Article – Wilderdog, Author – Alex
With summer rapidly approaching, you’re probably planning this year’s epic camping trips. Dogs, of course, get to come along for the best weekend of their lives. Alex (@adventuresibes) shares her first overnight adventure with nine month old Mika…
I’m in my tent, barely awake, my body refusing to let my mind open to the world, but enjoying the birds’ songs as they awake in the morning. My older dog, Kyra, comes to lay next to me as she does every camp morning. It is my little puppy Mika’s first morning on her first real camping trip. Mika wakes up and promptly begins pacing around, whining and crying. She jolts me awake-awake at the unearthly hour of 5:40 AM.
I get up, thinking it’s morning and she’ll go to the bathroom and come back into the tent to sleep for at least a half hour. So I sleepily slip on my shoes, climb out of the tent and walk her around. After she’s done her business, I crawl back into my tent and snuggle back into my sleeping bag for a few more minutes of sleep. But just as my mind slowly starts to drift back into that dream state, Mika is up again. I know she doesn’t have to go to the bathroom so I assume she needs a moment to realize we aren’t leaving the tent and she will settle. Nope. Instead of a little whimper and whine, she starts to loudly yelp. I really don’t want her to wake up everyone else at camp.
Mika knows her other dog friends are out there in their tents, and she is awake and ready to play. Of course, she expects everyone in our tent, and everyone in the surrounding tents to wake up and play as well. Great, just what we all want at 6am!
Puppies are hard enough when you’re home, which doesn’t make them any easier sleeping in an unfamiliar tent in an unfamiliar campground. But, to Mika’s credit, other than the early morning tent issue, my new pup caught on to camping pretty quickly.
We all eventually wake up and climb out of the tents to wait for our friends to wake. We cook breakfast, and watch the dogs wrestle and explore. We also plan what we want to do for the day. Usually that first day means going on a hike and getting their energy out. Then we can be a little lazy and relax for the rest of the trip.
This camping trip we chose to do one of my favorite hikes in the High Uintas Wilderness located near Kamas, Utah. This spot was really special to my first dog, Aleu. She passed last September, so it seemed like the perfect choice to dedicate this camping trip to her memory.
We head back to camp after the hike with some happy and tired pups. They lay in the shade by the cars, on our camping chairs, or at our feet. Mika settled in pretty quickly, following Kyra 24/7. Kyra is a pretty lazy dog at home and an even lazier camper. She went right to a comfy spot to snooze, and so did Mika.
When the evening arrives and the sky gets dark, Kyra likes to be put to bed. She throws a tantrum, yelping, barking and running to the tent to be let inside. However, Mika takes that opportunity to become your Velcro dog. She climbs onto your lap, curling up into a tight little cinnamon roll to fall asleep. This part of camping is truly my favorite. The campfire is crackling, we’re making s’mores, drinking with friends and playing music. We watch our sleepy and tired pups, knowing that we have given them one of their best days ever.
On the second morning, I’m thinking that Mika HAS to sleep in a little bit later considering how tired she was yesterday, right? Wrong. Again, it’s about 6am, and she’s whimpering and crying to get out of the tent to see her friends and start the day. We’re all pretty tired, but who can get mad at that face?
Mika continues to get more comfortable camping each time we go. Camping with puppies, and a stubborn puppy at that, is difficult and sometimes incredibly frustrating. It’s also pretty wonderful to watch the bewilderment and excitement enter Mika’s eyes and the grin she has on her face being outdoors. I wish I could go back to that very first time I took her camping and see her romp out of the tent to start the day with so much tenacity. We can’t wait for camping season this summer!
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