Friday, June 25, 2010

Baby Gets A Bath

We drive around looking at the campsites that are open. Finally Harley makes a decision on our second go-around. He picks one with a big yard to play in.

Of course.

He isn't the least bit concerned that it is not level and I will have to put boards under the tires to level us up so the refrigerator will work correctly.

He wants the site with the nice big puppy play area. Perfect for a puppy dog who owns lots of balls to play with.  He has tennis balls, golf balls, baseballs, soccer balls and footballs.

Athlete in training.

camping with a dog, rving with a puppy
Harley picks out a campsite.

We pull in and I park where I think it is level. But it is not. So I haul the seasoned lumber out of the basement, arrange two sets of two boards under the right double tires in back. I put three under the right front tire. I wish I had enough to put three under the back tires, but I am short of boards. I lost some in Orlando. 

Like my mind. The head injury. A few boards short of a...

Several split and the ones that didn't were being consumed by bugs. I made a trip to Lowe's and bought a 12 foot 2x10, treated board. The nice attendant sawed it up into 5 boards. Four are 30 inches, and one is 24 inches. I have two leftover that came with the motorhome that are not being dined on by bugs.

In Orlando, I was parked on grass in a lovely garden, but I needed some boards to level up nicely. I guess over the weeks I stayed, the bugs found them rather tasty.

I planned to get a large garbage bag to throw the split ones in for dumping somewhere. The bug infested ones, I was considering putting them in a large garbage bag, fumigating with bug killer, sealing the mess up and throwing it in the basement of the motorhome. But I have craftily hidden my large garbage bags from myself. So I went to my friends' house to get a few of their bags. Nobody was home, but I used my key to go inside with Harley. He wanted to play with their two dogs who were lazing about in the air-conditioning.

Finally he stopped jumping long enough for me to remove his leash so he could play. I realized my laundry in their dryer was done, so I quickly folded that up.  I emptied out their dishwasher and put everything away. They knew I was leaving today, but all three had appointments elsewhere, so we had bade our good-byes earlier in the morning.

My motorhome was now parked on the street. Somehow between folding laundry, emptying the dishwasher and getting my energetic puppy back on his leash, I forgot all about the garbage bags and the boards, which were still laying in the garden around the corner.

We drove to Walmart.  It was so hot, I turned on the generator so puppy could have air-conditioning while I shopped for our food. A few hundred miles away when I parked at the next campground, well I remembered the boards.

I quickly called my friends, to thank them for their generous hospitality, then I explained my major gaffe with leaving the boards behind. We all thought we would see each other again in a week anyhow, and I could deal with the mess then.

Well, I never made it back to their house, because of the alarms-911-fire trucks, subsequent towing, overnighting at the industrial park, getting repairs and so on. All this happened about 20 miles from their house, and well, I had an appointment a few hundred miles away the next day, so I never made it back.  Now I owed them another apology.

When I called to explain the mess, I forgot all about apologizing about the boards, again. But a few days later, my friends called and told me their gardener had shown up and hauled the boards to the dump. All of them. Well, that was fine by me.

I wasn't floored, Lord, I implored,  we're all bored, I roared,  with these stored hoard of boards. (Try saying THAT three times real fast!)

So that is how I ended up with only 7 boards. Not enough for some of the crooked places I park what with having 6 wheels and sometimes the back 4 need 3 boards each, which would be 12 boards. I will just have to work around this. I think most campgrounds are fairly level, but some are pretty angled, like the campground I am in now.

They paved the campsites here, with no regard to leveling it up first. Well, it's a state run park, and I guess that explains it. However, the state run park I stayed at in Georgia, had very nice level lots. They had used big chunks of wood to terrace the campsites, then leveled the spots and covered them with gravel. That worked really well, I never needed any boards there, and every day for a week, I moved to a different campsite each night.

That is because I had to drive out every day on appointments, and come back to park again at night. They let me choose whatever was open, so I kept choosing a different spot each night. It was fun.  Make more choices in life, quit settling for the same old thing. 

Life is full of choices!  Aren't we lucky!

So today, Harley chose the campsite, because it had a nice big play area for him. He was mighty impatient while I was hauling boards and reversing the motorhome up onto them. He was stuck inside, because I sure didn't want to run him over, but you can't explain these things to a hyper-active puppy.

Finally, I was level. I grabbed him and his leash. I hooked him up to the post next to the water spigot, while I opened up the compartment that hides the electric cord. I got us all plugged into electricity, then flipped the breakers.  Poof!  Magic!  My motorhome is energized now.  Then I found the fresh water hose and the water pressure regulator. I  screwed all that in.

OK, we're level, we're energized and we have the blessed luxury of fresh running water. We were tucked away in the forest, surrounded by nature.  What more could a person want in life?  I felt so spoiled. But for the grace of God, I could be a bag lady. I have a humongous debt hanging over my head for the past medical mess when I was rushed to the emergency room last summer and spent nearly a month recuperating, first in the ICU and then in the ward.  Afterwards, I spent months recuperating and am still struggling.  I pay on these debts every month, and cry about the interest mounting up rapidly, adding to my debts. 

I pray for angels. 

I pray for book sales. 

I pray for another day to be a guest on this lovely planet. 

Thankful. Everyday I thank the powers to be for giving me one more day.  I am SO lucky to be alive.  And I know it. 

The puppy is a medical expense. He keeps me emotionally intact. I got him for free and had I KNOWN how much trouble one little puppy can be, I would have turned and run the other way.  But, alas, I can't run! So me and puppy were thrown together. He needed a home and I needed a walking companion.  It seemed like a fair exchange at the time...  Plus his silly little face had been in my dream, the night before I ever knew a puppy was going to enter my life. 

By now I had one very impatient puppy who was tired of his four foot leash being attached to a pole. I rescued him and we walked around to the front door. Just inside is a basket behind the chair is  the laundry line. I looped the line around the outdoor handle of the motorhome and tied a bowline. Then I slipped a D-ring on the leash, then onto the clothes line. Harley was attached to all this, and he was running around testing to see how far he could go.

Meanwhile I walked to a far away tree, maybe 80 feet away and tied the other ed of the clothesline in a bowline knot to the tree. Bowline knots are nice, because no matter how tight they become, you can always set them free.

Harley picked this camping spot, because of the huge puppy play area.  Behind me, is more yard and then the forest. In the mid foreground, is a picnic table, covered with a table cloth and the bench has an old, but clean, rug on it. You can see the clothes line turned puppy run, leading up to me and the camera.  While I shot this photograph, puppy ran circles around my ankles and tied me up. *SIGH*

Puppy tested the doggy run and discovered it covered a huge area. He quickly tangled himself up with the fire pit and cried pathetically, until I untangled him. I rummaged around the motorhome and found his football and two tennis balls. We played football. We played tennis. We found a golf ball in the woods, so we played golf.  I tried to wear him out, so I could go back inside and try to do some work.  Harley found a pine cone to munch on. Something to shred.  I brought him out a bowl of water.  I snuck inside to do some work.

Later, an exhausted puppy came inside, dragging his leash and tether through the open door of the motorhome. I unhooked him, then closed the screen door so he couldn't escape. He collapsed next to me, on a pillow and fell asleep. Not in bed, but on the dining booth. He likes to sit next to me, curled up on a pillow, snoozing.

An hour later, puppy dog wakes up and tries to kiss me. I abhor doggy kisses. I know that sounds weird. Maybe that is why I loved my cats, when I had them, they don't drool and try to kiss you. I love humans that kiss, but not doggies.

So when Harley planted a kiss on me, I could smell that he needed a bath. Boy did he ever need a bath. He stunk. 

Oh boy.

Bathing a puppy.

I had found some super cheap doggy shampoo the other day. It was time to press it into service. I put everything away in the kitchen. I filled the sink a third full with nice warm water. I found the special puppy washcloth. Not that it's special, but it's designated as his wash cloth. I opened the puppy shampoo, soaked up the washcloth, squirted shampoo on it, then set it aside.

I sweet talked my dear little puppy, then gently lowered him into the sink. He immediately stood up on both his hind legs, refusing to stand on all four. So I soaped him up and down, while he stood up. Then I used the kitchen faucet, which coverts to a sprayer, to rinse him off with nice tepid water. After six months of NO hot water, I feel immensely spoiled rotten, to have hot water now. All the while he is still struggling to stand on two hind legs, like he is human and standing up for his shower. I wish I had a friend here to photograph this hilarious site!

Puppy makes me laugh, several times a day.

Laughter is the best medicine.

Maybe that is why I am progressing each day.  The medicine of laughter, is working.

Finally, puppy is all rinsed off. Ut oh. I forgot to put his towel out. Now I am carrying a dripping puppy around while I rummage for his clean towel. My dress gets soaked.  I will need a bath next. 

I find the towel and wrap him up like a baby and hold him. He loves this!  After a minute of cooing and cuddling, I begin the serious work of drying him off again. Harley loves this and lets me do my job, then he leaps from my arms, runs up and down the short motorhome hallway, then leaps on the bed and shakes himself.  All his fur stands out at odd angles. He suddenly looks much bigger. In the short month I have had him, his health has drastically improved. His once super thin fur, is filling in nicely. It used to be dry and dull. Now it is soft and supple.

I've done something right.

It feels terrific.

After he shook his body from nose to tail, two, three, four times, his fur stands out every which way. He looks like a multi-colored rat, that has stuck his paw in an electrical socket and got a frightful shock. I try to capture this ridiculous scene on the camera, but he is moving so fast, all I get is pictures of puppy blur.

Life is GOOD. I am sooooo lucky.

And puppy doesn't stink. 

What more could I possibly want on this wonderful day.


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