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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Camping with the Dogs, Part II

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(c) photo copyright Carrie Boyko

Xena Hustles to Catch Up
to Tanner and Oliver on a Hike

If you’re just joining me for Part II of this series, you might find better continuity if you read Go Camp with the dogs: Part I.

My worries about the trip revolved primarily around the dogs—3 of them. I know, I was pushing the line. Choosing the smallest RV, we certainly compromised on square footage. Contrarily, we were blessed with 3 beds, giving everyone a cushy place to crash, which made up for the small floor area.

The dogs spent the days before our departure doing 4 things—walking biking, playing at dog parks and a visit to their favorite social spot: Bow Wow Resort, a doggie daycare where they can “Hang with the Rough Crowd”, as the motto states. To put it lightly, there were fatiqued—right where I wanted them for an all-day road trip. It turned out to be a blessing when our 9 hour drive turned into a 12 hour wild goose chase. My Google Maps printouts had taken us to our destination in a very roundabout way.

Determined to have the dogs get through the trip well-behaved and happy, my primary strategy was to assure they got plenty of exercise while at our destinations, to compensate for 2 long days of seemingly boring driving. While boring may be what I perceived, driving up I-95 through flat, non-descript landscape, Cesar Millan tells us that exploring with their pack leader is a primal activity that dogs find fulfilling, even if we see it as boring.

Now, nearly home from our adventure, I can say this strategy seems to have had the desired effect. The pups are snoozing peacefully in their respective beds, having enjoyed a Busy Bone, when their energy level peaked during a rest-stop break for all to use the facilities. The grass apparently had many exciting smells and the dogs thought it would have been fun to explore a bit longer.

Bribery with Busy Bones did the trick and all are asleep now, after spending a good half hour digging the stuffing out of the interior of the baked beef bones, with marrow hollowed out. You can find my ideas for preparing these at the Busy Bones links above.

Join me shortly in Part III, when I will share camping strategies for happy families and happy pups.  One last thing…If you haven’t read our ASK THE VET post from earlier this week, you’ll find some traveling tips from Dr. Jacki at this post. These would be good to bank for your next vacation with the dogs.

If you have questions or comments for me or Dr. Jacki, we’d love to hear from you. You can send questions to either of us at .  Happy travels.

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