Asked and answered
On Sunday morning this September 3rd, my good friend Nancy asked when we were leaving for Pagosa Springs Riverside Campground in Colorado.
Nancy lives in Ireland. We chat every day, courtesy of good internet connections.
Her question provides me a wonderful transition to share my thoughts regarding traveling with Bernie and Chris.
I have some legitimate concerns. This trip will have many ‘first time’ experiences. They will also be learning experiences for both dogs and myself.
Here is what I shared with Nancy. It is Part One of several parts.
I call it Before and After, with the ‘After’ being the Improved After.
We are leaving on the 12th of September. I will bring the Casita from the storage facility on the 8th… and plug it into electricity to cool the fridge.
I also need to clean out the water heater from any debris and install the new anode rod. Then I will fill the fresh water tank.
I will vacuum the Casita’s interior walls. It has a rug covering material.
Can you believe some folks refer to this fabric as ‘rat fur?’
The rat fur keeps the outside noise down and the inside both warm and cool. That’s about it for insulation. The other great feature is it doesn’t mildew or retain cooking orders.
At least that is what I read from dozens of Casita owners on the Casita Forum.
From Friday evening until we leave about eight Tuesday morning I will finish packing.
I expect to make at least four or five short trips to Walmart for items I’ve neglected to pack.
I’ll spend some map-reading time… Identifying rest stops and a couple of places to photo visit.
There are dozens of places in Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado, but visiting them will have to wait until another time. Most of them are not near our direct route.
The trip will be a mentally busy one.
Not the driving. I will be kept busy carefully recording how the dogs react.
I already know they are alert in the beginning. As the driving becomes boring, Bernie and Chris settle down and snooze, until the car’s stopping motion alerts them that something exciting could be happening.
At each stop, they will have a learning opportunity. They obey Wait and Stay commands.
Although they quickly void, it has been near the nursing facility we visit or where they usually exercise.
Now, it’s going to be very different. There will be new smells and a new environment with many distractions.
How do I leash them… when they don’t pee when leashed together? Their separate void distance is usually twenty to a hundred feet apart.
My experience has been this situation:
Too large dogs on a single paired leash in one hand… One dog urgently pulling me to find just the right spot to void… while the other dog could care less… and doesn’t want to buddy up and go the same way.
My solution is to exercise them off-leash in remote areas. When traveling this probably won’t be possible.
Again… I’m probably a worry-wart. For all I know, they will act like they were in church. Pious good behavior.
At some point, we stop for the evening.
Now it gets serious. We have never slept in the Casita. None of us has even stayed in the Casita for more than ten minutes. It was too hot in Surprise. Now we are going to be best buddies for several hours.
Food is another first experience. Bernie won’t be a problem. He eats everything and everywhere. Chris might not eat anything. He doesn’t quickly adapt.
He physically plants his feet and mentally plants his attitude as he displays “I’m not moving.” That also includes not eating
I’m very aware of all his behaviors.
The issue is… how hungry does he need to be before he decides to eat? And what do I do with the food? Bernie has already had enough so I can’t give him Chris’s food.
With the food issue, I feed them half-portions while we travel to Pagosa Springs. They won’t be exercising while traveling in the car. That is all we will be doing… riding in the car.
I have plenty of water available. It is available every time I stop.
Well, those are my Before thoughts.
Be sure to follow my Improved After summary.