Thursday, September 14, 2006

Camping with the Dogs

We spent the past two nights camping at McIver Park. The weather was great, and the campground was nearly empty. It has been a long time since we were able to spend more than one night on a camping trip; it is really nice to have a full day at a campsite. We had time to cook a great camp breakfast (fried potatoes with smoked salmon, eggs, and jack cheese), go on a long hike, and sit around camp reading and building a fire.

Camping with two Min Pins must be somewhat like camping with little kids...The dirt, the keeping them warm, the packing and hauling of toys and extra bedding; having to keep an eye out for escape attempts, eating stuff found on the ground, and ensuring they are not bothering the neighboring campers. And then the laundry to wash.

The first time we took Berry Camping we kept him in our campsite by attaching his leash to the picnic table; it seemed like we spent the whole time unentangling him. This spring we bought an exercise pen for the dogs. It gives them a four foot by six foot safe play area; they are kept from chasing after critters and are safe from wandering off-leash dogs. The dogs like their pen, I set it up in the garden when we have visitors, and the dogs will hang out in it even when it is opened up. The dogs got really dirty from the dusty ground at the campsite, so I plan to get a big piece of indoor/outdoor carpet before we go camping again.

McIver Park is a nice place to camp, it is close to home, has nice trails for hiking, and has a large off-leash dog area. Berry and Basil are not ready for off-leash roaming, we are still working on our recall around exciting things and smells. I can't remember ever seeing a dog using the off-leash area, so I think it would be a great place to take dogs if you don't want them socializing with strangers.

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