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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Let's Bond! Get Out and Go, Doggy

by Carrie Boyko, CEB
I'm Bored!
It all started like this. Oliver had an allergy reaction to a new, scented candle in the house and next thing you know he was chewing on some exposed skin from last month's surgical area. One thing quickly led to another and we had to resort to the cone.

After a few days of the prescribed treatment, Oliver's hot spot was much improved--dried out and healing nicely. It was time to give him some "out of the cone" time to regain his sense of self. Or should I call it 'dogliness?' The best way to assure that Oliver would enjoy the adventure and not pester his healing hot spot was to keep him walking. So off we went on a long weekend adventure to St. Augustine. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that we took just a few photos. 

Mt. Matanzas National Monument
A Great Place for a Picnic
St. Augustine is a terrific place to explore on foot. And when you're a 10 lb. Papillon, 3 hours of walking the town is enough to wear you out for sure. We saw everything--the fort, the pirate ship, the old cemetary, the churches, some really cool historic shopping areas, and lots and lots of ice cream shops. It's amazing how many people were eating ice cream when the weather was in the low 50s. I would have loved to enjoy another Ghost tour, but was just plain exhausted after walking all over town for 3 hours. It was time to get off our feet and relax with a leisurely dinner.

Back at the campground we bundled up as best as we could (Florida folks don't generally have much to bundle up with!) for a chilly night and tested out the heater at bedtime in our new RV that I've dubbed the Green Machine. I'm bound and determined to figure out how to make RV camping a greener activity, as coming up with Eco strategies has long been a passion of mine. Success is on the way; watch for more tips coming soon.

Ahoy Mateys!
One thing I've discovered so far is that I naturally use less water and electricity while camping. That helps to compensate for the extra gasoline. In addition, we did buy a high-efficiency diesel model that gets 18 mpg and is much better for the environment than regular gasoline. I'm learning that this is better gas mileage than many pickup trucks or larger SUVs, although it will never match my Prius that gets 50 mpg. We're getting there though.

The pirate ship was a fun new find. I don't recall this cool sight when I was here about 15 years ago. There were actually 2 of them--a small (far left) and a larger one. Don't miss these if you go; the harbor is beautiful and you'll also want to enjoy the historical shopping district just across the street. There's a large dog relief area at the entrance to the ramp that leads to the pirate ship, so we stopped there and took care of Oliver's business in the warm sunshine, greeting a few other dogs and their owners. St. Augustine is clearly very dog friendly; yay!

Thanks Mom!
After a delicious roast chicken, blueberry muffins and some fab organic brussel sprouts (my favorite veggie), we were all stuffed and ready to relax for the evening, off of our aching feet. The RV has 2 captain's chairs and an upholstered booth that seats 4, so there was plenty of room for everyone--furry and otherwise. 

With the dishes done and all clean up complete (Yes, we have a full bathroom on board!) we snuggled in for a long Winter's nap. Oliver was a great bed warmer. He snuggled up against me all night, and was in no hurry to find the little boys room in the morning. I did get a nice smooch from him that I trust was his thanks for getting him out of the cone and the house. What a nice trip!

Tell me what your plans are for Winter getaways with Fido. Even dogs can get cabin fever, so cone or no cone, think about taking a short trip to enjoy a change of scenery and have some fun. It's a terrific way to bond with your dog, and doesn't have to cost much. By camping and eating in (no meals out during our adventure) we had a very budget-savvy mini-vacation. Tell me about yours.

I'm glad to finally return to posting the Weekly Wag. My holiday respite and the Super Dog Sunday™ Charity Blog Hop  events to support Petfinder Foundation have rather gotten in the way of my routine. It has all been well worth it though. That said, have you visited the photo contest yet? It's off to a great start. Check it out at the link. Entries close at 6 PM ET on February 2. Here are some tips for joining in.

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Join us each Saturday for the Weekly Wag, our bonding series that shares inspiration, tips and ideas for bonding with your dog.


Carma Poodale said...

That sounds like a wonderful trip. I have been on the Pinta and the Nina. I can't imagine crossing the ocean in one. I loved your photos that I seen. Sure am happy to see that Oliver is feeling better.

Unknown said...

We love to travel in our RV with our two Brittanys...they really enjoy sitting out at night and all the long walks we take! We live in S. Florida...there is a nice campground North Beach near where you the beach !

Jenny said...

Poor Oliver! But glad to see he has improved. What a cutie!

Unknown said...

What a fun trip! Love the pictures. I would love to visit St. Augustine, and find the fountain of youth.

Chad said...

Sounds like everyone had a great time, and those pictures are great! Glad to see Oliver had a quick recovery.

Unknown said...

Wow! Sounds like a wonderful trip!!
Love your post!
((Husky hugz frum da pack))

"Love is being owned by a husky"

Unknown said...

So glad Oliver had such a great celebration. We don't RV in the winter unless we have to. We live in Middle TN near the KY line, and we have to winterize our RV. It's just a pain to have to dewinterize it to go somewhere, then immediately have to rewinterize it once we get home. Maybe one day we'll go spend some time in FL during the winter--IF someone ever retires! (Yes, dear, that's a hint, hint, hint if you read this.)

Dawn said...

I'm glad Oliver's hot spot healed well. Being in a cone all the time is no fun at all. At least you had a lot of fun on that trip. :)

The Diamond Dogs said...

Sounds like such a fun trip! We're going to have to start planning some ones that are dog friendly too :)

Julia said...

I'm a new visitor of your blog. Oliver is sooooo cute! Sad that he has hot spot, but happy at the same time he has been better now.

Your trip looks fun too! I'm now thinking taking my 'sweet potato' to go wild somewhere this weekend :-D

Unknown said...

Looks like you had lots of fun and got some good exercise in as well. Good job staying fit!


Paws and Pedals (Scooter and Kate) said...

Look like you both had fun. Good to escape the cone I'd say.....

To Dog With Love said...

Looks like so much fun! Rocco and I walked for about three hours today too! It was so nice out here after our Snow Jam! So glad Oliver is doing better.
Your pals,
Diane and Rocco

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