Banjo Has More Than Enough Character

As we prep to leave Brownsville, I realize Banjo’s been largely absent here, so you might be wondering how she’s fared during this super-busy winter stay.

Rolling with Routine

The deal with Banjo is that, lacking a stable territory, she gloms onto routine. I mean, I know almost all dogs appreciate meals and walks at the same time each day, but Banjo dedicates her life to them. Tracy engenders this too, with his exact schedule for her from his years of fostering dogs and teaching them that some things in life can be relied on. Thanks to Tracy, I have stood in the trailer watching the clock as it’s counted down to Banjo’s 5:00 dinnertime, with my life on hold, waiting to feed her at the exact time. He’s kind of nuts that way. Now Banjo is, too.

This winter with all my medical appointments we’ve had to drive around for, we’ve stuck Banjo in the truck even more than usual. So her schedule’s been a little off, but really she’s rolled with it. She stayed in the truck all day long when I had my knee operation (Tracy walked her in the hospital parking lot), and she travelled all day back to Brownsville in the front seat because I needed to lie down in the back. She was far from thrilled, but after a bit of turning around in her makeshift bed anxiously, she settled in.

When I was sleeping on the sofa pre- and post-surgery, she was put out. She gets a cushion to herself (the only place she’s allowed on furniture), but my head was right next to it, which infringed on her personal space, so she never got up there. Anyone who’s met Banjo knows she does not like anyone up in her face. (Apologies once again to Jacqui, Doug R, and Doug W. Anyone else she’s growled at when you got too close?) She won’t growl at me, but she’ll shoot me a withering look and then jump down in disgust.

The good news for Banjo (and everyone else) is that I’m back to sleeping in my own bed, so she gets her cushion back for her evening sleep. The bad news is that now I’m disrupting her nighttime sleep at the foot of our bed, since I need to take extra care stepping around her in the middle of the night to get to the bathroom. Tracy and I agree I should literally kick her out of the way, since Banjo’s hurt feelings are worth me avoiding falling down and snapping that new ACL at its most vulnerable, but I cannot make myself do it.

The Raisin Incident

She really doesn’t deserve my care, though, seeing as how she’s bonded to Tracy stronger than ever this winter. When I was hardly moving right after I wrecked my bike, he took over feeding her, and for the past three months he’s been walking her all four times every day. (According to my savior physical therapy guy, he has another four months to go on that.)

Because Tracy’s doing everything for Banjo, she knows just what to expect when, and she knows who’s providing all the goodness. I am now chopped liver.

This was especially true when he had to feed her chicken and rice for several days after the Raisin Incident. We’d been hauling groceries from the truck into Finn’s condo, and a family-sized bag of trail mix got left behind with Banjo. You can imagine the rest.

She managed to eat enough to get her good and sick for a week after (but not enough for an emergency vet visit, thank god). Still, she was waking Tracy up in the middle of the night to go outside, and she was loving that rice-and-chicken recovery diet. And glued to Tracy for giving it to her.

Golf Cart Adventures

Tracy’s even been getting her to ride the golf cart with him when he takes the trash to the dumpster. She’ll jump up all excited, just to have somewhere new to follow him to, but as soon as they get moving, she panics and tried to leap out.

He has to hold on to her harness tight for the first few minutes, but she gets the hang of it soon and sits down for the ride. It’s wild: lots of people here take their dogs on golf cart rides around the park, and one guy takes his cat. Thank goodness Banjo hasn’t seen that.

Jack Rabbits

She has gotten used to the jack rabbits that graze the scrubby areas around the edges of the resort. When we first got here, she zeroed in on them and would have taken off after each one. She’s still interested in them, but there’s lots more to be interested in, as well, so she’ll miss them even when they’re right behind her. I didn’t grab my phone in time to show you how these two were mere feet from her for a minute.

I think actually she was looking out for her new favorite person (sorry Melanie, and sorry Carl). Peyton here pets her every time she sees her, so that now Banjo knows the sound of Payton’s golf cart coming from several streets away. Peyton can get up in Banjo’s grill all she wants.

We really have been so absurdly busy. Here Tracy’s changing out the pipe he keeps his fishing rods in on top of the truck; he adjusted the kayak racks up there and needed a new system.

When we’ve spent time at the campsite, Banjo’s been able to lie in the grass without fear of other dogs accosting her. I think that because of that—no trees so a clear view of everyone coming and going, plus sunshine, warmth, and grass—this has been her favorite location yet.

So, we booked three months here next winter. I’m going to consider that a do-over. I’m going to be uninjured, and therefore social, playing that damned Bingo and going on the Booze Cruise and every other activity we’re paying for in this resort that I missed this time.


Tracy and Banjo just came in from their morning walk, where Banjo killed a small jack rabbit. If an animal is hiding on the side of the path so whoever walking her doesn’t see it in time, she’ll swoop in and grab it so fast there’s nothing you can do. Tracy said it took five minutes of standing there yelling at her to get her to drop it. (He won’t put his hand in her mouth to force her jaws open, but I will.)

So, Banjo is stil Banjo. Freaked out by other dogs when they get close to her, grumpy about anyone in her personal space, attached to Tracy more than ever. (I am too, Banjo.) In other words, she’s increasingly her own self, if that were even possible.

As Tracy said once when I joked that her doing something difficult would give her character, “Banjo has enough character as is.”

8 thoughts to “Banjo Has More Than Enough Character”

  1. Sounds like Banjo’s quite the hunter! I guess if 5:00 ever rolls around and you guys aren’t laying a food dish down in front of her, she’ll be able to grab her own “fast food!”

  2. Pets are such wonderful creatures with distinct personalities and quirks. Dead jackrabbit aside, I think Banjo has adjusted very well to your nomadic, not always right friendly, lifestyle. She’s a trooper!

    1. Oh for sure! That’s why we adopted her, because she’s such a great road trip dog. She sleeps in the truck on travel days, hops out and makes herself at home everywhere we camp, and is quiet and not underfoot in the trailer. She is the perfect dog for us, with the huge exception that she doesn’t like other dogs close to her and isn’t keen on strangers in her face. Them’s the breaks.