Smarty Spot

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Camp Smarty

You've no doubt heard about Camp George. When I need a break from the workaday world and its daily demands, I go to Camp George to let my hair down, have my feet rubbed, play, and just be a puppy again.

Well, over the holidays it was my turn. I was given a promotion and tasked with hosting a camp of my own - Smarty's Christmas Camp!

My owners left rigorous instructions for me, explaining how to run the camp while they were away. I'm actually not sure if they have any "executive" camp experience - and handing me off to George doesn't count if you don't stay for the initiation rites. That's probably why the owners tasked me with the Christmas Camp: I may not have officially run a camp before, unless keeping Scoche out of trouble with Bo counts...but I have been apprenticed by the best.

Here are some excerpts of the instructions I was left:

Smarty is 2 yrs old. She is a “people person” and accepts as much affection as will be given to her. But she is also exceedingly food-motivated and wants her breakfast, dinner, and snacks not just on time but early. She has a vivid imagination. She is basically Snoopy, if you’ve ever read Peanuts!

Each day at one of their two meals please give them either a spoonful of yogurt each (it’s in the fridge) or split a banana between them. There’s no science to this so don’t worry. BE WARNED: If you eat a banana, Smarty will look at you with a “That’s MY banana!” look (try it, it’s funny).

I tried to follow these instructions as closely as possible.

Not only was I told how to run the meals, I was also told how to run the games:

When feeding Smarty, make her act like a lady – she understands “Wait!” although she will pretend not to. You don’t want her to attack the food before it’s on the ground. She loves to eat, so she’ll adjust to you if you are firm – whatever it takes is her motto.

Smarty will want to go out immediately after waking up. But she’ll need to go later because her mind is already on breakfast and sometimes she only pretends to go!

I love playing pretend! But hey, who doesn't? That's why it's at the heart of the Smarty Christmas Camp. But ultimately it's hard work being camp director. I have new appreciation for all the sweat equity George has to pour into his camp. For example, here's a picture of me serving as playground monitor:

Obviously I would have preferred to be playing too. But the last thing you want is for someone to get hurt on your watch - even if playing "pretend" only results in imaginary injuries.

Being Camp Director has its rewards, though. I was given a handsome salary:

That's clearly far more than George ever made. As you can see, the humans I took care off also posted a blog about their experiences. They did so in a literal fashion, physically taping it to the bag of treats they left for me! (Speaking of which, shouldn't I have some better access to those?)

Blogging about one's experiences at camp is actually quite important. It follows that long tradition of "what I did over school vacation" essays. It also helps with publicity - word of mouth is probably what will bring people to Smarty's Christmas Camp next year.

So... start saving now! Only 357 days left till next Christmas Camp!


  • At 6:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I pretend too but she caught on.
    I know you must have tried surfing at the beach but have you ever counter surfed? You must try it sometime!

  • At 10:02 PM, Blogger lovetheonly said…

    Hi smarty.
    You have too much time on your hands.
    I spose you would...being a dog and all...but can't you crochet something for the baby or something??!!

    This is your aunt Hannah btw

  • At 8:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    Sign me up!



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