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.
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.
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?
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.
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!