Sunday, March 6, 2011

Barbie's First Camping Trip

Being a long weekend, we decided that we could take Barbie camping for one night - her first trip ever.

We camped down near Dwellingup, and it took a couple of hours to get to the campsite. There were a few people there when we got there, but it was easy to find a nice spot in the shade. The first thing we did is set up the tent, and we then went on a hike to a supposed 'waterfall'. I didn't think there would be much water, as we are nearing the end of a very long, hot, dry summer. It was about 3 kilometres out to the water fall, and then there was a 1.3 kilometre circuit around the waterfall.

Neither of the dogs were conditioned to walking on a rough pea gravel track, and Barbie was a bit sore and hot, so Nic went and got the car for us, while we waited.

This is where the water is supposed to be.... but no water!

I promised Barbie I would get her some hiking boots and a swamp cooler jacket. Her tongue was lolling out of her mouth and onto the red dirt. Occasionally she reeled her tongue back in and made some chewing motions, eating the dirt.

Barbie was very happy to get back into the car.

We checked out an old Prisoner of War Camp on the way back. It was mainly Italian POWs who were imprisoned here in WWII, and they were used as forced labour in the countryside. A few escaped, one rode a pushbike to Perth (I love how that was considered an impressive feat - it's only 150ks or so!). They built relationships with the local farmers and there were romances - some of the escapees were found at the local pub soaking up the culture.

Barbie had sore feet but she tried her valiant best and walked around to all the ruins.

We got back to the tent and Barbie made herself at home in the tent on her bed. She was a little disturbed by the tent flapping in the wind for the first... three minutes, then she went straight back to sleep. She is such an adaptable and low maintenance dog!

She learned to treat the tent as her crate, and she was happy to sit on her bed in there and watch us through the mesh doors as we made dinner. She didn't cause us any problems, but Bender was a bit of a pest.

The overnight temperature dropped a bit more than expected, and Bender was cold, so he spent all night sleeping on top of me, or stealing my blankets. Barbie slept on her bed, though she occasionally kicked N. Bender decided he *had* to go outside at some ungodly hour - it was still dark outside. I took them both out on their leads, and Barbie went to the toilet automatically. Bender did not. He didn't need to go, he was just stirring trouble!

The next day we were awoken by the sounds of cannons at the nearby orchards and Bender was very stressed. He really hates loud banging noises. Barbie was still sleepy so I left them in the tent with N & the newspaper while I cooked bacon and eggs for breakfast. I am always the camp cook, apparently I am good at it.

N came out to eat breakfast and she bought the dogs out too. They got a piece of bacon each. We put them in the car while we packed the tent because Bender was still freaking about the ongoing blasting sounds.

We went for a drive then, to explore Lane Poole Reserve. Barbie went for a paddle in the river. There was also an incident with the car's electric windows at Lane Poole. We had stopped and N was winding up the rear windows, but Barbie didn't move her head. She screamed and leapt backwards when her head got stuck in the window! No lasting damage but I'm not sure she will hang her head out of the window any more :(

We then went to Waroona dam. It is also known as Lake Navarino.

This dam is a ski area, but not at the moment. You can see the line where the rocks turn to red dirt? I have never seen the water level below that line. The ski area is closed, and you can see the ski area buoys sitting on red dirt.

Barbie wanted to go for a paddle but the dry red dirt was tough on her sensitive feet.

We went for a walk but Barbie stuck to the vehicle tracks. There were still plenty of people around even though the dam was at a record low level.

Bender swam in the dam fetching his ball when we went for a little walk.

After all that excitement we went back in the car. We stopped in Dwellingup for pies, and deliberately parked under a car port that was marked 'private parking only' for the pups. We went in and chose pies, and then I went back to the car about 5 minutes later to find Barbie in the front passenger seat eating the nuts I spilled earlier. There were some macadamias in there!!

I rang the emergency vet and they told me given her weight and estimated consumption she should be OK but if she showed any symptoms it would be up to 6 hours later. It's been over 7 hours and so far no ill effects. Lucky dog. I will never trust her in the car with food again!

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