Friday, August 8, 2008

"Backpack, Backpack" (-Dora the Explorer)

Bob & Tracee at the Robert-Laryn Skate Park at Treaty Park in St. Augustine

I never carried a diaper bag, didn’t use bottles, and always had changes of clothes stashed in the car or at a grandparent’s house. But now, after raising two of my own children, my car (and ever-present backpack) are loaded to the brink of rupture! “Why?” You ask, as my children are well beyond potty accidents and sippy cups. The answer is, “because I am a Puppy Raiser.” Puppies require a LOT of “stuff:” Busy bags, Furminators, puppy coats, leashes & collars (in every shape, size, color, pattern, and style imaginable, of course) spare food, water & collapsible bowls, a port-a-crate (I never even used a pack & play!) literature, identification, tie downs, flexi leads, bath wipes, hand sanitizer, the list seems almost endless. I have a “puppy bag;” I never had a diaper bag, but I now have 2 puppy bags, actually. There is a main “super bag” and then the “everything-that-has-to-be-carried-along-with-you” bag. I recently had to replace the everyday backpack, as it had been washed so many times, it simply fell apart. (This new one is constructed much better.) This bag is a combination purse/supply bag. (Much like a diaper bag becomes a catch all, from what I’ve heard.) All that very important puppy stuff like bags, wipes, literature, is in there, but then you have to throw in cash, keys, credit cards, sunglasses, photos of your children (the ones you actually gave birth to, you know, the ones who appear in one or two cell phone photos amid the sea of puppy pictures…) The super bag stays in the crate in the back of the SUV, the backpack, well, it is probably the source of most of my back aches, as it is almost a permanent fixture on my back. So in most of the photos of me and Bob, the ever-present puppy backpack can be seen. Yes, I look hunched over, floundering under the sheer weight of all Bob’s puppy “stuff” in most of the photos of us, so when I look tired, or like I’m not standing (or sitting) up straight, as we are all taught to do, the backpack may be the reason. Bending down to pick up busy piles, correcting a headstrong pup, it’s not those things that hurt our backs, it’s the backpack!

Bob at Camp Montgomery

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