Homeless Henry?

June 3, 2008 at 4:35 pm 9 comments

When I was learning how to drive, my father had a series of extra tests besides the two issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles. At our house, you also had to get certified for I-95. That wasn’t too bad. The toughest part was merging on the Interstate while Dad yelled at you. The “driving in icy conditions” certification was actually quite fun. Dad took us to an empty parking lot and had us try out emergency stops to get a feel for what the vehicle would do on ice. The one trial I despised was pursuing my Sawyer Suburban certification. There, you had to drive Dad’s giant, white, diesel-fueled suburban and he made you do stuff like back between cones and parallel park. Almost two decades later, I still have trouble parallel parking my tiny, baby, XTerra, especially when there is an audience. I don’t know how I ever managed to parallel park the suburban to Dad’s satisfaction.

Anyway, I never have to worry about my dogs driving, but I did subject the dogs to a certification process of their own when it came to camping. A number of years ago, I set up the tent up on my deck, rounded up the dogs and gave it a go. Jimmie curled up at my feet and went to sleep. Henry, on the other hand, spent the entire evening bellowing out aroos at any sound. I had no idea how “noisy” my neighborhood was at night until Henry was on full alert. Without him, I would have been blissfully unaware of twigs snapping, crickets and dogs barking off in a distance.

Here were the final results of the Dog Camping Certification:

Candidate Score
Jimmie A++
Henry FAIL!!!!

Henry failed with such distinction that I have never even given him a second chance.

Ever since then, every camping trip– Henry is always left behind with a sitter. This weekend though, I have a dilemma. I’m going backpacking at Mount Rogers. And…I have yet to successfully secure a dog sitter for Henry. Everyone is busy! Out of town obligations, golf trips, surgeries. One sitter can’t because his dog is having puppies. It’s a perfect storm.

Who wouldn’t want to watch this cute little fellow?

Aww… don’t you want to watch him?

He wants to cuddle with you.

And look at how cute he was at a puppy!

(Note: If you are actually considering it, please ignore this post and this post and this post and this post and this post and this post and oh yeah, this post, too)

We’ll see if I scrounge up a sucker Samaritan. As much as it will pain my eardrums, I may have to… take him with me.

Entry filed under: Dad, Henry.

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9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Carolyn  |  June 4, 2008 at 7:33 am

    Well, if I were in Blacksburg, I may have considered it. I want to see how Oranjello reacts to other animals, but I don’t have much opportunity to find out. He’s almost 4 months old and hasn’t seen another animal since we took him from his family. Taking care of Henry would have been a good opportunity to find out.

  • 2. Aaron  |  June 4, 2008 at 9:07 am

    You mean a *good* Samaritan. Samaritans were actually a despised group of persons at that time in history. 🙂

  • 3. TGAW  |  June 4, 2008 at 9:14 am

    @Aaron– Oooooh, very good call. Well, darn. The sucker to Samaritan exchange doesn’t flow as snappy when I throw another syllable in the mix.

  • 4. geekhiker  |  June 4, 2008 at 10:06 pm

    I’d take him, but the commute might be a little much, especially with the cost of gas these days. Sorry. 🙂

    If you do end up taking him with you, best of luck. And bring earplugs…

  • 5. Carolyn  |  June 5, 2008 at 7:31 am

    I think she’s more concerned about every other camper’s ears than her own.

  • 6. geekhiker  |  June 5, 2008 at 7:33 pm

    @Carolyn – Ah, but if she brings her own earplugs, she doesn’t have to worry about either Henry or the other camper’s loud complaints! 🙂

  • 7. TGAW  |  June 5, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    Actually I told the other campers today that I would bring enough earplugs for all. 🙂

  • 8. tgaw  |  June 6, 2008 at 10:01 pm


    She is the daughter of one of my old co-workers. This evening when I had long acquiesced that I would be camping with a beagle, she called me and told me she will take Henry this weekend.

    The amount of relief I have is immense. Now I don’t have to pack all that extra dog food. Now I don’t have to carry extra water. Now I don’t have to tote Henry’s three new prescription medicines he got today for his ear infection. I don’t have to worry about my route and if it would be too much for him. I don’t have to be on guard at the campsite to keep him from eating other people’s food. And finally, I can save my ear plugs for the Gogol Bordello concert instead of handing them out to fellow campers. 🙂

    Daphne Tawney, you ROCK!

  • 9. Injured Henry. « TGAW  |  June 18, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    […] 18, 2008 Poor Henry has had a rough month. In addition to his brush with homelessness, he got two ear infections which prompted three prescription medicines. A week later, he emerged […]


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