Dogs, shotguns and the great outdoors… sounds like a good time, right? Well that’s how we spent our Labor Day Weekend at a “hunting camp” in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania! The “camp” is actually a private fishing and hunting club that my step-father’s grandfather helped to found back in 1913. One hundred years later it is still a rural paradise complete with a large house that sleeps 20+, a beautiful lake and – the best part – hundreds of acres of quiet, uninhabited woods. The camp is surrounded by other similar hunting clubs and a huge state forest, making it one of the only places in the world where we feel comfortable letting Bailey run off leash. Bailey absolutely loves it there, as demonstrated in this photo of her wallowing in a mud puddle after a long run in the woods!
Happy as a pig in mud!
Bailey’s not completely off the grid when she’s at the hunting camp, however. We learned a few years ago that it’s nice to know roughly where in the wilderness she has wandered to, so we now strap a GPS collar around her little neck to keep track of where she is and how many miles she’s gone. On our first day there we arrived at lunchtime and Bailey ran 10 miles before dinner. The second day she covered 17 miles and on day three she was a little tired so she only did 14 miles… She’s nuts!
Bailey showing off her GPS collar and its really long antenna. We had to tie her up occasionally for mandatory resting time… otherwise she never would have stopped running!
Bailey had lots of canine friends to play with at the hunting camp this year. My family brought along a whole pack of pooches including Hershey the chocolate lab, Ganon the 9 month old puppy, and Clyde, the adorable newfie-lab mix. All of the dogs had a blast running through the woods, swimming in the lake and cooling off in mud puddles mid-hike.
Ganon and Hershey on a hike
Bailey rarely stopped moving
Happy Hershey in the lake
Ganon cools off in the mud
When we weren’t hiking with the dogs we enjoyed playing in and around the camp’s beautiful lake, riding ATVs through the woods and shooting clay pigeons with shotguns. We also made sure to spend plenty of time relaxing in the rocking chairs on the hunting camp’s big wraparound porch!
Wildflowers at the Hunting Camp
The Hunting Camp
My brother on an ATV
Matt trap shooting (2008 photo)
Hunting Camp Lake
After a fun-filled Labor Day weekend at the hunting camp we headed home with a VERY tired Bailey. I can’t wait to go back next summer!
Bailey catching some Zzzs after a weekend at the hunting camp.
Just before Christmas 2012 Matt’s parents rescued a beautiful German Shorthaired Pointer and named her Bella. Prior to her rescue Bella was discovered by a forest ranger wandering around in a New Jersey state forest (in cold winter weather!!) and she was underfed and seriously in need of a loving family. Lucky for Bella, Matt’s parents welcomed her into their home and she is now enjoying a comfortable, happy life with her new family!
Bailey and Bella are really similar in size and coloring. We sometimes joke that Bella could be Bailey’s sister… after all, Bailey was the runt of a 10-puppy litter born just 30 minutes from the state forest where Bella was found! Biological siblings or not, Bella and Bailey are great friends and we take care of Bella when Matt’s parents are out of town. We have Bella this weekend and I had fun doing a mini photoshoot with the GSP girls.
As you can see, Bailey and Bella are in a constant competition to steal each other’s toys. Today they were vying for the same orange squeaky toy. Aren’t they cute?
Bella sticks her tongue out at Bailey
“Why does Bella get the toy”
Bailey sneaks up on Bella
We don’t know what Bella’s background is, but she definitely has good hunting instincts. Today she discovered a monarch butterfly in my flower garden and spent quite a while stalking and pointing at it. Bailey used to point at butterflies but seems to have lost interest in them… now she focuses on squirrels, groundhogs and birds!
Bella points at a monarch butterfly
The object of Bella’s affections
As I write this post we’re watching TV in our home office with the two dogs. Bailey is snuggled comfortably on Bella’s bed (because Bailey is a HUGE bed hog!) and Bella has generously decided that that’s OK and she is alternating between lying on the floor at Matt’s feet and curling up in an awkwardly tiny ball on Bailey’s very small bed. What a good pup! Soon we’ll put both dogs to bed so they can rest up for another fun day in the back yard tomorrow!
Does your dog have a best friend? Tell me about them! 🙂
Related Post: Our Four-Legged House Guest (Hershey the Chocolate Lab)
This weekend we had a furry, four-legged guest in our house – Hershey the chocolate lab! Hershey is my mom’s dog and we occasionally take care of her when my mom is out of town.
Hershey and Bailey spent hours outside playing tug-of-war with their favorite rope toy, cooling off in our shallow “kiddie” pool, and resting in the shade under our viburnum bush.
By the way… see that embroidered green collar that Hershey is wearing? That’s a gift from Bailey! Bailey actually won this collar at the Care-A-Lot Dockdogs event in April. Since Bailey usually wears a plasticized orange collar we had the green prize collar embroidered with Hershey’s name instead.
We dropped Hershey back off at my mom’s house a few hours ago. She and Bailey will both sleep well tonight after their busy weekend!
Does your dog have a “best” canine friend? What do they do together all day?
When I started this blog, one of my original goals was to document and share the results from Bailey’s Dockdogs events. Of course, I started the blog in January (definitely the Dockdogs off-season since Bailey has no interest in jumping into cold water!) so up until now I haven’t had anything Dockdogs-related to share. That’s all going to change now because the Dockdogs season has officially begun!
Last weekend we drove down to Virginia Beach for the 5th Annual Care-A-Lot Pet Supply National Sportsman’s Series Event. Despite chilly temperatures, a steady wind, and a nice rain storm on Saturday, Bailey managed to jump into the pool twelve times. Sometimes when it’s cold she’ll come to a screeching halt at the end of the dock so this was a big accomplishment all by itself!
Rocket had several jumps over 28 feet.
For me, the highlight of the event was getting to watch two top-ranked Belgian Malinois throw down some enormous scores as they each came within inches of breaking the world record (29’3”). Rocket, a handsome reddish male from York, PA, had several jumps over 28 feet. The other malinois, a slim, muscular male named Baxter, traveled all the way from St. Louis, MO for this event! Baxter is the current world record holder and he too came within inches of setting a new record with several jumps in the 27-28 foot range.
World-record-holder Baxter won the Pro Finals with this 27+ foot jump
Bailey’s best jump of the weekend was 22’2” and she ended up in 4th place in the semi-pro finals. Not her best showing but I’m hoping that this event was more of a warm up since it was her first competition since November. Regardless of Bailey’s performance on the dock, we had a blast at the event visiting with our Dockdogs friends and showering Bailey with treats and swag from the Care-A-Lot vendors. That makes the event a success in my book because having fun is really what it’s all about! 🙂