Tuesday, May 30
Boondock near Grey’s Landing, Salmon Creek Falls Reservoir, south-central Idaho
Today Reggie and I break camp!
This has been a great boondock.
I take one last look around, memorizing the scene.
Funny how I become attached to camps. I want to go yet I hate to leave. I’ll carry with me sweet memories of sitting outside in the fresh, morning air, feeling the sun’s warmth, sipping coffee while watching a pronghorn graze. The snow-topped mountains, the magnificent clouds, the lark on the fence post, Reggie wandering free from his tether.
“Okay, let’s go, Reg.”
Ten miles north on Route 93 brings us to Rogerson. I pull into Rogerson Service. After pumping gas into the Perfect Tow Vehicle, I park the PTV and the Best Little Trailer at the edge of the parking lot.
“Here, Reggie. Let me hook you to your tether. We’re going to walk over to Anita’s and Roger’s house. Maybe you’ll get to play with Roger!”
Reg likes this idea.
He’s been looking out the window for sight of his friend, the former Homeless Dog that was taken in by Anita. Anita is the owner-operator of the gas station-store-cafe-and-RV park establishment.
Anita said she was taking a day off today. I hope we catch her at home.
We walk around the RV park and look up the street toward her house.
My heart sinks.
Darn! She’s not home! Well, that’s that. I really hoped to see if she’s happy about her decision to adopt Roger . . . .
The two of us head back to the PTV. As I’m opening the passenger side door to chuck Reggie inside, I see a red car zip from behind Rogerson Service.
There goes Anita!
Reggie and I hurry over to her house.
We find her in the back yard with Roger. Anita told me previously of her plans for her day off so immediately I tell her we won’t keep her long.
“I just want to make sure you’re happy with your decision to keep Roger.”
Before she can reply, I state the realities of adopting a dog.
This is a “speech” I’ve given several times in the past, back in the days when I fostered rescued dogs and helped place them in homes.
“Adopting a dog is a huge commitment. Roger could live another 15, maybe even 18 more years.”
“Yeah, I know.”
“Now that you’ve had him for over a week, you’ve had a chance to see how he impacts your daily life. You’ve had time to think about your future together. Things like visiting your daughter and granddaughter in Texas. Your work schedule, stuff like that.”
“I want to do what’s best for Roger,” Anita states softly, as we watch the two pals play in the grass. “He misses Reggie terribly. He got out of the yard the other day. Where do I find him? Over in the RV park. He was sniffing around where you guys were.”
“Yeah, he does love Reggie. Okay, put aside Roger’s point of view for a minute and think only about yourself and your life. Roger will adjust, no matter what. You are the one that makes the commitment and you have to be happy with it. You have to want to make adjustments in your life.”
I pause for her response.
“I worry how he will be around my granddaughter. She’s only three and he’s so protective of me.”
“Neutering will help with that,” I interject.
“I know. But my granddaughter is coming here next week and I’ve been really worried about that. And then I work all the time. I was at the store until 10 o’clock last night. The poor guy loves being outside and he was cooped up all day. I run home to let him out during the day, but . . . . ”
“Anita, do you want me to take Roger?”
“Would you?” she asks, relief in her voice.
The four of us exchange goodbyes in the ways of people and canines.
Standing on her porch, Anita picks up Roger for one last hug.
Tearfully she murmurs, “Thank you for opening my heart.” She sets him down, turns and hurries inside, closing the door behind her.
I hook Roger to the other end of Reggie’s tether.
“Okay, crew, let’s go! We need to find our next camp.”
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