Four washings and a Fido

End of Winnipeg into Ontario 184

Most campgrounds will have this* *(camping chairs, wood and beer not included)

After almost two months of meandering it’s time for a word about campgrounds or as some bill themselves—‘camping resort.’ When I think of a resort swim-up bars, spa facilities and all-you-can-eat buffets come to mind. But I digress.

There is a certain “sameness” to RV parks: trees, gravel roads, washroom facilities, playground areas, miniature golf (usually a sad collection of tattered windmills and soggy Astroturf fairways) and if you’re lucky laundry facilities.

Of all the things I will never take for granted again, my beloved washer and dryer tops the list. The days of casually wearing jeans one day and washing them the next are gone. The only clothing that doesn’t get multiple wear is underwear. (Clean underwear, unforeseen accident, hospitals, you know the drill).

Laundry on the road has a certain rhythm to it – essentially, once the tote bag is full to bursting laundry day has arrived.

It takes cunning to do laundry at a campsite. You are competing against full-timers and family groups who have accumulated enough laundry to outfit the cast of The Sound of Music (musical reference thrown in for Brother #2). The objective is to land the triple-loader, other-wise known as laundry mecca. That bad boy can handle the contents of your tote bag in one wash cycle. Current record for start to finish on laundry day – 58 minutes, top that Martha from site 52!

Some campgrounds have stores which stock camping essentials; junk food, firewood and the fixin’s for a batch of s’mores, a big ‘ol bite of deliciousness consisting of a fire-roasted marshmallow tucked in between two graham crackers with a piece of chocolate (Hershey’s preferably) and stuffed into your gaping maw.

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RCMP hot on their trail, Debbie and Chester race for the exits

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After a quick blow dry and comb-out these competitors are ready to take on the world

What most campgrounds don’t have are dog shows. Picture the Westminster Kennel club dropped in the middle of rural Kingston complete with obstacle course, show-rings and prep tent in case Fido needs a quick wash, blow-dry or nail trim.

Lassie runs

It’s vague resemblance to an Oscar Meyer wiener convinces Desmond to finish the tubular course

Showing a dog involves a lot of waiting, nervously eying up the competition (human and canine) followed by running around a show ring, followed by you and others running around show ring at the same time, followed by a judge who inexplicably fondles the dog’s muzzle, ears and… ahem… private parts, particularly disturbing when it’s the turn of our neighbours’ 150 pound Mastiff with bowling ball sized testicles.

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I swear to god you rearrange my balls one more time, I’m outta here

Dog shows are the United Nations of the dog world. Breeds range from tiny Bichons to exotic Afghans to mighty Mastiffs. The Dog, always the first in line for a how-do-you-do-bum-sniff was haughtily rebuffed by his canine betters as we walked the grounds after a refreshing dip in the Rideau Canal. Apparently these pampered pets don’t mix with their civilian counterparts or partake in plebeian activities such as swimming or playing.

Dog obstacle

Coco DO NOT pee on the obstacle poles!

The Dog’s addendum

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Rejected by show organizers for his inferior lineage, The Dog leaves the show grounds with his tail between his legs

Sheesh. What a humbling experience. Listening to the Dame and pretend Dude ooh and aah over these poofty pooches really hurts.

“Look at this one’s ears…ooh.

“Look at that one over there with the beautiful coat…aah.”

It’s enough to put me off my dog cookies. And my game.

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Did you guys see the Golden Doodle from BC, What a loser!

At first I thought the four dogs next door would be good for a few tail wags, maybe a quick bum sniff. I didn’t know doggy crap about bull mastiffs. Then the big guy turned his back and flashed the aforementioned ‘bowling balls.’ Talk about feeling inadequate. I can’t even ‘grow a pair.’

I wasn’t given a choice. ‘Chop, chop’ and ‘you’ll never know what you missed.’

Thanks, Dame and pretend Dude. Thanks a lot.

Meanwhile, I have to suffer a parade of pretenders strutting past the campsite, turning their noses up as they amble past without a sideways glance. None of the geezers pay any attention to me, now. All the focus is on these freaks.

One particularly ridiculous poser looks like a cross between a mountain lion and a sheepdog.

Dexter and the chicken

Banned from the show, The Dog takes solace with his bird friends

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