This is Osa.

We were told her name means “bear” in Spanish. The name fit her perfectly. She was the size of a bear, by far the largest dog I’d ever met.

We were full-time RVers when we met Osa. We were staying at the historic Prude Ranch, located just outside of Fort Davis, Texas. We arrived in mid-October and stayed through the first part of November. Osa was our campsite companion and protector.

If you are thinking about the RV lifestyle, there are so many things I could share with you. One of the most important things is, do NOT believe the pictures posted online by the facilities. If there are no recent reviews, think long and hard before you make reservations.

Prude Ranch is a guest ranch that has been in operation for decades.  At one time, it was the place to go for family vacations. When we were there, it was in dire need of repair. For the time we were there, we were the only RV in the upper RV park. It was quiet, peaceful, but a little scary. This brings up the other very important thing I want to share about RVing today. Please pay attention to the area you will be staying in. Determine how far you are from medical help? Will you have cell phone coverage? Internet was where we focused, not even questioning cell phone coverage. We were staying during the low season, once the few staff members left for the day,  we were alone. Yes, there was a pay phone at registration–which was at approximately a quarter of a mile from where we were camped. During the time we were there, I never once checked to see if the phone worked.

Osa took care of us. She’d come every day, mid-morning, staying through the night, leaving early for her job the next day. We have three dogs. They are not social. When I opened the door the first day Osa came, I was concerned. There was no containing this large dog. Our dogs would need to adjust. It was obvious, she was not going anywhere. We’d have to make it work. As I envisioned big battles that would have been very bad for our dogs, something magic happened. Each dog went through their own dog greeting, acting like they’d known each other forever.

We’d noticed our screen door would pop open if it was hit just right. Checking this door was the last thing checked before taking our dogs for a walk. One sunny afternoon, we were heading back to the RV when Michael tossed me his leashed dog, talking quickly while racing back to the trailer. What was being said was lost because he was moving too quickly. Grasping all the leashes, my gaze followed his path. In the distance, I could see the screen door was open, dog toys flying out into the yard.

Osa had figured out how to open the door. By the time I got home, Michael had retrieved the toys that’d survived her wild adventure, the inside dog bowls had been licked clean, every drop of water gone. Osa, in true Osa fashion, had made herself at home. As I surveyed the damage, I thanked God our dinner was sitting in the refrigerator.

On our last day, as we packed up to leave, Osa was there. I can visualize her now, meandering up the hill to our site, stopping close to each of us, leaning into our legs, finagling a pet and a treat.

There was a huge empty spot in our hearts as we made our way to the coast. We all missed having her outside the front door as we started our days. We missed having her big bear sized head under our hands. She’d somehow tamed our three dogs as she made her way into our lives and deep into our hearts. She was our gentle giant, our very own west Texas guardian angel.

God bless you, Osa. I love you.

I am…

B…simply being…

I wish you all love the size of Osa.


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