Nothin From Nothin Leaves Nothin

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle. Normally, we aren’t ones for writing about sadness. We aren’t ones for writing about things we would like to forget. But…sometimes you have to tell a story the way it is. Sometimes you have to tell a story to help someone else. Sometimes you have to tell a story to help yourself.

We have been to countless campgrounds over the last three years. At some campgrounds, we stay a day or a few days. At some campgrounds we stay a little longer. At some campgrounds it seems like we wear out our welcome. Ok. That’s just Digby.

At this particular campground that we are at now, they let us stay a little more than others. It’s a good thing, because we love the beach and we can walk to it every day and night.

We get to know the other people here. And we get to make friends. That was the case with Bob and his little dogs last year when this was were we were parked.

When we first got to the campground, Bob was our campground host. He made sure that our light was working in our campsite.

We talked and he told us about his dogs and how much he loved them. Some were rescues. Some were very old. Even older than me. And Bob made sure to tell us what a good job we were doing trying to help other animals too. He sure did love his dogs. He sure did. And it seemed like most dogs loved Bob.

It might have had something to do with the treats in his pocket. Or it could have been when he was driving in his car and saw us walking. He would pull over, get out of his car and sit down on the side of the road so we could give him some love. Bob did that. Now, Bob was grumpy too. And we even liked that. He liked to complain. He liked to be irritated some days. He liked that a lot. But when he saw us or any dogs, his voice changed. He turned all gushy. And we did too.

Most days at camp, you would hear Bob’s leaf blower. He liked a very clean campsite. You would hear Bob’s cart go by. And at night, Bob hooked up his little homemade dog cart and there they went on their rounds. He made sure to tell us it was early to bed and up at 2 a.m. for a snack.

Anyone just passing thru camp for a night or so may not have talked to Bob. And I suppose that we were very fortunate to have met him. We would have never imagined when we got back to this camp months later that Bob would be gone. His dogs would be with someone else. And we would have never imagined Bob would have taken his own life here at camp. And left us all with an empty spot in our hearts.

I understand depression. I hear Girl Person speak of it all the time. I hear her and I hear Boy Person talk about their sadness and how some days it’s hard to be ok. Us dogs have that too. But we can’t talk about it. You can though. Bob needed to as well. And maybe he thought no one heard him. Maybe he wanted to talk about missing his wife.

Maybe he wanted to talk about how he didn’t feel good. Maybe he wanted to talk about how he was scared. We just don’t know. Because he only gave us love and treats and kindness. And we wish that we didn’t have to say he was gone. And it makes me wonder how many others need to talk. And they don’t. When they are gone, we wonder, like we wonder about Bob. Bob seemed to give his all to his dogs and others and left nothing for himself. Please let Bob’s memory be a lesson. Don’t give everything you have to everyone else and leave nothing for yourself. Ration out the love and leave some for you.

It seems that life circles the same no matter where you are. And the campground definitely shows you a bigger picture of life. People move in, they move out. Faces change, stories change. Some you may know for a little while and some a little longer. But just when you think you have it all figured out, you don’t. You go to look for someone in a campsite and they’re gone. You go away for a bit and come back, and everything is the same but it’s changed. You go back to your favorite campsite and it feels somehow different. Because you are.

This will always be Bob’s campground. We will forever forget he is gone and stop at his campsite for a treat. We will look for his dogs on his RV dash which isn’t there anymore. He made sure they would be taken care of and we can only hope they are barking away wherever they are.

The last time we saw Bob, we were walking to the beach. He was in his car. He pulled over. And he got out. He sat in the middle of the road, gave Digby a back rub, and I ignored him. Some may have regrets about that. But Bob understood and told me he had had a hard day too. He said he would catch me later. Being a grump doesn’t mean you don’t care for others. We knew that about Bob. How many people do we judge by one interaction or one introduction? We never, ever know what someone could be dealing with, who they miss or what they battle with. Bob may have felt alone. But in his company, we felt important. We wish we would have said it.

Not all will understand why Bob left us. But we can’t judge someone else’s despair based on how we would handle the same. When you look around you today, notice who is there. Imagine their spot empty. And then think about how you can tell them they matter. It may make a difference if they need to hear it. It may not. But don’t leave your spot with regrets.

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We found out today that a man who we considered a friend on the road took his own life. Bob was eccentric. Bob loved his campground host job but sure complained about it. Bob was quick to tell you the stories of his dogs. Bob was depressed. Bob couldn’t see past his troubles. Bob, we will never forget your kindness the first time we met you at camp and helping us set up. We will never forget how you told us over and over again that what we were doing for animals was important. You made us laugh. Brickle and Digby are still looking for you at your campsite. Never underestimate the impact you can have on someone in a short amount of time. Bob. We miss you. You mattered. We are sorry. #2travelingdogs #Repost @2travelingdogs Original post: ・・・ Meet Bob, our campground host. Bob and his three tea cup yorkies are “a family” as Bob says. Bob rescued them from a puppy mill, and the best rider can always be found in his shirt, who you can see if you look closely. Bob lost his wife a few months ago, but finds true meaning in his life with his dogs. They get up every day at 2 am to have a snack before their campground runs. We think that they are pretty lucky too. #2travelingdogs #talesonthetrail

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Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle

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The Shopping Cart

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle.  There are things in your day that you do all of the time.  Those things are as routine as how long I look at myself in the mirror.  I never break that routine.

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And as much as dogs like to have a routine to feel useful and happy, some persons need that too.  They get up, they go to work, they make dinner, they get gas in their cars, they pay their bills, they work, work, work.  And another thing that they do? They go to a store that they call a grocery store. And they don’t even think about what they are doing.

First of all, I am not too fond of the grocery store. Because that is about the only time that Girl Person leaves Deputy Digby and I during the week.  She says that if we went with her, we would put things in her cart like peanut butter cookies, peanut butter, and more peanut butter.  I would buy everything made with that magical mixture.

Needless to say, there would be no pancake mixes or maple syrup left for anyone if Deputy Digby Pancake went shopping.  As well, everything on the bottom two shelves in the whole store would remember that he was there.  Anyway.

The only thing I like when Girl Person goes to the grocery store is when she comes back from the grocery store.  It’s like she is the best food hunter ever.  She comes back with all of these bags of food and stuff to cook for us during the week.

This week, she had a story for us, she said.  No, it wasn’t a story about peanut butter.No, it wasn’t a story about peanut butter cookies. Or anything made with peanut butter, which everything should be made with peanut butter.

No, it wasn’t a story about Deputy Digby making his rounds in the grocery store. No, it was the story of the shopping cart.

Girl Person was tired.  She wasn’t feeling good.  And really, she said that the grocery store was a bit overwhelming to her that day.  She had a lot of work to do, but she knew that they were out of wine.  Yes, I said it. They were out of wine.

So. She had to go to the grocery store.  But she wasn’t happy about it.  And so, as she walked up to the door, she took notice of all of the other people walking in too.  They were in a hurry.  They were rushing to the door.  And she just didn’t have the energy. She wasn’t in the greatest of moods.  But as she went to pull out one of those carts that persons put everything in at the store like a kangaroo pouch, she noticed an older lady person that also needed a cart.  Girl Person said that it was one of those times where you think many things at once. She said she was thinking she should hurry, that she had work to do. She said she was trying to think of how much money she should spend.  She said that she was worrying about us, and if we were missing her too much.  But she pushed all of those things aside to just hand the older lady person a cart instead of getting her own first.

Now, this was not a big thing to do.  It was smaller than a small thing to do. But Girl Person said it was the proper and the right and the kind thing to do.  But the older lady person didn’t know what she was doing. And instead? She thought Girl Person was trying to hit her with a cart.

At first, Girl Person didn’t know if she should still give her the cart after seeing her face.  She didn’t seem too happy to be handed a cart. But Girl Person decided to smile and tell her that the cart was for her. The older lady person’s frown turned to surprise, and then turned to butter.  Peanut butter.  She said thank you so very much and seemed genuinely…happy.

But what Girl Person took from her was not the shopping cart back.  No, no.  She took that in our world, sometimes, it is not just the fact that an act of kindness is rare.  It’s the sad fact that sometimes, persons don’t recognize an act of kindness.  Has our world become so busy and self serving that simple acts of kindness, that should be common, are now, not even recognized at all?

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No matter what, Girl Person said that she would do it again.  Because even if no one sees the little things we do to be better to others, to show kindness, to be human (not as good as a dog), it still matters.  We know, we each know in our hearts, that it is always better to be kind. Even if no one notices.

And then, when we do the small things that matter, we will recognize when others show kindness to us too.

-Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle

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