If I am ever reincarnated, I would like to come back as our dog, Brian the Basset. Everyone will love me, I will have food and water sitting out all the time, people will pick up my poop, I will get a treat for rolling over, I will travel the country and not ever have a care in the world (except to wonder when I get to go on my next walk). Since 2009 our basset hound, Brian, has visited more cities and states than the many people, and truly lives “a dog’s life”.
Brian was a anniversary gift from J.O. to me the first year we started dating; he is our love-doggy-child. As far as his name, he was not named after the dog in the tv show ‘The Family Guy’, but instead with a friend from back in Minnesota in mind. Yes, that friend still talks to us!
Traveling full time with the long dog has never been a problem, but maybe that’s also because we never thought of doing it any other way. When I first started traveling with J.O. we actually had two dogs, the Long Dog and our beagle, Duke. We lost Duke to a heart attack in our first year of traveling. He was old and really chubby. His nickname was actually ‘the wood tick’ because that’s what he looked like: small head, big body… he weighed 65 pounds!
The main source of concern for us and traveling with Brian is that we really have no home based vet. He goes in for his check ups every year and we are on top of his shots, he just meets a new staff every time. I used to simply look online for a reputable vet in the area, but now I just ask other dog owners I meet on walks. It’s never a problem on what needs to be done, because we keep a file of all his previous vet visits. We simply hand that to the vet and they take care of whatever he needs and then we simply add to his file. J.O. has been looking at taking a job in Hawaii lately and we were ready to go until we realized the process on bringing Brian with us. Numerous vet visits and a four month quarantine on the mainland before he is ok to go. We’ve been in the process of getting Brian Hawaii ready since mid April and needless to say, his veterinary file has grown in the past few months! Soon he will be aloha ready!
Long Dog does very well riding in the car, which is great, and tends to come with me everywhere (provided it’s not too hot or cold outside and he can wait in the truck for a bit). If we do have to leave him at the camper, it’s always done knowing that we have the number of the camp host or a friend close by who can check on him if need be. We have discovered that if we have something cooking (in the crockpot) while we are gone, we have to bungee the lid down. One time, when we had Duke with us, the two of them climbed up onto the counter and ate an entire spiral cut ham. After some hydrogen peroxide they both threw it up and we went out for Easter dinner. I never liked ham anyway. We have only come across a few campgrounds that don’t allow pets and most hotels allow them after a pet charge.
We only recently had to start boarding him when we go on vacation. I do a lot of research online for a good boarder when we have to use one and also ask around town. The only problem with this we have found, is that he has become very codependent on us (seeing as we are together 20+ hr a day) and when we leave him for more than one night, he is then really upset with us. I might sound completely insane by saying that, but it’s true. He becomes very stubborn and will have nothing to do with us for a few days. I sometimes think he is half human. I mean, look at how we will find him sitting in the recliner. No joke, this is how he sits. Having the long dog travel with us is wonderful because he gives us a sense of stability and routine. Snow or sun, we go on two walks every day. Our walks bring us to different areas we may not have discovered before: beaches, hiking trails, wherever his nose leads us! He comes to the beach with me and has gone with me while I snowshoe. He keeps me company while on the nights when J.O. is working storm or an outage. He even encourages us to get projects done around the house. For example, our AC unit has not been working and up until we moved to Big Bear, it wasn’t an issue. It still wouldn’t have been an issue for us, if we didn’t have Brian with us. We can leave and go hiking or rock climbing to escape the heat of the camper, but he can’t come with us on those day long adventures and with out the AC working, the camper was getting too hot to leave him in for hours on end. I.e. the dog was the main motivation to fix the AC unit! He also has made us many friends, drawing a crowd wherever we go. Brian is also a great size for traveling full time. He is not so big that he takes up a lot of room and his two walks a day are enough to make him sleep the rest of the day.
If you’re thinking of traveling full time and are unsure about bringing your four legged friend, do it. Or if you are already on the road and want to get a furry friend, but worried it will be a hassle, go check out the local shelter. You’ll be happy you did!
Below is a short clip of our beloved basset eating some cheese while half asleep!