Sunday, March 21, 2010

"Is that a Mallowmar?"

With every camping trip, there is a story. Usually, a rather funny one. It generally involves quotes that make the story teller snort, slap their leg and wheeze from laughing so hard.

A couple of standouts for me are the "Johnny, don't pee on that tree ... pee on that one over there," and "HOLY SHIT IT'S A BOBCAT!!!!" (both from the same 2008 trip to Jackson Washington State Forrest in Indiana), and "Alllllright. Straightenerup!" (2008 at General Butler State Park in Kentucky).

After this weekend, I have a new one to add to that list.

Generally, I prefer to take Rufus with me camping becuase he likes just laying around the campsite, or sniffing around whatever he can reach on the dog tie. Cookie? She whines, a lot. It took almost 3 seasons worth of camping before I figured out why - we're outside, we're supposed to be walking. Cookie's also a big girl, and as she gets older, I worry about hip or leg problems on long hikes. Rufus is proven on long hikes - he takes 'em like a champ.

After a nice long hike at Red River Gorge yesterday, we chilled out at camp site #48 in the Koomer Ridge Campground. It was still mid-afternoon, and lots of folks came and went from the trail head (right next to our camp site). Around 5 or so, I'm happily nomming on Mountain House Pasta Prima Vera (it's quite tasty), as hunger finally hit (I'd burned well over 4,000 calories on the hike, and had consumed only 400 before I had my dinner). Then a fella comes tromping out of the woods, and pauses by our site.

"That's a pretty dog," he says. I thank him - just about everyone we passed on the hike commented on how pretty Rufus is (he IS handsome). Folks, especially the male college students, marveled at his doggy-pack (except for the folks we passed with a black lab/pit bull mix who ALSO had a pack - and in all fairness, they WERE surprised to see another dog with its own pack).

Anyway, the fella pauses for a second. "Is that a Mallowmar?"

I look from the dude to my food and back to the dude. Wow, must have lost his mind on Lung Buster Hill if he thinks I'm eating a Mallo....... oh, wait a minute, I wonder if ....

"Oh, you mean the dog?" I ask him, hoping to clarify my own confusion. He says yes. "Oh, no, he's a mut. Part pitbull and part German Shepherd."

We make small chit chat before he saunters on.

I giggled to myself for quite awhile ... does my dog look like a cookie? Truth be told, I would have LOVED a Mallowmar at that moment. All chocolaty and sweet and gooey. But, no, Rufus is not a Mallowmar. Nor is he a Malamute, the breed of dog this guy was thinking about. Rufus doesn't even resemble a Malamute. Not even close, as you can see from the photo (that, by the way is Rufus, who could have been mistaken for a dead dog, he was so bushed from the hike).

I think I'll just refer to him as my Mallowmar from now on. But he's getting old, and nothing that old is good for eating. :)

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