Can your dog do this? Do you really want him to?
I am a good retriever, but this is nothing but a cheap, posed photo.
That guy shot it last spring, when the garden was kicking out poppies, tomatoes, cabbages, turnips, beets, spinach, kale and a bunch of other stuff. Then the gophers came and started helping themselves, the little bastards. I got one, but a dog can only do so much, and they kept coming. That guy wasn’t happy, but he still had a lot of veggies last year.
Anyway, that guy never lets me have beer, so I can’t tell you what I like, only what he brings on camping trips and stuff. Most are IPAs. There’s a lot of Sierra Nevada, which is where uncle Jason and uncle Keith work, but he likes to work some others into the rotation, something about supporting good, local small businesses and all that.
He used to like Hop Knot, which is brewed by Four Peaks, but then Budweiser bought ’em, so he has moved on: Dilly dilly!
He likes Modus Hoperandi out of Ska Brewing in Durango and Lumberyard out of Flagstaff. A seasonal pale ale by Ska. Lately, he’s been into a Flagstaff IPA called Tower Station, by Mother Road. A while back he said some nice things about Sleepy Dog’s Tail Chaser IPA, but he may have been talking about the white dog, because she’s the sleepiest dog EV-er.
He and uncle Dave complain that the ninjas drink their beer on camping trips. Maybe you’ve run into them. You know how, when you crack open a beer, and before you have a chance to finish it, the can is empty and someone has tossed it aside? Happens a lot. It doesn’t seem to matter where we go – Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah.
They always follow.
We never see them.
Because, well, they’re ninjas. That guy is totally serious about leaving a clean camp, so in the morning, he has to pick up all the empties. I wish everyone would do that.
There’s a bird in the bush.
I seem to remember an old saying about that, something That Guy said about a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. I think it means don’t get greedy. If you have what you need, then don’t get too worked up about getting twice as much.
That’s good advice for dogs and people. Especially for people. Dogs don’t really have much stuff. I have a collar — that’s about it. I don’t need much stuff. I just need dog chow.
I used to have a futon on the back porch. I used to put sticks and rocks on it – you know, make the place look nice.
Then, one day, I swear, the futon just exploded. Stuffing everywhere. It’s a wonder nobody got hurt. Actually, I may have destroyed the futon. Hard to say. I don’t really remember. All I know is That Guy threw the futon away after it happened.
Where was I? Oh, yeah, there’s a bird in the bush. Right there. Check it out.
I like camping. It’s a nice change from lying around the house all day, which is what 16-year-old dogs do. That comes out to about 100 in man years.
Camping lets me get out and smell the forest duff, ramble across the meadow on a summer day, eat cow flops and trash that sloppy campers leave behind. Usually, we backpack, which means That Guy carries a bunch of stuff in a heavy bag, and he has lot of stuff. He usually lets me sleep in the tent. It’s warmer in there. I like that.
One time, when Blue was still around, we found a skunk. That Guy was not happy. He splashed creek water on us, said some bad words and set up camp. He said some more words and tied us to a log before going into the tent that night. We were going to whine about it, but he gave us that look.
It can get chilly in Arizona, but in the morning, when That Guy wakes up, he goes out to make coffee. That’s when I make my move. It’s mine – all mine – the tent, the bag, the sleeping pad, until the sun comes over the trees and its time to go lie down somewhere else. Happiness.
Ah, to sleep, perchance to snore, oh what dreams may come when we shuffle off this synthetic coil to lie in dirt.