Saturday, June 6, 2015

Four Paws Kingdom Redux!

Hi all, Bandido here – Since this blog is all about the terrific week we spent at my favorite rv park in the U.S. -- Four  Paws Kingdom in Rutherfordton, North Carolina – I stole mom’s computer and decided to write this entry myself.  

Deluxe Site #18

 Four Paws is all about adult humans and their canine companions.  There are big dog play areas, little dog play areas, agility for fun, agility for sport, hiking trails, a fenced-in swimming pond (my favorite), a grooming station, a bathing room (NOT my favorite), and a unique gift shop with yummy dog treats and dog-themed gifts.  Mom even bought a custom-made (same day) t-shirt featuring the awesome artwork of Birgit, one of the nice owners.  I love Birgit because she always has treats in her hand.

This was mom and dad’s third visit to Four Paws Kingdom; the first visit was 10 years ago, before Tequila and I were born.  They were here with their whippets that I’ve heard so much about.  They were on vacation in a travel trailer before dad retired.  Five years ago they came back in the motor home, again with the whippets, since we weren’t born yet.  Charlie the cat told me all this, because he was here with the whippets.  (He’s older than dirt).  Mom spent a lot of time on the blog entry for that visit, showing all the amenities of the park.  Rather than repeat it all here (my paws might get tired), click on the link to the blog from 2010 if you’d like to check it out:

What made this year’s visit so special was that we met up with dog-loving family and friends.   Mom’s dear cousin Nancy and her husband Jim spent the first half of the week with us.   Nancy and mom were really “sisters” for a couple of years when mom lived with Nancy and her family in Sarasota, Florida in the early ‘60s.   They hadn’t seen each other for 10 years, so they were really excited to meet up here and camp side by side. 

 Nancy sure is smart – she knows all about dogs and genealogy, my mom’s favorite things, so they had lots to talk about.

Jim recently retired from the military, and in March they purchased an RV to be able to travel with their two huskies, Cota and Sura.   I like the huskies, but I really like Jim.  He threw the ball for me to fetch and even faked me out a few times.  My eyes never left the ball.  It was a fun game!

Mom, Dad, Jim and Nancy enjoyed several happy hours on the awesome fenced-in patio at our site.  The huskies are older than we are and they were too tired from playing, so they stayed home and napped in the evenings.

Me, Tequila, and Izzy got to do our own thing in the adjoining fenced yard area without having to be tied up.  Tequila always gets us tangled up when we’re tied up together, and with Izzy still visiting, forget it!  Not only did we three get tangled up at the rally when we were tied up together, we actually formed a braid with the leashes.  Our fenced yard area here at site #18 at Four Paws is great, because with all the trees, there’s usually some squirrels running around for entertainment.  There are also little geckos that Tequila loves to stalk.

During the day we’d all trudge down to the pond and we dogs swam and played, while the humans sat and talked under the shady gazebo on the porch swing.

Boy, did we ever have fun at the swimming pond!   I hadn’t gotten to swim and fetch for a couple of years, but I remembered just how to do it.   I even swam all the way across the pond one time just for fun.
The Three Amigos
Catch me if you can!  
I was running a little behind in the above photo, 'cause it's a little more difficult to run with a tennis ball in your mouth.  If not for that, I know I'd be in the lead.

Izzy Jones (see prior blog entry) was still with us during this half of the week, so she also got to play with Jim and Nancy’s huskies.  Cota (the dark husky) took a special liking to Izzy.  It kinda made me jealous, ‘cause Izzy’s my girl. 

Me and my gal
Here’s a short video of me swimming out to fetch a tennis ball:

I hate to brag, but I’m a really good swimmer.  (I might have been showing off for Izzy a little.)

Jim and Nancy

Cota and Sura

On Wednesday morning Jim and Nancy headed home toward Virginia Beach.  Now that they have an RV, we plan to meet up again on the road and they might make the long drive to South Texas and visit us at our home there.  When they do, I’ll take Cota and Sura to our doggie park and fill the tub with water.  They’ll really like that, because I watched them get into a tub at the big dog play area.

Soon after Nancy and Jim left, our Retama Village friends Barb and Greg arrived.   They didn’t have their rv with them so they rented one of the cabins.   After having my pal Izzy with me for over a month, I was REALLY upset when Greg took Izzy home to their cabin.  I barked and cried when he put her in the car and drove away!   It was okay, though, because soon we all met up and went to the doggie park and played.

More happy hours on the patio.   Boy, do humans love to sit, drink wine, and talk!  Since Barb and Greg didn’t have their grill and all the things we drag around in our rv, they ate supper with us at our place.  It wasn’t fair that the humans got hamburgers and all we had were rawhide chews.  

One morning we went to the agility fun play area (that’s for dogs like us who don’t really know how to do agility but like to play).  Me and Izzy climbed up the ramp and did a few tricks.  Tequila couldn’t be bothered – she was too busy lookin’ for lizards (her favorite pastime).

I just know there's a lizard in there somewhere....

Friday morning was a very sad day for me.   Barb and Greg took Izzy away with them to finish their vacation in other places.   I won’t get to see Izzy until next fall when we’re back in Texas.  Greg had a selfie-stick, so they took their picture together in the big dog play area before they got in the car.  We weren’t allowed to go to the pond that morning.  I don’t understand why humans don’t love the wet-dog-pond smell, but Barb and Greg opted not to have that in their car.

After Izzy left, mom and dad took us on the hiking trails here at Four Paws.  Here’s a picture of me and dad on the Hansel and Gretel trail:

Mom got a kick out of all the clever signs posted along the trail.  Here are just a sampling:

The trail was only a mile and-a-half long, but it was in the woods with some really good smells along the way. 

No happy hours after Barb and Greg left.  Mom just sat outside in her recliner, did Sudoku, and looked up at the trees surrounding our site.  Dad read his book and did crossword puzzles.  Mom talks about how peaceful it is here and how they wish they’d stayed for two weeks instead of just one.  As for me, I’d like to live here!

Today was our last full day here at Four Paws.  Bright and early we met Birgit and three other dogs and their humans at the Agility Sport field (the one they keep locked up unless you know how to use). 
Birgit (in pink) teaching my parents how to do agility. I didn't need to pay attention, 'cause I've already "got it."
As well as an artist, singer, and all-around creative person, Birgit is an accomplished dog trainer.  She offered a class this morning as an introduction to agility.  I already knew I’d be awesome at agility, but since Tequila was never interested in it, we didn’t really have high expectations for her.
Good Girl!
Well, she proved us all wrong!  Tequila jumped over jumps, walked up and down the very tall A-frame, went through the tunnel, and even went through the chute where fabric at the exit hides the opening.  She went right through it!   Of course, the treats might have had a little to do with her prowess, but mom and dad were sure proud of her.  Now she has no excuse when we play at the agility park in Texas; she’s going to have to participate whether she wants to or not.

Tonight mom and dad are going to a “Toothpick Potluck” where all the food is supposed to be able to be picked up by toothpicks.  Me and Tequila have to stay home, but I’m sure mom will leave us with some treats while they’re gone.  Tomorrow morning we leave here, heading toward some place called Ohio.   I’ll let mom and dad update the blogs from there, because no way could it be as awesome a place as 4 Paws Kingdom! 

 The pet photo of the day is for my mom, since she’s feeling so nostalgic about the whippets, since they loved it here so much.  This photo was the original opening photo for the Travel with Whippets blog. 
The Original Traveling Whippets

1 comment:

Nancy and Bill said...

Bandido you did a wonderful post on your special week. I'm sure ALL of you are going to miss Four Paws:o))

Safe Travels and Happy Trails...