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It’s late at night… you’ve been driving all day… traffic was bad… you had trouble finding the campground… you set-up outside as much as you can… you enter your RV and try to finish settling in for the night… But then the smell hits you. Yep! You’ve stepped in some doggy doo and carried it in on your shoes!
Sound familiar? No? Then how about when you get ready to step into your tow vehicle to explore the area and find a pile of poo in your path? Or have an oddly-wet tire? Oh, and did I mention you are several sites away from the dog walk? Sound more familiar to you now?
There is something about camping with dogs that makes some dog owners, in my opinion, Crappy Campers. They completely disregard the rules and regulations of not only the campground, but sometimes also county and state laws (usually regarding leashes).
Don’t get me wrong, I love animals and certainly don’t blame them for their owner’s directions (or lack of them). Many campgrounds have posted rules and often supply a sheet or handout to pet owners. Common rules include leashes and lengths (usually six feet), designated dog areas, waste disposal, constant or frequent barking or dogs being left unattended (caged or tethered outside without someone present).
We have stayed (and worked) at campgrounds that even make the owner sign-off that they will comply with the rules or be asked to leave without refund. One campground we were at even listed each rule and made the owner check-off each one to show that it was read and understood before they signed it. In addition, they were charged $5 per pet, per night. And to make it really hit-home, they received a carbon-copy showing that they acknowledged the rules!
Many campgrounds are going dog-friendly, yet have strict rules to keep it safe for people and other pets. Unfortunately people abuse the rules. It not only shows lack of consideration for other people and dog owners, but also their own pets. A park we stayed in California was prone to bears, mountain lions and other bigger animals (even Big Foot tales at that one!) and at registration you had to give your pet’s name and breed/color information in event they were spotted being carried off!
And, unfortunately, those that do not follow the rules may also find their dog stolen, attacked by another dog or animal, run over or possibly dead.
So please, don’t be a Crappy Camper this summer. If you love your pet you will follow the rules and quite possible prevent me from having poo on my shoes! 😉
UPDATED: I no sooner click “post” on this when I see a woman with a little dog leaving a “deposit” on our campsite… Good grief! 😦
If you find yourself in Pensacola (Florida) or within a day trip, I recommend visiting the National Museum of Naval Aviation and the Pensacola lighthouse. Both are located on the Pensacola Naval Air Station. Citizens need to show proper photo ID at the entrance gate.
The museum has adequate parking for larger vehicles, yet the lighthouse has limited parking. Fortunately the lighthouse is across from the museum and if you don’t mind a brief walk before your “climb” up the lighthouse you can leave your rig in the museum parking lot.
Be prepared to spend at least two hours in the museum. There are two floors of exhibits, as well as other attractions (IMAX theater and trolley tour). The museum also has a restaurant, gift shop and library/gallery to enjoy. The lighthouse has an interesting history… and is haunted!
And be sure to take your camera and spare batteries, as you will be sure to take a number of photos. I took about 600 photos that day.
National Museum of Naval Aviation
Free Parking and Admission (see website for additional attraction prices)
Museum Open Daily (except holidays) 9 am – 5 pm
Located across from the National Museum of Aviation
Free Parking / Admission $5 (see website for additional prices and special events)
Open Monday – Saturday 10:30 am – 5:30 pm
Check their websites for special Blue Angels dates, especially if you want to view them from the top of the lighthouse. Additional cost for lighthouse climb during Blue Angels schedule.