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Category Archives: Ohio State Parks

The Smokey Bear and the Maidens Fair

The Maiden Fair

 
Smokey Bear and the maidens fair,
Euka and Emma

“Oh come” they said,

Oh come to the fair!”
“The fair?” said he,

“But I’m a bear!”

All black and brown,”
And covered in hair!” . . . 
 

Oh! sweet she was,
And pure and fair,
The maid with honey,
In her hair! Her hair,
The maid with honey,
in her hair!” *

 
You said we’re going to the Ohio State Fair today? asks Euka.  That’s cool. What category do you have me signed up for?
 
What category do I . . . um, what are you talking about? I ask.
 
What. . . cat. . . uh. . . .goree, she says slowly with the hope I might understand this time. For winning a blue ribbon, right? Surely, you’re not thinking it’s called a dogegory. That’s just weird.
 
No, I wasn’t thinking about categories, dogegories or anything involving winning a ribbon, I said. Actually, Euka my love, I’m concentrating on making sure I have everything we need in your Going Out bag. Your water bowl, cape and Gentle Leader and stuff.
 
And dog cookies? asks Euka.
 
Ok, just a few in my pocket, I say. But it’s long past time to wean you off the stuff. It’s like seeing a five year old kid still using a binky. But tell me, Euka, what were you planning on doing to win a blue ribbon anyway?
 
Oh, I don’t know, she says, tossing her ears back. Maybe something like Best Looking Puppy Ever in the Universe or a special mention for my incredible intelligence. Is there a competition for having the biggest brain in the smallest head?
 
I don’t think you’d win for having the smallest noggin, I say. About now I’m worried that you’ll be able to fit that big head of yours into the back seat of the car. And I drive a full size.
 
I have no idea what that’s supposed to mean, she says, totally knowing what it means. 

Euka meets Smokey Bear 



Emma and Euka

The Ohio State Fair is designed to be good family-style fun and we show up planning on a great time. Euka and I ride to Columbus with Emma’s puppy raisers to volunteer at a Meet & Greet Table for Canine Companions for Independence.  Our table is set up in the space sponsored by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources who gives us a warm welcome.  Plenty of room to put up the tri-fold display and set out brochures, bookmarks and the like.

 
And hey, speaking of bookmarks, I have to tell you traveling around with these E puppies is like being roadies to a rock band. Sometimes I’m just the chick with the car, driving Miss Euka from gig to gig. I’m her people.
 
CCI made bookmarks with the E litter for us to hand out at our Meet & Greet and various fundraising events. They’re ridiculously adorable, photo courtesy of Chris Kittredge Photography.  No, I mean it.  Just look at this, willya?
 
 
Guess who the sassy pup is, locking eyes with the viewer.  Go ahead, guess.  That’s right, envy me, y’all.  I won the diva lottery.  I know, I should have seen this coming.

Ok, but there’s more.  Take a deep breath now, because you’re gonna have a big d’awwww coming up next.

Told ya. Even I think that’s stinkin’ cute every time I see it. And I live with the puppy.



Did you make a yummy sound?
I called for a knight!
But you’re a bear!
A bear! A bear,
All black and brown,
And covered in hair!*
 
Directly outside the pavilion is Smokey Bear** to greet fairgoing families. In the spirit of exposing the puppies to the new and different, we walk Emma and Euka over for a quick intro.

At over fourteen feet tall, Smokey Bear has been a fixture here at the Ohio State Fair since  the 1970’s to test the mettle of young children. 
You see, not only is Smokey one big honkin’ beast of a bear in Levi’s, but he also moves about and talks. No, not like Godzilla moving around; he just rolls that head of his back and forth scanning the horizon and his hairy left arm is of the animatronic genre. Which is quite enough for some toddlers, I observed.  Dog forbid if the fellow starting walking, too.
Oh, and when he talks, he refers to you by name. Really. It’s either magical or creepy, depending on your level of heat exhaustion for the day.
Hi Emma and Euka! booms Smokey. What beautiful dogs!



Euka enjoys the tunes of Loosely Strung
Free Bird!, shouts Euka.

In response the yellow girls give this ursine greeting a Say WHAT?! look.  They stare down the two story bear creature, deem it take downable should the need arise, and turn back to each other to continue on with their girly gossip conversation.  Emma’s puppy raisers and I have already noted and agreed on this — these two girls are the same dog in two different packages. 

Dominant, confident and smart.

Hey, Emma, says Euka.  I think that bear wants a bookmark or something.

Yeah, I know, says Emma. I’ll tell my people.





If I don’t graduate as a service dog, says Euka. I can do search and rescue.
Well, except for that thing where I don’t like water too much.

It was raining when we arrived, which
had Euka worried. It was a such a
good hair day and all.

______________________________________________

*Four alarm Geek alert, y’all. Here’s the full lyrics to that song from Game of Thrones. Special bonus points go to those who knew that already. We speak the same language of nerdish, you and I. 
 
The Bear and the Maiden Fair
 
“A bear there was,”
“A bear, A BEAR!
“All black and brown,”
“And covered with hair!
 
“Oh come they said,”
“Oh come to the fair!”
“The fair? said he,
“But I’m a bear!”
“All black and brown,”
“And covered in hair!”
 
“And down the road,”
“From here to there,”
“From here! To there!”
“Three boys, a goat,”
“And a dancing bear!”
“They danced and spun,”
“All the way to the fair!”
 
“Oh! sweet she was,”
“And pure and fair,”
“The maid with honey,”
“In her hair! Her hair,”
“The maid with honey,”
“in her hair!”
 
The bear smelled the scent,
“On the summer air!”
“The Bear! The Bear!”
“All black and brown,”
“And covered with hair!”
 
“He smelled the scent,”
“On the summer air,”
“He sniffed and roared,”
“And smelled it there!”
“Honey on the summer air!”
 
“Oh I’m a maid,”
“And I’m pure and fair,”
“I’ll never dance,”
“With a hairy bear,”
“A bear! A bear!”
 
“I’ll never dance,”
“With a hairy bear!”
“The bear,the bear!”
“Lifted her high,”
into the air!”
The bear, the bear!”
 
“I called for a knight!”
“But you’re a bear!”
“A bear! A bear,”
“All black and brown,”
“And covered in hair!”
 
“She kicked and wailed,”
“The maid so fair,”
“But he licked the honey,”
“From her hair!”
“Her hair! Her hair!”
 
“He licked the honey,”
“From her hair!”
“Then she sighed and squealed,”
“And kicked the air,”
 
“She sang: My bear so fair,”
“And off they went,”
“The bear! The bear!”
“And the maiden fair!”
**Yeah, so it’s Smokey Bear, not Smokey the Bear.  There goes another childhood memory.

Landlocked in the midwest

Because Canine Companions for Independence is a national organization, you can find a volunteer puppy raiser just about anywhere. Just this morning I was looking at photos of a CCI training event with a backdrop of swaying palm trees, clear blue water and sailboats. Ah, nice.

Yaxley’s littermate Yarrow (second from right) joins
in a doggie birthday celebration

But hey, I got photos, too. Just because we’re in landlocked Ohio (the Heart of America!) doesn’t mean we’re just mosquitoes and humidity around here. We do have lakes and things.  And we have Ohio State Parks, always a fine choice to see our state’s natural wonders, especially with your favorite dog at your side.

Hi! I’m gonna be a service dog
when I grow up!

To help in raising awareness of their dog friendly parks, CCI was invited to share the Ohio State Park information booth at our state fair this weekend. Yaxley stepped into his yellow cape and we headed out to Columbus to work the crowds. 

A typical August day in Ohio, warm and muggy, with the occasional flash flood thunderstorm. But it didn’t keep folk from enjoying the state fair. Several puppy raisers and a few service dog teams were at our Meet & Greet booth to share information on CCI.  The dogs earned their kibble, too. Just non-stop activity all day.

Yaxley shared his shift with the lovely Wish, a fellow puppy-in-training. Families stopped by the booth to meet these two adorable yellow puppies. Yax just has it in his nature to love little kids, but when they’re fresh from the midway smelling like deep-fried fair goodness, well, that’s just a bonus.

So another training opportunity for the pup to work on that ever elusive skill of self-control. There’s not really a don’t lick command to whisper in his ear. It’s more like a just plain and firmly stated Don’t!  Keep in mind that there’s a fine balance between effectively correcting your dog while not scaring the diaper off the little kid who’s getting the ketchup cleaned off his face. I’m still working my finesse on that one.

Wish and Yaxley await their audience

So, another day of time well spent. Raising awareness and training opportunities. Now I’m off to practice giving firm commands using my indoor voice.

I’m saving myself for the cover of the Rolling Stone

Now if someone would just slip a dog biscuit into my mouth,
I believe we’ll have a trifecta
Red, Yax & Mojo take a short break
It seems that Red may be sharing a naughty joke
with Yaxley.
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