Camp Run-A-Pup Tails.
There is nothing like being in the family pet business if you are looking to tell a few odd stories. As I was purging camp files the other day, I began to reminisce about a few of my campers who only came to camp once, or not even once.
Buddy Bo arrived for a pre-camp visit late one afternoon with his owner mom and two twins about the age of 5. Buddy was a mild-mannered beagle with a pleasant personality. The twin boys were as wild as March hares. As Buddy Bo’s mom and I chatted, the twins took off for our trampoline. After our visit wrapped up, the mom called her boys and I realized we had a problem. Her kids did not come when called. I climbed up on the side of the trampoline to herd them off but they came at me like two wild animals kicking and biting. I backed off, and the mom assured me they would come off when they were ready. Did I mention the kids were screaming and jumping? We were stilling waiting for the twins to “be ready” when Joe returned home. When the end clearly was not in sight, and bribes of candy, coke, and suggestions of using the bathroom did not work, Joe panting and sweating forcibly removed the twins from our trampoline in a dual head lock. The mom was insulted, threatened to sue us if we hurt her children, and was clear that she would not be leaving Buddy Bo with us. Feeling very sorry for Buddy Bo, we sent them all home and treated Joe for multiple scratches.
It was Christmas day. We were very busy with Christmas-y things, but I still indulged one owner (who called every day, multiple times) by bringing her pup to the phone for a chat with Mommy. I had to clink the pup’s tags with a spoon so “Mommy could make sure her precious was close enough to the phone to fully hear her.” They chatted for about 5 minutes or so. When she called for the second time on Christmas day, (and if I did not answer the phone, she called repeatedly leaving hysterical messages) I answered the phone, but before I could bring the camper up for his visit with his mommy, Joe motioned me to stop. He grabbed a spoon and a glass. I caught on immediately. I held the phone down, Joe clinked the glass lightly with the spoon several times, and the owner and her precious fur had a very nice talk. I never accepted another reservation.
One afternoon, I received a call from a prospective client who told me his dog had issues with other dogs, hated children, barely tolerated men, could not be crated, and was extremely aggressive with food and toys. I explained to the owner that our Camp was a very social environment, and I had a young son and a husband. The owner immediately went on to reassure me that his dog would do great at Camp with me; it was my son, husband and other dogs that would be the problem. I regretfully turned down the reservation.
Debbie came to camp more than once, but my family often wished she hadn’t. Debbie, a rat terrier, was rescued by a young school teacher and her son. Debbie’s original owner had died and the rescue organization had been less than honest with Debbie’s adoptive family about her ornery disposition, eye and skin issues, and other health problems. However, on a school teacher’s budget, the single mom and her son did their best for Debbie. When they traveled for two weeks during the summer, Debbie camped with me. She hated Joe. She hated Cole. She hated other dogs. She barked unless she was with me, and she peed in the house. She also itched a lot and had oily skin. I loved Debbie and she adored me. I think we were best friends in another life. My family loathed her and counted the days until her visit ended. Joe would often say, “We don’t get paid enough to keep that dog.” Little did he know we did not get paid at all.
The campers that do camp with us are the best, and those that don’t provide me with a lot of great storytelling material!
Tell me about your precious furs … What do you love best about them?
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