It is interesting that this has to be my very first post on the hammock forum. But, I cannot imagine a more appropriate story to post as my first.
This past weekend my wife, myself, 2 very good friends, their 7 seven year old boy, and my lovely bullmastiff, Chloe, made the track over to West Point Lake near LaGrange, Ga. My friends were car camping in a tent and my wife and i were sleeping in Grand Trunk Skeeter Beater Pro Hammocks, whose customer service, I might add, has been FANTASTIC.
My dog, Chloe, is a very pampered dog. She is 95 pounds, brown, with a black muzzle. She is intimidating when you first see her, but she really doesn't know that she isn't a lap dog. She's just a big baby. She lives inside with us and isn't really used to being in the outdoors. Our plans for the weekend were to camp out Friday night, head over to Auburn on Saturday for the football game (WAR EAGLE!) and camp out again Saturday night. What should have been a relaxing and fun weekend suddenly made a turn for the worse late Friday night. As I said before, my dog is not used to staying outside. My wife tried to talk me into putting up a tent for her and just letting her sleep inside her kennel inside the tent. Well, after a couple cold ones and a very filling dinner, I was a bit too lazy to do this and decided that the dog would be fine sleeping in her kennel beside us under our Kelty Noah's Tarp. At the time it seemed like the best idea as I was also somewhat scared that someone might steam my dog. Well, all was well until about 1am. Then, as usual, the small animals decide to come out. The opossums, raccoons, armadillos, squirrels, etc started their nocturnal outings which resulted in a lot of rustling in the woods near us. This was not something that Chloe liked. So, about 1am, I am serenaded to the lovely deep bark of a bullmastiff..... WOOF! WOOF! WOOF! This must have gone on for about an hour when my friend Adam finally came out of his tent and said, "He Strowd, lets see if she will lay down and sleep in the tent." Well, that probably would have been all well and good in the winter, but in the summer, as it was hot this past weekend, they had their windows opened in the tent. So, you could still see outside and hear the noises. So, even with the dog in the tent, the barking continued - WOOF!! WOOF WOOF! It was a steady, deep, penetrating sound that alluded all from sleep. After another hour of this, I tell Adam to let me see the dog and see if I can calm her down. After walking her around, trying to get her to use the bathroom, I made what turned out to be a TERRIBLE decision. Its 2AM, I am not completely in my right mind, and decide that I would see if the 95 lb mongrel might fall asleep "with me in the hammock"! --- Not a good decision.
After wrestling her into the poor skeeter beater pro, I climbed in with her. I am not a small guy. Most days, I approach 250 pounds. Couple that with the dog and we are a solid 350lbs of weight, yet, still in the legal limits of the hammock - just not by much. As I laid in the hammock with the dog, you could hear the trees screaming with pressure. The whoopee slings sounded like crying babies from the weight, but all seemed that it would hold..... that is ... until Chloe's claw poked a tiny hole in the bottom of the hammock. Have you ever blew a baloon up so tight that you were scared to get close to it? That is probably what the bottom of that hammock looked like. As soon as that claw snitched the hammock..... BOOM!!!!! We both fell out of the bottom of it ripping it from end to end!
To put this in perspective, I am wearing nothing but a set of boxer brief underwear and a head lamp. My friend Adam saw the entire thing happen and he is laughing with everything inside of him. in his words, "Dude, it looked like your hammock gave birth to Chris Farley wearing nothing but a head lamp, underwear, while trying to rodeo ride a bullmastiff!" My wife was dying laughing, and I was just glad to still be alive.
Needless to say, I need another hammock and will have to come up with something to shut the dog up!