McKinney Campground & a Miracle with Sheba

The main street in our loop

Today was sunny, warm and windy… the kind of day when sitting outside makes you very sleepy.  If we had brought our heavy lounge chairs we would probably have taken two-hour naps outside.

Incredible colors

I got to talk with our Casita neighbor, Jean, today.   Her Casita is a 2004 Spirit Deluxe — in excellent condition.  And I met her parrot, Sam.  Sam is around 50 years old.  He was one of the last legally wild-caught parrots before they passed laws banning the practice.  She rescued him about 42 years ago from a pet shop.

Sam has liver and kidney problems, so she has to feed him liquid food through a syringe three times a day, along with his regular fruits and vegetables.  Because he needs such care, she doesn’t dare leave him with anyone else, so she brings him with her in the Casita.  His cage is set up on the dinette table, and Jean has plastic attached to the surrounding carpet to keep any mess off the walls.

More fantastic color

She is building a setup where she can put him in a screened enclosure outside so he can enjoy the outdoors, too.

Jean is an amazing animal person!  She calmed Sheba down just by talking to her and stroking her.  Then she told me how to train Sheba not to lunge on her leash.  It was so simple.  All you do is give a light yank on her leash when she tugs and very firmly and calmly say no.

I tried it this afternoon.  Sheba started out with her usual lunging, but within a few minutes was walking nicely on the leash.  Occasionally she would forget and lunge, but a tug and a firm “no” would instantly stop her.  By the time our walk ended she was doing so beautifully that she simply sat and watched two squirrels!

Giant slabs of blue rock are everywhere. I am guessing they are blue because they have a lot of copper in them? The other rock had a lot of mica in it and glittered like silver. Unfortunately, my camera didn’t pick it up.

It was magic.

I told Ron about it, so he tried it when he took her on her walk this evening.  He came back shaking his head.  “Sheba was SO GOOD!”

I admit… we are the world’s dumbest dog parents.  I can’t believe we couldn’t figure that out by ourselves.  I am very embarrassed to admit that we didn’t.

But, it’s a miracle and it works!!!

Now… to teach Sheba not to get so exuberant and out-of-control excitable when she meets people.  But after today, I am sure it will come.  I’ll ask Jean how to do it!  🙂

Our campfire this evening

I had my camera with me when I visited with Jean today, but didn’t feel comfortable asking for photos of her and Sam.


  1. Don’t feel bad. I don’t get puppies because I am a terrible trainer. Luck for me Fred was already trained and he learns fast.


  2. Of course, I have been following all your adventures and am amazed how far you’ve come from the A-liner! How nice that you can get together with other Casita owners and share notes! It seems that the manufacturer would want to know about some of the solutions you all come up with!

    The photos of your mountain trip were quite amazing. We’re used to hills in Western PA, and the Turnpike has great scenery and lots of mountains, but the grades aren’t as steep, and there are tunnels that cut through several of the mountains.

    As I’ve mentioned, I don’t have a dog, but I like to watch the Dog Whisperer’s program, and Cesar would very much approve of the pulling on the leash. It kind of brings them out of the ‘trance’ that they get into with whatever bad habits they have. It also is good to keep dogs on a short leash when walking so that they walk beside you and not in front. And you should go inside the house or outside the house first, and have them follow you. I’m sure Sheba will be a wonderful dog and companion! And Sunny is just too adorable! She doesn’t seem jealous of Sheba at all!

    The story about the parrot is amazing! Her owner is obviously very devoted! I’m enjoying all your stories and your information, which is quite educational! Never knew about mushrooms! I’ll stick with the baby bella mushrooms from the store!


    • Kathy, I love hearing from you. You have been with this blog from the beginning!

      The Aliner was a wonderful transition from tent camping to trailer camping. It opened up a whole new world of adventure for us, and introduced us to a new passion after we retired. Ron and I have spent the happiest times of our marriage out camping — with the comforts of kitchen, bathroom and comfortable beds. All in the pint-sized package that we love.

      And the Casita was a major step up and a dream come true!

      I never heard it described as a “trance” but that’s exactly what happens with Sheba! That explains why the tugging on the leash and the firm “no” is so effective!

      I also was amazed at Jean’s devotion to her parrot. It takes a special person to do that year after year, decade after decade!


  3. How wonderful that you met someone who knows about training dogs! We would be clueless. Thinking now that we should go to dog training school before we get one! If we get one.
    Glad you are having a great time. This weather seems perfect!


    • Lynne, we really wanted to take Sheba to obedience school, but it just didn’t fit into our budget after all the vet bills. It would sure make life easier on the dogs and owners if all new puppy owners could do that!

      The weather is beyond perfect — it truly couldn’t be any more beautiful!


  4. cathieok

     /  October 17, 2012

    So glad you will be enjoying your walks with Sheba. Ours were pullers, and we got a harness that hooks to the leash in front. That stopped almost 99% of the pulling. Also does not put the strain on their neck and danger of hurting them. We also have the exuberant greeters, so when you find that answer, please share! :)). You have a lovely campsite!


    • Cathie, we have the anti-pull harness for Sheba. It goes over her chest with thickly padded straps that tighten around her legs when she pulls. It’s supposed to be uncomfortable enough to make the dog start pulling. But Sheba is a horse and it doesn’t faze her!!! She would make an excellent sled dog!

      Jean tried to work with Sheba this morning to tame the exuberance – without any luck! That’s something I guess we have to live with until she matures a little more. Eventually I want to train her to sit when she meets people. She instantly sits on command now – except when other people are around!


  5. Even your rock photos are beautiful!


    • What a nice compliment! I LOVE rocks… to me they are the heart of the earth. Our well is drilled through 300 feet of solid white quartz and green granite. That amazes me!


  6. cozygirl

     /  October 17, 2012

    And to think it only took a gentle tug…Sheba is onto her way to adulthood :O)


    • …except when she meets other people. Sigh. 🙂

      But Ron and I are still just stunned at how well the gentle tug and “no” works!


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