Oldies at Large – Life Around Camp

Screen Shot 2014-01-11 at 11.45.47 amLike all things you soon fall into a pattern for life around a new camp and so it has happened around our first big camp. Our pattern is not entirely new to us, but it holds certain elements that bring us a huge amount of entertainment. The pups of course offer their own entertainments and travelling with dogs has some huge advantages and a couple of quaint disadvantages too.

I have told you about Tuppi, my little miniature poodle once or twice. She is my companion, my friend and my guardian. Our other pup, Scotty Dog, is strictly speaking not ours. He belongs to the Baby Boy (our 3rd son) but while maintaining his loyalties to his owner and master has attached himself to hubby. This created a dilemma for us all when we decided it was time to ‘hit the track’.

Scotty Dog does not behave, which is why I have big reservations about taking him along with us on the road. The trouble is he has no manners, no sensibilities and all the gruff gameness of a male dog still with his dangly bits. He sees himself as the boss of the girls… me included and more than once he has tried to put me in my place much to the disgust and disdain of Tuppi and myself.

Screen Shot 2014-01-12 at 5.23.58 pmScotty Dog is a law unto himself with his loyalties spread thin but he is an adorable pest and the man has taken a shine to him so he will travel on our tours with us when it is possible, which hopefully will be most of the time. If we had left him at home on his own he becomes a pest to the neighbourhood at large. Something of an escape artists he is quite happy to stay home when his lady friend Tuppi is there, but remove her from the picture and the man goes a little dog-crazy. He howls well into the night and tries digging his way to China in every opportunity. He is not above attacking the fence in an attempt to get to the postie either and takes exception to any other dog who may stray within his sights.

The dog stands all of about 8 inches high on tippy toes btw! So the two dogs have come with us … Tuppi is a given, but Scotty Dog…? He’s on trial over the next few months and thankfully he is starting to shape up though ignoring me when he is on man-business is not helping his cause.

Screen Shot 2014-01-11 at 11.49.58 amHe has leant not to hunt the wildlife, though the little turtles still tempt him. Some of the more amusing antics that our Scotty Dog gets up to around camp are such as in his morning ritual. First up and out of the Grampie Flat (the caravan), Scotty Dog does his perimeter walk and watching him is full of entertainment for me.

There is no border in the bush when you freecamp as we do, all things can wander in and out of camp throughout the night, particularly given that this land is filled with animals of nocturnal habit. But Scotty Dog thinks otherwise when it comes to being at liberty and at large. He circles the van on his daily round checking out all new smells, those which might have walked in during the night onto his territory. Once he finds a new smell … he pee’s on it thus solving the perimeter breech and marking his grounds.

Now this is not so bad unless the new smell happens to be a tent, where some unsuspecting camper has snuck in during the night hours and breeched Scotty Dog’s ever expanding perimeter inadvertently. I live in dread of a swag setting up near us … it will not be pretty as he is not above peeing on some ones shoes.

Screen Shot 2014-01-11 at 11.48.54 amOf course the neighbourhood bush turkey got a scaring the other afternoon. She wandered in looking for scraps on what was no doubt her own perimeter walk. This is an invisible path that bush turkey has taken every morning and every afternoon and the dogs have even become accustomed to the visit by the bush turkey during our time in camp there… that Ms Turkey has taken to Scotty Dogs bowl does not help but Scotty Dog being ever vigil lets us know in no uncertain terms when Ms Turkey in on her way and he guards the bowl until we drag him off.

I figure if the stupid dog has left food in the bowl then its not wanted so Scotty Dog has had to learn to live with a dining partner, Ms Turkey and he is still coming to terms with that.  I live in dread of when he discovers that at dawn our parent bower birds looking for snacks also visit the bowl and raid any offerings left.

Screen Shot 2014-01-11 at 11.51.25 amTuppi on the other hand, an old hand at camping knows not to leave tucker out and about and we have had to restrain her from eating both hers and Scotty Dogs meals in an attempt to clean up before Ms Turkey makes her visit. Otherwise the dog is gunna end up the size of a bus I greatly fear!

So our first big camp on the Clarence River in NSW near the old gold fields of yesteryear has been wonderful, and now we move on south.

Life around camp … is full of these little joys.

Further blogs on ‘Oldies at Large’ can be found on the web page that lists the posting

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