Camping bliss

We went camping, again! Great! I can’t get enough of it, so I am very glad M likes it as much as I do. Do you know what I like most of it? Every time we go camping is an Adventure in itself, because one never knows what will happen. Last time we had fighting squirrels near the van, for instance. But even if there are no Adventures, I still love it. Because when we are camping we are doing my favorite things. Like sleeping late, together in one warm bed:

And hiking! We found some very pretty paths this time:

What is more: when we are camping I guard the van. I am very good at that. No one dares to come near to our van.

I may look cute, with my pretty ears and long nose, but make no mistake: I am a ferocious guarding dog. I really like sitting next to the van like this, watching the surroundings and staring meaningfully at humans, canines and squirrels that dare come too close. They keep their distance. Good. I love camping!

Wagging

In my last post I wrote about the benefits of having a tail. Some humans pointed out to me that I forgot to write about something that is typical for dogs and tails: wagging. Dogs wagging their tails are happy, those humans tell me.

I am sorry to spoil their idea, an idea that is shared by a lot of humans. It is a misconception. We are not always happy when we wag our tail. To be precise: tail wagging has nothing to do with happiness! When we wag our tails, it means we are agitated. Sometimes we are agitated because we sense something nice is going to happen (yummy food! squeaky ball!) and in a way you can say that we are happy then. But when we wag our tail it can also mean we are insecure, angry or even scared.

Is that confusing? Not to canines. We sense each others energy, we know what the other dog means. To humans it can be confusing, because they have not learned how to read our body language. I will give them a clue. Look at the position of our tail when we are wagging. Is the tail up high in the air and wagging fast, it means a dog is over exited. He is not happy, he can even become aggressive. One sees this often when dogs meet. His tail will be high, wagging fast and he will make his body look bigger, standing tense. Usually he will be very close to the other dog. Too close to my liking – when a dog approaches me like this I snap, because they do not respect my personal space. Usually snapping helps, especially with intrusive males.

If the tail is very low, wagging fast, it means a dog is over exited too. It is exited and a little scared, with a look on its face that means ‘ooooh I do love you and I know we will go and do something awesome but will you please tell me what it is because I am really insecure right now!’ Something like that. This dog is not truly happy and his  wagging tail is showing exitement and insecurity.

Then there is the third position: a medium raised tail, wagging slowly. This means the dog is relaxed and yes, most of the time you can say she is happy. Usually you can see this with dogs that are walking leisurely, sniffing her and there, doing some quiet explorations.

Tail

In some ways humans are better off than canines. They can always walk off leash, for instance. But if one takes a holistic point of view, canines have the most benefits. We are the ones with the happy simple lives: we guard, play and eat when we want and sleep the rest of the time. Much better than humans, who seem to be in a hurry all the time doing… yes, what exactly? I don’t know. Working, M tells me. Working for what, when they already have a house and plenty of food?

When it comes to physical differences canines are much better off than humans, too. Humans seem to navigate on one sense only: eyesight. Canines have sharp eyes, but also extraordinary hearing and smelling capabilities. Not to mention our seventh sense, which enables us to feel trouble that is coming to us (like a bad mannered dog in the dog park). We have wonderful warm fur (no clothes needed), pretty ears and, best of all: a tail. Humans do not have a tail. And that is very sad for them. With a tail, you see, one can do so many things.

Like using it as a counterweight when something asks for thorough nose-investigation.

It is also a clear tool for communication, as you can see: my friend near the water signals me she is ready for playing and I answer her with my tail in the same position. The game is on, friend!

The tail high up means: I am stronger than you are, try me! It is also a signal of extreme alertness – I put my tail up high when I smell a burglar, or a cat. By the way: in the above picture my friends were not really fighting, they were just testing one another’s strength. The dog in the back thought it pretty silly, as you can see.

A tail is a real asset. It is sad humans do not have one.

 

Camping!

We went camping! After a short winter rest M thought it was time to pack the campervan again and I was very excited. Our camping holidays are always awesome. I jumped into the van and we were off!

We drove to the south, to a place with even more beaches and dunes than the place where we live. There are also huge man made dams to protect the land from the sea, M told me. That is where we walked first. It was a bit windy.

The first night we camped in the front garden of M’s aunt, which is just big enough to park our campervan. The aunt has a lovely house and garden and I chased all the rabbits and the deer out of her garden, to protect her pretty plants. I am sure they will not return for some time, I made it very clear they are not welcome.

The next day we walked in a wood that was filled with wild flowers:

And there was an empty beach, especially for us!

After this we moved on to a camping in the woods. There were squirrels! I had a great time watching them:

And eating them!

Okay, that is not true. I was gnawing a juicy bone M brought with us. I am telling the truth in this blog, you know, always. No fake news here!

The camping was next to a big nature reserve. Of course we went to explore it. It was really nice. More squirrels and deer and big geese in the water!

We walked for hours.

It was a very nice little camping holiday. I hope we will go again, soon!

Woodland creatures

This is odd. We walked one of our favorite paths in the dune-forest and encountered something new. Man made, no doubt, but odd nevertheless. I approached it carefully, one never knows what things like this will do:

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When I was near, I smelled it was a tree. They pulled a tree out of the ground and put it back in the earth again, upside down! Silly humans.

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I do not think the tree likes it, regardless of the pretty face it has now. I think it gets a little nauseous standing upside down. Next time we walk here – and M isn’t looking – I will push it over and dig it in, so it will be feeling okay again.

Together

We take a walk every day and that is always nice, but sometimes it is something special. Today M and I had this kind of walk. I will try to explain why this one was special. It is not because we went to a new place, because we walked in the dunes and on the beach, like we often do. I think this one was special because we did it together.

This may sound strange to some humans (I bet the canines reading this will understand, though). One could say that all the walks we make are together, but that is not so. It is like this: sometimes when M is stuck in her writing she takes me out for a walk. While we walk she thinks about what is bothering her and I take the opportunity to smell and run and play with other dogs. We are out, but we are not really walking together. Not in the sense of togetherness. We both do our own things.

On our walk this morning we were truly walking together. We ran in the dunes and played games on the beach. I was totally focussed on her and she on me. When this is the case we are like a team, paying attention to our surroundings but not really interacting with other dogs nor humans. We have fun together. And that is awesome.

Run

 

New room, new lookout

The past weekend was a bit disturbing for me, because all of a sudden M and P started to move things in our home. Not just a little thing, but big things: they changed the complete inventory of three rooms! No canine likes change when the present situation is comfortable, but humans tend to see these things differently.  There was nothing I could do about it.

I went to a room that was quiet and waited what was about to happen. When they were finished moving all the stuff around, they called me to do a thorough nose-inspection of the three newly furnished rooms. I did, of course. It was a bit odd to smell familiar things in a different setting.

I did not see the need to do all this changing, but there is one positive result. M moved her work space to the front of the house and therefore created a new lookout for me! She is working in a room that was not used much before. She will be there almost every day and I can be with her. And guard my territory from a new perspective! I do like that.

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