July 12, 2016
Susie Ma’am and I often hear the same statement from campers, counselors and graduates school friends:
“You must have the best job in the world.”
I can see why someone might think that. We both get to work with our best friend. We are surrounded by uplifting young people. We get to help wonderful children grow in confidence and competence.
But the statement is wrong.
Dodger Ma’am (our basset hound) has the best job in the world.
I think there is no doubt that “camp dog” is slightly more appealing than any other occupation. Frankly, it is not even close. The job description is pretty lax.
Be cute. Allow yourself to be petted. Gaze longingly at campers.
The perks are also awesome. I think she takes 9-10 ninety minute rest breaks. Food is readily available at home, but only if the food that campers sneak to her is less appealing. She has menu choices.
There are a few slightly active elements of the job. First, chase squirrels into the tree. To be clear, there is not a squirrel on the property that fears this basset. She chases and they comfortable jog to the nearest tree where they bark staccato threats from the branches. Personally, I think Dodger Ma’am thinks she is respected and dreaded. Obviously, she does not understand squirrel-speak. While I am not completely fluent in squirrel-speak, I use the context clues for a rough translation, “Is that all you’ve got, silly dog? I am more frightened by a sudden gust of wind. Heck, I am gaining weight from all my foraging and your chasing does not even allow me to work it off.”
The other job is to bark maniacally at the campers participating in the Lake Swim. Today, the 6th-8th grade boys had their swim. We warned them in advance that their entry into the water triggers some odd cerebral reaction within the dog’s small brain: “campers in water = bark maniacally”. Remember when Lassie would bark to tell her owners that “Timmy fell down the well”? Well this is like that except, 1) Lassie knew when to stop barking, 2) we can SEE that the campers are in the water without any help and 3) no one laughed at Lassie.
The only downside of the job is the fact that she gets to wear a costume to the camp dances. The kids love it. Susie Ma’am and I are thoroughly amused. Dodger Ma’am, on the other hand, would prefer to take the 11th rest break rather than make an appearance. But we insist. Every job should have at least one task that helps us practice our self-control and selflessness. For Dodger Ma’am, it is the Goldfish costume at the Good as Gold Dance.
Into every life, some rain must fall.