camp cuddles summer 2021 featured image

Camp Cuddles Summer 2021

Hello everyone! Today, I thought I’d share how Camp Cuddles Summer 2021 has been going!

In case you don’t know, Camp Cuddles is what I call anytime that I’m dogsitting my puppy niece. It started as a joke when my sister needed a dog sitter last summer and I joked that the dog was coming to “summer camp”. Thus, Camp Cuddles was born! Since then, my puppy niece has Camp Cuddles at least once per season, so this is the Summer 2021 edition! I adore having her here so

Camp Cuddles 2021

My puppy niece arrived at Camp Cuddles late June. I had gone to the city to pick her up! (I also stopped by the Chicago Art Institute but mostly the reason for the trip was to get the dog.) She and I took the train back up to the suburbs.

For the most part, Arya is a nervous traveller. She does not like being in cars or trains so I knew I’d have to cuddle her a lot. She started crying when we got on the train so I opened up her carrier a bit, stuck my hand in to pet her, and had to pet her the entire hour and a half train journey. She had to stay in her carrier per the train rules, so this was the only way to comfort her. Luckily, no one on the train really seemed to notice or mind that she was there, and she did quiet down when I pet her.

Arya always takes a few days to readjust to Camp Cuddles. I do notice her stomach is a little more sensitive and she’ll vomit a little bit for a few days (which I refer to her “going blah”). She’ll also gulp water too fast and then also “blah” the water out. Oh, and she’ll shed her hair like crazy too for about a week after she arrives. But after a little bit of time she’ll adjust again and be fine!

Now, for all previous Camp Cuddles, I was unemployed after being furloughed. This time, I’m employed so I was worried she’d hate this experience as I wouldn’t be able to just play with her all day. She seems to be dealing okay with that though. I moved one of her dog beds into my home office and she’ll just hang out with grandma or grandpa if they are home and then sleep in her dog bed if they are not. She’ll occasionally cry from time to time if she really wants attention but for the most part she’ll just sleep and wait for me to get done with work.

Even though she doesn’t like the car, we have had some adventures! I did take her to PetSmart to get her more dog food and then stopped by TJ Maxx with her where she got tons of attention. She also loved the beach, as there are some good trails over there and she loved sitting there and enjoying the views. I’d taken her to the beach previously too and she seemed to remember! The day was super clear and so I sent my sister a lovely photo of her dog at the beach and mentioned that we had pointed out the Chicago skyline to the dog and told her “look! Your mom is over there!” My sister loved it and sent back a photo of her roommate’s dog, Raven, who was also at the beach! What a funny coincidence!

Arya was also a huge hit at the library! I took her to one of the book club meetings on the lawn. Since we aren’t allowed to have indoor events yet at the library she was able to attend (we can browse inside so I’m kinda confused on that – but I don’t make the rules, I just follow them!). Arya was such a good girl and we really enjoyed having her around, although I’ll admit she was quite distracting. But she listened while we discussed Genghis Khan, which was fun for her I’m sure. She also had an adventure going to cheer her mom on at a 5k run! Our high school track coach also is the cross country coach so she hosts a 5k race in the summers before the school year starts as a sort of way to raise money for the program, keep the XC kids active and running during the season, and for the community to have a local 5k to participate in. Many alum and locals participate and she had excellent turnout this year, despite her saying she had been worried (I think it had to be completely cancelled last year). Anyway, Arya lost her mind when she saw her mom and tried to run with her for a bit but I just moved her to the finish line where we waited for my sister to finish the race. Arya had a blast hanging out with her mom and eventually we had to say goodbye. Arya and I got back in my mom’s borrowed car (I sold my car to my sister and the car shortages have made it difficult to buy another) when she realized that my sister wasn’t coming. Poor baby cried all the way home! It broke my heart and she was so sad the rest of the day but after a ton of cuddles and snuggles she eventually was okay.

One other thing is that she was here over Fourth of July and she is terrified of fireworks. Unfortunately, we have a shady neighbor that spends most of the year away but moves his family back into the house next door for just the summer. (We know he’s shady because shady characters will regularly spy on the house to see if he’s home or ask the other neighbors if we know if he’s home and the cops have also patrolled and asked before if he was home. When he is home he tries to keep the front of the house looking uninhabited too by keeping the blinds closed all day. It’s creepy!) The shady neighbor will buy fireworks (even though I think it’s illegal in Illinois) and set them off constantly the days leading up to the 4th. It’s so annoying and in order to try to keep the dog calm, my sister sent her with some sleepy time meds. I felt so bad having to drug the dog but she was so calm and able to sleep through the smaller fireworks and was okay through the bigger ones instead of shaking in terror. That did make me feel a lot better about it seeing that she was able to stay calm and not panic.

So overall, Camp Cuddles Summer 2021 has been a hit thus far! The puppy is still here so I’m sure we’ll have an update next month, but I’m so happy to snuggle and cuddle her for a bit longer.

Thanks for reading!


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