Sunday, June 8, 2014

Pippi goes to camp

Pippi had a few firsts this weekend -- her first concert, her first night sleeping in a tent, her first night sleeping in the car, her first time hiking, her first unsupervised play date, the first time she rode in a car with someone besides me and sat on her lap.

First order of dog training: Boundaries.

Some friends invited Pips and me to Palo Duro Canyon this weekend for camping, hiking, ziplining, strangers telling Pippi how pretty she is and rednecking it up at a barbecue cookoff/12 hours of bands. 

While it's not the Grand Canyon, I wasn't thrilled at the idea of Pippi jumping off the canyon wall. 

We drove through a rabid storm to get there (after enduring a rabid storm of news at work that week; we were both glad to leave), the byproduct of which was a beautiful sunset that looked sort of like a fire and lots of really incredible lightning. We had to stop in New Deal, just a few miles outside of Lubbock, so I could forcibly haul Pippi off of Nicole in the passenger seat and deposit her in the back -- this after she licked Nicole's ear, sat on her lap, turned off the radio, unbuckled my seat belt and tried to shift from fifth gear into something much less good while going 70 down the freeway. 

She was very excited to meet new people, very excited to meet a new dog and very not excited to sleep in this building that was loud and moved and very, very small. After crying for a few minutes, she settled down and fell right asleep.

I did not. While camping is significantly better with an air mattress, it still involves sleeping outside. When you're awake, nature is majestically awesome. When you're asleep, nature is using every tool possible to get you. (Everything's bigger in Texas -- including mosquitoes.)

Eventually I fell asleep; I know this because Pippi woke me up at 3:30. We went for a short walk and went back to the tent. Pips was much less willing to settle down this time. She whined. She cried. She tried to figure out why the walls were moving. She lay down for about 30 seconds at a time. She wagged her tail as if she was training for Olympic tail-wagging. My tentmate could not have been sleeping through this.

So Pippi and I spent the night in the back of Androg. It was a good family bonding experience. And a dog barking in an enclosed hatchback is an excellent alarm clock.

On the way up to the tower we had to walk on this rickety bridge, which involved much more bravery than the ziplining (except for the girl who got stuck halfway there. North wind, bad for ziplining. Extra body weight to keep your momentum going, good for ziplining. Also, there was a "No Tresspassing" sign. Spell check!

The next morning we ziplined over the canyon (the ladies) and hung out at the little lodge place playing with a new friend and being petted by friendly strangers (the pups). We went hiking, which Pippi would have enjoyed more if she hadn't been running so hard in the 85-degree Texas desert heat, and then hung out listening to bands, people-watching, barking, getting lectured on not clapping enough for the barbecuers and eating a giant turkey leg.

Maybe she's going for the shade. Maybe she's mooning the camera. Maybe she's trying to get away from me.

Like I said, boundaries.

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