Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Camping experiment results




As many of you know Katie-girl and I enjoy sleeping out in the backyard on warm (and sometimes not so warm) summer nights.  If there’s no rain predicted we leave the rain fly off the tent and watch the stars until we fall asleep.  I’d like to do more camping with her, further from home but she’s a Sheltie and Shelties bark which made me wonder about how she’d behave in a campground.  So I booked a camping site at a local KOA, one located only one exit up the road.  And last night we went camping for real with a backup plan of scooping her up and heading home if she barked too much at night.

This is my campsite!

This is my campsite!

Turns out she doesn’t mind being in a tiny campsite right next to other people (and their dogs) at all.  She’s interested, but not particularly offended by their presence.  She watched them until it got dark and then she settled down with a sigh on her pillows in front of her window and went to sleep.  During the night she got up a few times and settled somewhere new, sometimes up on the air mattress with me, sometimes somewhere else in the tent, but she’s always been a dog that sleeps in multiple places during any one night.

Watching the neighbor's campfire.

Watching the neighbor’s campfire.

She woke me around midnight with a series of soft yips but I don’t know what bothered her.  Maybe she just woke up in a strange place and was confused.  I tickled her tummy and we both went right back to sleep.  She barked about 4:45 a.m. but it turns out the next door camper was out with his dog, whose tags were jangling and he was coughing himself.  She had to let him know he was infringing on her space.  I told her ‘no bark’ once and patted her head and she settled back down with another sigh for an hour or so of sleep.

And then it was 6 a.m. and she was UP!  Want to get up now Mama?

Hey Mama!  You awake?

Hey Mama! You awake?

Huh?  How about now Mama?  I really do have to gooooo!

We went out and found a good place, then went back to bed for another hour…when many people in the campground were up including neighbors on both sides of us, so we got up, packed up and went home.

Sheltie sized window.  Perfect.

Sheltie sized window. Perfect.

She was a very very good dog.  I’d go camping with her again no problem.  Not at this particular campground which was crowded and noisy and not near anything interesting.  But for this experiment it was exactly what I needed; lots of people, lots of dogs, lots of noisy cars…radios, TVs, bikes, you name it.  She wasn’t distressed by anything other than an early morning walk by the neighbor dog dangerously close to her bed.  Cant fault her on that.

I think she’s a natural camper!

Can we do it again soon Mama?

Can we do it again soon Mama?

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

17 thoughts on “Camping experiment results

  1. that i s just fabulous! I think Shelties bark much, much less when they are in unfamiliar environments. I bet Katie didn’t bark at first because she wasn’t quite sure of where she was, she barked the next morning because as you said the other dog was “infringing on her space”, she had become familiar with where she was and considered it to be her territory. I bet had you stayed longer she might have barked at other people and dogs more if they were near your tent. That is great that she did so well, just remember each time you go, go to a different site so it takes her time to bark 🙂


  2. ooops that comment was supposed to be from Dakota 🙂


  3. Great idea to do test run before heading out for a whole weekend. It ain’t time to work out some glitches when you’re 100 miles from home, 40 miles from the closest pet friendly motel. Kudos to you on your successful experiment!


  4. What a GOOD girl! Now that you know Katie can handle camping in a new place, perhaps it’s time for a road trip?!


  5. Good going, Katie! Being a good girl for your mama means more new adventures I think.


  6. Awesome! I’m glad that you both had a good time. Great adventure, and your campsite looks so pretty.

    My dogs are usually quiet for the first 18 hours or so when we go somewhere new. Then, they start to feel at home, and the barking begins! That’s why I try and find semi secluded places, or at least places that have some sort of screening between homes.

    Definitely need to try camping with my dogs soon. Not so sure about the tent thing though….maybe Jeff can borrow an RV from work. We have a state campground about 20 minutes from here that is supposed to be really quiet and beautiful…..


  7. Wow thats pawsome u went camping for real.


  8. it sounds like she is and that means LOTS of adventures in the future


  9. Sounds like it was a successful camping trip.


  10. Yay! Glad your experiment worked out 🙂 Where are you headed next? To a coast? Up North? Oh the possibilities now that you know Katie is a Kamper!


  11. What a happy story, Dawn! Maybe sometime Katie will be able to come up to Leelanau County?


  12. Hey there Dawn and Katie, we’re just about to start camping ourselves, so my good pal Reilly sent me over to borrow some info! 🙂 I see that you have a Coleman tent, I was looking at their Sundome 4, not sure which one you have…but do you like it? Congrats on the amazing behavior Miss Katie, there’s going to be waaaaay more adventures in your future!!


    • Hi there Goose! Yes I bought the Coleman years ago at a hunting/camping retail store. It’s supposed to sleep four but it’s just perfect for me and Katie. I don’t think it’s heavy duty quality, because the rain flap poles broke right away. For a few years I just laid the rain fly over the top…but that meant there was no breeze…so I tried to order replacement poles and they were always out, so I caused a big stink and they sent me a kit to make new rainfly poles. I went online and everybody was complaining about their rainfly poles that broke, so I’m sure these will break too. Most of the time I just use it without the rainfly. Not so much privacy though that way.

      I like the size, I can almost stand up in it (I’m 5’5″”) and it has the cutest little window near the floor that Katie likes to look out of….mine isn’t a sundome 4…it’s a crestline…which they probably don’t make anymore…I think a tent that sleeps four is perfect for two people, or one person and a dog! 🙂


  13. Pingback: Come on summer | Change Is Hard

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