We camp in a fifth wheel. We winterize our 5th wheel late fall every stinking year. Always with a sad face. Because we love to camp and the winter feels like an eternity when we can’t go camping.
Our part of the world experienced record breaking cold temperatures this past winter. And they lasted for a record breaking fourteen day period. Why does this matter? Well, it can mean winterization fails. AKA, cracks and leaks. Ugh.
Thus, our annual spring shakedown camping trip was taken with trepidation. Actually, for more reasons than winterization fails.
Reason #2? A new puppy. Our old puppy was a Boston Terrier who was the easiest calmest quietest best camping puppy ever. She loved to camp and ran eagerly out to our truck when it was time to go. New puppy is five months old and not a Boston Terrier. She is a Shihpoo (heavy on the “poo”). She’s adorable and we love her. But she is a puppy with energy. And she has a voice.
And she’s……pretty much……just about…..potty trained.
We reserved a three night stay at a lake close by and prayed for the best.
Set up was flawless and the puppy seemed cool enough with the situation. We had purchased a pop-up nylon “crate” for her sleeping which would be set up in the bedroom part of our fifth wheel. Except, it was too large for the allotted space. We maneuvered it into a spot in the closet of the bedroom and put her favorite blankey in there along with her stuffed dog that has a “real” heartbeat at night. Yes, she is spoiled.
Next up was turning on the water inside the camper. As instructed by the mister, I turned on the faucets while he waited outside to verify no leakage. Quickly, very very quickly, I heard him yelling “There’s water everywhere turn it off NOW”. So of course, being the ever obedient wifey, I turned the water off.
Happily, the issue was merely a cap on the low point drain that had sustained a tiny crack from freezing. (don’t ask, I don’t know what that cap is for). The mister carries extra caps ordinarily, but apparently this wasn’t ordinary timing. There were no spare caps. And it was Easter Sunday with no hardware stores open in the nearby town. NO big deal, he says. We’ll just leave the water off until Monday when the stores are open. In the meantime we filled up a couple empty water jugs to put in the camper to use.
Back to the ShihPOO. I’ll just insert this important factoid into the conversation right now. Bostons are short hair, no grooming needed, wonderful animals. Shihpoos are furry creatures with extensive grooming needed. Their fur grows at an unbelievably fast rate of speed and simply MUST be trimmed. You’ll see why in a minute.
We spent the rest of the afternoon organizing and setting up our camper for the coming season. Always exciting and fun. Everything seemed in order and later that evening we prepared to go to bed. One last potty trip for puppy girl before putting her in her fancy nylon pop-up crate.
As we were walking her back from the potty spot she selected, which was quite a distance from the camper, she immediately starting scooting on her butt and would not walk like a normal
human puppy. Though we had owned a furry dog long ago somehow we’d forgotten about the perils of pooping when there is too much fur on your butt.
Let’s just call this whole deal a “furd” catastrophe.
The Mr held onto the puppy while I did an exam of the specified area of her body. Apparently the furd had been accumulating for a while and was firmly matted into her fur. Oh happy day. Remember, we had no water available except from the outside faucet and it was cold out that evening. Trying to pour from the container of water we had inside the camper was cumbersome at best. So we didn’t even attempt that. What next, you ask? Well, a small pair of scissors would have been nice. But the only scissors I could locate were some extra large sewing type shears. Extra. Large. And our Shihpoo is tiny. Like 4.8 pounds to be precise. The shears were bigger than her.
Like good puppy parents we gently cut away that nasty furd and cleaned her up with some baby wipes I found that were only about half wet. Suboptimal at best. But what else could we do?
Then, totally exhausted and more than a little frustrated, we headed to bed. Shihpoo was tenderly placed in her new crate with her blankey and heartbeat dog to comfort her. And we crawled into our nice comfy queen size bed right next to her. For about 1.75 minutes. At which time puppy moved around a bit and the quite lightweight nylon bed crate started tumbling here and there, disturbing everything nearby it. And of course puppy exercised her voice loudly and continued to jump and move and disturb probably everyone in the surrounding area. Our natural instinct was to just wait it out until she calmed down. Ha. Like that would happen.
What did we do? We did what any elderly exhausted puppy parents would do. We put her in bed with us. With her freshly but not expertly cleaned puppy butt which did not smell even slightly good. Oh happy….night. Not.
The next day a new cap was installed, the water was turned on, all was well. And I decided to bathe puppy. The only shampoo I could find was some old baby shampoo. Like really old. Our oldest grandchild is 15 years and I think I used it for him. I opened the cap to discover it had totally congealed. I was able to squeeze out a little blob of it and somehow created a wee bit of lather for bathing purposes. It worked good enough. And I threw out the rest of that bottle of solidified shampoo.
You are probably thinking “why on earth do they go camping” or “why on earth did they get a puppy”. Stop that negativity right now. 😂 The rest of our short stay was successful, the next night of sleep sublime.
We love camping, we love our puppy, and we’ve already taken our second trip which was splendid in every way.