Maizy was able to enjoy a recent camping trip away from home thanks to a birthday celebration.

On Sept. 15 my family gathered at a campground near Decorah to enjoy a night away from home, camping for my mom's 60th birthday. Luckily, the campground allowed us to have our dogs in the house where we stayed so I didn't have to worry about making other arrangements for Maizy.

The afternoon of the trip, as we packed up, Maizy knew something was brewing. She became even more excited when she noticed some of her items carried outside to the vehicle. Maybe it was more like agitation because she likely assumed she was going to the boarders, as has been the case the last two times her items were packed up. As the miles passed she realized she was in the clear and settled in for the trip.

Little did she know she would be encountering her old "friend" (or frienemy?) Pete and meeting new friend, Oreo. Pete generally just avoids Maizy and Maizy prefers it that way. Pup Oreo was interested in getting to know her, but, as fickle as she can sometimes be, she didn't want to be Oreo's friend. Can you say stuck up?!

The only problem I encountered that evening was falling asleep. It really was quite comical. We tried to settle in with Maizy on the air mattress but that comfy oasis was soon wrecked when the nozzle opened after it rubbed on the floorboard. We couldn't find the pump so we tried to make due with a less-than supportive bed. I finally got fed up with trying to sleep in that unstable situation, so I moved to the couch, along with Maizy.

I tried to drift off to sleep but was quickly awakened by what I was later told were likely chipmunks in the walls scurrying around. It felt like they were in the room with me. My brain quickly went to places it shouldn't have and I had visions of them scampering on me and gnawing on my toes.

Freaked out, I picked up Maizy and went out to the pickup to try to sleep in there. That didn't last long due to cramped quarters so it was back to the air mattress to spend the remainder of the early morning hours - on the lesser of the evils.

It was an interesting night indeed. Not only was I lacking sleep, but Maizy was likely upset at me for waking her up and toting her around all night. That dog can sleep anywhere, but I learned I couldn't anymore! Is that something that comes with getting older?

Although the dogs didn't become fast friends, and our sleeping arrangements weren't ideal, it didn't put a damper on the festivities. We had a cookout, ate birthday cake and made s'mores over a cracklin' fire in the moonlight. All in all, it was a great weekend. Lots of memories were made and laughter shared. I think everyone, most importantly the birthday girl, had a great time.