A number of people have asked how we are coping with taking the 40kg Brown Beast of a Dog - Chocolate Charlie!
Yes - he is bigger than each boy - but hey, not combined!
Yes - he does take up half the back of the car
Yes - he has to be considered everywhere we stay, though the Grey Nomads have forced camping places to be "dog friendly". They are not going to leave their little fluff balls at home! Not dog friendly = not in market for Grey Nomads and they are everywhere!
Yes - we have a dog...what type? A Labrador. We never mention how huge he is - some Labradors can be slight and only 25kgs!
Yes - he takes up most of the remaining room on the floor of the tent
Yes - he sleeps inside
Yes - he snores!
Yes - he has a new painted collar "I am travelling with my family" Mobile ph nos and car rego!
Yes - he gets himself tangled up and has pulled down the annex several times
Yes - he carries on when he sees another dog and wants to say hi
Yes - we have purchased a spray bottle and he has learnt that "spray spray" means a shot in the face if he is barking, whining and carrying on - usually because he wants to say hi to another dog!
Yes - we have threatened to get him a zapper collar - "zap zap" Charlie!!
Yes - he can sprint up the beach from 400 metres away to some unsuspecting dog owner "He's friendly!!!"
Yes - he continues to try to pull my arm out of its socket
Yes - he can't be trusted to be walked by a small boy
Yes - if given the chance, he goes to visit other campers for cuddles and food!
Yes - he gets in any water, any chance he gets - even if it is rank!
Yes - he is obsessed about food, slobbers and tries to get whatever is remaining on the ground after the washing up.
Yes - he has refused to use the dog ramp we got him, so it has been donated to Vinnies. I gave up after the first few weeks "Up the ramp Charlie, up the ramp!!" much to the amusement of fellow campers!
Yes - he has to be lifted into the car - front legs first, then his hefty behind!
Yes - he has some (...well many) disgusting habits but we shall spare you the details!
In saying all that, I think the boys have grown more in love with him. He is a character, and even though painful at times, he is a great source of amusement. He is a great travelling dog. Like our previous dog Fred, he gets anxious when we are packing up and he is the 40kg brown shadow. So now the back of the car has to be packed first, lift the brown beast in, and then he is happy!
Simon has been outvoted - 3 to 1 - he is staying!!