Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Happy Camper

Our camping weekend was great. Barry was an excellent camper. Everything was ideal for camping. The weather was right on and the bugs were nearly non existent.

The first evening when we arrived we set up the campsite and put Barry on a 30 foot cord hooked to the picnic table. He stayed pretty busy while we set up camp. At first I didn't know if 30 feet would be long enough but it was more than perfect for our site. He was able to get just into the edge of the woods all around and couldn't get to the road in front or too far beyond any boundaries. When it was time for bed we brought him into our tent with us to sleep. He didn't sleep well that first night. He was nervous and up at every noise. There were a lot of other campers with their dogs and it sounded to me like many of the dogs were sleeping outside. Also the raccoons were out and about. Barry has likely never experienced anything like it. At about 4:30 in the morning the birds started loudly singing and chirping and Barry was ready to start the day. At about 6:30 I reluctantly put Barry's harness on and decided I could put him on the long cord so he could pee and I also needed to use the bathroom. I knew that if I tried to get out of the tent there was no way Barry was going to be okay with staying in the tent. Then of course Husband woke up and we were all up bright and early with only a few hours of sleep under our belt.

Barry doesn't want to miss out on a thing! Each morning we had to hold onto his harness
to make him stay so he wouldn't zoom out of the tent. All dogs were to be leashed at
all times. The only time he was off leash was in the tent for his safety.
First day at camp and Barry is loving it. He was so curious about everything.
We did a 3 1/2 - 4 mile hike the first day. It was beautiful. The sites were just lovely. Barry loves hiking and he did really well. Even after our hike, when we got back to the site Barry was still a bit amped up. He was still getting used to everything. I gave him a few calming chews (we use these) and he was still quite excited. Once our friends arrived that afternoon I gave him a couple more so they could set up their tent and unpack relatively peacefully. Finally Barry laid on his travel bed and began to snooze a bit. Also giving him a good bone helped a lot.

Now THIS is a stick!
The mosquitos weren't a nuisance really. There were a few gnats that were bothering Barry. I sprayed him with the home made essential oil bug spray and it didn't keep the gnats away. Most other bugs seemed to not be interested in Barry. Husband and I also used the natural bug spray on ourselves. I don't know how well the stuff works due to the lack of bugs but I can say the stuff smells really good and I have hardly any bug bites on myself and Barry only seems to have a couple of bumps. I will continue to use the blend and see if it still works as summer goes on.

**For those of you curious as to what I used here is the recipe:
Young Living Purification essential oil blend (citronella, lemongrass, rosemary, melaleuca, lavandin, & myrtle)
Young Living Thieves essential oil blend (clove, lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus radiata, & rosemary)
Peppermint essential oil
Witch hazel
Oil of your choice (if using oil)

In a 12 oz bottle I poured about 5 oz each of witch hazel and grape seed oil. I put about 20 drops of each essential oil (I don't know if this is a good amount or not but it seemed to be an average amount from what I've read). Shake and you're ready to go. When using witch hazel along with oil there is no need to shake the bottle over and over like if you were using water and oil. The blend was moisturizing and smelled delicious!**

The next day we did a longer hike, probably close to 5 miles. This hike was very hilly and some parts were quite jagged and steep with rocks and no where to move out of the way of oncoming hikers except to sit in the rocks. Still, Barry did well. We all trucked along at a good pace. For much of that hike our friend's teenage daughter wanted to walk Barry and so we let her. I knew Barry would be pulling her along at a much faster pace than would be comfortable for the rest of us to walk. Much of the trail was wide and grassy so it was not a big deal but I still wanted to have them in my site in case Barry caught sight of a small creature. We also had a young child with us on the hike, who, on our way back ran most of the way. I think he must have run and walked by himself for about a mile and a half. Once we got back to the car we were quite tired but feeling the natural high you get from being outside in nature. Barry slept for most of the evening, curled up either on his travel bed or in Husband's camp chair.

Before we packed up and left for home we all went to the dog beach. Barry got in the lake right away but then got out just as quickly. He wasn't very interested in hanging out in the water. He prefers to hike.

I can't wait until our next camping trip and from the looks of it, I'd say Barry can't wait either!


  1. Thanks for posting your bug repellent recipe! I'll have to try it out, the mosquitoes have been terrible this year in our area for some reason. Looks like you guys had fun! Great pics too!

    1. The mosquitos are usually quite bad in our area too (well not IN the city but anywhere else) but a tornado came through the campsite and I think that might have had something to do with it, maybe? Anyhow, we either got really lucky or that bug repellent works so well we never even had site of any mosquitos!

  2. So glad you guys had a fun time at Governor Dodge!