Sunday, November 07, 2010

Lucky Me

Kind of sad.

I got to the campground around 4ish I think. My watch broke ages ago, so I've no idea what time it was. But from the angle of the sun, there would be plenty of time to take the doggie for several walks before sunset. We didn't seem close to the wild life, so I could probably sneak a walk in after dark, and nothing would eat us.

I'm pretty timid about walking after dark, what with the bear encounter and all. My 4-5 pound puppy could easily be mistaken for just an hors d'oeuvre.

Ahead of me checking in, was a couple in a new but tiny Class-C motorhome. It was much smaller than mine and didn't appear to even have the guest loft, over the cab, so it must be pretty cozy inside.   They were towing a 4 door station wagon type car. Since I've been overseas on tiny far flung islands, 22 of the last 23 years, I am just not familiar with car names to tell you what kind  it was. But the auto, was almost as long as the Class-C motorhome.

For you non-RV types, a Class C motorhome has the engine, cab and chassis built by a van company, then the RV company buys those up, then builds their own style of camper on it. Typically, a bed is built over the cab area, with a removable ladder inside for easy access.  If space permits, a 2nd bed is often built aft.

The couple was assigned the spot next to me.  When I parked,I noticed the man had his engine hood up.  I was outside, with Wolfman Harley on his leash, ready to walk. I commented that I didn't realize Mercedes-Benz was putting diesels in Class C's now. He groaned and moaned that the price of diesel was way too high and grumbled he only got about 13 miles per gallon.

For a Class C, towing a car, that seemed pretty good to me. When the wife opened the side door, to bring their obese dog out for a "stand", I could see the inside was packed floor to ceiling. I wondered how they lived in that chaos. Some folks can't leave home without bringing everything with them, maybe they liked living with the place all packed up with stuff.

I say she brought the dog out for a "stand" because she didn't walk the fat dog, just stood there with a doggy poop baggie, waiting for the dog to do something.  The poor dog looked to be 30-40%  overweight.

Of course my puppy was straining at the leash to meet her dog. She commented her dog was old and didn't care for other dogs. I could clearly see that both dogs were enthusiastically wagging their tails.  In dog language that means good karma and  harmony.

Wolfman Harley was just brushed and groomed,  from head to tail, before donning his sweater.
 But he shook himself fiercely, until his fur was back the way he liked it best; a disheveled Wolfman. 

I said something like "Well, if you let my puppy at least meet your dog, he won't bark at her when you walk by. Once he meets a dog, they can pass in peace and quiet."

She gave me a perturbed look, but did seem a bit astonished, when both dogs met nose to nose and got along just fine. Her dog actually seemed glad to meet my crazy pooch, who was jumping around trying to engage her in play.

Her owner remarked "I can't believe my dog likes your dog! She usually hates everybody."

I said "Well,he's a puppy, maybe she's just humoring him."  It appeared to me that her dog was ready to play but uncertain about her owner's firm stance.

I asked "Does you dog love to travel?"

She said "No, she hates it."

Then she asked me if I was alone.  I said well it's just me and the doggy for now. She asked me if I was scared to travel alone. I said, well,no, not really.

I pondered her question some more, thinking we were in a nice campground, it appeared to be a safe haven. I locked my camper up at night, close up all the shades at dark thirty, and pray for the best each night. I do have an eclectic assortment of items that could be readily perceived as weapons to do battle with, should the need arise, but I pray that never happens. I am afraid a thief could be easily angered at my lack of cash or valuables. I guess that is my big worry. Not having enough to hand over to a thief to just make him leave.

The most valuable thing I own, is my little puppy. I didn't pay for him, got him for free. He was half starved and had very little fur. Now he is almost at training weight, full of energy and his fur has tripled.

I wasn't sure what to say next, so I announced I was taking my dog for a walk. Off we went around the campground, while Wolfman Harley tried to pee on every bush and tree, meet all the dogs and most of the humans. As we left, I noticed the woman walk her dog four feet back to the side door of her camper,  and go inside, doggy in tow.

Her husband had opened the only slide out, and it appeared there was now a skinny path amid the pile of junk seemingly stacked everywhere. Were they thieves traveling with their loot?  I hoped not. I've met pirates on the islands and a few on the high seas, but not met any in campgrounds yet. (Though a few  RV Park owners readily qualify as pirates for the prices they charge in relation to the services and goods provided, or lack of, I should say.)

I felt sorry for her dog. She certainly needed a brisk walk, all that extra weight can't be good for her joints, heart and general health. My doggy loves the adventure of exploring and walking. Once a timid ridiculous fluff of spotty fur that was terrified of the leash and the big outdoors, he now relishes his worldly escapades.

We returned to our assigned spot, I tethered him outside, with a small pile of toys, then hooked up our electrical, water and sewer while he tore the remaining stuffing out of his deflated teddy bear.

This part of the campground has the campers parked really close together. If my neighbors had put out their awning, it would have nearly touched my motorhome. I guess we are in the transient section, as other spots seemed much larger, further away from the road. At least they did very nice landscaping to hide my lot from the road.

The woman came outside struggling with a huge bag of garbage, which she laboriously delivered to a dump somewhere. I can't seem to find the dump, I must be blind, but I shall go look again.

Once again, from my vantage point at my desk inside, I could see into her camper and it was still packed up tightly with stuff.

Later she brought her dog out again for a stand rather than a walk. As soon as the dog did her business, she put her back in the crowded camper. What a miserable life for a dog. I felt so sorry for her. I contemplated if the woman actually hated the traveling and not the dog. Her husband didn't seem to thrilled about it either. Most campers talk enthusiastically about their RV and their journeys.

They never unhooked the car they were towing, to go anywhere. The next morning I happened to be up early, when I saw the man come out with the dog and he too just stood there, waiting for the dog to deliver, then back inside they both went into the cramped motorhome.

Maybe grumpy people need a serious life or  death scare, to jump start their appreciation for our wonderful world. Even on an overcast chilly day, I thought the scene was gorgeous on

A few minutes later, the woman came out, hefting a huge garbage bag, which she walked off with, leaning sideways, as if the great weight was more than she could bear.

Good grief. How do 2 humans and 1 dog make that much garbage in under 12 hours?  When she returned, empty handed, the husband had already retracted the slide-out section of the motorhome, she climbed into the passenger seat and they drove off.

How sad.

I don't think they ever walked around the park. They didn't see the pond, nor the pony.  They missed the beautiful flowers, the tropical plants, the whimsical decorations, other long-term campers had outfitted their lots with.  They never went anywhere, the car they were towing stayed hitched up. For the short time they were in the campground, they might as well have boondocked somewhere  for free.

They both looked silent and miserable as they drove by. I smiled and waved goodbye at them. They each barely lifted a hand, no smiles, no grins, no joy.

Lord help me, I hope I never end up like that. I try to keep my camper all tidy, as if I might have company at any moment. Sure there are days, puppy and I let the housekeeping slide, in favor of playtime or hiking. But I have to hike for my health and the doggy needs exercise too. I try not to be a pack rat. We all crave our comforts, but I try not to find consolation in owning a mess of stuff that won't stash away neatly.

I am desperately trying to build up my stamina which has never been right since I woke up in the hospital. My ailments seemed to have sucked the very energy right out of me. Every day, I push myself to walk the doggy several times. I would never walk alone, I don't know why. Might be posttraumatic stress from being brutally attacked last year? Who knows?  But with the puppy, I walk a lot and my energy is slowly coming back.

Life is GOOD!

I don't expect the dog to really protect me, but he gives me confidence and purpose to be out walking briskly.

Lately, I have learned, the best way to walk, for posture and weight loss, is  to throw my shoulders back, suck in my gut and walk briskly. Do you know how HARD that is to do?  Try it sometime, you might be surprised.

A few things, I keep to myself mostly, have had me seriously down in the dumps lately, but after watching the unhappy couple and the sad doggy, I suddenly felt like the happiest person on the planet.

Lucky me.
A whimsical rock at 

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