June 17, 2013

Giving a Dog Her Day

This weekend, my husband and I went camping with our Sunday School class.

We decided we should try camping with our dogs this year. We have two golden retrievers: a 2-year-old named Chloe and a 1-year-old named Pascal.

We knew we wouldn't be up for the craziness of bringing both of them, so we had to choose.

We immediately decided to bring our little one, Pascal, because he's so incredibly calm. Chloe is by nature anxious and tends to get into stuff and not obey all that well.

However, just before the trip, we took Pascal to the vet and he had to be shaved a bit to take care of some wounds on his neck there from some rough play (gross? Yes.). So he couldn't go camping with us because I was afraid of his wounds getting infected.

So our choices: bring Chloe or bring no one.

We decided to bring Chloe.

And she was an absolute angel. Listened well. Didn't annoy people. Played well with the another dog on the trip.

We were shocked and pleasantly surprised.

The thing is, we judged Chloe before really giving her a chance to prove that she could be a good dog in this situation...to do something different. When she was on her own and had the attention on her, she did beautifully.

It just made me wonder...how often do I judge other people and think I know exactly how they'll react to a situation? Probably a lot more than I want to admit.

And yes, dogs are not people...but I think the principle works the same.

Sometimes, you just have to give a dog her day. And likewise, sometimes, you just have to trust someone and give him/her a chance.

They may just surprise you.

Your Turn: Do you enjoy camping? Any fun camping memories?


  1. So sweet, Chloe looks happy! Every summer we go camping for a weekend with a group of friends and their families. The kids love the chance to adventure with their friends. We did once have a terrible night full of raccoons gone wild.

  2. Oh good job, Chloe! Sounds like you guys had fun.

    I do like camping. I'm not much of a "sleep on the ground in a tent" girl, so I'm much happier if there's a camper/RV involved. But still...I love campfires and all that. My family loves to camp, so I've got lots of camping memories and stories. :)

  3. Good dog! So glad Chloe exceeded your expectations. I had a similar experience when I took our high energy mix breed on a long driving trip. I worried those hours in the car would be a trial. She was SO good. Curled in the passenger seat most of the time and an excellent listener.

  4. How fun for you guys, and for Chloe. Kids are often the same. When they get some one-on-one time with a parent, the perspectives of both child and parent are refreshed.

    Camping—well I like camping, I just don't like not sleeping or showering. :) So, I probably would do best in a fifth wheel or RV situation. We haven't been camping in years. My dad took me camping once and it rained. All. Night. Long. Thunder. Lightning. It was an adventure, to be sure! The next morning, he packed up our tent and we went out for breakfast in a nearby town. Another time I went camping with a group of friends. I borrowed a friend's tent and didn't grab the rain guard. Of course it rained a couple nights while we were there. We fished and I caught the fish for the meal. So that was a good aspect of camping. :)

    I'm so glad Chloe had such a good time. :)

  5. Animals teach us so much!

    We have a camping trip planned for July and are planning on bringing our German Shepherd, Liberty. It will be our first trip with her! I'm sure we will learn a thing or two as well.

  6. Oh gosh! I love camping. My husband and I (sans kids) go to Montana and disappear into the wilderness. It's the best!

  7. No more camping for us! Slept on the ground enough. If we do again, we'll use a camper. But I always enjoyed cooking outdoors. Food tastes better!

    Chloe is so sweet! Dogs are great for preparing for kids. Glad she was good!