Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Camping with a puppy

Boy oh boy!  At first I wasn't so sure about camping but I knew that if it worked out, Whiskey would be the happiest little Vizsla.  We had a couple hurdles to overcome but leapt over each and everyone of them:

So we were supposed to start our trip at noon, but our driver was having her car fixed and it seemed like they took extra long with something.  Finally, we ended up leaving the city at 5:30 during rush hour, a bit behind schedule.  I was worried about Whiskey's car sickness but she seemed fine after two walks, ginger gravol (the all natural one), and only a small lunch.  We made a stop in Whistler where she was happily running up and down the lift area, then headed off to the camp site at Fountain Lake.

Once past Pemberton, there was a steady climb on the highway and that was where we started having car troubles.  The car was losing traction, smelling bad, and smoking underneath the body.  Over the next couple hours it got worse and worse.  Finally, we were almost at the camp site, past the last town, Lillooet.  At this point we were barely making it up inclines, and this was where the car just gave up.  It was midnight when we lost all traction and the car rolled back down the incline with absolutely no power.  After contemplating walking the rest of the way to the site, we realized we weren't sure how close we were to the campsite (no cell reception), we had a puppy with us, and there were bears here.  We were able to roll (and push) the car back to the Xaxli'p Native community so we weren't in complete wilderness, then set up tent by the side of the road and went to sleep.

Five minutes later we were woken up by a concerned resident who was walking home.  He insisted we camp on his property for safety reasons (camping by the side of the road wasn't very safe) and also for protection against bears.  Apparently a woman had been attacked not too long ago!  The whole time, Whiskey had been quiet and took everything in-stride but this property had two large dogs and she wasn't quite comfortable with these outside our tent.  While we were sleeping, any noise outside would evict a growl from her, which we had never heard her do.  She was on constant alert the whole night guarding us!

The next morning we found another helpful Native man that was kind enough to take us and our gear to the campsite where we finally hooked up with the rest of our group.  After that, we had a wonderful trip.  Within the first hour, we saw a mother bear and her 3 cubs pass really close (we kept Whiskey on a leash) and took a dip in the lake.  When the bears weren't close-by we let her go off leash and wander around, chewing on sticks, stalking ants, frogs and dragonflies, meeting horses, and (trying to) beg food from our friends.  She had two other doggy friends on the campgrounds and they had loads of fun running around.

a family of bears
We had no problems sleeping together in the tent.  It was a bit chilly at night and Whiskey would snuggle inside our sleeping bags, making her way down to the bottom section and sleep at our toes.  I have no idea how she managed to breathe but she seemed quite happy and warm there.  She also experienced her first thunderstorm (napped through it), developed an obsession for steak (medium rare please), and managed to jump high enough to catch half a raw chicken from an unsuspecting victim.  Other activities included cleaning up some unguarded plates and rearranging firewood, shoes and socks to her liking.  Fun times!  We even got her swimming a little, fetching sticks from the water, and floating on rafts.

retrieving sticks in shallow water
All things considered, I can't wait to go camping again with her.  It's amazing to see her so happy off leash, running, swimming, fetching, discovering, and just being a happy puppy.  Of course, as soon as we came home to unpack, we turned our heads, and there she was peeing on her bowser bed.
whiskey had no problem with a tent as a home
Fountain Lake

sometimes she'd go in, then remember she didn't like water
I hate getting wet!  Mommy, why??
our friendly camp family
whiskey has great balance on floaties
snuggles and naps in the tent

Meeting horses


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