My first dog camp, September 2004.    
I was so excited when Mom and Dad told me that we were going to dog camp.  I would get to meet and play with both new and old friends. 
After a long drive over the Cascades (I slept in the backseat so time went by fast), we arrived at Maian Meadows Dog Camp on the shores of Lake Wenatchee, just off U.S. Highway 2.  It was after dark, so I couldnít see very well but my nose did just great in finding fun.  Mom and Dad put our gear in our cabin and then we joined the other dogs and people at the campfire.   
It started to rain and we all had to go the lodge to stay dry.  I would have preferred to stay out in the rain and play with my new friends, but Mom and Dad wouldnít let me.  Inside the people talked and we dogs played.  A bat flew overhead.  It just doesnít get any better than that. 
That night it rained hard and Mom and Dad slept on the cabin floor in sleeping bags.  I donít know why they needed sleeping bags.  I slept right next to them and I was perfectly warm without one. 
In the morning I got to meet up with my friends again.  There were Henry and Miles, golden retrievers; Lucy, a husky/shepherd mix; Annie, a yellow lab; PJ, a cattle dog (I have never seen cattle, so I am not sure what that is); Katie, a giant Irish wolfhound; and my malamute cousins, Maia and Meadow.  Miles and I ran around underneath the long picnic tables while the people ate breakfast.  I found the table where the people were getting their food.  That was my first taste of bacon.  It didnít last long. 
Some of the dogs were swimming in Lake Wenatchee, so I had to give it a try too.  That lake is too deep or my legs are too short. But the water tasted a lot better than that salty beach water at Seaside and Cannon Beach.  I waded in until the water was up to my chin.  That got Dad excited.  I came in to the shore to tell him how much fun it was and then I went back out to do it again.  I invited him to join me, but he just stood on the shore shouting.  Sometimes there is no understanding parents. 
Later in the day Mom and Dad took me running on the trails in the nearby woods.  I found some great big mud puddles and I showed them what I learned at the lake.  By their yelling I could tell that they were impressed.  And the mud did come off once we got back to camp. 
Mom and Dad talked to Robin, Katieís mom.  Robin knows lots about dogs, including malamutes, and runs the Canine Behavior Center.  Robin told Mom and Dad some new things to do to help me remember my place in the family pack.  I am not sure why since my memory is very good (my cat brothers are another story, but they didnít get to come to camp). 
That second night we sat around the campfire and ate treats (the people called them desserts).  I learned a very important lesson that night.  It is not polite to grab another dogís treats.  I found out that some dogs and their people get very upset when you do.  I got yelled at and Dad put me on my leash.  I was sorry; I didnít know the camp rules. 
The last day before we left for home we had a costume contest.  I wore the neat hat that Mom and Dad got me at Mt Rainier.  Some dogs and their people went all out.  I felt sorry for Henry.  His mom dressed him up as a pig. He was very embarrassed.  Annie and PJ had some neat costumes.  PJ was biker dog with his sunglasses, t-shirt, and jeans.  I bet that he could really scare cattle with that outfit.  I won a prize for my costume, but I think that every dog did. 
I spent some time with my Malamute cousins, Maia and Meadow.  Their mom is Rebecca and they told me that she is the one who organized our dog camp.  Rebecca wanted a place where dogs and their people could go on vacation together.  She couldnít find any place like that within driving distance (Washington and Oregon) so she made her own last year.  She rented Camp Zanicka Lache from CampFire USA for a weekend and named the dog camp after her two girls: Maia Ďn Meadow.  She did it again this year for two weekends in September. And she has bigger plans for 2005.  Maia and Meadow are very proud of their mom. 
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