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!

Dallas Tales – Myrtle The Steak Thief

It was Mom’s birthday dinner last night. Uncle Craig worked soooo hard to make her day very special. We headed to the lake, stopping to pick up some delicious Hutchins Bar-B-Que for lunch on our way. Geez it smelled so incredible. My pup cousins, Coco and Felix, arrived later in the afternoon and thats when I met Myrtle, a very lively young pup for sure. She’s a labrador greyhound mix who can run like greased lighting. She has gymnastic skills that enable her to walk a board fence like a tightrope. As darkness fell Myrtle ambled downhill to her cottage by the lake. Things are smelling good as Uncle Craig fired up the grill to prepare Mom’s favorite for dinner. Steak night! Hopefully there will be scraps for us pups. It was a lovely evening on the back porch where we decided to have dinner.Uncle Craig is scurrying in and out of the house while making certain the grill is just right before he plops the steaks on at the last minute. He prepped the steaks in his sous vide and placed the bag in the chair next to the grill. One more trip inside and he’ll be ready to finish those incredible steaks. Like a flash of light a blonde streak appeared out of the darkness. OMG…..Was that a bag I saw hanging from Myrtle’s mouth? No it couldn’t be. Surely not! Oh no…the ribeye is missing! The steak thief disappeared into the darkness with the stealth of a jaguar. I wonder how she’s gonna explain that messy plastic bag on her Dad’s porch? Myrtle’s pretty clever but she forgot one very important thing…the truth will always come out. And there’s always consequences. I do hope my new little friend didn’t have an upset tummy the next morning. I’m pretty excited to meet this gal Myrtle because she has some great skills. I’m hoping she decides to attend Camp Longhorn next summer with me and all my cousin pups. A steak thief might come in real handy!

Dallas Tales-Campfire Celebration 2020


This is the last night of camp and what a meal we had! The hot dog and hamburger scraps were divine. Now for the best part. Who’s bringing the marshmallows? “Marshmallows? What are those asks Willow.” “Hahahahaha silly girl. You will soon find out about the best treat at camp,” said Dallas. We sent Hank to scout for the marshmallows because we needed someone who could climb. Hank would need to discreetly climb thru the window of the mess hall. Nothing is air conditioned out at camp so the windows are always open. They have those big fans going all the time that provided plenty of noise distraction. Hank sees his chance while the kitchen crew was taking their break. In through the window he goes and snatches 2 big bags of marshmallows. He makes off with them like a bandit. Good job Hankster! What else do we have for our campfire tonight? Oh my, Hank jumped back in a second time and grabbed a big pack of gummy worms. Woohoo! Before the sun goes down we need to go out to the edge of the lake and start our bonfire. All the pups scouted for small limbs and brought them back and stacked them. Dallas grabbed small scraps of paper and put them under the sticks. Yay, Felix remembered to pack that little cheap magnifying glass the kids found in a box of Cracker Jacks. We carefully placed it above the paper and waited for the sun to cause combustion. Meaning first there was smoke then we had Bear slowly wag his big fluffy tail to provide enough wind for the paper to catch fire. And just like that we had us a bonfire! Now everyone has to find a stick for their marshmallows. Willow says, “what are we doing? I’ve never seen anything like this before. How do I find a stick?” Hank agrees to help get her situated.

Soon we were feasting on gummy worms and after the fire cooled a bit we roasted marshmallows. My my, this might be our best camp ever says Luke. He always says that every year.

Felix goes first and talks about the events of their hike up the mountain a few days ago. Felix said, “I have to apologize for leading a very dangerous hike. I failed to plan our route and as a result I accidently ventured over into the coyote territory. We promised old Aztec, the head coyote, a few years back we would never do that again. Thankfully the coyotes realized it was all a big mistake and that we meant no harm. We were lucky those wild hogs were in their territory tearing up the place.” Dallas said, “Felix when we go on a hike we have a leader but it’s also our individual responsibilities to speak up if we sense something might not be just right. It’s ok.” The other pups chimed in and agreed with Dallas. The howling of approval filled the evening air. They all howled at the top of their lungs. When it got quiet, they heard ole Aztec howling across the lake. Willow is shaking now and said, “oh no is that coyote coming to eat me up?” The pups had come to recognize old Aztec’s howl. He has a howl when he’s mad and a howl when he is just sending greetings. This night he was sending greetings. No Willow, Aztec howls in peace tonight. We can rest.

I would like to introduce you to our cast of pups in case you’re not part of our family.

I write these stories and send them to my grandchildren every year while they are at camp. The dogs listed in the story belong to them, their cousins and me. I will describe all the dogs for you so you know what kind of dog they are and can imagine their role in the story.

Dallas is my little pup and she is a Jack Russell

Felix is a big Irish Crème Golden Retriever.

Coco is also a big Irish Crème Golden Retriever younger than Felix.

Hank and Willow are Catahoula hound dogs that live with my granddaughter in Mississippi. Willow is only 6 months old

My other older grandchildren live in The Woodlands. Their dogs are:

Luke, a Schnauzer is about 11 years old.

Bear, a huge German shepherd is about 3 years old.

I pretend that when the kids go away to camp that the dogs go as well. These stories are the dogs adventures at camp.

To read more stories you can go to www.thebigchickenblog.com













Dallas Tales-Praise For The Team


It’s taken me days to come to my senses after that mad dash off the hillside escaping from first the hogs and then our brush with the coyotes. Never in my wildest imagination did I ever think about hogs being out here. We see them at the deer camp all the time but we’re always in Dad’s truck. They look like harmless little farm animals from the truck; but baby on the ground they are something else! Thank heavens Felix put me in charge of that escape. Not that I don’t think for one minute Fee couldn’t have gotten us out of there. Fee demonstrated the most important quality of a good leader. When you are out of your range of expertise you reach out for the most qualified. Thanks for your vote of confidence Felix!

I wanna say right here and now my group of cousins are the smartest dogs ever. They listened and followed all my instructions to the letter. Even little first time camper Willow did a great job. Felix was a champ and gave everyone a sense that it was gonna be all right. Bear just by his powerful presence assured us we could get out of this problem safely. Little Luke helped Willow not be so nervous. Hank grew up a lot on this hillside and got serious when his fellow pups needed him. Coco followed Felix in standing tall in the face of danger. What a gang!

We’ve all learned so much at camp this year. That’s what camp is all about. So it’s off to bed early and we’ll have stories to tell for a very long time. Hey Dallas, asked Hank, “are we gonna tell scary stories tonight?” Little Willow starts shaking. Ummmmm, no Hank, I think we’ve all had enough action for a while.