying reading posts from years ago, so for the sake of my future self, I’m going to do this anyway.

Got out last week for two nights in a row, and it was very successful. I’m now not only hopeful, but confident, that somehow this camping with Scamp and cats is going to work out.

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Dream note

Dreamed about CJ last night. Much of it I don’t remember, though I think we were taking a walk somewhere, and I remember being able to touch and pet her. The part that was more clear was the bear. There was a structure of some kind between me and the bear, and I was trying to be still so the bear wouldn’t notice or attack me. CJ was near me at first, but then went over to the bear. I tried to call her back, quietly but urgently, but she ignored me. They nosed each other, then began to play. They continued playing for some time, the bear being careful not to hurt CJ, both seeming to be having fun, with me being increasingly incredulous that they would go on playing this way without it tipping over into a fight. It was probably that incredulity that woke me up; I’ve noticed before that when my reality checker gets turned on in a dream, it’ll wake me up.

No interpretation. There are some obvious ones, but I’ll just leave it here for my future self to look back on.

Beach with Scamp

Anyone want to take any bets on how long it will be before I do a post that isn’t mostly about her? Not me.

The weather here went from winter (rain rain rain) to summer (nary a cloud in sight, windy in the afternoon) within the space of 2-3 days awhile back. Continue Reading »

Puppy milestone

Of sorts.

Today marks the official “it’s ok to meet other dogs and stop worrying about where we walk”day. Since the weather is also spectacularly nice, I decided to combine a celebratory walk at our in-town popular dog walking area with another experience with the trike. Continue Reading »

I’ll get to that in a bit.

Monday I took the critters out for another overnight Puppy Camping Training trip, this one closer to home. We headed up to Golden and Silver Falls state park. You can’t camp there, but there’s a country CG about 5 miles before you get there.

Lunch was first on my agenda when we got to the falls. I put Scamp outside so she could run around–no one else was around–and while she took advantage of the opportunity, this time she wasn’t so frenetic. It may have been because we had spent half as much time or less getting there, but I choose to be encouraged by this anyway. She thought for a couple seconds about not coming when called after lunch, but literally only a couple of seconds. She seems to find me irresistible when I kneel down, so we’re OK as long as I can still get back up again . . . .

There are three hiking/ walking paths, one to the bottom of each falls and one to the top of Golden Falls. The plan was to do the two lower ones, which are shorter and easier, on Monday and the upper hike on Tuesday before heading home. But when I finished lunch and got out for the hikes, I was confronted by this:

Clearly we made it across–apparently I neglected to take a picture from the other side. I didn’t quite have confidence that Scamp could make all the jumps necessary, so I carried her. In a few months. . . .

That was only the beginning of the obstacles. There were a number of downed trees on the path to Golden Falls.

That one was easy. For perspective [:-)]

Some were more challenging.

At least for me.

But with persistence, we made it.

And headed back, through obstacles

And noticing this creature on the way.

I’ll tell you what I see if you tell me what you see.

Once back across the creek, we headed up to Silver Falls. No obstacles to negotiate this time, but the trail is a bit steeper. But not long. Pictures.

I tried to get Scamp to pose so that I could get a close-up of her with the falls in the background, but . . . she was not particularly cooperative.

I snapped that one in a hurry and then grabbed her–she was contemplating about a six-foot jump down there, which I did not want her to attempt.

Having achieved the Day 1 hiking part of the trip, we headed down to the campground and picked our spot (well, I picked it), which turned out to be an excellent spot for the afternoon. I got things all set up, including this tie-out.

Which turned out to be very successful and seems likely to be the secret of successful future camping. Notice the cat. That’s Shadow. I had offered to let the cats out as soon as we got there, but only Shadow took me up on it. Which I thought was mildly strange, because Phantom had poised himself to leave the van more than once while we were up at the falls. But whatever. Didn’t think too much about it. (We are now to the bit about the cats I promised to get to later.)

Once things were all set up the way I wanted them, Scamp and I set out to walk the trail along the river between the CG and the day use area. It’s very pretty, and we went down next to the river in a couple of different places. Here are a few pictures.

We get back, and I do some more putzing about, including moving the tie-out and setting my chair out for leisurely river-viewing. The resulting view from the van:

Notice how quiet Scamp is being, fastened to the tie-out there.

In the midst of this rearranging, I hear loud where-are-you meowing, and track it down to Shadow, who is off the trail in the bushes. He let me pick him up and cuddle him once, then headed back to the bushes.

But that made me think of Phantom. I thought he should be enjoying some of this fine outdoor experience, so I went hunting for him in the van. Could NOT find him. The van’s storage areas are relatively lightly packed because it’s set up for short trips, and I got a flashlight out so I could peer into nooks and crannies. I checked all his favorite hidey-holes, but NO PHANTOM. He’s not exactly a small cat, and I checked everything at least twice, and he did not appear when called, so I began to wonder if somehow he’d slipped out past me while we were up at the falls.

So I retracted the awning, moved the cat beds, and contemplated what else I would need to take care of in order to drive back up to see if I could find him there. Unwilling to drive away without Shadow, I begin trying to coax him out of the bushes. This becomes highly reminiscent of previous tempt-Shadow-out-of-the-bushes episodes, of which there have been many. He was happy to let me get within 5-6 feet of him, and to talk to me, but he wouldn’t let me grab him.

Finally, I resorted to food, which had worked a time or two in the past. I take his dish and the big of food out of the van, rattle the bag, put food in the dish, rattle the food in the dish–and here comes Shadow. I pick him up and climb into the van.

To see Phantom emerging from . . . somewhere. Somewhere near the AC cabinet, WHICH I HAD CHECKED, DAMMIT. It was a near thing, but I was more happy not to have to drive back up to the falls than annoyed with him for hiding. Hiding until food was in the offing, anyway. Let that be a lesson to me.

Two cats, eating.

Sometimes, it can still be the cats who give me camping grief. Although this was mild compared with some previous episodes.

Anyway, instead of more driving on a very potholed dirt road, I got to enjoy wine with a river view, and have supper, and then walk with Scamp down by the river some more. This spot was up from the other end of the CG, and was the most peaceful, contemplative, almost spiritual, spot of them all.

As you can see, Scamp took full advantage of all that free-flowing water.

At some point, I no longer remember exactly when, she managed to fall in. She swam (dog paddled, he he) a few strokes back to shore, and struggled to get out. I waited a bit to see if she would make it, and then got up to help her. Just as I got to her, she got herself out. At which point, I pulled out the phone to take a picture. Can you tell she’s a wet puppy shaking herself off here?

Later that evening, there was a calm spell when all three critters were sharing the space–and me–apparently contentedly.

Indeed, one of the successful aspects of the excursion was that not once did Scamp attempt to play-attack Phantom. Maybe because the space is clearly too small for it, even to her? I don’t know, but I’m grateful.

The next morning, once all up and fed and loaded, I headed back up to the falls, to take Scamp on the hike up to the top of Golden Falls. The sun wasn’t out yet, so it wasn’t as beautiful as sometimes, but it was still lovely. Here are a couple of pics of Silver Falls from that trail.

More pics from the way up.

A couple from the top. She’s pretty good about edges, but I was nervous enough about it to get her back on leash when we got close. There’s a long, sheer drop from up there.

And a couple from the way back down. A random snail I thought was pretty:

Scamp wanted to play with it–which at this age means pick it up in her mouth and see if it’s good to chew on. I’m hoping eventually this eases up. Anyway, I fended her off because I was pretty sure the snail wouldn’t survive it.

And finally, a random plant.

Altogether a successful trip. Scamp was much calmer, the tie-out worked to keep her from driving me crazy in the van, and she didn’t seem to mind it much. In the morning I let her just roam the campsite, since the CG was nearly deserted, and she stuck pretty close. I was exhausted when we got home, but I blame the morning hike for that. Although it does make me wonder how I’ll fare on multiple-night trips. And rainy days concern me–this all worked because we could be out and about as much as we liked. But I’m MUCH more optimistic about her being a good camping companion than I was after the first experiment.

Puppy progress

Things have been a bit up and down.

But let me go back a couple of weeks.

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Puppy quickie

So yesterday I bought a jacket for Scamp because we seem to have endless rain this spring. Continue Reading »