You probably never got a letter from an Old English Sheepdog before. However, I’ve been watching Our Beloved Master (also known as The Big Guy), and I found it’s not that difficult to use a computer. My main problem is that my paws are too big, but, if I go slow, I can do it. So I thought I’d let you know what Mikey and I have been up to.
Last week The Big Guy started lugging boxes up from the basement. Mike and I didn’t know exactly what he was doing, but we knew it was something special. Whenever the Master does something like this, we jump around and bark a lot and nip at his wrists to let him know we want to be included. This always works with the Master. And sure enough, he put us in the SUV, and off we went.
We drove to a place called Winton Woods. Even though it’s just out in Cincinnati’s suburbs, it looked a lot like the wilds of Northern Wisconsin where we went last summer – eighty-foot pine trees and a big lake and spacious campsites. The Big Guy tied us up to a tree as soon as we arrived. We don’t know why he bothers. It’s scary enough being out in the forest, and there’s no possibility we would go anywhere. But it does give us a chance to lie down in the dirt which is our favorite out of doors thing to do.
We watched Our Human as he unloaded the car. Then he laid a big silver tarp on the ground and put our expandable wooden playpen on top of it. We love our playpen. The Master untied us, and we ran right in. It is like our own little house. We get to stay inside, and no one else can get in. Even though we could easily jump out, we never do. The only drawback is the silver tarp gets too hot when the sun hits it. We try to push it aside so we can get back in the dirt, but the Big Guy won’t let us.
After the Master ate his lunch, we went for a walk on the Horse Trail where he let us off the leash. The Master started picking up dead tree branches which he’d break into two or three smaller pieces. We used to get excited about this. The crackling sound is thrilling, and we always think he’ll be throwing the sticks for us. But instead he just puts them in a knapsack. So we sat patiently and watched.
Back at our campsite we took a nice walk around the campground. Every time Mikey saw an SUV, he tried to get into it. He wanted to go home pretty badly, but The Big Guy kept pulling Mike along. He was very careful to pick up any poops we made. He himself stopped in this big booth called a Port-a-Potty, holding onto our leashes but leaving us outside the door. We didn’t want to be left alone, so we kept tugging on the leashes and pulling the door back open, but he kept pulling back and closing it. After a while he must have gotten tired of this fun game because he came back out.
The Big Guy gave us our supper in the playpen. Usually we’re not allowed to eat in such a small space because it can cause trouble. I gulped down my food as fast as possible so I could attack Mike and get his food too. However, he must have had the same idea, and we finished at the same time. The Big Guy meanwhile was cooking his own dinner. He’s o.k. at preparing dog food, but that’s about it. He burnt the fried potatoes, he didn’t have any lemon to put on the fried perch, and he forgot to bring salt and pepper. The only thing that looked prepared correctly was his Diet Cherry Seven-Up. However, he ate it all up and didn’t seem to mind. Maybe he has some sheepdog in him.
As darkness set in, our Master moved our playpen over near the fireplace and made a fire with the sticks he’d collected. He sat and drank some red wine and stared at the flames. Our RV neighbors next door were sitting by their fire and watching television. We considered them to be pretty wimpy campers. Finally the Master took an Ambien. We thought this was a bad idea, since he’s been known to wander around in the night. But we were able to get him into the tent successfully. Mikey and I love it in the tent. We love it even more than the playpen, because it’s like a big doghouse, and Our Beloved Master is inside with us. He’s the only one who gets to sleep on the air mattress. We try to get on it with him, but he pushes us off.
We were wakened in the morning by loud scary honking sounds. When we looked out the window, we saw big birds flying together in a V shape, heading for some important place. Our Master was still asleep, so I gave him some licks on the face. We got up, and he gave us our breakfast (which was prepared very well and turned out to be exactly the same recipe as our supper). For himself, he cooked some burnt scrambled eggs, some burnt bacon, some burnt potatoes, and some weak coffee. He seemed to think this was quite an accomplishment.
After a while a lady came over from the RV next door. She asked the Master if she’d seen us on Ludlow Avenue. When the Master said yes, she said she drives down Ludlow every day to get to work at Christ Hospital and she’d seen us many times. She said how cute Mikey and I were and what great dogs we’ve been on the campground. We were the only dogs that didn’t bark all the time. We were proud. Not only are we well-known in our neighborhood, but we’re even famous in the woods. Our Master is lucky to own us because he gets to be a celebrity too.
After lunch, the Big Guy tied us to a tree and started packing up. This makes us very nervous, because we’re never certain if he’s going to remember to take us with him. We watched his every move. He kept looking over at us too, as if to remind himself, “Whatever you do, don’t forget the dogs.” The very last thing, he boosted us into the SUV. We were very happy when we got home. Supposedly we are descended from wolves, but any affinity for the forest was bred out of us many generations back. What we like is air conditioning and easy chairs and down comforters and snoozing in front of the TV. We appreciate that the Master likes to bring us along to the woods, but, frankly, we’d just as soon have everybody stay right at home.
-Jennifer M (9-22): Great. I didn’t know the dogs didn’t like camping!
-Vicki L (9-21): Just delighted in reading Mike and Duffy’s account of your camping trip.
-Donna D (9-21): david. this is so clever...love the story, love the pictures…