After my first winter with Grandma, the snow finally melted, and she said we were going camping. We’d be gone for several days, so she gave me a bath the night before because she didn’t want a stinky dog in her tent.
She loaded the Trailblazer, including her cat Mosie, and off we went. I rarely know where we’re going when she says, “Load up!” I just like to GO!
We arrived at a river campground. While she put up the tent, Mosie slept in the car, and I went exploring. The earth dirt was so warm, I had to lie down in it. I felt so happy, I rolled in it like a wiggle worm on my back. I ran back to Grandma and barked, “I like camping!”
“PETEY!” she yelled over the sound of the nearby river. Grandma is not a screamer. But she has a tone of voice with me that says, “PeteywhatamIgoingtodowithyou?”
All those words can be told just by her saying, “Petey!” a certain way.
“What?” I asked.
“Petey! What are you doing? I did not know a dog could get so dirty!”
“But Grandma! It’s so fun!”
She sat at the picnic table and just looked at me. “I had a yellow pup a few minutes ago. I don’t even know what color to call that…” she wondered.
She rolled her eyes.
“Where do you think you’re going to sleep now?” she finally asked.
I had to give that some consideration. I didn’t want to sleep with Mosie. It was too cold outside.
I gave her my sweet puppy look.
“Don’t even ask,” she said, gathering firewood.
Mr. Allen, who gave me to Grandma, had told her to raise me as a boy. I reminded Grandma of this, adding, “Boys like dirt.”
She agreed. “I’m well aware of that. I raised two boys of my own. I just forgot!”
Grandma looked at the river, then me. “There’s enough sun left before it sets for me to rinse you off. Maybe that will be enough for now.”
She picked me up and carried me to the water. DUNK! She said she was in a hurry to give me time to dry off. But she seemed to get some pleasure out of it. Just sayin…
If Grandma had her way, I’d be clean and dressed all the time like I was going to church.
After that c-c-c-cold water rinse, I lay on the picnic table in the sun. It felt good. The campfire that night finished my drying, and Grandma said I could sleep in the tent with her. I was glad for that.
I was a little pup on that first camping trip. Now, whenever we head out, she keeps soap and towels in the car. I wish I could say, since I’m older, that playing in the dirt no longer happens.
But yesterday, I had to dig for a mole.
Boys like dirt. That’s all there is to it.