Thursday, June 11, 2015

This is Jack. His owners are staying at Ocean Waves Campground. They wanted to take a day trip to Ocracoke Island today, and mentioned they were thinking of putting Jack in a kennel for a day. This conversation happened yesterday, while I was working in the store. Anyway, one thing lead to another, and I offered to dog sit for the day.  In my mind, it was great, because I wasn't working today, and I could get a bit of a canine fix. I failed to remember that we clean bathhouses on Thursdays. Oops. Raymond was quick to point out my error when I mentioned that the Peters would be bringing Jack by to acclimate a little bit yesterday evening.

This morning, Jack's owners came by to drop him off at 6AM, on their way to the ferry. They bought his favorite toy, his chewy bone, his food & water dishes, treats, his towel, and his leash and long tie out and his dinner. Off they went, after making sure we had each other's phone numbers, just in case. Jack was fine, until they pulled out and drove off. At that point he seemed a little anxious.

The temperature at 6:30 was already 74F, with humidity at 98%. The question on my mind, and Raymond's was: when will we be able to do the bathrooms? If we waited till Jack's parents returned, it would be too late for bathroom duty, as well as, way too hot. Taking Jack with us made no sense. Leaving Jack alone, even for a couple of hours seemed irresponsible. Especially, since Jack had reacted to his owners' leaving by standing at the edge of the driveway, starring off in the direction they went for several minutes.  

It was decided that I would take the work truck, go and do the ladies side in all three bathhouses. Then, Ray would take the golf cart and do the men's sides. I would go first, since Ray was in the middle of his daily viewing of Mike & Mike, on ESPN. 

Once out doing the bathhouses, I decided to do both the men's and women's at the beach bathhouse and the middle bathhouse. My plan was to then let Ray do the remaining small bathhouse, which is close to our site. That way, he could access everything he needed without having to transfer it to a golf cart. The plan seemed to be a good one. (Leaving aside the details of how awful the ladies beach and men's middle were.) I was happy to get my portion done. I was looking forward to a shower and spending time with Jack. 

When I approached our RV, Ray and Jack were outside. Ray had taken Jack for a short walk and a pee break. Only now, Jack refused to return to the RV. I took Jack's lead, and Ray went inside. I asserted, begged, cajoled, and pleaded, yet Jack simply hunkered down, refusing to walk toward the RV. The sun was baking, and it was sticky hot! But Jack was having none of moving toward the cool air of the RV. So, I thought, let's walk across the street to the shade and grass, which we did. Still, any move to walk anywhere near the direction of our RV, was met with diligent opposition from Jack. I am not sure how much Jack weighs, but he is muscular and when he stops, there is no moving him. So, we walked. Farther from the RV. We got as far as site number 6, where Mr Stuart and Ms Stella are camped. Theirs is a shady site. Jack still refused to turn toward the highway and the direction of our RV. Now his refusal came in the form of lying down in the grass by Stuart and Stella's picnic table. I tried being authoritative. I tried bribery. I tried pleading. Jack was having none of it. 

Finally, Mr Stuart came out. He tried being authoritative. He tried being commanding. Still Jack refused to budge. Stuart went inside and returned with a bribe, consisting of bread. Jack liked the bread, even stood up, but still refused to walk, especially in the direction of our RV. Stuart suggested I go and get the Jeep, while he stayed with Jack the statue. 

I returned driving the Jeep, with Jack's favorite toy alongside me. I pulled up next to where Jack had planted himself, leaned over, opened the passenger door, said, "Come, Jack! I have your toy!" Jack was up, and in the Jeep, almost before I got that out of my mouth!  Stuart closed the door to the Jeep and said, "Well, now we know what this dog likes - he likes to go for a ride."

I drove to our site, got Jack out of the passenger side, after showing him his toy, and talking up how awesome that toy is. I had a minor moment of panic when I thought Jack was going to put on the brakes, but I kept using my excited, playtime voice, and he finally bounded toward the RV. I opened the door and he leaped up the steps, into the cool air inside. He sat sweetly, looking as though none of the previous activity ever took place. Then, he happily took the treat I offered, drank some water, laid down, and went to sleep.

Sleepytime Jack