When we left Melbourne on Friday, we were headed to CAP Kid Camp!

To be honest, I had no idea what CAP Kid Camp was, but mommy and daddy seemed really excited about it, so that made me really excited about it too.  I know that if mommy and daddy are excited about something that it’s probably going to be pretty awesome.

I know that mommy and daddy were eager to see their friend Jeff, but I could also tell that it was more to their excitement than just Jeff.  Daddy says that Jeff is one of his best friends and he’s doing great work through his nonprofit organization, Children’s Alopecia Project.  That’s what CAP stands for, Children’s Alopecia Project.

Before we packed up the house on wheels, we were able to take one last walk at Wickham Park.  That made me really happy!  I was going to get to chase some squirrels and see Pat and Alice one last time before we left.  A lot of times when we go to Wickham Park, me and my daddy walk one lap with Aunt Sally’s gang and then walk home.  Depending on what route we take, that walk is anywhere from five to seven miles long.  I love long walks like that.  I could go even further, but I have to let my daddy off easy so that he doesn’t get too tired.  The last two weeks that we were in Melbourne, me and daddy walked over 30 miles each week.  That was so awesome.

On Friday though, we were going to stay in the park so that we could spend more time with Aunt Sally’s gang.  Pat and Alice are Aunt Sally’s gang.  The three of them are really good friends.  Pat and Alice seemed really happy that I stayed in the park and walked with them the whole time.  I knew they would be happy to walk with me because I’m the best dog around.  Daddy says that I should be humbler, but I’m just telling the truth.

As soon as we got out of Aunt Sally’s van, we saw Richie.  I love Richie because he always gives me a snack.  I went right over to him and sat pretty and gave him the googly eyes.  He melted and gave me a couple treats right away.  I stayed there hoping for more, but daddy said, “That’s enough.”  I didn’t think that was fair of daddy, I wanted more treats from Richie and I know that if I sat there staring at him with googly eyes, he would have given in for sure.

Oh well, you can’t blame a pup for trying.

Just when I thought that my morning couldn’t get any better, one of the workers at Wickham Park stopped and pulled out a bag of bacon and asked my daddy if I could have some bacon.  I looked right at my daddy and said, “You better say, ‘Yes!’”

He did!

Man, was that bacon amazing!

I love our long walks back to the house from Wickham Park, but if I’m going to get bacon if we walk in the park the whole time, I may have to convince daddy of a new routine when we get back to Melbourne.

Another surprise on our walk was that we got to walk with Lynda for the last part of our park too!  Lynda loves me just like everyone else does, again, let’s face it, I’m a pretty lovable guy.  Just like us, Lynda recently moved into a house on wheels too!  I hope that someday me and mommy and daddy get to see her and Beth in their house on wheels somewhere.  That would be so awesome!

When we got back from the park, mommy and daddy and Aunt Sally had to vacuum out her van and clean the windows before we packed up the house on the wheels.  Here somebody slobbered all over the windows and there was blond hair all over the van.  I don’t who did that, but they got it all cleaned up really nice.

On our way to CAP Kid Camp, we were going to meet Cousin Debi for lunch.  That made mommy and daddy happy too.  They love when they get to see family.  So do I!  I love our family!

As soon as we pulled into the parking lot of the restaurant, Cousin Debi came over to the house on wheels to greet me.  She said hi to me and petted me really good!  I made her smile, which is what I do best.  She told daddy that I could come and sit at the table with them for lunch, but daddy said, no.  He told her that if another dog came in, it would turn into a scene from Marley and Me.  He probably wasn’t wrong, but I still thought that he should have let me go to the table with them.  No biggie, I just napped in the air conditioning instead.  I could’ve seen them the whole time if I would have stayed awake, but I wanted to save some energy for CAP Kids Camp.

After lunch, we drove to Camp Winona, which is where the CAP Kid Camp was.  We saw Jeff right away.

As we were backing into our spot for the weekend, this yellow lab named, Winnie, she had a major crush on me, came up near the house on wheels and started flirting with me, but I didn’t want anything to do with her!  I’ve been single this long; I’m not changing now.

I hung out in the house wheels and watched the Olympics on Friday night as mommy and daddy got to know some of the people at the camp, but I knew that Saturday was going to be my day to shine, and I couldn’t wait for that.

Sure enough, as soon as I went out on Saturday morning to do my business, I went right to work making people smile!  First it was a CAP Kid dad, then a CAP Kid Mom and sister and then after breakfast, it was off to the races!  Daddy and I went down the trail to the archery range first and all of the CAP Kids in that group and even some of their parents came over to pet me.  I was making all of them smile!

Then we went to the high ropes course to see the other group of CAP Kids and bingo!  I was at it again!  Letting people pet me and handing out smiles like it was my job!  Well, actually, it is my job and I’m really good at it.

Alice and Zelda might have loved me the most, but it was really too close to call.  All of the CAP Kids loved me a lot.  I loved all of the CAP Kids equally, I didn’t have any favorites at all.  They were all tremendous!

Now I knew why mommy and daddy were so excited about this CAP Kid Camp.  It’s because these CAP Kids and their families are super-duper special!  You see I found out that alopecia is an auto-immune disorder that causes people’s hair to fall out and I don’t mean shedding like I do.  It really falls out.  Depending on what type of alopecia they have, it can be anywhere from small spots to losing all of their hair.  But you know what, these kids were awesome with or without hair.

Sometimes other kids might bully them and that’s not right.  They just don’t have hair and there’s nothing wrong with that.  I don’t know why some humans have to be mean to other people.  That doesn’t make any sense to me.  Why would you be mean to someone who you don’t even know?  All I have to say is that if I ever catch someone bullying one of my CAP Kid friends, that person better watch out because I’m going bite them right in their butt!

Sometimes people think that they have cancer when they see that they don’t have any hair, but they’re perfectly healthy.  When people think that they have cancer they feel sorry for the CAP Kids.  But CAP Kids don’t want you to feel sorry for them, they just want you to treat them the same as you would treat any other kid.  That’s probably why they like me so much, because I was just there loving them and handing out smiles and letting them pet all over me.  I didn’t care if they had hair or not, I just wanted to love them all the same!

That’s why I think that humans should be more like dogs.  Especially more like this dog!

Those CAP Kids sure did have a lot of fun playing with each other at the camp.  They were all laughing and smiling and hugging.  I added to the fun, but I have to admit it wasn’t all me.  The staff at the YMCA Camp Winona were pretty awesome too.  They really liked making the CAP Kids smile.  Some of them must have had some golden retriever in them because they could get those CAP Kids smiling almost as good as did.

I think that if humans worried more about just making other people smile and getting to know each other better and less about what each other looks like, the world would be a much better place.

This is Annie, Mommy, Stephanie and me.

On top of all of the awesome CAP Kids and their families that I met, I also got to meet two of the CAP Kid speakers at the camp.  They were both really good petters too!  Their names were Annie and Stephanie.  They both had alopecia and they were there to let the younger kids know that everything was going to be alright.

Daddy did a podcast with them that is coming out on Friday.  I can’t wait to hear it!

Annie played softball in college, so her and daddy hit it off right away (pun intended – woof).  I can be a funny dog sometimes and can make myself laugh!  They also knew some of the same people like daddy’s friends Jennie and Leah.  Daddy and Annie both helped at softball camps that Jennie and Leah did.  They talked a lot about softball.  They also talked about how important it was to have faith in God.  I always have faith in God to know that He is always going to take care of me and mommy and daddy.

Daddy and Stephanie are both published authors, so they had something in common too.  They talked a lot about books and the writing experience.  Daddy was a little jealous of Stephanie though because she’s only 20 years old and is an author already.  Daddy was 43 years old before he published his first book.  But I will have them both beat when my children’s book comes out later this year.  I’ll only be 13 when I become a published author!  I don’t want to hear anything about this “but in dog years” malarky either.  I’ll be 13 when I get published, so I will be the youngest out of me and daddy and Stephanie.

Stephanie’s book is called Stronger Together and it’s about her alopecia journey.  I can’t wait to read it.  I just need mommy or daddy to hold it for me because my paws can’t hold a book right and trying to turn the pages is a real disaster.  When people blame the dog for eating their homework, we were actually just trying to check it for our humans and then the frustration sets in and it all goes downhill from there.

Sunday morning, I got to see some of the CAP Kids again and gave them big smiles for their rides home.  It was another one of those happy and sad days for me though.  I love meeting all of these totally awesome new humans, but then I get so sad when we have to say good-bye.

I love my CAP Kids and hope that mommy and daddy take me to more CAP Kid Camps on our journey so that I can see them again and meet new CAP Kid friends too.

I hope that they all remember me as fondly as I remember them.