Friday, November 18, 2011

Dog Attack!

After just three days at Whitetail Ridge Campground on West Point Lake near LaGrange, Georgia, we pulled up stakes and returned to Auburn. The campground was expected to fill completely for the long Veterans Day Weekend and no site that might have good satellite signal was available to us.  Departure day was overcast and cool and I would miss having a nice campfire in our fire pit there on the lake shore.  Nevertheless, a return to Chewacla State Park at Auburn was a welcome thought too as it has a certain comfortable, familiar feel to me.

Two campsites were available for us at Chewacla and we chose the one in McVay Loop, where we've never stayed.  Our site has a sunny southern curbside should be warm enough on cool days.  As Veterans Day on Friday approaches, the campground fills to near capacity and there are several lesbian couples around the loop.  I point out the sexual orientation of these neighbors simply because they seemed anxious to let everyone know it.  Still more memorable about these neighbors was their dogs -- and they had several -- all large and most loud.

I learned that a particular dog, Ginger, belonging to one of the lesbian couples, was vicious. Ginger is a big yellowish / light brown female short hair mix-breed  animal who nearly always was tethered at the campsite. I never heard her bark or growl.  My small pink pepper spray canister was close at hand but often I forgot to remove it from the leash and have my finger on the trigger.  That would be regrettable.

Lexie and Ozzie's Sunday early afternoon walk was interrupted by Wayne's return from Walmart with groceries. Wayne told me he would take everything inside from the car and that I should continue walking the babies. During this time almost all the long weekend campers were gone but the four lesbian couples were still there.  Walking past Ginger, I saw the yellow mongrel was in process of being transferred from her tie-out position into the truck. The babies and I were about 50 feet away when I heard one of the women yell out to the dog. I turned around to see the huge yellow mongrel running, crouched, directly toward Ozzie.   In less than a flash Ozzie was in Ginger's mouth being violently shaken the same way Ozzie shakes his stuffed squeaky shark.  In the next instant I was flat on the ground trying to pull the heathen off Ozzie, never even thinking about the pepper spray that's always on the leash.  My effort must have been successful as Ozzie lay on his back, in the leaves, yelping when two of the women reached Ginger and held her. As I grabbed Ozzie off the ground another of the women took Lexie and I remember seeing one of those women sitting astride Ginger's front quarter while the other held her by the tail. 

Getting Lexie and Ozzie back to our campsite, I sat down with them in their little playpen that was set up in our front yard. I could find no wounds on Ozzie; Lexie was terrified but uninjured.  I saw my pants were torn and I had a 1" scrape just under my right knee.  It was only then that Wayne stepped out of the coach to see us.  Both Lexie and Ozzie had evacuated during the attack and in picking them up, unknowingly, we had smeared them (and ourselves) with excrement.  We were a mess.  All of the women were profusely apologetic and tried to help with the cleanup. 

We watched Ozzie closely for signs of unusual behavior and would take him to the Auburn Vet Clinic's Emergency Room if needed, but he would return to his usual antics within 24 hours so we didn't have to do that.  We know we dodged a bullet in that attack.  Another few shakes from Ginger and Ozzie could have been killed and Lexie could have been next.  We now take our large steel pointed walking stick when we go for walks.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Few Days At Columbus, West Point Lake and Warm Springs, Georgia

Here's the our latest damage report. We've found a crack in our panoramic windshield. Seems this might not be uncommon as the huge one-piece glass front is under tremendous stress, especially during times of leveling the coach.  We don't know what caused ours or exactly when it happened but it is there and will eventually lead to windshield replacement.  ... So we placed a few telephone calls, left Auburn and made our way to Columbus, Georgia to have a glass shop take a look. 
We enjoyed our time at Chewacla State Park and met some nice folks. Our neighbors are from Rochester, New York but have been residents of LaGrange, Georgia for time.  In meeting Trisha and Keith we learned they have just begun their new life of full-timing in their Pace Arrow motorhome.  They're parked in the site beside us and that's a good thing as they (like Lynn and Jay) love to cook and shared a lovely Asian Pork dish with us.  Yum.
Didn't get Keith in the picture.
This is Trisha with Samantha and Rugger the pee-pee prone feline.
Chewacla State Park has been beautiful this fall with a huge great range of colors and good weather for the most part.  All we can do is hope that we have more of it in our new location.
Ready to pull out of our site at Chewacla
At the glass shop in Columbus we were told our cracked windshield replacement should be done by a large motorhome specialty repair facility.  Seems the crack is not dangerous at this point and the windshield is not likely to collapse, they say. There are several large dealers along our route into central Florida so we'll have it done later.  I'm a little apprehensive about getting a lap (and face) full of windshield, but I'll take their word for the safety factor.

From there we drove to West Point Lake beyond LaGrange, Georgia.  One of the Corp of Engineers Campgrounds there, Whitetail Ridge, proved to be worth the effort of getting there through the seedy side of LaGrange. We were assigned a site along the lake edge that provided plenty of privacy, a beautiful view and lots of walking space for Ozzie and Lexie.  The only bad thing about being here is that our satellite signal was not strong so tv reception is limited.  Turns out that's a problem for the coming Saturday as Auburn will play Georgia and we'll certainly want to watch the game. Hummmm.
Site #19 at Whitetail Ridge COE Campground.
Curbside opens up to a huge gravel picnic area and the lake edge.

Nice foliage and good walking conditions for Lexie (the blur) and Ozzie.
Our site is on a cul-de-sac with very little vehicle traffic.
Selecting the campground on West Point Lake, we didn't realize how close we'd be to Warm Springs Georgia and President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Little White House.  I had forgotten that FDR was stricken with polio in 1921. He felt the natural warm springs were helpful to his condition and in 1927 he founded the hospital for rehabilitation here.
Entry to FDR's Little White House at Warm Springs, Georgia
All except the Little White House property itself proved to be disappointing as it seemed run-down and virtually deserted.
This huge campus area appears well groomed in the photo but shows signs of neglect.

This concrete "head" of FDR is particularly ugly and the property is neglected as seen here.
It's just standing in an area between two streets and could be better presented for sure.

Today's weather was about as good as we could want and we enjoyed the ride to and back from Warm Springs. Lexie and Ozzie got to take several nice long walks through through the woods and around the entry building of the Little White House.  They were happy though, to get home and back into their windowsill perch.
A restful afternoon on the windowsill.

Wearing their new hooded sweatshirts.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Lexie and Ozzie Go To Auburn University School of Veterinary Medicine

Ever since we first adopted Lexie we knew we would take her to Auburn's Vet School to have her teeth cleaned and the cyst on her hip removed.  On Monday. from our campsite at Chewacla State Park, Wayne made the appointment for 11 a.m. the same day.  She and Ozzie each had an overall examination, their vaccinations were updated and we got a new supply of heartworm meds and flea prevention for both. 

Both babies got a good overall report and they weigh within a few ounces of one another -- just over 7 pounds --a surprise since Ozzie looks larger than Lexie.  Wayne says Ozzie is a basketball player (lanky) and Lexie is a football player (stocky). We learned that Ozzie has a bit of tarter buildup but won't need a cleaning for another year. Lexie's teeth are worse, with one missing and another broken. She's scheduled to return in early December for a cleaning -- putting her to sleep makes me uneasy but it is necessary for her overall good health. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Auburn v Ole Miss with Family and Friends

War Eagle!  Our first trip to Auburn for 2011 tailgating would be the last weekend of October when Ole Miss came to town.  Thursday's ride from Alexander City was short and the weather was near perfect -- warm and sunny. We arrived and set up as we normally do in the hayfield across from Jules Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art on College Street. Afterward, we sat and watched others do the same.
Before setup we took the babies out for an introduction to the hayfield.
We finally found the perfect Auburn dog clothes at Anders Book Store.
A ruffled dress for Lexie and matching muscle shirt for Ozzie.
Lynn and Jay arrived after dark on Friday, getting away from work earlier than usual. They stopped at Lindsey's dorm to pick her up and we had a visit with the three of them for a little while that night. Jay slept on the sofa while Lynn "roughed it" on a foam mattress on the floor. The temperature plummeted and we worried they would freeze but they swear they didn't.  Next morning was downright cold but the sun was bright at least.
Lynn swears she's showing the AU logo but I think she was trying to hide it like the devoted Alabama fan she is.
By mid-morning Jay had taken his rightful place among the tons of food he and Lynn had brought. We started the day with bloody mary's and roasted peanuts.  Barbeque pork roast, greek coleslaw and some of the best baked beans I've ever tasked were ready by noon.  Yum.
Wayne devoured two plates of pork, slaw and beans.
This after two BM's and peanuts.  What cold weather?

We met our neighbors and shared the food bounty.
Debbie and Bobby

Feeling like royalty near the Auburn Throne.

Jay and Wayne were fat and sassy by mid- afternoon.
Just before gametime, Jay made grilled chicken / ciabatta sandwiches for supper.  He must have cooked 50 chicken breasts and we had all the trimmings. There were two delicious broccoli cheese casseroles that were devoured by us and all our neighbors.  What a great time we had.  The game was close and tense but Auburn pulled it off for another victory.  I think Jay and Lynn are coming 'round too. Jay even accepted an Auburn cap from Wayne. 

Lindsey works several stadium boxes on gamedays so didn't get to see her again until Sunday morning. Lynn and Jay took her out to lunch Sunday and after, we took these pictures. 
Lynn, Lindsey and Jay (in his Auburn cap) on Sunday morning.

Lynn and Lindsey

Beautiful Lindsey. War Eaglet.

Not uncommon to see Lynn talking and Lindsey's antics in the background.



Wayne, Lindsey, Jay and Lynn

Lindsey with yours truly.

By early afternoon, Lindsey was back at her dorm studying, Lynn and Jay were driving back to Pelham so Wayne and I finally left the hayfield to take a campsite at Chewacla State Park for a few days.  We were among the last few tailgaters to leave the hayfield.
Leaving the hayfield. For now.