Thursday, November 1
I’ve inserted some of the sunrise photos I mentioned in the previous post.
It’s after sunset and the sky is cloudy. The wind is gathering strength. The sun shade flaps so I take it down. I pick up the dog bed from the exercise pen and put it on the picnic table so it doesn’t get wet if rain falls in the night.
Buddy makes himself at home at our campsite.
I manage to get Spike and Bridget past Buddy’s efforts to get inside the BLT. After a while, we prepare for bed. I look out the window and there’s Buddy, up on the picnic table, curled up in the dog bed, tired eyes closing. Oh, dear. I’ve got to do something about this situation. Now he thinks I gave him his own bed.
Despite charging problems and a cloudy sky, I do get online and read blog comments. There’s an animal rescue in Bartow! I find their website and get directions. My phone is conked out. Cell service is spotty here anyway. Well, it’s better to ask for help face-to-face.
I put the crew in the PTV, secure the BLT, and set out some kibble for Buddy, hoping to distract him while we leave.
It doesn’t work.
Buddy chases the PTV as we cross Owl Canyon Campground. I stop at the camp host’s trailer at the entrance. Looks like they’re still sleeping. No sign of them.
I’m going to have to make a run for it. I gun the PTV and Buddy runs behind. It’s a curvy road out of the campground. Dust flies. Soon I don’t see Buddy in the mirror any more. What? He disappeared that quickly? And what was that bumping?
I pull myself up over the steering wheel to peer down the hood of the PTV.
There’s Buddy. Oh for heaven’s sake! He’s been running in front, jumping against the front of the PTV, trying to stop us! It’s a wonder I didn’t kill him.
I walk Buddy back to the campground and run to the PTV. I jump in and hit the accelerator. Buddy soon catches up and sucks our dust, galloping full-out behind us. I steel myself during the excruciatingly long minutes it takes for Buddy to finally give up.
To make a long story short, I’m on a wild goose chase.
I drive many miles, and end up out in the desert, before I realize the animal rescue group is defunct. Thanks a lot! You could tell people on your website! Oh well, the PTV is charging my gizmos.
I drive back to Barstow.
I don’t want to spend the day at the campground looking at Buddy’s sweet, lovey face, so I turn down the Barstow Road (Route 247 south) to go to Sawtooth Canyon Campground. Maybe I’ll catch Ranger Jim there and he can tell me what I should do.
The drive is longer than I anticipated, a straight, flat stretch of highway across desert. Right before we reach a string of mountains, a white pick-up waits to pull out on the highway. It’s Ranger Jim! This must be the dirt road that goes to Sawtooth Canyon Campground.
I ask Ranger Jim what he does about stray dogs in the campground.
“I get on dispatch, call the BLM office, and they notify animal control for San Bernadino County. There’s some place in Victorville where the dogs go for neutering and adoption. ” Ranger Jim offers to make the call for me. “Thanks, Ranger Jim. Make sure you tell them what a good dog he is.”
I drive into Sawtooth Canyon Campground for a look-see.
Francois and Joan are here! We visit for a while. I bring them up-to-date on Buddy. Then I hurry back to Owl Canyon. It’s Friday and I need to bring the BLT down to Sawtooth before the sites are taken.
About three miles before Owl Canyon Campground, I come upon Buddy.
He’s sitting alongside the road in the hot, desert sun, watching our approach. “Oh Buddy! You poor thing.” I creep along on the washboard road, Buddy trotting alongside, tongue hanging out. I stop and give him a bowl of water. We continue on. I stop several times and Buddy rests by the driver’s side tire of the PTV. What a loyal dog! Finally we make it back and I talk with the camp hosts. (They aren’t really the camp hosts yet. They’re vying for the job.)
I learn something about Buddy.
He cycles through campers. He finds someone who gives him food and water. When the camper leaves, he runs behind them down the road as far as he can, then stops and waits all day for their return. If they don’t return, he comes back to the campground and finds another soft-hearted camper. This is how he stays fed and healthy.
On the way out with the BLT, the lady camp host holds Buddy on-leash behind her camper.
The crew and I sneak away. I stop the PTV at the main road. I’d better check the hitch connections after all this jouncing around on washboard. I walk back and “Oh no! What is this?” Water is dripping out of the front “corners” of the BLT! I open the door and hear the water pump going. Water is pouring out of the kitchen faucet! Water is all over the floor!
I’m hoping the cause was the sink cover (which was askew) bouncing up and hitting the faucet knob. I haven’t checked yet to see if there’s a leak.
Finally we pull into Sawtooth Campground!
I pick a site, back us in, set us up, pull the rugs out of the BLT to dry, mop up the mess, put the interior back together again, heat up a bowl of soup, feed the crew, walk the crew (Spike is wound-up tight!), check the blog . . . Holy cow! Look at all these comments!
Note: My heartfelt thanks to everyone who expressed concern for Buddy. A special thanks to those who worked to arrange his rescue. Regardless of my actions, BLM is having Buddy removed, as they’ve been aware of Buddy roaming the campground. I doubt Animal Control will go out to the campground on Saturday. I’ll let you know any developments.