Dogs Gone Wild: Chapter 2

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By Leigh Anne Florence

Thanks to LG&E/KU both E.ON companies and KPA for making this project possible. Thanks to the Kentucky Secretary of State for sponsoring the new podcast. For podcast and questions and activities go online to www.kypress.com.

Chapter 2

Who knew packing a backpack could be so challenging?

At sunrise, our family crawled into our trusty Woody Bus.  Though sleepy, I was excited about our adventure. I knew with the challenges of camping that I needed my strength.  “Dad, before we leave town, can we run through the drive-through?  I’ve a hankering for a bacon sandwich.” 

“Woody, we haven’t left the driveway! Besides, we won’t be eating fast-food or stopping at restaurants. We’ll be having picnics with the food we packed.”

I loved picnics, but it was hard telling my tummy to wait!  Thankfully, I’d packed some snacks, but I needed to save those for later. Needing to occupy my mind, I made a suggestion. “Hey Chloe, let’s play I Spy!” For the next hour, we spied water towers, stop signs, cornfields, and even a brand new baby foal.

When we were tired from our detective work, Chloe said, “Let’s play the Alphabet Game. We’ll use things we packed for our trip.” “Super!” Mom praised. “I’ll start! A, Atlas.” 

“B, batteries,” Dad continued.

“C, compass,” Chloe said. She always took the letter C since her name began with that letter. “Your turn, Woody.”

“D – D – D…” “Uh, I’ll take the next letter.”

“D – drinking water,” Mom helped.

“E – electric blanket!” I exclaimed! Once I said ‘electric blanket,’ Chloe giggled, Mom turned around, and Dad hit the brakes and pulled over to the side of the road. Everyone stared at me. From the looks on their faces, I could tell what they were thinking. They were jealous!  They couldn’t believe they hadn’t thought about bringing an electric blanket. I was plenty of things, but I wasn’t selfish. It was a big blanket. I would share. 

“Woody,” Dad said, “Where will you plug in the electric blanket?”

“Plug in?” I repeated.

“Yes, Woody,” Dad continued. “What do you plan on plugging the blanket into so it will get warm?”

My heart skipped a beat. I hadn’t thought about needing electricity. Sure, there were times during a storm when the power went out, but that was only for a brief time. It was no easy task cramming the blanket and the cord into my backpack. 

Oh no, it just hit me! No electricity meant no television, no video games, no computer, no updating my DogFace Page, no microwave, no refrigerator, no…

“Woody,” Mom interrupted, “What else did you pack?” 

There was no getting around it. I had to answer. I swallowed hard and began listing the contents of my bag.  “An electric blanket, my swimming trunks, my favorite art set, my WOOF, some microwave popcorn, and a few cherry pupsicles. Oh, I almost forgot. I brought my harmonica, too.”

“PUPSICLES?” Mom screamed, “IN YOUR BACKPACK?”  Mom didn’t wait for an answer. She found my backpack and began emptying it. My trunks were sticky from the melting treats. Mom was getting ready to throw the pupsicles out when I said, “Can’t we eat them?” Mom and Dad had funny looks on their face. I offered a pupsicle to Chloe, but she was shaking too hard, trying to contain her laughter.

Packing our backpack was our first challenge and it looked like I had failed. How could I recover? “Dad, you may think what I have in my backpack is silly, but we don’t know what Chloe packed.” I secretly hoped Chloe had a hair dryer or computer in her bag. My sister opened her backpack and pulled out each item. Chloe’s bag contained a compass, a rain coat, a first aid kit, flashlight, sleeping bag, jerky, trail mix, a radio, a cell phone, and a small book titled “Camping for Canines – and People, Too.” I was getting ready to make a comment about the radio and cell phone when Chloe explained the radio was a battery-operated weather radio and the cell phone was charged to use only in the case of an emergency.

Mom and Dad complimented Chloe for her smart choices.  Dad explained that surviving in any situation depended on making intelligent choices and being prepared. I was curious how Chloe chose those items so I asked. “Well,” Chloe explained, “I remembered reading a newspaper article once about camping. I knew the sleeping bag and raincoat would keep me warm; the flashlight, weather radio and first aid kit would keep me safe; and, the jerky and trail mix would keep me fed – and wouldn’t spoil.”  Chloe had based her choices on her most basic needs – like being safe and warm. It was obvious Chloe had won our first challenge. Thankfully, my sister wasn’t selfish.  I had a feeling I would be borrowing things from her pack in the near future.