Had another campout with the Cub Scouts this weekend. This time we went to a wilderness park about an hour away from home. Joey should have had some good exposure to deer while we were walking around, but he was too interested in the sticks and acorns we were walking over. He never looked up long enough to see the deer we encountered. By the time I could get his head up, the deer would be gone. He did get to see some armadillos. He would see them before they could see him. As soon as Joey would change position to get a better look, the little armored gophers would spot him and turn away into the trees.
This time, Joey got to experience a camping tradition he didn’t get at the previous campout; campfires. Last time, he was in the tent with mommy while most of the kids and parents were sitting around the fire. This time, I was still nursing the last days of a bad cold and stayed close to my tent and my own little fire while everybody else was at a big central campfire. Joey loved sitting at my feet and at times was fascinated by the fire. We stayed close enough to the fire to keep the skeeters away from us, but far enough to keep Joey from sticking his nose on the metal fire ring, or waving his tail over it when turning around.
Joey accompanied me on a little excursion to pursue a hobby I have not spent much time on since getting a puppy; geocaching. This is like a high-tech easter egg hunt. We use GPS coordinates to find small caches hidden by other people. These are usually ammo cans or other waterproof containers with small toys and stuff. If you see something in there that you (or your kids) may want, you take it and leave something else in it’s place. No matter what else may be in the cache, there is always a log book to sign with your distinct username and date you found it. I was hoping that Joey’s hunting dog heritage and keen nose may help me find them. He didn’t get to help me too much. One cache was in a big pile of dead timber that I had to climb around in after tying him to a tree. Another one we just couldn’t find. It was too well hidden I guess. Joey’s fascination for sticks, leaves, and acorns overpowered his search for human scent on a tupperware container hidden in the woods. Or, maybe I am just not capable of recognizing his reaction when he does get the proper scent. I guess I will forget about trying to use him as a tool, and just stick with having him as a companion out on a nice hike.