Stella Goes Camping

She knew something was up – the packing, the odd boxes full of weird things, the tent in the living room getting an extra dose of water-proofing. And so she whined. And whined. And whined. Maybe she thought they were leaving her. Whatever the case may be, she was apprehensive and antsy.

Then came the long car ride. When they stopped she got out and raced around. Usually a trek into the woods means a hike. But today there were chairs pulled out and tents erected and food prepared. She seemed so confused. Why were they in the middle of nowhere sitting around?

There were a few forays into the deeper woods to gather wood and explore. She’s a competent little hiker and a great little watch dog, keeping an eye on both Alpha and Beta, making sure she knows where everyone is at all times.

And then it started getting chilly. The large fire, the first she’s ever seen, was a bit scary and so she kept her distance choosing to lay on the cold ground and shiver. And so, because she’s a spoiled pooch, out came the bed and blankets and in went a little pup to warm up.

Soon it was time for bed. At first glance, the tent was just too bizarre and so she bolted. Once she figured out it was just a den full of her people and warmth, she was all for it snuggling up at against the legs of her pack and snoozing the night away.

The next day she seemed more relaxed and in the flow. Did she think this was the way it was from here on out? That now they all lived in the woods? Whatever the case may be, she was enjoying it. There were little trips to explore nearby meadows, treks up, down and across the stream, a nap in the tent, and then her buddy Jonah showed up and she wiggled in excitement. Apparently he was going to be living with them in the woods.

And so a few days passed and there was a long hike – straight up and straight down, a rousing game of all-terrain Bocce (“Why throw a ball and not chase it?” she pondered), wild strawberries to be eaten, plenty of beer consumed (by the humans, of course), and the odd human ritual of digging a hole to poop in.

Through all of it she was a good, conscientious little camper – not knocking over anything in camp, not licking plates left on the ground, not shaking her wet body off in the tarp city.

Then everything was packed back up and the long trek home began. It’s not nearly as fun a trip as the trip in, but it must be made – each mile taking them further out of the woods and down into the hot cities below.

And then they were home and there was unpacking to do, baths all-around, laundry to tackle, a thirsty garden to water, and raspberries to pick and eat. But she had a reminder of the adventure in the form of a slime of tree sap that just wouldn’t come off her fur.

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