Dallas Tales – What’s For Breakfast

I awoke to find Foxy standing directly over me. “Merciful heavens Foxy what are you doing?”  Foxy explained that he was starving. Those pizza crusts were great and all last night but I’m hungry said Foxy. About that time I began hearing what sounded like a chorus of dogs howling and barking. I ran to see what all the ruckus was about. I’ve never in my life heard such screeching, whining, barking and howling all at one time. Fourteen dogs were being absolutely obnoxious! Thank heavens for little Foxy. At least one of these newfound friends was normal. I ask Foxy why they were acting like this? Foxy said, “well Dallas, you see, these dogs are from a very exclusive neighborhood back home. They are used to being served the best of food as soon as they wake up. They are very pampered pooches.” Hum, pampered pooches, seriously? I thought they were headed for camp across the lake just like us. So, what’s the deal? Foxy said, “their camp is a very exclusive doggie camp across the lake.” Oh really! Tell me Foxy, what makes it so exclusive. Foxy began to describe their camp across the lake. They sleep in air-conditioned clubhouses on these huge down comforter pillows, eat the best foods; they are groomed daily and brushed each afternoon. They run and swim in a huge swimming pool that’s just for them. Their food is absolutely awesome and prepared by a world-class doggie chef daily. I looked at little Foxy who didn’t seem very pretentious at all. “So Foxy, tell me, do you live in that neighborhood?” Foxy explained that he was attending camp with a cousin and that he actually lived in the country. Thank heavens I ended up with little Foxy. Brother this is gonna be a long couple of weeks. Just wait until those whiners find out how things are on this side of the lake. Come on Foxy, let’s go break the news to your friends.

Dallas calls his cousins, Bear, Felix, Coco, Hank and Willow aside for a little meeting. Dallas explains the situation about the fabulous fourteen. Come to think of it from now on I’ll just call them the Fab 14. So here’s the deal Foxy. This side of the lake is about as far from their side of town as you can get. We forage for food each day. We never know what we’ll find but that’s part of the fun of coming to camp. We’re camping out after all and we have so much fun every year. We sleep under this old deserted house or sometimes up on the porch. I suppose the Fab 14 were so tired and hungry last night they forgot about their surroundings. Foxy replied that he thought our place was so cool and that it reminded him of his Grampa’s house. We’ll get along just fine little Foxy.

Here comes the Fab 14 looking like they were impoverished from their overnight sleep. “Where’s our breakfast, said Miss Poodle Puff?” Miss Poodle Puff is a tall standard white poodle complete with celadon blue ribbons on her ears. Foxy said, “What is celadon blue?” Dallas tells Foxy, “it’s just a fancy word for a light blue green color Foxy. “ Miss Poodle Puff’s ribbons are hanging a bit sideways after her bus trip and night under the old deserted house. She doesn’t look so snow white as when she left on the bus day before yesterday either. Good thing she doesn’t have a mirror! Dallas informs Miss Poodle Puff breakfast is not automatic and that a crew will soon go foraging for what they will be having for breakfast. Dallas tells Foxy that he can

go foraging with her, Hank and Felix. Normally only one dog goes for the food each meal but with 21 mouths to feed this year, it’s going to be a big job. I wanted little Foxy to experience the gathering process. Foxy was very happy to be chosen and is becoming a great team player. We found some plastic bags quickly and sneaked down by the food barracks. Yay, breakfast is over for all the campers so those trashcans are overflowing with yummy scraps. “Scraps?” yells Foxy. Yes, Foxy, we eat lots of scraps out here. Foxy says, “I don’t know how the Fab 14 will react to scraps?” Whelp, they can eat scraps or starve Dallas informs Foxy. Foxy tells Dallas he doesn’t mind at all, and that in fact he normally has lots of scraps at Grampa’s in the country. With 3 big bags full of scraps, they begin tugging those overloaded bags back to the old house. Foxy excitedly yells, “Breakfast is served!” Dallas has to stop Foxy quickly and remind that before the Fab 14 rush in and start gobbling the food there must be order. Never holler breakfast is served to a mob of 21 dogs. Never! Foxy is a little embarrassed but understands. By this time all the pups are smelling the scraps and are moving forward. Dallas steps up and informs the Fab 14 of what occurred last night and the lesson they learned about saying grace before meals.  They remembered and settled down.  Hank offers grace for their meal and Dallas assigns the pups their eating-places. In fact Dallas told them going forward this would be their assigned seating spots for every meal. Dallas, Hank and little Foxy began doling out the scraps in front of each pup. The wailing began. Not only wailing, but moaning, growling, yip, yip, yipping, barking and just about every dog can make plus more. Poodle Puff was absolutely mortified at the thought of eating scraps and several of her little buddies were as well. They began to leave their seats that Dallas had assigned without eating. Dallas asked them if they were going to eat and Miss Poodle Puff threw her head back and said NEVER! Dallas very calmly said, “Well, that’s fine.”

Miss Poodle Puff and her buddies marched off towards a group of trees to pout. Foxy asked Dallas what they would do with the food that was rejected. Dallas told her it would be distributed to all the other pups. They never kept left over food because that attracted all sorts of undesirable critters. Mainly the coyotes and hogs. Foxy gulped really big and said to Dallas, “coyotes and hogs?” Oh yes said Dallas. You might ask my cousins about that today. Come on now we have work to do. The camp set up is way behind on our schedule because of that crazy bus driver.

Dallas Tales – The Bus Trip

Mama! Why didn’t I listen to you? When I decided to ride the bus to camp this year with 15 other pups I thought I would have the time of my life! Geez, was I wrong. Yep, I packed my trunk and Mama put me on the bus to Camp Longhorn instead of driving me herself. I imagined a comfy bus with lots of treats, a comfy seat and plenty of pillows. Oh no, they loaded us into kennels with no blankies or mats. I asked the attendant, “does my Mama know you’re throwing me in a kennel with no mat, blankie or pillow? And, no kennel cover either?” I mean, “Sir, do you know who I am? I am a very famous dog! I am Dallas, star of Dallas Tales!” And with that they slam the door shut and they pull away from the pickup point. We had not gone very far when all the pups began howling, barking and whimpering. The pup in the kennel next to me was so frightened he began throwing up. I tried to tell him he would be ok, but he was terrified. He’s a cute little Toy Fox Terrier. He was shaking all over. Pretty soon the bus settled down to a smooth hum and the little Fox Terrier next to me finally went to sleep. I named him Foxy, such a sweet little pup. We rode for what seemed hours and hours. Surely we’re there by now I thought to myself. It was beginning to get dark outside by now and we weren’t there yet. This crazy bus driver must be lost! If he would let me out of this kennel I could show him the way. I have been to camp so many times I could find my way blindfolded. There’s nothing to do but take a nap myself and dream about camp. I woke up to see the sun streaming into my little eyes. Mercy, I guess we drove all through the night. It’s only a four-hour trip from my home. This is ridiculous! I feel the bus coming to a stop so we must be there. Nope. The bus driver was only taking a break and having coffee and breakfast. What about us poor little pups? We’re hungry, thirsty, scared and tired, plus we certainly need a potty break ourselves. The driver gets back aboard and begins to take off. I am about to take matters into my own hands. Who is this goofball driving the bus anyway? I hatch a plan with the other pups. I have made a jailbreak once before when I was staying in a hotel room. I told the other pups I was gonna jiggle my door open. I told them to be really quite when I sneaked out of my kennel. I told them I would sneak around to their kennels and undo the latches on them all. I instructed them to stay put until our opportunity to escape came. I gave them the signal I would use when it was time to break out of this awful bus jail! Surely we weren’t far from camp by now.

Another hour passed and finally I heard some familiar sounds. It was the sound of kids at camp. I would recognize that sound anywhere. As the bus rolled to a stop and I heard the door open I gave the signal to break out of this awful place. All at once every dog knocked those doors open and headed for the exit. That goofy old bus driver was standing in the door when a huge Rottweiler bowled him over like a bowling ball. When I came down the steps of the bus he was laying on the ground cursing a blue streak. The old driver was screaming for us to come back because he hadn’t collected the money for our trip. Every dog was in a hard run to freedom. I darted ahead and told the pups to follow me. I knew the perfect hiding place and also a great place to get food and water. Geez, what a day and a half! I’m gonna listen to Mama from now on out! I tell you, I was praying while I was locked in that kennel that God would save me and the other pups. I have got to figure out a way to send Mama a letter telling her I want her to pick me up from camp. I can’t ride that awful bus home. There goes my neatly packed trunk with all the treats for my cousins. At least I decided to wear my lumberjack hat on the bus so I will have at least one costume. I guess we’ll have a big ole group of pups on this campout. How can I tell the 15 pups on the run with me that they can’t stay at camp with me? We’ll figure it out. Like they say…it’s not my first rodeo.

May be an image of dog

Dallas Tales – Camp 2022

Dallas Tales – Camp 2022

Mom, where’s my camp trunk? I’ve gotta pack. It’s getting late. I have all my stuff spread out waiting to tuck everything away. I understand there’s gonna be a costume party this year so I have two costumes ready to go. I can be a burly lumberjack or a dragon with wings and a long tail. I’ll pack them both and decide later. I have my favorite pink crown pillow, my blue bone and lots of treats for my cousins. I am sooooo excited! I’ll probably not sleep a wink tonight. I never do the night before leaving for camp. I sort of miss Mama a little bit but when I see all the cousins it’ll be ok. Hurry up Mama! Bring my trunk.

Dallas Tales – Closing Ceremony 2021

I am in charge of this closing day ceremony. I love nothing better than planning a party. I guess I learned from my Mom. Mama rescued me from the yard next door about five years ago. She has been so sweet to let me attend camp every year with all the cousin pups. She is a real cool people Mom. That woman loves to plan a party and she always has stuff in her closet to decorate with.  I knew I’d be in charge this year so I threw in a few decorations from Mama’s closet for the party. She made this long string with ribbons tied onto it and tossed it into the garage. I knew I could bring it so I tucked it in my bag. String is so easy to tuck into a limb so it will be easy to hang. Luckily our closing ceremony falls on July 4th this year. There are always fireworks out over the lake here on July 4th. We will be far enough away the noise won’t be much of an issue. We’re going to camp out tonight way out by that old barn we had originally chosen this year. We all worked so hard on clearing it out it would be ashamed to not camp there.

Bear assigned all the pups a job. Hank and Willow will be in charge of rolling some stones to form a ring for our campfire tonight. Bear, Coco and Felix will drag nearby limbs for our fire. Dallas and Myrtle will gather and scoot some pine straw up onto the limbs. And yay they found a few paper bags we can tuck in to help start the fire. We’ll need to start the fire well before sunset since we have to use that magnifying glass we always bring to camp. That little magnifying glass prize from the Cracker Jack box has come in handy many times on our campouts. Too bad kids today don’t really know the story of Cracker Jack. The company started way back in 1896. It is caramel popcorn and peanuts and always included a tiny prize. The enclosed prizes were finally discontinued in 2013. This is a by gone era. But not to worry we have taken good care of our little prize. Starting the fire is a tedious process but the pups have used the method before. One pup holds the magnifier away from the fire ring just enough that the sun shines through the lens. Then when a little puff of smoke appears Bear swishes his tail enough to help the flames catch on. And just like that we have our campfire. Luke being our oldest at camp will be responsible for being our greeter. We have invited the Coyotes this year to this closing ceremony. Luke will be the perfect one to greet them. We have a special place for them on one side of the campfire. Coco, Myrtle and I have assembled quite the assortment of goodies for our campfire feast. We have pizza bones, left over corndog bites, chicken biscuits and of course my favorite rat meatloaf. I think our coyote friends will love the rat meatloaf!

Ok, guys the fire is started, it’s almost sunset and the fireworks will start soon. I see the coyotes approaching from the hill. Until we met Aztec, the chief coyote, the other day I had not seen a coyote up close and personal. They are actually so beautiful. I told Aztec of my concern about rabies and he said there had not been a case of rabies on his hill ever. Since all the pup cousins are vaccinated each year for rabies I knew we’d be ok for this meeting tonight. However I must say right now this meeting tonight is an exception and one that must not repeated in ordinary circumstances. Normally dogs and coyotes are not to mingle or come in contact with each other. Coyotes are wild and as such they are always on defense against anyone that might be considered a predator. Normally the coyote would consider dogs as a predator. Dogs are domesticated so they do not understand danger so much. Therefore tonight’s meeting is highly unusual.

Welcome to our camp Aztec! I escorted Aztec and his fellow coyotes to their spot by our fire. We gave them the very best spot in order that they might have a great view of the fireworks. The coyotes were a little jumpy, as they were not used to being around us pups. We all sat very still until they began to feel a little more comfortable. As camp chairman Bear greeted them with a warm welcome. Bear organized all the food so that the coyotes would have their eating spot and the pups would have their spot on the other side of the fire. I said the blessing over our food and I told Aztec he could tell the coyotes it was time to eat. I could tell they were pretty excited about the special treats we had provided. Just then the fireworks started. The coyotes were pretty alarmed but we assured them it would be ok. The sounds were not bad as we were way out by the old barn. They were amazed by the food and the fireworks. As the fireworks began to end some of their younger coyote pups were settling in for a bit of a quick nap. I think the coyotes finally realized for at least one very special night there could be peace on earth. Friends can come together, partake of a meal, be nice to one another and really see how wonderful this world can be. We must look out for one another and help one another when we can. When we really get to know others we see that they are mostly just like us.

I can’t think of a camp more fun and full of excitement than this year at Longhorn Camp. It’s my fifth year at camp with my pup cousins and our special guest Myrtle. I’m sure Myrtle will have so many stories to tell her friends when she returns home. Myrtle was so helpful retrieving much needed food for our little coyote pup. Bear was an incredible leader this year. He had to make so many quick and urgent decisions. Normally it’s just a matter of planning our fun events or what we will have for dinner. Hank stands out for his quick alert when those mean hawks were circling our little coyote pup. Bear and Felix showed such bravery leading the charge against those hawks. Willow, Myrtle and Coco were such big helpers for our final closing ceremony. They really stepped up! Our precious Luke was a real trooper and such a fantastic greeter for tonight.

This year it was high drama and life lessons we’ll not soon forget. That’s what camp is supposed to be about. Meeting new friends and understanding what makes them different but in many ways just like us. Love can heal lots of things. So I choose love!

Dallas Tales – Meeting Aztec

Those lazy camp days came to an end with the discovery of the wild coyote pup. This is sort of like having a baby to check on every minute of the day. It’s up early scavenging for food, deciding what the poor little thing can eat. After sneaking around the back door of the mess hall kitchen we found a couple of raw eggs that weren’t broken…..I know, another miracle. The cook had set the carton out on the back garbage can lid and it just happened to have the eggs still intact inside. And the bonus was the egg carton was in one of those plastic garbage bags that Bear was able to hang around his neck for transporting out to the little hollow where our little baby coyote was sleeping. Bear and I told the other pups to just sleep in and we would be back quickly. Hopefully they don’t get into any mischief while we’re gone.

Bear and I follow our trail back out to the tiny hollow. It’s just like we left it. We wrestle open the carton and place an egg on the ground. Bear cracks the shell just a bit with his paw. We roll the egg down into the hollow beside the little coyote pup. He’s obviously hungry. Bear can tell the egg shell is not open enough for the pup to lick the egg inside. I found a long heavy stick and brought it to Bear. He takes it in his mouth and carefully pokes the egg just enough for the little coyote pup to suck the egg into his mouth. Another successful feeding. Now it’s time to get back to the other cousin pups to see what they’re up to. You never know what a bunch of young pups will do while you’re gone. We left Luke in charge but he’s getting along in years and doesn’t hear so well.

We arrive back at our campsite under the old front porch. Not a pup in sight however we see Luke fast asleep in the back corner. I wake Luke and ask where the pups might be but he has not a clue where they’ve gone. Luke says he is just gonna stay around camp today. All the travel to camp has worn him out. We assure Luke that’s fine and scoot out to look for the pups.

As we approach the lake we can hear the pups all jumping in the lake, splashing and have a big ole time. Looks like a pretty good idea so Bear and I decide to join them.

After swimming and playing we all come out, shake all that water off and find some big trees to lie down underneath to sleep awhile. Dogs need their sleep much like a bunch of teenagers. We ask Hank to stay awake and on alert just in the event bad weather comes up or any snakes decide to cruise into our nice little hangout.

There’s nothing like a good nap after a swim. I am fast asleep dreaming about all the goodies we’re likely to find tonight after dinner for the kids at camp. It’s barbeque night and the feast will be amazing. I wake up to find Hank standing right over me excited to the point of frenzy. I ask him what’s going on? Hank is talking so fast I can hardly understand him.  He’s half talking and half pointing up into the sky. I tell him to slow down and use his words. Finally Hank tells me he hears several huge hawks squawking in the area where our little coyote pup is located down in the little hollow. There’s no time to waste. I shake Bear awake and tell him what’s going on. He calls all pups on deck, meaning giving orders of what we need to do immediately. Bear gives the command for all pups to follow him quickly up to the little hollow. Bear cautions that those huge hawks can pick up a small dog and in light of that he pairs a small dog with the bigger dogs. Bear gives the charge and we all follow. As we near the area Bear told us to begin barking our most ferocious bark we could manage. He we go. Geez, I have to admit I’m a little nervous at the thought of those big hawks with their sharp talons. There are three hawks on the ground near the pups den in the hollow. The hawks just know they are about to feast on that poor helpless coyote pup. Not if we can help it! Let’s go guys, bark, bark, bark. Bear and Felix begin making the scariest growl I’ve ever heard come out of their bodies. The little dogs are yapping their heads off. Those old sister hawks aren’t budging. Mercy, now what? The hawks are cackling now that weird sound just before they pounce on their prey. I don’t know if that’s gonna be one of us or the poor coyote pup. I look around to see if there’s any way possible out of this predicament. I believe its time for one of those quick prayers again which I belt out just between God and me. God give us favor in this situation to overcome the evil before us! Just about the time I open my eyes I see a new terror. Oh my goodness now there’s a pack of coyotes ten strong. There are ten coyotes bearing down on us! Instead of charging little ole us they charge the hawks and the hawks take flight and leave. Whew! But now to face the coyotes realizing they may think we kidnapped their little coyote pup.  The coyotes begin howling the weirdest howl I’ve ever heard. Then one of the largest coyotes I’ve ever seen steps forward and lets out a blood-curdling howl.  Somehow his howl sounds very familiar. He begins walking towards us and says, I am Aztec the chief coyote on this mountain. I remember you pups from summers past. We made a pact to not invade each other’s territories several years ago. You have kept that pact faithfully only encroaching last summer when you were lost. You are a very responsible pack of pups. We have watched you each year as you visited our mountain. We have seen the respect you have not only for each other but also for our land. We also know the respect you have for our pack of coyotes. You have tried very hard to not cross our territory. Regrettably one of our coyotes crossed over into your territory. It was time for one of our coyotes to give birth and she was too far from home. She didn’t anticipate you would arrive so soon. She moved one of the coyote pups before you got up here but was unable to go back for the other little coyote pup. We took great notice of the gentle care you showed our little coyote pup. You went to great lengths to provide food for this little one of ours. And today you risked your very lives to save our little coyote pup. I’ve heard it said, there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. Today we cease to be enemies.  Forevermore it will be known within our coyote pack that you pups and those that come after you will be welcome in this great place. We can never repay you for saving the life of our little coyote pup. Peace to you my friends.

With that Bear sat back on his hindquarters and reared his to front legs in the air as a symbol of thanks. Bear then invited all the coyotes to our closing day ceremony tomorrow. Ole Aztec and his crew retrieved the little coyote pup and made their way up the hill.

Dallas Tales – A Wild Pup?

Bear is first to the little hollow in the ground followed by our summer camp gang. A curious bunch of pups we are indeed. Whatever in the world is making this little sound? The whimper is a little like a kitten but we know that possibility is not likely since it’s such a remote place. I am beginning to rethink our decision to select a place this far out. There’s hardly any light with only the glow of our campfire providing much light at all. So here we all stand peering into this small hollow. All of a sudden there’s a slight sound that sounds like a pup. A pup? No way, not this far out! Felix and I, the older pups, step forward and ask the rest of the pups to stand back a bit.  As Fee and I stand there looking in disbelief we are at once terrified! Merciful heavens it a tiny coyote pup. At first we were hoping indeed it was a dog but those tiny pointy ears do not lie. It’s a coyote pup all right. We are all in deep trouble and immediate danger. We have to make quick decisions really fast. Do we leave this poor coyote pup all alone and run for the hills or do we try and nudge some food in the hollow for nourishment. Fee and Dallas decide to see what’s left over after our dinner that the tiny pup might be able to eat by itself. Dallas knows that even these tiny coyote pups can be a carrier of the deadly rabies virus. They cannot touch the pup. Another reason to not touch the pup would be because we are hopeful the coyote Mom will come for her pup. More than likely the coyote Mom was in the process of moving the pups when they heard us coming. The Mom can only move one pup at a time and she didn’t have time to retrieve the second pup. Dallas remembers there is rat meatloaf left from her dinner so she goes over to where she had her dinner and retrieves a few big bites about the size of a tiny meatball. She breaks it into tiny pieces and rolls it into the hollow with the tiny pup. Since the pup looks to be a few weeks old hopefully he can manage to nibble on the meatloaf. Now we have to pack up and move to another place for the night. It won’t be safe out here.  Bear calls us together and decides we will need to retreat back closer to camp and sleep under that old camp porch. Everyone is pretty shook up about the thought of coyotes perhaps lurking behind every bush out in the darkness. Myrtle is just about to freak out because it’s her first experience at camp and all the talk of coyotes earlier has her spooked. Willow talks to Myrtle so sweetly and lets her know she will be her buddy and to not be afraid. Luke is the oldest at camp and uses his wisdom to tell us we need to mark the trail back to this little hollow. If we don’t come back to check on this little pup he might not make it. Great idea Luke. There were little bits of foil stuck to the pizza bones so we decided to wrap those foil bits around bushes on the trail so we could find our way back tomorrow.

Safely under the old cabin porch we all breathed a sigh of relief for the night. As we lay there trying to go to sleep we begin to discuss what we could possibly find for a baby coyote pup to survive until it’s Mom finds him. Ice cream, of course! Hopefully we can find a few of those tiny ice cream cups. It’s not exactly coyote formula but that’s the best we can possibly do. The kids normally have ice cream at lunch many days and there are always a few who, for whatever reason, choose to not eat their ice cream. Myrtle to the rescue. She’s fast and she’s surefooted and the pup for this important job.

We hardly slept last night and morning light broke early. OK pups, up and at it! We’ve got work to do today. Besides making our den under the old camp porch a little more comfortable we have a baby coyote to check on and feed. Lunch for the kids is over and Myrtle is able to snag about 6 cups of ice cream. We needed extra to make sure a few make their target in the hollow in order to feed the coyote pup. Bear decided that only he and I would take the ice cream out to the wild coyote pup. Bear is ferocious and I am fast. We quietly and carefully find our way back out to the old barn and the tiny hollow. Thankfully we find the trail marked so well. Thank goodness because we don’t want to spend but a few minutes out there. We could very well be in the gaze of a pack of coyotes right this second. We just don’t know. As we get to the hollow we hear the little coyote pup really whimpering. Poor thing, I’m sure he’s really starving. We poke at the cups of ice cream and get the lids off several of them. Very gently I scoot one cup into the hollow hoping against hope it lands right side up. Angels must be watching over that coyote pup and us because the first cup lands right side up. Immediately the poor little wild pup begins licking at the ice cream. Bear gives me a paws up! We decided we would put one more into the little hollow. The second ice cream lands well also. We leave the other four cups of ice cream out in the event Mama coyote is nearby. Before we leave this little one we decided we should put a few limbs over the top of the hollow to protect him from hawks and the sun. We’ll check on him again late this evening.

Bear and I race back to camp and give our report to the other pups. They are all excited we were successful in our first feeding. Willow and Myrtle are anxious to explore the camp. So off we go to seize the day. Those two are way out front and Felix whispers that it would be a good day to jump on the blob! A perfect activity to relieve the tension. So off we go down to the lake.

Dallas Tales – First Night

The sun is setting over Inks Lake and the pups are about to settle in for the night. We took a vote and decided Bear will be Camp Chairman for this year. Felix will be our storyteller each night.  As Camp Chairman Bear will decide on where we stay, our excursions each day and other details. So Bear chose for all the pups to stay out at the old barn that’s on the edge of the campgrounds. Not many people know about it because it hasn’t been used in years. It has a really high front porch and is nestled back in a thicket of cedar trees barely visible from the main camp. So here we go. It was a little scraggly out there so we had some clearing to do in order to make it comfortable. Bear did a lot of the heavy digging and scratching to clear out underneath the old porch. Hank and Willow were a big help toting the scrub brush Bear dug out from under the old porch. They dragged the brush to a ravine where they dropped it over the side. Coco is off chasing an evening butterfly and well, she’s probably still trying to overcome that red head she showed up with at camp today. Poor thing I hope she’s not too embarrassed. We sent Myrtle to scout out scraps for our dinner tonight. Felix is off pondering what story he will tell tonight. I have a feeling it’s gonna be a doozy.  Luke and I have been just chilling a bit because after all Luke is getting on in years and we don’t want him to overheat.

Now, the sun has set and here comes Myrtle dragging a big bag. Wow! Myrtle didn’t disappoint. I’ve never seen such a haul in my life! Looks like I was right about that girl. She was able to go places the rest of us have never been able to go. Her climbing abilities are nothing short of incredible. The kids had just left the mess hall and she climbed right in and jumped on top of the table.  She filled that bag with left over pizza, corn dogs, apple wedges, and on the way back she snagged some rat meatloaf down by the muskrat lodge. She has heard me rave so much about the rat meatloaf she wanted to impress me with a few slices. Mmmmmm it’s gonna be delish! OK pups, dinner is served. After Bear gives thanks everyone digs in and geez it’s a feast for the first night. Normally it’s slim pickins the first night. Yum.

Myrtle has outdone herself for dinner and she even found sticks for a campfire. We got our fire started and found a place to lie down around the campfire. Felix walks around checking on each pup, then goes over by the fire and lets out a big ole howl. You could hear his howl all across the lake. One thing I’ve learned since I’ve been camping, sound travels across water like a megaphone. Myrtle sort of perks up and asked me, “what’s that howl all about? It’s a little creepy.”  I explain to Myrtle that every year when we first get to camp we give a signal across the lake to the coyotes. The signal lets the coyotes know we’re back and that we won’t be invading their territory. Myrtle takes a big gulp. She swallows hard and says, I mean, what would happen if we, you know, invaded their territory? I quickly reassure her that’s not gonna happen. We are always very careful each summer to avoid the coyote’s territory. I’m thinking to myself except for last year when we got lost. No need to give Myrtle those details.

It’s time for dinner and Myrtle proudly steps forward with her bag of goodies. I’m sooooo hungry and this is going to be especially tasty tonight. In particular the rat meatloaf is what I wait for all year. Good job Myrtle! Everyone has their fill of pizza bones and left over corn dogs. By now it’s pitch black. The location that Bear chose out by the old barn is so far out there’s not a speck of light except from our campfire. Felix begins his story for the night and just about then we hear a small whimper. Felix thinks it must be Luke and maybe he’s not feeling well. Luke speaks up, no that’s not me. Fee, as we sometimes call Felix, starts up again and hears the whimper again as do the other pups. I tell everyone to be really quiet.  In the still of the night with only the crackle of the campfire, the crickets and an occasional hoot owl, we hear it again. There’s something out there and it sounds like a tiny animal of some sort. Bear creeps towards the sound and the other pups follow. Everyone is so curious as to what it might be. We all gather around a little hollow in the ground of sorts and peer inside. No, it can’t be. Please tell me this is not what I’m thinking it could be!

Dallas Tales – Camp 2021

Campers pack your bags! Camp 2021 is gonna be an incredible year. This will be my fifth year coming to camp with my cousins. I wait all year for this day. Mama drove me up today and I’m telling you I could eat a horse. I never eat on the road so I have an appetite out of this world.  Myrtle’s here! I can’t believe she remembered this was the week for camp. I met Myrtle back in October at Cissy and Craig’s lake house. Myrtle stole a big rib eye steak right off their porch as Craig was busy inside getting things prepped for dinner. Oh wow, I’m really pumped that Myrtle remembered.

I am so ready to see my cousins, Felix, Coco, Bear, Luke, Hank and Willow. They are the most fun cousin dogs ever. It’s been a busy week at my house. Mom was making cinnamon rolls all week for Vacation Bible School. I have cinnamon dust in my nose and all I have smelled for days is cinnamon. I don’t even know if I will have an appetite for those cinnamon flavored treats Mom keeps for me. I’ve had so much icing that found it’s way onto the floor that I may not eat anything sweet for days. Barf! And if that weren’t enough Mamas decided she would make some of those cute little dessert boards for kids. I’ve never been so sick of chips, cookie crumbs, goldfish and something called Swedish Fish! What in the world? Are they from Sweden? Mama dropped a gummy worm on the floor! Wowzer, I snatched that thing and ran with it thinking it must be a small snake. I shook it and tossed it into the air. As soon as it left my mouth I caught a bit of the sweet taste. Huh, a sweet snake? I realized quickly it was a gummy worm. I like gummy worms but I need pizza bones and can hardly wait for pizza night. Those kids only eat a bite or two and now that I have a resident steak thief we’ll have plenty of pizza bones I’m thinking.

Yay, here come the cousins! Time to decide where we’ll camp for the week. I suppose the camp chairman can decide our hangout. We’ll need to elect a chairman the first night. I’m thinking it should be Bear this year. We’ll keep Felix as our camp storyteller since he is the elder camper. I can’t wait until he tells a scary story to see how Myrtle will react. Shhhhhh, don’t tell Myrtle about the scary stories.

Here comes Coco. Wait a minute, is that Coco? I mean it looks like Coco but most of her hair is red. Her entire head and ears are really dark red! “Coco, why do you have a red head?” Coco says, “whelp, the pantry was open and I thought I was able to reach the peanut butter crackers but instead I accidently got into the strawberry Kool-Aid! I accidently knocked down the Kool-Aid canister and it dumped right on my head. I begged Mom to take me and have it professionally removed but she said you’re only going to camp. You’ll be fine. I am so embarrassed. I guess those kids will think I’m Clifford The Big Red Dog.”

Here we go!

Dallas Tales – A Spooktacular Night

I’m having a Halloween party this year . I’m making an invitation for all of my pup cousins, Luke, Bear, Hank, Willow, Felix, Coco and our special invite, Myrtle.  Myrtle is my new lake friend who ate the rib eye on my Mama’s birthday night a few weeks ago. I am hoping she will come to Camp Longhorn next summer with me and all the cousins. I have always wanted to get the cousins together on Halloween night and this is the year. I can’t wait to see what costumes they’ll find. Hank was a giant lobster last year. I have the most perfect neighborhood to Trick or Treat this year. I’m sure there will be lots of candy scattered everywhere. I’m getting really excited! Here comes Mama with my costume. Wait a cotton pickin’ minute, I ain’t wearing that goofy chicken costume Mama. I really wanted to be Minnie Mouse with that cute little polka dot bow. I don’t know what Mama’s deal is with chickens. I mean her blog is named www.thebigchickenblog.com and she writes about little ole me! Last time I checked Mama, I’m a DOG! And I’m not dressing up as a chicken. Remember that summer the chickens got into our yard and I chased them and got into serious trouble? I get emotionally distressed when I think about chickens, ok? So, if I can’t be Minnie Mouse I would like to be Wonder Woman! Now that we have that settled I would like to plan the menu for the cousins. We love pizza bones, the left over crust from pizza and besides it is Bear’s favorite. I suppose we’ll have to serve Hank’s favorite, rat meatloaf. Ugh! Felix likes that stuff too. Well, it does sort of fit the occasion I suppose. Gulp. I remember that year at camp when we ate so much rat that I got sick. Now I can’t stand the thought of rat. Yep, a few years ago ole Lacy the cat attended camp with us and she caught so many rats we had to invent ways to use them all. That year we had rat burgers, fried rat legs, rat soup, rat nachos and rat tacos. Yikes, I can’t think about rat anymore or I’m gonna upchuck. We’ll definitely have smores as they are my favorite. Hot chocolate too. And potato chips. That helps cut the sweet taste in my mouth and dispel any leftover rat taste that might be lingering.

I understand there will be lots of kids this year trick or treating. I love kids. They are so fun. I have met several in the neighborhood already and they are very sweet. Mama’s gonna have treats all set for them and a few fun surprises. I can’t wait!