Ruffin’ it

A month ago we went camping. We headed to South Mountains State Park, an easy, pretty, hour and 40 min drive from home. It was the first time we used our tent, and our first time camping together as a family. Because of course we took the dogs. Hence the title. Get it? Ruffin’ it? Like dogs go ruff ruff! Ok….

For reference, Asheville is on the far left.

We just went for two nights, leaving after work on Friday, Aug. 24, and coming back home on Sunday. The weather was perfect. One great thing about Charlotte is that you can drive less than 2 hours and be in the mountains.

On our hike.

Saturday morning we went on a hike to the waterfall that is a main attraction at South Mountain. We followed the trail sign that said “High Shoals Falls loop.” It said 1.5 miles, so we thought, no problem, onward! Well, we didn’t pay attention to the actual map of the trails, and ended up on the equestrian trail that goes pretty much straight up and around the mountain. I was dying, the dogs were loving it. I ended up letting Corbin pull me up the side of the mountain by his leash. He didn’t seem to mind.

The equestrian trail we ended up on.

Finally we reached the top and saw another sign for the waterfall. We went through a couple of backpack-in sites, which would be fun to do sometime, and made it!

High Shoals Falls

Trying to get the dogs to sit still for a picture is nigh impossible.

There are a bunch of wooden viewing platforms and stairs built along the falls and up to it, which make up the main portion of the trail loop we should have been on. As we were hiking, we were going down all the stairs, while everyone else was going up. It was then that figured we might have gone the wrong way on the trail. Although, I would rather go down the stairs than up. There were hundreds of them! I had Gus’s leash when we were on the stairs, and those dogs just wanted to race all the way to the bottom. I would say, “Gus, stop!” and he would sit down on the steps and wait for me to catch up.

Hiking doggies.

We did make it back to the campsite, where we collapsed after figuring we went at least 5 miles, rather than the 3 mile loop it was supposed to be. Did I mention we didn’t have any water or snacks with us? Yep, I am out of practice when it comes to “Be prepared.” Next time I think we should get one of those dog backpacks and have them carry some water and food for us.

A neat thing about our campsite is that there was a stream running right behind it. You know how those doggies love their bodies of water. We walked a ways down stream and let them off leash to swim. It was so funny to watch them and how they handled walking along the stream. There were some places where we had to step from rock to rock. Gus would just forge right through the water, totally ignoring the rocks, while Corbin tried to keep his paws as dry as possible, sometimes leaping across to avoid getting wetter than necessary. I ended up with a soaked shoe. Those rocks were slippery.

Our campsite!

Stream behind our campsite.

Hanging out in the tent.

Corbin acting noble.

Checking out the dog at the campsite next to us.


Unexpected lengthy hike aside, it was a great little break from civilization! I hope we can go again before it gets too cold.










After my last blog post, I went back and was looking at some of my old ones, and realized I never formally introduced the newest member of our pack!

This is Corbin!

We adopted Corbin at the beginning of May from the Greater Charlotte SPCA. I found him via We believe he is a Rhodesian Ridgeback mix. He doesn’t have a ridge on his back, but his coloring fits the bill. He and Gus have so much fun together!

This is the first night we had Corbin. As you can see, Gus is not sure what to think of  this young pup sitting on his couch.

Corbin gets along with everyone, except that cat of ours. He is convinced that JD is evil. He loves all people though and knows how to turn on the charm. When his foster mom brought him over, Stephen knelt down and Corbin went right up to him and snuggled right in between his knees! I knew from that moment that we would be keeping him, even though we had a week trial run before we had to commit.

Corbin, expert snuggler.

Corbin is an excellent snuggler, although he sleeps in his crate at night. I drew the line at having two dogs on the bed, and when it gets colder, a cat too.

Corbin loves his big brother! Gus tolerates Corbin. We’ve actually been pretty impressed with how patient Gus is with Corbin. Being a puppy, (he’s about 10 months old now) he has more energy to get out than Gus does. They play together a lot, but it seems like when they are not playing, Corbin is chewing on Gus’s leg, or nibbling and tugging on his scruff, trying to get Gus to wrestle. And if Gus is not interested in playing, he just sits there and let’s Corbin chew on him.

Nap time.

I was a little apprehensive about getting a second dog, but now that we have Corbin, I am glad we went for it!