April 2018 Newsletter

The Kind of Dog You Just Want to Carry

Olive, a 13-year-old Jack Russell Terrier, stays in a luxury lodge when she stays over at Happy Camper. Not because she even knows what a luxury lodge is, but because her back legs are paralyzed and putting her in with an active group of dogs wouldn’t be the best idea in the world.

In 2012, Olive fell down some stairs, causing a disc injury, said her pet parent Ann. Most of the time this type of paralysis progresses quickly, but Olive has had this condition going on six years, with it showing up significantly only in the past two years.

The dog ended up with her own private suite at Happy Camper after Ann did a lot of web research. “Happy Camper has quite a few good reviews,” said Ann, “and when I visited there, the staff was wonderful — very forthcoming.”

“You can’t not want to pick her up and carry her around,” said Mary Beth. Camp Counselor Dave actually made a sort of wheelchair for Olive out of PVC pipes and wheels. Mary Beth said she cried when she saw it. Now, when she’s home, Olive uses it outside. When she’s inside, she manages to walk in the house.

Before Olive injured her spine, she used to love chasing labs. When someone would throw a ball, the lab would get to it first, of course, so Olive would jump up, bite the lab’s neck, and grab the ball when he would drop it. Now she’s timid about interaction with other dogs. But, being a typical Jack Russell, she loves rope and long toys she can give the death shake.

Ann and Olive got together when Ann was working at an animal hospital in North Tampa. The hospital had an arrangement where they would give a free physical exam to puppies purchased from a nearby puppy store. However, Olive had such bad pneumonia that, for awhile, they didn’t think that she’d make it out of the clinic alive. But she did, and Ann adopted her.

As far as the paralysis goes, there isn’t a real timeframe because it’s progressed so slowly. Ann has her on Hill’s Joint Diet, so that may be helping. And throwing a little popcorn in once in awhile helps too, because popcorn is her favorite treat.

As far as the luxury lodge goes, each dog has its own television. And what do they watch? ”They have their own remotes,” said Mary Beth.

Happy One-Year Anniversary to Jenna & Dave

Jenna with Daisy

Jenna, what do you have to say after being at Happy Camper for one year?

“I can’t believe it’s already been a year at Happy Camper. Time flies by when you love what you do and who you work for.”

What do you love most about your job?

“Getting to build a special bond with the dogs that don’t get to go home every day to their families.”

Last but not least, what is your FAVORITE playgroup?

“How can I pick a favorite playgroup? I love them all!”


And here’s what Dave has to say about his one year here at Happy Camper as a camp counselor:

”Mary Beth is the most amazing person I have ever worked for!” Then he said, “Besides, when I was self-employed.”

What do you love most about your job?

”Interacting with the dogs every day and also helping owners and dogs build stronger relationships with one another.”

Last but not least, what is your FAVORITE playgroup?

”Definitely the Big Dogs!”

Sit Happens When We Train Your Dog

You know how you keep saying that you need to take your dog to training classes? Well, class can happen while you’re at work. We have staff with more than 300 hours of training experience. Your dog will receive training that won’t interfere with your schedule. Training by staff that already knows and loves your dog. Training that can progress at your dog’s pace. And the classes will be available at both of our day camps. There will be DAY SCHOOL, PRE-SCHOOL (puppies) and BOARDING SCHOOL. For more information, contact: [email protected]

Happy Camper placed 5th in the WORLD this year so give your camp counselors a high five! It wouldn’t have been possible without your amazing dogs, too!

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