Saturday, September 04, 2010

Junkyard Dog Gets A Sock Sweater

Harley's Glamor Pose (click to enlarge)

It's Labor Day Weekend in the USA.  The campground I am at, Carthage Gap Camp in Coolville, Ohio, is filled to capacity for the weekend. Leaves are falling already. There are many campers that pay year round to keep their fifth wheels and travel trailers here, so they can come visit on weekends and holidays, without having to drag anything along.  Well, wait, that didn't come out right.  I should say they don't have to tow anything along.  
This is the new section of the campground.

Then there is me and puppy dog Harley, considered transients, even though we opted to stay here a month. Since this weekend is busy, he is thrilled to go out walking, meeting lots of new people and loads of dogs in seemingly all breeds, shapes, colors, sizes and temperaments. While 99% of the dogs have good social skills, there are surprisingly, some that do not. Dogs can be trained to have great social skills, so I say "Shame on their owners for not teaching them."

Harley is a social butterfly, eager to get along with pets, people, children (and he thinks he is the star of his own show, the way he does his crazy antics!)

His manners are far from perfect, but he's not a nuisance either, nor a public threat. When I first got him, I was so worried about his lack of training, I was so afraid someone would complain about him. But he has surprised me.  Training a dog is hard work, but the payoff is priceless. Eventually it becomes effortless.  Dogs love to please their pack leader, their owner, the bearer of food and treats. Harley is stubborn, but he is starting to get it. 


Today was also a yard sale in the campground. They weren't selling yards, but you could put your stuff out for sale to other campers. How I wish I had a stack of my "Hurricanes & Hangovers" books to sale. Duh...  Times are tight and I need to order more. The publisher doesn't give them away, I have to pay for them when I buy them too. 

But while out walking we spent a princely sum of 75 cents. It was 55F degrees when I got up this morning. Needless to say, I woke up last night and turned on my mattress warmer, then settled back in to a lovely warm snooze. I found a sweater for sale for 50 cents and a stuffed purple hippopotamus for 25 cents. The sweater fits me and the hippopotamus was a gift to Harley for being such a good doggy when I locked him alone inside the motorhome to go for a ride with my friend in her car. 

She had given me a tiny dog shirt that is cute as can be, but a bit too large for Harley. I put it on him anyhow, because he was cold. He was thrilled to wear it. But when he lifted his leg to water the bushes, some of the shirt got in the way. So I had to wash it out and now I have this teeny tiny shirt hanging out to dry. It look like something for a preemie baby, except it dog paws printed on it. 

I don't know if the hippopotamus toy had a rip in it, or if Harley made it rip. But later, I found him on my bed, merrily tearing the stuffing out. *sigh*

So I picked up all the stuffing, told him "NO!"  each time  I picked up each piece of fluff, then I hid the hippopotamus in the closet with the other torn toys. He looked quite contrite. This is a habit he recently acquired, of shredding some toys. He has only ripped two open so far. But soon as he does that, I tell him no, as I grab the stuffing,  and take the toy away. I was thinking I would sew them back up, but I may just toss them out. Can't be hauling around too much crap in a small motorhome. I've got clothes of my own that need sewing, if only I could  find the time. 

On the other hand, it's his toy, why not let him rip it apart, pulling out all the stuffing for fun. But one, I am lazy, so I don't wish to clean up the mess.  Two, he might accidentally swallow some stuffing. Though this is unlikely, as he isn't prone to eating things that aren't super-duper tasty. Three, his toys are for playing toss and keeping him entertained. I'm afraid if I let him shred his toys, then he might think this is a good thing. He might shred my things next, and that could shorten the puppy's life considerably. 

Since I flipped the bedroom mattress , he hasn't slept in it. Very odd. He has been sleeping in his own cozy fleece lined pet bed. I wonder if he has been cold, and his own snug bed is warmer. 
Shh...I'm sleeping...All by myself!

I've been trying to find him a sweater, as I read his poohuahua breed, often does get cold.  But I can't seem to find one tiny enough. 

I may have to take a sock and cut it up into a sweater. That should be hilarious!

Harley earns numerous nicknames as we travel. My friends from Europe,  touring on a UK motorcycle in the USA recently, started called him "Monkey on a String".  He was always on a leash or tethered to a dog run, around them. He was often doing tricks and trying to gain favor with whoever he could, hence the name.

Here in the campground, someone said he looked like a junkyard dog, due to his rugged goofy looks. 
Yeah, that's me, tougher than a junkyard dog...
Awhile back, when we had a friend stay with us for a week, he said little Harley was half goat and half monkey!  This is because he scampers around the motorhome, jumping vertically onto the bed or the back of the driver's seat. My friend had sailed in the Caribbean with me, where there are loads of goats, that can vertically scale cliffs.  Once in awhile, Harley gets this goofy look on his face that makes him look like one of the monkeys from the 1939 Wizard of Oz movie.

I on the other hand, often call him Houdini Harley, because he escapes his harness, running off to see his canine friends. More than once, another dog owner has returned him. How embarrassing. Another day he managed to open up the carabiner attaching him to the tether, thus setting himself free. I thought he was playing quietly, while I worked. The door was wide open, but he was tethered right outside. When I went to check on him, I met a camper, walking him back home. *sigh*

My neighbor has been calling him Wrong-Way-Harley for his penchant of wrapping himself around a pole, tree or table leg, while on his leash, and refusing to go the other direction to untangle, even when coaxed to do so. Sometimes, I gently pull on the leash with the command "Come!" but he reverses, trying to brace his feet, going the wrong way. 
Half Monkey, Half Goat?  Gimme a break...

My friend took me shopping with her today. We stopped at an RV dealer. That was fun. We tromped around looking at new and used fifth wheels and travel trailers, plus a few park models. There was one Class C motorhome, on the lot, so I took a tour of it too. It was 8 years newer than mine. It was larger too. But I didn't like the way it was laid out or built. The windows were smaller, yet there wasn't much storage in it.  Honestly, some of these RV builders need to look at other models and talk to the folks that use these things, before they up and decide to build RV's and throw them on the market. Some are built rather nicely and some have really goofy ideas or are flimsily built. 

One fifth wheel we looked in had nice big kitchen cabinets and a pantry. We opened up the pantry, and it was huge and had ONE shelf. If you were storing canned goods, you could have stacked them 10 high easily, but who wants a big tall pantry with only one lonely shelf?  

Another trailer required that you pass through the bathroom to reach the bedroom. Yet the washer and dryer were stored vertically inside a beautiful closet. Seems to me, I would have put the toilet in the closet for privacy, and then the washer/dryer vertically in the rest of the bath with the sink and shower. At least you could have privacy when using the toilet and it would be tucked out of way, not on display. 

Sitting in the bedroom or living room and seeing the toilet on display, just didn't seem very aesthetic. Why do the washer and dryer need privacy but the toilet doesn't?  Makes you wonder... do socks do naughty things in the laundry?

Speaking of socks...

While writing this, my friend dropped by so I shut down the computer and took a welcomed break. She was a real dear and helped put on my new Memory Foam Steering Wheel Cover.  My goodness, she is strong. She had it about three quarters of the way on before I got Harley tethered, and walked around to open up the driver's door. We then used a tire iron to force the cover to stretch, while simultaneously working the cover on. Phew, it was hard work. I had already tried by myself, for about a half hour, and give up hope. But with 4 hands, it finally went on. It is never coming off now. It feels very comfortable and should alleviate the awful pain in my hands. 

Last Christmas, I had bought one for someone that had loaned me their car now and then. When I drove their car, after helping them do battle to install  the cover, it was heavenly. My hands relaxed and didn't seem to grip and lock into place painfully. Sometimes when I drive the motorhome, my hands lock up in place. It can be very painful for hours afterwards. This memory foam is ahhhhhhhh so lovely. I have stopped at numerous auto parts stores, looking for the same kind, with no luck. Finally I mail ordered one, when someone gave me a gift certificate to Amazon.

Next we sat down to visit and chat. We were talking about poor little Harley getting cold and his need for a sweater. I got out the tape measure.  Harley boasts a 12 inch chest and barely a 7 inch neck. I said something about maybe I should just cut a few holes in a sock and make him a sweater. 

Well that turned into a half hour of giggles, while I butchered one sock by cutting out room for his neck and one center leg. Duh...  a sweater needs 2 leg holes. More giggles.  So I chopped up another sock, after being a bit more careful. 

Harley loves to get dressed and just sat there patiently while I pulled his new sweater over his head, then poked his little long front legs in the arm holes, while tugging the sock down his teeny belly. He has romped around in it all afternoon, seemingly happy with his new attire. It stays in place snugly, he can water the bushes without getting it wet. A huge plus. 
Harley's new sweater made from my black sock. 

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