Sunday, June 30, 2013

Grif Wants to Canoe

On Saturday, three of the male counselors built a raft and brought it to the boating bay to see if it would float. Nate was visiting for the weekend and so we went down to watch the spectacle. We brought the dogs- which always adds another level of chaos and ridiculousness to any situation, but they wanted to see the boat too.

What I didn't know is that Griffin wants to learn to canoe. When the guys needed canoe paddles, Griffin was desperate to get his paws on one... so I gave him a small one and he carried it all over and looked quite proud. He carried it all the way back to our house when we left.

Bulldogs are NOT water dogs- they sink like rocks. However, my dogs LOVE the water. I let them go to the beach and camp is on a peninsula, so we are nearly all waterfront, but EVERYONE is aware of the sink-ability of bulldogs and both kids and staff have been warned REPEATEDLY to alert me if they see bulldogs by water without me.

Griffin and Olivia have dog lifejackets and lots of people looking out for them, but I take water safety very seriously (not only with bulldogs, but I am also a Red Cross lifeguard trainer and responsible for certifying all of the guards at camp).

So really, Grif won't be canoeing any time soon (remember the first and only time bulldogs were in a boat?! But how cute is he with his paddle?!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Camp Dogs

One of my favorite camp activities is unofficial. I like to call it, "Camp Dogs and Campers Get Mutually Tired". After dinner, cabin groups have "free time" before evening activities. During this time, I take the dogs out for their evening play time. So often, dog play time and camper play time become one. The campers love to chase the dogs chasing the ball. It works out well because everyone gets tired and after 15 minutes or so, I get to send everyone on their way and I have two tired happy dogs and counselors have tired happy kids.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Living the Good Life

Staff training lasts about two weeks- the first few days are lifeguarding and CPR and then it is 12 hours a day of nonstop activity. It's been BUSY but you don't need to worry about Grif and Liv- every short break I had was spent playing with the puppies and they also got to come to some of the all camp events, so they have been just fine.

It's a tough life being a bulldog...
Griffin doesn't really enjoy playing- he'll chase the ball every now and then. But he very much enjoys getting his belly rubbed. Lucky for him, we have an AMAZING assistant camp director who not only keeps camp running, but also spends her free time on the field with me. I kick the ball for Liv and she and Grif lay in the shade and relax. Here is a video of the most ridiculous dog in the world!

Olivia is staying busy with her ball, lounging on the porch, and bossing the staff around. Griffin is super affectionate and lovable, and the staff have taken to him. Meanwhile, I have had more than one staff comment that they think Olivia looks like she is judging them. I told them they were accurate in that observation. She mostly thinks she is better than everyone and doesn't have time for them unless they have something for her. 

At the opening campfire, Olivia and Griffin joined us. I know bulldogs aren't supposed to eat marshmallows, but Olivia loves them and I am not a perfect bulldog mom, so I let her... I know, I know...
As soon as we got to the fire circle, Olivia started DEMANDING a marshmallow. After she interrupted my opening speech to the staff a few times, I looked at her and said, "10 MINUTES!" She sat down, closed her mouth and waited patiently. One of the staff said, "does she really understand?" I know it makes me sound crazy, but I really think she does understand. 

When I started roasting a marshmallow, she leaned against me the whole time, acting like she'd like me to give her the stick, knowing the marshmallow was for her. After eating hers, she attempted to help Abby hand out marshmallows to the rest of the staff and then helped everyone clean off their sticks between marshmallows.

At the all camp game later in the week, Olivia appointed herself referee. She insisted on being in the middle of things. This is a photo of the two of us. I would like to note that I was sitting there first and she jumped up on her own and then wiggled her way behind me so she could be in the best position. She can't jump on the couch- she prefers someone lift her like a princess, but when she wants to be somewhere, she develops an amazing ability to jump. 
My biggest battle has been with the bulldogs and dirt. They LOVE rolling in the dirt. I brush them and wipe them down with wet wipes, clean their ears and wrinkles, brush their teeth and feel so good when I snuggle my clean puppies. And then as fast as they can, they find a pile of dirt and roll around- absolutely joyful. "Oh don't worry about it, I'll just wipe my face off on your sheets or on the couch" is the look they give me when I find them. I continue to try to keep the house (and the bullies) clean, but it's not going well. If that's my biggest issue, I guess I'm doing okay, but I am going to keep trying!
Campers come today!! Let the fun begin!!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Dog Thoughts

This is Olivia after she buried her bone in the wet, muddy sand. She walked around for a long time and after some thought, she went behind some bushes. When she came out, this was her face.

I burst out laughing and grabbed my phone to take her photo. This was the fourth attempt because she did NOT want her picture taken and kept turning her head away from me.

When I finally got a picture, she looked utterly disgusted at me and stomped off. When we went inside a little while later, she emphatically jumped on the couch and refused to come to bed with me.

Dogs can get embarrassed and angry too.

Griffin has also been doing some thinking lately. Yesterday, we were sitting inside but the door was open. The staff house is only about 30 feet away from my house, so when they make noise, we can hear them.

They were being pretty loud and Griffin noticed. I thought he was just barking at the noise, but when he continued to bark and whine at the gate, I eventually let him out. He marched right over to the house. When he got inside, he made the rounds, sniffing and getting petted by everyone.

He looked pretty content sitting with a group of them who were playing the guitar. He was not a happy puppy when I made him leave shortly after arrival. He was ready to hang out with all of his new friends and I ruined his night.

So overall, I'm the mean puppy mom right now. Poor bullies...