Sunday, January 29, 2017
We are lucky. We have friends. Specifically, we have made friends here in the desert, in the middle of nowhere. This is our fifth season here, so I guess that shouldn’t be a surprise to me, but it always is. As folks arrive at this park, they are greeted like rock stars. There are big smiles and hugs, and our entrance was no exception. It is a wonderful feeling and I am humbled to be remembered and thrilled to have people around to say Hi! to and chat about life. I’m probably flattering myself as we are an odd group with a boisterous one, a quiet one, an exasperated one, and a lovely sweet tempered Doberman. We might be memorable for all the wrong reasons. Not unlike the “Griswolds” of movie fame, we move in, spread out, and get to business. I’m sure in our own hapless way, we provide endless entertainment for those around us.
Of course, Stella has made friends here, although most of them have been more of the 2-legged variety and consist of the people belonging to the 4-legged folk. Joey the Standard Poodle is back, as are Bobby, who probably doesn’t consider any of us his friend, and Scarlet across the street, who isn’t a fan of the big dogs, either.
It’s impolite to have “favorites,” but our beloved Axle, the Doberman, is back. Stella gave him a polite, but cool reception; we gave him many pats and loves. He is a dear, sweet, long-legged boy, but Stella is not one to be easily impressed.
We have taken up a new activity that combines the best of both the two and four-legged variety of folks. Our friends Dick, Helen, and Barb walk their respective dogs Dakota, Bentley, and Molly at 7:00 every night and Craig, Stella, and I have been joining them. We take a casual stroll through the park, chatting and allowing the dogs to take care of their “business.” (FYI: Unlike many of our fellow campers, we all pick-up after our dogs.) It is a great evening nightcap and makes sleep come almost immediately upon head hitting the pillow. As for Stella, she is EXHAUSTED after this adventure. It increases her workload exponentially, having to take responsibility for another three adults AND their dogs. Upon arrival back at the Hag, she drinks copious amounts of water, lies down in her comfy bed, and falls dead asleep. Immediately. All of our Dobies have had difficulties taking an evening walk, so this was not surprising to us. Wiley was fretful when we took him out at night, but dear departed Jack was definitely in a class of his own. He was on patrol, and I say this in the most militaristic of terms. He was out for blood. It wasn’t pleasant for any of us, and being quick learners, we let go of that exercise almost immediately, before carnage could become our next major problem.
We have always felt that poor night vision coupled with the need to protect simply kills the joy this activity should bring. It is said that the neuro-typical brain needs 10-12 repetitions to cement a task as a learned behavior, so we figure that in another week this nightly walk will become easier. And just in case you were wondering, the non neuro-typical brain takes 100-110 repetitions to become a learned behavior. Just a little something to ponder as you go about your day.