Sunday, August 22, 2010

My Stick Family and My Cry Baby

My Stick Family from

This clever person has figured out a great way to drive traffic to their site; by providing you with a stick family and  it includes a link back to their site.

Very smart!

My puppy dog Harley thinks he is smart. My kind neighbor offered me a ride to the stores with her. We were just going to get food, but then we thought up reasons to stop by some of our favorite discount stores, such as Big Lots and Dollar General. They carry food too, we reasoned. For certain items, in food and non-food, their prices are often much better than the mega discount stores such as Walmart and K-mart. Of course, quite honestly, some of the stuff is pure junk, but if you need something useful and you are on a small budget, then Big Lots and Dollar General are my top two favorites. 

Poor Harley was left alone in the motorhome, at the campground,  with most of his toys inside, many toys are happily scattered outside, both under and around the motorhome. It's hard to tell if a puppy or a toddler lives here!  Before I locked him inside, I opened all the window shades, most were already open anyhow, and I turned the fan on, so he would have plenty of circulation. No use wasting air conditioning on a tiny pooch that gets cold at 78 degrees. Most of the windows were already open, plus we are camping under a Maple shade tree.  My friend pointed out it looked like a storm was coming, so I readjusted the windows, so that my bed and office desk would stay dry. 

I told Harley "STAY!" several times and he  pretended to acquiesce. I am trying to teach him that STAY means;  you stay, I go and you be quiet about it. 

But, little does he know, the neighbors to our port side are spies!  Of course he could see them over there, so apparently after I left (according to the spies) Harley let out a mournful howl or two, while racing from window to window, to see where I went or what he could see or who was out there. 

Later, the spies, um neighbors, were startled to hear a baby crying. They looked around to see who had a baby where.  No baby in sight. Then they remembered I had mentioned that Harley can cry like a baby when he is hurt or very unhappy. It was unnerving the first time time I heard it. 

Unfortunately, when he does this, he first gets sympathy, but then if he isn't hurt, and he cries like a baby again, to get attention, he is more often than not, met with laughter!  He can perfectly mimic a baby crying.  It's hilarious. 

Was there a baby around in his prior life, before me?  Did he learn to  cry like a baby for attention?

So naturally, when he cried again, the spies, who were in easy earshot of Harley, burst out laughing.   Not exactly the sympathy he was looking for. 

Poor puppy. 

According to them, he had nothing much else to say after that. 

Later, when my friend dropped me off with my bags of food, there was no bouncing puppy at any of the windows. She was concerned and mentioned she didn't see Harley. I suggested, he was sleeping, and we had snuck up on him. 

Sure enough, he was fast asleep in the driver's seat when I popped open the side main entry door. He quickly sprang to life, met me at the door while jumping for joy, two to three feet in the air. For about 3 minutes, he did his happy dance, of wiggling from head to tail, while simultaneously jumping up and down, as if he was doing skip rope. 

I praised him lavishly for being a good puppy, telling him over and over, how much I missed him. I tried to pick him up, while he attempted to plant a 100 puppy kisses all over me. Finally, I managed to battle my way to the refrigerator and at least stash the cold stuff away. 

I dug around the other bags and found the cheap little squeaky toy I bought on sale at Big Lots. It's a big rubber Lady Bug.  When you squeeze the Lady Bug, she squeaks, and her curled up legs, unfurl, then retract again. It's a rather ingenious toy.  Harley was delighted with it. He enthusiastically played with it, testing the squeak about 30 times, to make sure it really worked. His little ears kept popping up every time the Lady Bug's legs unfurled and retracted.  As I write this, a day later, I can report it has become his current favorite toy.

Harley LOVES his toys. His toys have enabled me to keep my home intact. He doesn't chew my shoes or tear up my stuff or get into the garbage. As he has learned No, NO and NO!  Just NO to everything, I showed him how much fun we could have with his toys. He surprisingly, quickly understood this.  Apparently, when he is left alone, he does play with his toys, because when I come home, there are many scattered around  for me to trip over, step on and accidentally kick. In the yard, where he is tethered, we will play toss and fetch with the outside toys. When I go back inside to work, he will amuse himself with his toys. Lucky dog!  Lucky me!  The best part of all, is my motorhome shows no wear and tear from a puppy. PHEW!

So that is why I tend to shower my little darling with toys now and then. Also, we sometimes lose toys, often my fault. Like when we left the Indian Nation, I had cleaned the yard of all toys but one, his favorite, while I packed up the electrical cord, water hose and packed away the interior of the motorhome for traveling. Next I fetched Harley and coiled up his super long tether, as at that campground, we had a large play area for him.  We then drove off. 

At the next camp ground, 150 miles later, I realized, I had failed to go fetch his lone remaining toy, his favorite one, a little barbell that squeaked.  

Sometimes his friends trot off with his toys. My neighbor brought back several toys that her four-legged babies had managed to sneak away. Very thoughtful of her!

While Harley was squeaking away with his Lady Bug,  I found his purple harness and we played a funny game for the next 3-5 minutes, of how to put a harness on a disco dancing puppy. Once it was on (PHEW!) it took another 2-3 minutes to get the leash attached to my Mexican jumping bean. 

Out the door we went for an exciting walk.  First we stopped briefly at the neighbors' campsite, since they were on their patio, so I could query them about his actions while I was gone. Mainly, I am concerned that he not disturb the campground in my absence.  Then we walked briskly through the park, while pausing two dozen times so he could water this bush and that tree, sniff a flower, and chase a flutterfly. 

When we got back, he played with his new toy, while I put the rest of the food away. One of the places my friend stopped to shop at, was a pet store. I went in with her, looked at everything and realized it was all beyond my budget. The enthusiastic cashier pointed out they were giving away free samples of dog food, suggesting I help myself. She even handed me a shopping bag and said "Fill it up!"

Angels everywhere...  

She has no idea how much that free food will benefit us. Harley has a cast iron stomach, rare for a small breed dog. He loves variety, the more the merrier. I felt bad taking all that free food without buying something, when my friend pointed out they had a clicker for sale, so I bought that. Since I can't whistle, I had previously mentioned to her I was considering training Harley with a StarMark Clicker Dog Training SystemSo basically, our food savings, went to buy the clicker thingy. I will let you know how this works out. 

While we were on the farm, Harley's playmates were all feline. Here they are playing with his tether, every time he moves around, the tether moves and the cats had great fun chasing his string. I just found out recently, that if you click on most of my pictures throughout this blog and see the BIG image. Nifty eh? 

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