Needs Are Met

Mom found the camp host at Bogue Chitta State Park friendly & informative. He told mom about hosting at different parks & his travels. That started Mom thinking about the benefits of staying in one place longer than a week.

When Mom & I started this adventure traveling, my Mama was only comfortable staying put 2-3 days in one place. Through the years, she has relaxed, done more in-depth exploring & accepted the limitations of our surroundings. No campsite is perfect. Although it seems there is a direct correlation between campground occupation & Mom’s idea of perfectness. Less humans = more excellence. It’s a conundrum cuz Mom needs other 2-leggeds to create stories; she feels stories are the spice of life. When the 2-leggeds are sparse, I solely carry the “story” part of our ongoing tale. That’s a lot of pressure for a mutt. Good thing I’m bad-assed enough to pull it off.

 I think my aging & more composed attitude has softened Mom into an extended stay comfort zone. E-bike (Fred) has been pivotal. Now that I can run hooked to the contraption without bloodshed from either of us, & staying put is easier than not, Mom is comfortable in one spot for many days on end. Camp hosting requires a month; prefers 3 months. We are up to the task!

This camp host has a lovely German Shepherd. They call her Abby; I call her “My sweet thang.” She’s got about 5 years on me, but I like my gals older (slow = easier to catch) & wiser to the male’s needs. We only sniffed butts for a few minutes, but I’ll never forget her scent. Abby, my 5-minute girlfriend, will always be a highlight in my life.

(Here’s a little sidebar: A fellow told Mom he read about a way to test your dog’s intelligence. You hold your pet while walking into a wall. If your darling lets his head bang into the wall, he is a dunce. If he puts his paws up to protect his head, you have a winner.)

 I may look like a blockhead, but my actions prove I’m no dolt. I weigh in around 100 lbs. My little Mama can only lift 1 paw at a time, so we can’t test the wall-dog intelligence theory ourselves. Mom & I both know for sures that I am as smart as they make ’em. She gets a behavior in her mind, tells me about it & expects me to get it right the 1st time! Mom & I have a special connection, but I learned as a pup that treats get involved if I act like I don’t understand. I’m no dummy & I love treats, so ya, sometimes I give Mom a little grief in her expectations.

My needs are My Mama’s love, the occasional butt to sniff & daily treats. Mom also has needs. Her needs usually involve tools & a few well-muscled men. Case in point: The front of The Ivy tips down when being tugged by the auto. A quick solution is to turn the receiver around reposition the ball, which raises the front of the camper. It would have been simple if Mom had the right sized tools & some upper body strength.

Moms go-to-people on the road is O’Reilly’s Auto Store. They have rescued Mom with knowledge, batteries & tools many, many multiplies of times. Be assured the Franklinton O’Reilly’s didn’t let her down.

Mom sauntered in, ball & receiver in hand. She gently laid the apparatus on the counter &, with a shy smile & hopefully eyes, said, “I think I need a strong man with the right tools.” (Now, remember we are in Louisiana). In his southern sing-song voice, the customer next to Mom said, “Ma’am, what y’all need?” Mom explained the need for muscles & tools & he said, “Follow me.” Naturally, Mom did just that; right outa the store to the parking lot she went. At that point, the man remembered he didn’t have his truck with him. His truck had his tools. Did this stop Mom’s night in shining armor? Hell no, not in Louisiana. That man marched right back into the store; he strode back out with confidence & tools. His friend followed & the manager of the store trailed behind. The man’s friend wanted in on the fun & maybe thought if muscle strength were lacking, he’d offer up his. The manager came out to keep track of the tools the guys borrowed off the store racks. The picture shows it was an endeavor; everyone played their part. Mom’s part was all about syrupy comments on their strength, willingness to get down & dirty & southern charm.

After some of Mom’s WD-40 to get things going, the guys had their way with Mom’s hitch. I heard grunting & comments like, “Man, she’s really on their tight” & “No worries, Ma’am, we’re almost there.”

Shortly thereafter, 3 smiling male faces, 2 with dirt & WD on their hand, bid Mom adieu. The customers swaggered with a “job well done helping the little lady” attitude back to their vehicle while the manager cleaned up the tools before hanging them back on the store wall.

Mom, sated, hopped back in her auto, feeling all was right with the world.

The view driving back to camp told its own story.

I hope 2-leggeds are willing to lend you a helping hand when you have a need.

Luv, Otis

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