Swinging in the Breeze

I like my hammock I every way
The breeze gently causes it to sway

I watch the clouds float in the sky
I listen to the pine trees sigh

The sun is warm upon my fur
Life is good, that’s for sure

When you have a hammock to lay your head
It’s more comfortable than any bed

By Rose Hill, the Irish setter

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Keeping Clean

Just because we’re camping doesn’t mean we don’t get clean. Okay so we don’t often get a bath unless we’re near a lake or river but there’s other stuff. Like getting your ears cleaned with this liquid that smells all like flowers. And then there’s getting our nails filed. I don’t like that at all and do my best to pull my paw away. We get brushed and brushed and brushed. Sometimes every day if it’s dusty outside. See Brian doesn’t like the dust on the blankets when we go to bed. It makes him sneeze. And then there’s brushing teeth. I kinda like that. The dog toothpaste tastes like peanut butter.
Rose, the Irish setter

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Camping Buddy Puppies

Brian and Dee, our two-legged companions, always bring us along when they go camping which is almost all the time. I get to meet lots of other four-legged companions in our campsites. Most of them are friendly and all of them are good dogs, but sometimes some of them could use some manners. That’s not their fault, but their two-legged companion’s fault.

Anyways. There was this bull dog named Brutus. That was the wrong name for him because he wasn’t a brute at all but what Dee would call a sweetie pie. He slobbered all over my head.

You can always tell when a dog barks hello, get away, or I’m going to bite you. At least us dogs can, humans maybe not so much. One RV had three little bitty dogs called yorkies. Yanno, the ones with the bows in their hair to keep it out of their eyes? They made a lot of confused barks’ cause one was barking hello, one was barking get away and one was growling. Have you ever noticed how little dogs have shrieky barks?

Then there was the lady who had two terriers. One was really little and one was sorta little. She said she adopted them from a shelter. It must be scary to be in a shelter where you don’t know nobody. I don’t understand how dogs end up in a shelter. Who puts them there?

Both terriers were happy and wanted to say hello. Hello means butt sniffing. It’s what dogs do instead of shaking hands. Hey, you can tell a lot from a good butt sniff.
In all the time we’ve been camping, I’ve seen only one other Irish setter. Us setters aren’t too common. But we musta been common sometimes ’cause nearly everybody I meet says “I had a red setter when I was a kid.” I’m thinking they just saw that movie “Big Red” and just imagined they had a setter.

Rose, the Irish setter

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Potato Soup is Everywhere

See there were these birds. Big black birds with red heads, flying over our campsite. My job is to keep the birds away. Big birds, little birds, squawky birds, singing birds… it doesn’t matter. So when these big black birds came flying over our campsite I had to chase them. Now about that potato soup…

Brian keeps me and Rose on tethers – that’s a long leash – when we’re camping. That’s the rules. My tether is about 12 feet long. So this bird flew by and I go after it. I jump over the rocks around the fire ring and my tether snags one of the rocks and smashes it into the pan of potato soup. A big pan of potato soup. Potato soup was everywhere … in the fire, on the ground, on the rocks … everywhere.

The potato soup tasted pretty good if you don’t mind a little extra dirt seasoning and us springers certainly don’t
Kate, the cute one

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Munch and Crunch — Nutrish

Most of the time we get homemade dog food — like chicken, peas, and string beans, or ground beef, carrots and brown rice or turkey — well you get the picture. When we’re camping, which is a lot, we get dry dog food and homemade. Dee calls that homemade food leftovers. I dunno why they aren’t called right unders, but there you are. Anyways Brian bought a bag of Rachael Ray’s Nutrish dog food. Yanno that Rachael Ray that does the cooking on TV. Yes, we watch TV. Cooking shows are one of my favorites. Kate likes football. We both take naps when golf is on.

This Nutrish stuff is pretty good. NO CORN. See, I like the taste of corn, but I can’t digest it. It comes out the way it went into my tummy. This Nutrish stuff doesn’t have corn. It doesn’t have that mystery ingredient called meat byproduct or meal. You don’t even want to know what that stuff is. It’s yuck.

There’s one kind of Nutrish that only has six ingredients. That’s good too. And it’s in the grocery store. See when you’re camping you can’t always get to the special pet store where they sell the premium dog food. So Nutrish is good to munch and crunch.

Thanks Rachael Ray.

Kate, the Irish setter

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Making the Rounds

When we’re camping I like to say hello to the other campers — the two-legged campers. Sometimes those campers bring their four-legged companions with them. It’s funny because it seems like the bigger the RV — yanno those big huge metal thingies that hook onto the back of a truck and you stay inside it at night instead of staying in a tent like we do. Anyways, it seems the bigger the RV, the littler the four-legged companions are.

There was this one RV that was humongous and in the front on the ground were four little itty bitty yorkies. They were inside a fence like a playpen. I could have knocked over the fence really easy but those little guys just stayed inside it and yapped. And yapped. And yapped.

I dunno why little dogs make so much noise. Maybe it’s because they’re afraid they are so little somebody will step on them. Next time I see a little yappy dog I’ll ask.

Rose, the Irish setter.

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There’s A Mouse in the House

Okay so it’s a tent and not a house but we’re living in a tent so it’s our house. Besides mouse doesn’t rhyme with tent. Anyways. It’s my job to chase critters and mouses out of our camp. So I did.

It was dark out. Brian and Dee were sitting by the fire and I spotted the mouse. It scurried right past my paws. So I took off and all of a sudden I wasn’t on my leash any more. The mouse ran around and around the chairs, under the table and in the bushes. So I did too. Then Dee chased me chasing the mouse. The Brian chased Dee chasing me chasing the mouse. It was a new fun game.

Kate, the Mighty Mouse Hunter

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Traveling Dogs On The Road Again

So here’s what you need if you travel with your dog. ‘Course this list is mostly for me and Kate, but it would be good for your canine companions too. So the first thing on the list is food, lots of food, and treats, lots of treats. That’s the most important thing, food then treats. Got it?

A list of our vaccinations, especially the rabies vaccination. If your dog has a license then you might think that would work, but the license only has the year on it. So if the vaccination was due in say April and it was already June, the license wouldn’t prove your dog is protected.

Medicines. I take supplements like tumeric and glucosamine chondrotin and fish oil and stuff but Kate takes the anti-pee medicine. See she has this little problem, sometimes she pees in her sleep. No, I’m not kidding. But she can’t help it. So the veterinarian gave her this medicine that helps her. When she takes it she doesn’t accidentally pee. She takes fish oil and glucosamine too. We also have auntie-biotics, just in case we get an owie ear.

Other stuff like toothbrushes and toothpaste, ear cleaner, antibacterial spray, and regular brushes, eye cleaner and shampoo. Dee made me put the shampoo in there. Personally I think you should leave the shampoo at home and use the space for treats. Kate agrees.

I have a jacket in our bag, cause I get cold. We’re desert dogs and aren’t used to cold. Kate has more fluffy fur than me so she doesn’t need a jacket. The sleeping bags are nice and warm and if it’s really, really cold, we make sure we’re both in the sleeping bag. See we wait until Brian and Dee are asleep and then wiggle our way in.

We also take pet wipes, towels, our blankies, and a couple of toys. I like the sock rope myself but Katie likes the spider. We both like tennis balls. Oh, and a tarp for us to lay on so we don’t hafta lay on the ground when it’s damp. We can use the tarp for shade too.

I almost forgot there are extra leashes and our tie-out ropes. Kate really needs the tie-out ropes ’cause she goes after birds and squirrels and shadows and lights, well mostly anything that moves. She’s supposed to do recall, but she doesn’t recall where she is.

Did I mention food and treats?

Rose, the Irish setter

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Stinky Butt and Fuss Pot

That’s what Dee calls me and Kate sometimes. See, I have a little problem with my anal glands. They get full and it feels weird so I have to scoot my butt on the carpet. That makes it feel better — at least for a little while. Dee puts a very warm wash cloth on my butt. I don’t like it at all, but afterwards it feels better because some of the smelly gunk comes out.

Kate is called Fuss Pot because she has to have everything just so. She fusses if her nails are buzzed down with the dremel thingie. She fusses if she gets brushed. She fusses if her dinner isn’t ready at exactly 5:15 PM.

Then there’s Wiggle Butt. Her real name is Malibu. She gets so excited when Brian or Dee or anybody pets her, she doesn’t just wag her tail but she wags her whole back end.

You can probably guess how Harley got his nickname Mr. Wiz. If you can’t I’ll tell you. It’s cause he pees on stuff. Mostly stuff outside but sometimes it’s on stuff inside the house.

So there you have it: Stinky Butt, Fuss Pot, Wiggle Butt and Mr. Wiz. I like Rose, Kate, Malibu and Harley better.

Rose, the Irish setter.

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Scary Big Dog

I don’t know why that dog didn’t like me. I don’t know why he wanted to bite me. Bite me really hard on the neck, but he did.

See, we were walking, me and Rose and Dee and Brian. Brian had my leash. You hafta have a leash on in the campground. Anyways, we had almost finished our walk when this big brown dog came after me, He was growling and barking and showing his teeth. He had big jaws and sharp teeth. He tried to put those big teeth around my neck, but all he got was fur.

Then he tried again but Brian kicked him. That didn’t stop that big brown dog ’cause he went after me again. I was getting really scared. This was not a play fight.

Dee yelled “Bad Dog. Get off her.” The big dog knocked her down. She now has an owie kneed and her hand hurts.

The owners of the dog finally came out of their RV and got the dog away. They said he’s a nice dog and is friendly, but I don’t believe it. There was nothing friendly about him.

I made sure I didn’t leave Dee alone all the rest of the day. She thinks it’s because I was protecting her. I’ll tell you a secret. It was really because I was scared that big brown dog was going to come back.

Kate, who is okay now.

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