There Is No Place For Hatred On Both Sides Of Animal Rescue

This is part of our Saturday Editorial Series.  Normally, we let the dogs do all of the talking on our daily dog blog.  Catch us every weekday at www.2travelingdogs.com and on our podcast on iTunes and Stitcher.

I learned a very hard lesson the past month.  I wanted to think that I did not care what others thought of my stand for animals and animal rescue.  I wanted to think that those with different opinions on the issue mutually respected my views as well.  But the lesson  I learned was that there is much room for improvement.  If we don’t work on this, I think it will have dire consequences for not only those who are animal rescue advocates, but breeders as well.

So here’s the deal.  About a month ago, an article that I wrote, “Why It Hurts Me When A Friend Buys A Pet” went viral.  The article was being shared on many social media channels, and at first, I was excited.  I was happy that others would maybe think about another take on the effects of what we do and how it affects even our closest family and friends.  You see, I am not naive to the fact that this blog and our audience give us a platform to get our views out there, and I take it seriously.  As strong as I feel about animal rescue, and as hard as I feel that we have worked to promote it the past two years, I also feel strongly that others have a right to their opinion. Although, I will tell you right now.  I will never agree with it.  No, not even a little.

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But what surprised me the most about people who read this article was the fact that they felt so strongly about their “side” that they felt it necessary to send me a hateful email, or to leave such hateful comments on the article that we had to remove them. I hate removing comments, because I feel everyone who takes the time to voice their view deserves to be heard.  But you cannot be heard if you are bullying or threatening. However, the hateful comments did not just come from the breeding supporters, but from the animal rescue advocates as well.  I have always realized that animal rescue is a very emotional subject.  It also is very personal.  Maybe we have a pet that came from bad circumstances that we had to work very hard at helping.  Maybe some of us work in shelters or at rescues who see the plight of animals on a daily basis.  Yes, your emotions are very attached to this issue. Mine are as well.  Giving up everything in my life to travel the country for two years visiting shelters and rescues was hard.  Seeing the effects that my Digby Pancake still deals with, having been bred a hunting dog is hard.  So yeah, my emotions as well as yours may be very deeply invested.  But then.  What is the other side?

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For many “reputable” breeders, they believe that their favorite breed needs to be protected for future generations, or that a “well-bred” dog is perhaps better suited to be a service dog.  I will leave my personal feelings aside on this, but I will mention that a very close friend of mine is a breeder.  She is one of the only people in the world that I trust enough to care for Brickle and Digby on those rare occasions we have to leave them.  And although our views on breeding could not be more different, we mutually do not invalidate the other’s stand.  I see her point of view, although I cannot agree with it.  And she also contributes to the rescue community by networking her favorite breed she finds in shelters to potential adopters.  We have had conversations on the issue, and both of us feel very intimately invested in our “side”.  I know that I will probably never change her opinion, and she certainly won’t change mine.  But do I believe that she is a bad person? Absolutely not.  Does she believe I am a bad person because I don’t agree with her view? I certainly don’t believe so.  But as strongly as we feel, we have never had a heated argument or threatened each other.  So why is this acceptable to do online? I certainly won’t allow any place for it on our media platforms.  I have worked too hard to promote rescue in a fun way to let it go down a path of negativity.  So this will be the one and only time I address this.  I have work to do.

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One thing that both sides will probably agree on is that fact that we want all dogs and animals to have a wonderful life and a home.  Where I think that agreement starts to divide is what causes the animals in our shelter system to be there in the first place.  If we have animals that need homes, why are we producing more? I have to question what each of us holds valuable.  Our own wants (a specific breed or trait or age of an animal) or truly the best “big picture” for millions of animals.

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Do I recognize that the shelter systems in place and the rescues have to improve on their way of doing things in an efficient and productive manner? Of course. I have spoken on this topic before.  I see people that are denied adoptions for trivial reasons.  I see policies put into place that do not make sense for the animals or the community they are trying to serve.  I see animal rescuers experiencing burn out and stress.  I see well intentioned rescuers hoard animals, or get in over their heads.  So yes, I see the need.  The need for improvement on all sides.  But we have to agree on this.  Until there is a joining together, rationally and effectively, the problems that exist will never improve.  Can they improve?  I have to tell you.  Honestly, I have my doubts. I wish I didn’t.  But I won’t stop trying.

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What I do know that can be changed, starting today, right now, is the way we talk to each other on this issue.  Respect that someone else may have a different opinion than your own, but also don’t give up for what you believe is right.  Speak with an educated reason as to why you feel the way that you do. Give examples, be kind and expect that someone may disagree with you.  That is ok.  But never think that you have the right, even if you get as angry as I do sometimes when I see the mistreatment of animals, to demean or bully.  Likely, the person you are talking to did not cause that mistreatment directly.  Remember that.

As a close family member of mine adopted some rescue animals recently, I went to visit them.

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I was a little surprised though. They had purchased a specific breed of donkeys as well.  I found myself being judgmental right away.  And I did take it a little bit personal.  That was wrong. I admit it.  But I knew it was not the donkey’s fault. And it didn’t change the way I loved my family. I had to realize there were other animals that needed me to fight and advocate for them. These donkeys deserved love and a home. They knew nothing about “animal rescue.”

We cannot win every battle.  We cannot change the world by ourselves.  And I cannot judge.  Positivity and example says more than any words you could utter.

Hatred has no place in animal rescue.  The more time we waste arguing and bullying, the less time there is to spend with our dogs.  Or donkeys. Enough said.

-Rachael Johnson, Owner and Girl Person of 2 Traveling Dogs and Your Dog’s Diner

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Are You A Chickadee Or Are You A Thrasher?

This is Deputy Digby Pancake.  Oh, what a week.  You wake up one day and you are in Savannah, Georgia looking at pretty trees and eating peaches.  And you wonder, if you are like me, if everyone enjoys their days like I do.

I don’t have a lot to do on an agenda every day.  Sure, I help the persons with their work. But I actually have a lot of time to watch stuff.  That is Sheriff Brickle’s favorite thing to do of all time and any time, and I think that I have finally caught on to what is so great about it.  And I realized it in a loud way here with all of the birds.

I have heard that some people do something called bird watching.  I am not sure why persons always have to have a name for everything.  I was just sitting outside and there were birds there and I saw them.  But for persons, they have to make an actual event of it.  They have to set time aside to enjoy birds, when in actuality, they are singing around them every day.  Like the Chickadee.  Or as I like to call it, the Chickadee-dee-dee.

I met the Chickadee-dee-dee here in this Georgia place.  It doesn’t like to travel far.  It spends most time here.  The Chickadee-dee-dee doesn’t know a lot of songs, but the songs that it does know, they are masters at singing them.  The Chickadee-dee-dee is small in size, like about the size of a pancake. You won’t believe this.  But the Chickadee-dee-dee gets 30% smarter at certain times.  What happens is that they hide all these seeds and food for the winter, and they have to get smarter so that they remember where they hid them!  I wish they would also hide some pancakes.

The Chickadee-dee-dee is just one of the birds I met.  I also met the state bird of Georgia.  The Brown Thrasher.  As you might guess, he thrashes around a lot.

The Brown Thrasher sings a lot, lot, lot of songs.  In fact, I was told that it is believed he knows more songs than any other North American bird. As many as a thousand! He likes to feed on the ground and he doesn’t like to really socialize that much.  His name comes from the thrashing sound he makes when digging through stuff on the ground and how he hits his food or bugs.  Seems to me like he has a lot of anger issues.  He should talk to Brickle.  They kinda look alike too.

All of these birds got me to thinking.  I was kinda like the Chickadee-dee-dee.  I love food, I am sweet and I don’t know many barks, but the ones I do sound pretty sweet. Then you have the Brown Thrasher who likes to be by himself and is quite vocal and seems to be full of himself.  Yeah, that is Brickle.  Let’s not even mention how he likes to smash peanuts.

Everything in nature has a lesson for us, I have found.  How do I know this?  Because I have watched.  I have listened.  There are things around us every day like the birds.  But how many times do you actually hear them?  You have to be in silence sometimes to truly experience a moment.  You can’t be on your phone or even reading a book.  You see, it is a trait lost by persons that us dogs have.  The ability to just be.  The ability to actually see and hear what is around us.

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You may think that you are being lazy when you aren’t working every second or texting every second.  You may wonder what you need to watch on TV or what bad news you can learn.  But actually something like listening to the birds takes much more work on your part.  Because you have to put aside everything else and let that everything else go.  If only for but a moment.

What can you learn from the Chickadee and the Thrasher? That all of us have different abilities, we all look different and yet, we all make the world a better place.  Now, it is up to you to see that world. Don’t miss it.  Georgia place? Thank you for reminding us of that.

Today, we are watching the weather and may be headed to Charleston, South Carolina.  Stay tuned as we navigate thru the storms or not!  Updates today on our Facebook page and our exclusive group page.

-Deputy Digby Pancake

Tune in to Instagram TV and our Facebook page for our latest cook for your dog episode! Today, we make Georgia Peach Pupsicles For Dogs and People To Share!

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The Night That The Lights Went Out In Georgia. Again.

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle.  Did you ever have so much going on that you forgot what day it was?  Granny Person used to say she would lose her head if it wasn’t attached. And I think that Girl Person needs a reminder on where her head is.  Because she is not accomplishing much this week the way she is going.  Which she probably forgot where that is. Savannah, Georgia, Girl Person.  Savannah, Georgia.

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Now.  You know me.  I am all about saving energy when it comes to my handsome.  I can’t exert too much of myself in order to be even more handsomer the next day.  So that being said, I get when people try to turn off lights to save energy, or recycle, or that kind of stuff.  The earth should get more beautiful every day.

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But beauty takes maintenance.  You have to conserve energy to have lights the next day.

We have been so busy in this Savannah, Georgia place.  You see, it has been raining nonstop for the past week.  We try to go places in the morning before it starts, but when it starts, it is like a deluge.  Everything gets muddy and wet and dirty and it makes more laundry for the persons.  They wash, wash, wash and do it again and again and again.  By the end of it, they are so dirty that they try to take showers at camp.  But Girl Person is so tired that she forgets about the energy thing.  In the shower.  And she forgets about the lights.  Until it is too late.

For the past week, she remembers to take a shower, but she forgets about the light switch on the wall.  You have to turn the timer so that the lights don’t shut off.  And Girl Person, being as dirty as she is, really…really…needs a longer shower.  Even though it is a cold one.  But you can only remember so much when you have lost your mind.  The first night it happened, it was late.  Real late.  The lights went out, she was in her one butt bathroom shower and she had a decision.  Either put on all her clothes and take a deep breath and try to not freak out, or make a run to the light switch before she could think about it and take the chance that someone might come in.  Run, Forest, run! I mean, Girl Person.

Now.  When you are wet, the campground bathroom is muddy, and you are trying not to think about everything that could get you in the dark, you aren’t real slow.  You are real fast.  And you are real slippery.  Real slippery. And you kinda fall.  And your butt covered in poison ivy doesn’t feel good after that.

Now.  When this kind of thing happens, you probably would think that you would remember about the timer on the light switch the next time.  Or the time after that.  Or maybe…maybe…the next time.

But as Girl Person went to get a shower after doing laundry, getting caught in the rain carrying the laundry back to the RV, and after she dried her tears after a pity party, she decided to take another shower.  After the day she had, she really didn’t want the lights to go out in Georgia again.  So she turned that timer all the way…just so she knew it wouldn’t shut off.  And as she was feeling good that she finally remembered, and that maybe it had not been such a bad day after all, she heard it.  The sounds of laughing person kids and the light?  It.  Went.  Off.  They had turned off the timer.  And now? It was real dark in this part of Georgia.

Sometimes, when you can’t even remember what day it is, well, you then can’t remember that you are mad about some lights.  All you can do is put your clothes on, walk real slow and turn on the lights.  Then, you think about the next day, hope it isn’t going to rain again, and start over. But you also shower faster in case they come back.

Georgia place?  It has been fun.  We still have one more day here and then we are off to Charleston, South Carolina!  Georgia place? Despite your timed showers and rain and humidity that will knock your socks off if they aren’t soaking wet, we will miss you.  Your trees, your people, your food and your places to visit are never to be forgotten.

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If everyone realized that Georgia was truly as sweet as their peaches, everyone would live here. But there wouldn’t be enough lights.  Because you see, the best places realize that to be more beautiful the next day, they have to take care of what they have the day before.  We all need a reset button.  We all need a timer.  If your timer goes off, and you find yourself in the dark, it can be hard.  You may want to give up and just stay there.  In the dark.  But find the courage to make a run to the light.

Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle

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These Eyes

This is Deputy Digby Pancake.  Have you ever wanted something so bad and not wanted something so bad at the same time?  Like you really want that stack of pancakes, but you do not want that imitation maple syrup that someone put on top?  Yeah, kinda like that!  That is the kind of day that I had yesterday here in this Georgia place.  Specifically, Tybee Island, Georgia.

The persons decided that we would take a drive out to see a fort.  I like forts.  Forts usually have it all.  Lots of grass and things to look at and history to learn about.  This was one called Fort Pulaski.  And it was really big and really dog friendly.  Being friendly to dogs is always a plus in our book.

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Now, as much as I like history, I also like to not have bugs bite my butt.  As much as I like learning, I also like not to almost fall off a wall getting away from said bug trying to bite my butt.  This Georgia place seems to have many bugs that want to bite you.  And after a week of fighting said bugs biting my butt, I had had it.  What “it” is, I don’t know, but I had it.  Chasing my butt.  So I decided that the only thing I needed to do was run. Run far away from this Fort. Named Pulaski.

Now, when you want to run from a bug, you decide that if you are a foxhound like me, you will try to escape.  Many people ask Girl and Boy Person why I have a harness like this on all the time.  Well, it was because of times like this.  As I tried to pull away, and the crowds looked on like I was part of some reenactment, the persons tried to calm me down.  Girl Person thought if her and Brickle walked into the Fort that I would want to follow.  So Boy Person had kind of a pep talk with me.  I tried to listen, but not really.  All I could hear were the sounds in my mind of that dern bug.

 

But I have been on many adventures in my life.  And I decided that maybe, I would just follow Sheriff Brickle and Girl Person into the Fort.

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Maybe there were no bugs in there trying to get my butt.  So I tried to pull it together as Girl Person showed me what they used to cook with back in the day.  I kept thinking, “pancakes, pancakes, pancakes”.  No bugs.  No.  No bugs.

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But sometimes, when something is bothering you, it is hard to stop thinking about it.  Even when we climbed to the top of the Fort, I was wondering how many bugs would be up there.  I couldn’t even think about the pancakes that they used to make here.  I couldn’t even appreciate the view.  No, I had a one track mind stuck on one song.  Getting out of here.

No matter what the persons tried to do, I just wanted to go.  Girl Person asked me nicely if I wanted to take a trail to a lighthouse.  Boy Person asked me.  Brickle told me.  And as we all started walking to it, it happened.  I snapped one last time.  I could see our car in the distance, and all I wanted to do was just get in it!  I pulled as hard as I could.  Harder than one of Granny Person’s biscuits she used to make.  That didn’t work.  Boy Person was still trying to get me to go.  All I knew to do was one last thing.  I had never tried it before.  But I had to do it.  I looked up at Boy Person.  I tried to get him to look in my eyes to know that I was freaking out.  I just could not go.  I just could not do it.  I begged him with my eyes to please let me go home.  And then it happened.  It worked.

Boy Person told Girl Person and Sheriff Brickle that I just didn’t want to go.  He said there was no way we were going after I looked at him like that.  And there was no hesitation.  They all decided that it was best we did not go on the trail.  It was getting hot, I had used up too much energy trying to leave, and there was breakfast waiting at home.  Girl Person told Brickle that there would be many more trails for us all to go on together, but it would have to be another day.

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I felt a little bad at first because I spoiled the fun.  But the persons talked about it and said that this was just the way it was.  They said that Brickle and I, and what we want to do and what we can do is the important thing, not the pictures we couldn’t take.

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As I have gotten a little older, I have noticed more aches and maybe less days where I feel like hiking on long trails.  I notice that things like bugs bother me a little bit more.  I can’t focus as good and I get scared a lot of storms. Girl Person says that’s ok.  No one feels good every single day, but on the days that we do, we should take advantage of them.  Life is not about getting the best pictures, but having the best times.  It is also about being understanding to others when they just can’t do something, or when they don’t want to do something. Because we may want someone to show us that same understanding on another day when they don’t feel quite so well.

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I know that no one truly understood how I felt, because I really didn’t.  Girl Person says stuff like that is called panic attacks sometimes.  I would rather have a pancake attack any day than that.  But as we drove through the area of Tybee Island and simply had fun looking and talking and laughing, I knew that in the end, this was better than any picture.  This was better than three being happy and one being sad.  We were all happy together because we worked together.  And when you find a family like that, well, you protect it.  Just like if you were at a Fort.

-Deputy Digby Pancake

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Like Peanut Butter On Your Face

This is Jax.  You probably have wondered why I have been so quiet lately.  Well, getting used to this traveling thing is harder than I thought it would be.  Yes, I came from China over to the United States, and lastly, fell off a cruise ship and rode in on a big wave to Jacksonville, Florida. However…this, my friends, is rough.  This traveling in a Big Blue Treat Wagon RV with Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle and Deputy Digby Pancake is very… rough.  Even for a world traveler like me.  I feel like I am drivin’ my life away!

Brickle and Digby have let me know that this part of their journey is the easy part.  They told me that somehow, they drove around the country in this thing for over two years.  They said that this has been the slow part…since I got here.  That makes me even more tired just thinking about it.  But it makes me also feel good.  Good that they rescued me and that I am now part of the rescue caravan.  Yep, that is what I call it.  I bet they never thought that since they were rescue dogs that they themselves would be rescuing too. Dogs rescuing a dog from the ocean?  Yes, it happened!  And I think our story is pretty special.

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You see, one thing I have learned from being with Brickle and Digby the past few weeks is that there is a lesson in life to be learned every day.  And whether you are a dog or a person or anything else, there is always room to be better.  There also is always room to carry me around in a backpack.  I am pretty portable.

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Friends have come and gone in my life.  I had friends from that box I was shipped in from China. We parted ways to go and live our lives. Then I had friends in that Claw Machine in the store.  We were only there a short time, except for that bear named Dusty who was on the bottom of the toy pile.  So yeah, when I got dropped from the cruise ship by my little girl person, I was a little over it.  I did not want any more friends.  I didn’t want to ever have to say goodbye again.  Or just bye, as my little girl person only had time to say.

But now, I see that maybe this was the family of friends I was meant to land in all along.  From day one when I was just a pile of cotton and plastic eyes and an abnormally long, felt tongue.

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If you have ever wondered if it is worth it to have friends, or to be a friend, let me put this question to rest for you.  A big snooze fest rest in Digby Pancake style.

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Friends come and go, like the waves of the ocean, but the true ones stay like peanut butter on your face.  Because Sheriff Brickle licks ya.  And I don’t even want to go in that washing machine thing again to get it off.  Because this is what life is all about.  Being needed and being loved.  Being accepted and belonging to who you want to belong to.  Having friends that went through a lot themselves, like Brickle and Digby.  But now, because they learned from what they went through, they could rescue someone like me.  And a someone like me may be out there waiting for you too.

No matter how far I have traveled, or how many roads Brickle and Digby have traveled, one thing is for certain.  We all have more roads to travel.  Together.  We have things we can teach to others like how rescuing animals is worth it.  We have places to go to show others that rescue dogs deserve a better life.  We have campgrounds to visit to meet other rescues and tell their stories.

So as we continue on the No Path Path, we will go together, making each other better for being friends.  Won’t you join us?  I highly recommend however bringing your own car.  It is getting a bit crowded in here.

-Colonel Jax

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Run Or Climb? That’s The Question.

This is Deputy Digby Pancake.  I’ve never been one to put forth more energy than absolutely necessary. The only energy I need comes from pancakes which gives me the energy to eat more pancakes.  It is quite a game plan, if I say so myself.  And I just said it.

So when we went sightseeing this weekend here in this Savannah, Georgia place, my energy level was running a little low.  But I was also excited to go somewhere, take a look at it and then go have breakfast.  Actually, I was just excited about the breakfast.  But when we pulled up to a pretty gate, I knew we were in for a nice hike.  The persons tell me that these remaining months of the year are for me.  They said they want to take me on some nice hikes and get me to cooler weather in the next few weeks.  So when I looked at the trees all lined up, just for me, I knew it was true.  This was worth spending a little energy on.

But as we toured this historical place, and as Girl Person was reading all of the signs, I started to think.  Really think.  History has a way of doing that to you.

There was so much energy I could put forth here, but I had to think. Did I want to run more here or did I want to climb more?  These trees were calling my name, but I had to figure out what they were saying. Girl Person looked at me when I thought that and she told me that I was really deep.  Deeper than even the roots of these trees. She said that persons wonder these same questions all of the time.  She said, in fact, that she had been feeling this way the past few weeks.  And she said it was exhausting.

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I actually could tell that she had been exhausted, which has made Brickle exhausted and me exhausted and Boy Person exhausted and everyone exhausted.  She was pretty bummed out about leaving the Florida place again.  And she was feeling like maybe she didn’t really have anything in life figured out at all.  She said she didn’t want to stay still, yet she didn’t want to move.  Yeah, I know that feeling.  But she said that sometimes, she just felt like running.  Running away from it all.  Kinda like that little boy did in some famous movie that part of it was filmed around here in Savannah.

But as I looked up at the trees, and then I looked at the long drive full of trees, I knew the answer.  If we ran from all of our problems in life all of the time, would we really get anywhere?  We would be putting forth a lot of energy for nothing.  No, in my humble opinion which has the scent of pancake breath, I knew the answer.  If you can climb, that is going to be the better way.  You see, you are going to have to put forth more energy at first.  But once you get up there, you not only have a nice view, but you can see all of the things that are important and beautiful.

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I think though that running is just something that most people choose to do.  They run from problem to problem or make problems along their path.  They go as fast as they can to get somewhere just to go somewhere else faster.  And enjoying the view is harder when you run.  If you have climbed up a tree, well, you are in a tree.  And there is not much else than to be there.  In a tree.  Once you are there.  Unless you invite someone up there with ya.  But if you are too busy running, you will never have anyone to ask up there.

I have always known that running is overrated, but now I am really starting to see just how much  Sure, it is good to have goals and to try and get there.  But trees remind us that just being…just looking…just watching sometimes is ok too.  Sometimes, staying still for some people is harder than anything in the world because it makes you think.  I sure know I hate thinking.  But thinking and looking and watching is an important way to find your way to to happiness.  That my fiends is the fastest way to get there.

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I have heard that life is like a box of chocolates.  Now, you know that I can never have chocolates.  But give me a box of pancakes, and I will get your point.  Don’t run from all your problems or the people that were with you along your path.  Learn, listen and climb.  Keep climbing.  Always. Climb.

And when you find out why you are climbing, that will be the best feeling of all.  Many persons don’t know it till they get there. And that is what I made Girl Person realize.  You’re welcome.  Now.  Where is my box of pancakes?

-Deputy Digby Pancake

Don’t miss the 2 Traveling Dogs podcast! All 29 episodes are on iTunes, Stitcher and right on our website.  New episode every week!  

This week’s episode is more than just talking about Iowa! Can you say covered bridges, Puppy Bowl and loose meat?  Don’t miss it!

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Pawcast Podcast #29 Iowa

On this week’s podcast episode, we talk about our travels through Iowa with a stowaway.  We also get romantic (not really) with the Bridges of Madison County and we meet a rescue doing wonderful things for animals and people.  Oh.  And can you say Puppy Bowl? It’s all on this week’s podcast with Boy Person, Girl Person, Executive Director Peanut Butter Brickle and Technical Director Digby Pancake.

Catch a new episode every week, subscribe to us on Itunes, and please leave us a review!

Save 10% off of your first order at Pet Releaf by using coupon code 2TD at checkout! www.petreleaf.com

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Mentioned in this week’s podcast:

Iowa Loose Meat Sandwiches For Dogs Recipe

AHeinz57 Rescue and Transport

“Stop Hounding Me” Episode For Iowa

 

Do The People You Buy Your Pet Products From Even Have Pets As Family?

This week’s Editorial is sponsored by Pet Releaf. Use coupon code 2TD at checkout to save 10% off of our first order. 

It was one of those moments in life that I will always remember.  There I was, exhibiting at my first trade show with my new line of dog treats.  I was excited at the possibilities of my new business, one that I had given up a lot for, and spent a lot of money to get started.  As executive after executive walked up to our booth and looked at our products, I was getting nervous. Here I was, making products for dogs because I wanted life to be better and more enjoyable for them.  Somewhere in my mind I had expected that everyone in the pet industry felt the same.  Or…at least they loved dogs.  Otherwise, why would they be in the business?  I was in for a very rude awakening.

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As I tried to make conversation, I often asked these executives about their own pets at home. The most common response?  That they did not have time for a pet. I soon got the hint halfway before day one’s end at this trade show.  I was in the minority in this industry.  I had dogs.  I had pets that I considered family.  And my family’s health for many years had rested on confidence in these executives who represented companies I thought cared.  Sure, I knew that these same large companies had to make money.  But the magnitude of what I was learning floored me.  This truly was a business.  This wasn’t just any business though.  They had literal lives in their hands.  And I wasn’t about to trust them any longer. Not with my boys’ health.  No.  Way.

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But even beyond that realization, it occurred to me that others, even our fanbase on social media and readers of our blog, needed help to see this as well. I no longer make pet products, but I now find it to be my mission to tell others what we have learned from not only inside the industry, but outside as well, being dog parents.

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So when a new segment of the pet industry began to emerge, CBD products for dogs and cats, we were interested.  Interested in the benefits, but also interested on who we could trust that were making these products.  Being unfamiliar with CBD, I did know one thing.  I was ready to learn about it.  Because I truly believe that products considered alternative by some standards in the industry are often the most basic and ones that work the best. Some don’t blink an eye when they read ingredients on a label they can’t pronounce, or see colorings or dyes added.  So why do some of us close our minds to looking at the most basic and organic ways of helping our pets, like CBD?  I had to learn more.  Not just for our sake, but for yours as well.  But first on my agenda in this research was who could I trust that offered CBD products?  Did they have pets? Why did they start the company in the first place? Who and what was their motivation?  That’s when we met the people at Pet Releaf.

I listened to their story and although I was more than impressed, it also mattered if their products were the best in the CBD segment.  Because as I learned, many companies are using CBD in their products or product lines.  Why does it matter who you purchase your CBD products from?  As Pet Releaf’s website states, “here at Pet Releaf, we consider our pets equal members of our family. For that reason, we believe that the products they consume should also be of the highest possible quality.From the food that they eat to the medications or supplements you give them, you should feel confident.”  We could not agree more.  YOU deserve that. Your pets deserve that.  When did this become lost in an industry that could have been so much better?

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As we did the research, we learned what we should look for when purchasing CBD products.

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Not all CBD hemp oil products are the same.

Pet Releaf’s website breaks it down for you as follows.  What do you need to look for?

1. Source of Hemp and CBD

Pet Releaf products are made from hemp oil that is extracted from the largest USDA certified organic hemp farm in the country. Many alternative products being offered use Chinese (and sometimes Russian) hemp because it is far cheaper. The problem here is the Chinese and Russian hemp are NOT organic and are often grown in toxic soil in an attempt to “clean” the soil.

2. Method of Extraction

Pet Releaf uses ONLY super critical CO2 extraction to safely and completely bring the healthy and essential oils out of the plant. Almost all other CBD products on the market utilize toxic solvents to extract the oils – such as butane (yes, lighter fluid) or heavy alcohols. The problem with those methods is that the toxic solvents often remain present in the CBD oil. Another significant issue is that these toxic solvents destroy the health benefits of the hemp oils being extracted. Just think what butane or isopropyl alcohol does to sensitive living plant material. Would you ever drown your broccoli in lighter fluid and then serve it to your family after it supposedly evaporated??

3. Whole Hemp Plant or Hemp Seeds Only

Pet Releaf uses the whole hemp plant AND the hemp seeds to make their CBD products and CBD oil. Some companies only use hemp seeds (again much cheaper) in their products. Hemp seeds do NOT contain any CBD at all. Hemp seeds are an excellent source of protein and Omega 3, 6 and 9 but don’t hold the multitude of healthy cannabinoids found in the plant itself.

4. Suspension or Mixing Agents With CBD Hemp Oil

CBD hemp oil by itself is very concentrated and has a consistency similar to molasses so it must be mixed with something in order to be used as an oil. Pet Releaf CBD hemp oil is ONLY mixed with organic coconut oil to preserve the health benefits of the hemp oil. The majority of CBD oils on the market are mixed with ethanol or propylene glycol and often contain flavoring such as peppermint – all of which are potential health hazards for our pets. Those are much cheaper but actually significantly reduce and even destroy the living and active cannabinoids present in CBD hemp oil.

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For pet parents considering CBD to help their pets, consider why we personally believe that Pet Releaf is the only company to purchase from. Simply put?  You can go right to their website and read all of their testing reports.  Their products are organic and made in the USA.  Everything is transparent, you can ask them any questions with a personal response, and there is something else.  We have used the products from Pet Releaf.  We have witnessed the change in Brickle’s travel anxiety, Digby’s mobility and their overall mental health has improved.

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I won’t tell you that I think this is cure all for every ailment or for every dog or cat.  No, I won’t make promises to you like other companies.  But what I will do is let you know you owe it to your pet to do the research.  That’s where we should all start.  No, I don’t want you to take my word for it.  But I do want you to know that their products work for us.  We trust them as a company.  And that is saying it all.  You know that our boys mean the world to us.  They have inspired us to try and change the world for other animals.  And we need them with us for a very long time.  We will have Pet Releaf with us for the long haul.

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I have often wondered since my first trade show if I should have even tried to enter this pet industry with alternative pet products.  Because the truth is, they failed.  I lost a lot of money, I was simply hurt, and I felt defeated.  I still believe in what we tried to start with our cook for your dog mixes.  But I know the industry does not believe in us. And maybe, just maybe, that is ok.  Because sometimes, in supposed failure, you find another path to the same place.  And if we can help other pet parents think for themselves and inspire you to go the extra mile for your pet, you will have many more miles to walk together.  And with companies we find like Pet Releaf, it inspires us and shows us that there are still people that care and that actually have pets in their own families!  And that says it all.

-Rachael Johnson, Girl Person and Owner of 2 Traveling Dogs and Your Dog’s Diner

Use coupon code 2TD at Pet Releaf to save 10% off of your initial order.  www.petreleaf.com

Although we received compensation for this post, all opinions and views are our own.

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The Sloth. Is. Arrested.

This is Deputy Digby Pancake.  I don’t keep secrets, so allow me to tell you this right away.   It is hot as the kitchen at IHop (not IHob thanks to me).  It is as hot as a frying pan full of bacon at Granny Person’s house back in the day.  It is as hot as Sheriff Brickle’s attitude.  And all of this hot makes me tired.  It makes me sleepy.  It makes me want to do less than I normally do, which is less than anyone.

After being so hot and so tired, Girl Person thought it best that we take our exercise in shifts.  We get up early and hike a little bit.

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Then we come back and eat breakfast.  Sometimes we even have pizza.  Brickle really likes that.

Then we take a nap in the air conditioning which is thankfully still working.  (Keeping my paws crossed).  Then we go back outside, take another walk, get another snack and take another nap.

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Now.  Some persons would consider this a luxury… to be me.  And I get that because you have to work at places that maybe you don’t want to work at.  But don’t think for one little moment that I don’t go to work.

Don’t misunderstand the above schedule to mean that I don’t take my job seriously.  Especially when part of your job as Deputy is keeping the trails safe.  From.  Giant Ground Sloths.  Giant Ground Sloth?  You heard me.

It’s probably not something that you would expect to encounter when you are in Savannah, Georgia.  But Girl Person explained to me that one was found here at this park.  Yes, here.  At this park.

And when I heard that, I knew.  If I wanted to keep my title as sloth around here, I had to pawtrol the trails to make sure that there were none of these sloths left here.

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It goes without saying, but I will say it, that there are a lot of things to watch out for on the trails in the middle of a summer heatwave in Georgia.  Snakes, alligators, more alligators and Brickle’s less than pleasant attitude which will bite ya.  But I never thought that I would have to look out for a sloth.  Girl Person told me that the Giant Ground Sloth lived here long, long ago.  She said that he did not want our camping spot, and that he did not want my pancakes.  Brickle doesn’t care if he takes his pizza though.  She said that the Giant Ground Sloth they found here at the park probably really liked his time here.  She said that he probably had a family like us and liked to eat treats like us and he liked to go on walks like us.  And I thought about that.

Some things, people and creatures we hear about and we learn about, but do we really think of them as being real?  Or do they seem like fiction to us?  It is easy to not view something as important when we don’t think about what they used to be like and the sad part of them not being here anymore.  Yeah, the Giant Ground Sloth.  He lived here once.  He didn’t even have to buy a Georgia State Parks Pass to get in.  And he was here long before there was even a nearby city of Savannah.

Places that you visit are more than what the guidebooks tell you.  The reality of the past is that animals and people called it home long before it was popular to go there.  When you travel, it is up to you to put down the books that tell you where to go, close your eyes and imagine.  Imagine the ones that were here long ago that others have forgot about to go shopping.  Imagine the ones that were here when no one else was.  Have respect that one day, you may not be here either.  Don’t you want someone to remember you on your favorite part of the earth?

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Once upon a time there was a Giant Ground Sloth in Savannah, Georgia.  And once upon a time, there was a Deputy Digby Pancake in Savannah, Georgia.  We both thought we had all the time to be here in the world.  When one day, we will both wish for one more time.  One more time to walk these trails and be a sloth.

Yes, some may not think of the Giant Ground Sloth when they think of Savannah.  Some may not even think of me when they think of pancakes.  But I aim to change all of the above.  After I take a nap.  I will have one eye open though.  You never know if the Giant Ground Sloth is going to come back.

You may wonder.  Why though is the Giant Ground Sloth arrested?  The sloth is arrested for not telling me where his giant pillow was at.  Or his giant bed.  Or his giant breakfast.

-Deputy Digby Pancake

Don’t forget to catch our weekly cooking episode for dogs and people at noon ET Friday on Instagram TV and our Facebook page!

This week, we are making Pita Pizza For Dogs and People.

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Is organic shampoo really necessary when it comes to bathing our dogs?  Once you try 4-Legger, you will have the answer.  We wouldn’t use anything else.  Use coupon code 2TravelingDogs at checkout!

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The Imposters

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle.  Oh, my job never ends.  It seems like no matter where I go, I always have some arresting to do and some crime to solve.  So when we arrived here in Savannah, Georgia, well, this was no different.

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At first, I was too tired to pay attention to all of the sounds outside.  I was also too hot to go outside to check.  You see, it is about a billion degrees outside in the shade in this Savannah, Georgia place.  As soon as you walk outside, it’s like you have stepped onto the sun with a frying pan full of pancakes and butter.  But even that is not enough to entice Deputy Digby outside either.  So we let the noises go, even though they were loud as could be…we tried to ignore them.  But eventually, when it sounded like elephants had walked onto the roof, I had to go outside and check. And check indeed.  Gandpa always says “don’t write a check that your butt can’t cash.”  I don’t know what that means, but the squirrels here had wrote a check.  A big one.

Now, at first, I thought it was our squirrel friends from that Jacksonville campground place.  Had they hitched a ride in the Big Blue Treat Wagon? And then.  Not only were they here, but then, I thought my eyes were deceiving me.  Was that the Scarlet Pimpernel?  Could it be?

But as I looked at the mess and I heard them start to chatter, I knew.  They were trying to fool me.  These culprits were not in fact our old friends. They were imposters. I heard them talking…whispering…they had plans.

Imposters trying to steal all of the bird seed.  Which they did.  Imposters trying to eat our rug.  Which they did.  Imposters drinking all of the water in our bowl.  Which they did.  All of them.  Imposters.  But I could not be fooled.

You see, our old friends in Jacksonville would have never done such a thing.  The Scarlet Pimpernel liked to look at himself all day.  He had no time to knock over bird seed.  He knew we would serve it to him.  And our old squirrel friends in Jacksonville would have kindly had a party on top of the Big Blue Treat Wagon while doing gymnastics to reach the bird feeder.  They liked to do tricks for their treats.  These Savannah, Georgia squirrels just wanted to make a mess.  Everywhere.  And on top of that, they were trying to sweet talk us with chatter to make us think we knew them.  Well, imposters?  You are caught.  And it was time.  Time to put Colonel Jax on the job.

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You see, our new brother from another mother was the perfect man for the job.  He doesn’t get too hot because his tongue is always outside his mouth panting.  So I put him outside to give out the remaining birdseed we had left.  You see, I have a heart.  I still want these imposers to have a full belly so that they leave my cookies alone.  But imposters?  Stop trying to be who you aren’t.

You see, we all are imposters in some sort of way.  Why?  None of us really have anything all figured out.  Even if we are a doctor or a lawyer or a teacher or a bird or a squirrel, none of us know everything about what we do.  We can act like we do, but we don’t.  The trick is to be who we are, admit when we make mistakes, like spilling bird seed everywhere, and be the best self we can be.  Then, if we recognize that we all have something to learn, no matter how smart we think we are, we will get better at being us.   Because being yourself is pretty great.  No one can do it better than you.

Now.  I don’t live here.  Where can we get some more bird seed?
-Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle

Have you joined our 2 Traveling Dogs Book Club discussion this week? There is still time to catch up and take part!  All you have to do is request to join our 2 Traveling Dogs Fan Club Page.  This week, we are reading together Hogan’s Hope by Connie Bombaci  She has been discussing her book directly with our fans with special videos and conversation!  

Join Connie and author Laurier Duperier of The Endless Path as they directly talk to fans and get us all to thinking about how we communicate with our dogs.  You don’t want to miss this!

This is a free perk and book club to our most valued fans! Join today!

Download Hogan’s Hope on Kindle!

I’m A Travelin’ Man

This is Jax.  Yes, I know this is the first time that you have heard from me directly.  But this is the first time that Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle has given me permission to talk to you.  Can’t say as I blame him.  You can’t be too careful when a fellow rides a wave into your life out of nowhere.

I have always thought that the destination is less important than the way you get there.  And so you may wonder where I came from, how I got on that wave, how I washed onto shore, and why I knew I was going to be ok.

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Well, let me just start by saying this.  I was born a humble stuffed animal, made from cotton and and stuffing and plastic parts.  I didn’t have the greatest start in life.  I was born a bit on the small side with a tongue that didn’t ever want to go back into my mouth.  I never knew my family because I guess sewing machines aren’t the family type. So I was shipped in a box from China to a machine with a big fork hand.  I was not really sure if this machine would accept me either.  Seemed like my lot in life were machines.  And I was right.  That big claw machine wanted to do nothing but eat quarters and dollar bills and one by one, my friends were taken away.  But I started to think about it like a nursery, and know that there was something or someone out there better for me. I knew that this nursery was where my new family was going to meet me.  One day.  One day.  If they had the skill to pluck me out.

As I sat there and waited with all the other stuffed animals hoping, just hoping, well, a little girl person came with some change and you guessed it.  That big claw thing in the machine lifted me straight up.  It wasn’t a pleasant ride to say the least.  And I was dropped right into a bin where the little girl person got me out all happy.  You see, family doesn’t always have to be where you came from.  Family can be wherever you go.  That’s just a fact of life.

As I was carried out of the big store away from that big claw monster thing, I knew that my life was about to get good.  I spent days with the little girl person in her room playing and nights in her bed cuddling.  One day, her big persons decided that they were going to take something called a vacation on a big boat.  And when she packed me in her bag, I couldn’t believe it! I was going to get to go on a vacation thing too.  I didn’t know what a big boat was, but as we climbed aboard, the little girl person told me that it was going to be a fun time and that she loved me and that she would give me a cookie later.   I was ok with that.  I was so hungry that I thought my tongue would slap my brains out, but I didn’t technically have a brain.

But as the little girl person was showing me the water below us, all of a sudden, a big wind came.  I found myself falling even further than when I was in the claw machine.  And I didn’t stop falling until I landed in the water.  I heard the little girl person yelling for me, but I couldn’t swim.  My sewing machine parents had not taught me that either, and I guess I was now a little bitter.  I saw the boat pulling away, and I found myself being pushed onto shore, and I heard one last thing from the little girl person.  She said bye.  Just bye.  Well.  Bye.

It was at that point that I had flashbacks.  Flashbacks of my life in China, the box I was shipped in and the little girl person saving me.  I knew that my chances of making it out of this situation was a pretty bleak one.  But I resigned myself to the fact that perhaps an octopus family or a shark family was looking for a dog like me.  And I held onto that hope.  You can’t ever give up hope.  I went to sleep, tired from the fall and then.  Then I woke up.

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When you wake up sometimes, it takes you a minute to remember where you are if you are a travelin’ man like me.  But this time, I had no idea why two big dogs not made out of stuffing were staring at me.  I didn’t know why one of them tried to pee on me, something that I always aspired to as a stuffed dog.  But I knew, when a big Girl Person lifted me up and put me in her bag that this was ok. This was going to be ok.

Well, you already know the rest of the story, because Brickle and Digby, the non stuffed dogs already filled you in, but not with stuffing.  That is me.  I got a bath, I got a home.  I got a new family.  They said it was something called rescuing.  But whatever they want to call it, it’s good.

I thought that my traveling days were over.  But I was told they have just begun.

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The Sheriff and the Deputy said that now I have been appointed Colonel.  Colonel Jax after the city I washed up in.  I have no idea what a Colonel is, or what a Colonel does, but maybe it is more than police fried chicken which I can’t even eat. Maybe since I already have stuffing in my belly, I can eat some turkey though. I’ll try it.

My family told me that I am now a part of their journey on the No Path Path the next few months.  They said we have exploring and traveling to do.  They said that we are going to tell happy rescue stories, so I thought I would start.  You see, when you are born a humble stuffed animal and shipped far away, you can find love.  Even more than once.  I never gave up.  In fact, I gave in. I also fell in. Because you see, sometimes it takes some of us longer to find our family.  Sometimes, we have to realize that our family can even find us.  Even when it seems we are lost at sea.

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Here is to many more adventures together.  It is nice to finally meet you.  I’m a travelin’ man.  Now, let’s get down to travelin’.  But no boats please.  Welcome to Savannah, Georgia!

-Colonel Jax

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Is Love Truly Blind?

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle.  As we start on our No Path Path this week, we all need a clean slate.  Especially dirty Deputy Digby Pancake.  But I can’t accomplish everything on my to do list this week.  So first things first.  Jax?  Let’s talk about the incident. The incident at Gandma’s house.

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This has been a rough week for everyone, trying to pack up, saying goodbye to old friends, and well, saying goodbye to Brickle Beach.

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So when we went to Gandma’s house last week for a little breather, I enjoyed showing Jax the place where we used to live.

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I know that he was enjoying it there.  As was I.  And I suppose that I liked how much of a good listener he was.  And I was really thinking that when he washed up on that wave on Jacksonville Beach that it was meant to be.

So as I was reminiscing at Gandma’s house about how he came into our lives, and how much that his life had changed over the past few days, we got carried away with our conversation, and I suppose that maybe…just maybe…I could have taken off his nose and his eyes.

Now, I know what you might be thinking, because I am the Sheriff, and I know all.  You are thinking that I did it on purpose and that I meant it in a bad way.  But really.  Have you ever loved something so much, like a plant, and maybe watered it too much?  What happened?  Have you ever loved something so much, like yourself, that you can’t possibly stare at your reflection for a minute longer?  Have you ever loved something so much, like peanut butter cookies, that your tummy looks like a peanut butter cookie? Ok, that’s me.  It was kind of like that for me with Jax.  My love got carried away.  Did I cut off his nose despite his face? No, I bit off his nose and his eyes.  And he didn’t even seem to mind.  Although Girl Person sure did.  She wasn’t being blinded by my handsome.  Jax wasn’t either.  He had real problems.

Girl Person explained to me that when we are taking care of someone, we cannot take off their eyes and their nose, even though we don’t mean anything by it.  It still is going to hurt.  She said that persons say love is blind, but I disagree.  Love is seeing someone’s faults and everything about them, and loving them anyway.  Love is opening up your eyes and your heart to seeing beyond yourself and your needs and being there for someone else.

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Love is also about saying you’re sorry and trying to find a way to fix what you break.  You can’t always fix it…but you can try.

So as I got Jax all fixed up at the vet and I said my apologies, we headed out to the beach one last time to bid it farewell.

I explained to Jax that love is not blind, but it leads to blindness.  My love was too much, and for that, I was sorry and I would learn from it.  As we take off on the No Path Path with our new foster fail, Jax, I can only hope that now, he can see what life truly is about.  Going with the flow, trying not to get peed on by Digby, helping others, and having fun.  This is going to be great.  I can see that, and now Jax can see that.  If we are fortunate enough in life to have all of our senses…use them.  To love. And if we lose any along the way, those who love us will carry us through.

-Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle

Only just a few days left! Don’t miss out!

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Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow And All That Stuff

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle.  Today is the day.  It is a day that is bittersweet, or just bitter.  Or just sweet.  I can’t choose. This day is kind of like me, actually. Point is, we have to leave this Florida place once again.  And today is the start of our No Path Path.  Are you ready?

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I guess, in a way, with some places, people, or peanut butter cookies, you never want to say goodbye.  There is no easy way to say it.  I loved this Jacksonville, Florida place.  I loved the beach, the campers, the furkids, the woods.  But especially the beach.  Especially.

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When you travel, one of the best things about it is that you get to see yourself in different lights.  Of course, all lights look good on me, but with travel, you get to experience things that maybe you normally would not have got to otherwise.  Can’t say as I ever thought I would get to live right on the ocean for six months.  But I did.

I need you now and I need you then
Just stop, ’cause I really love you
Stop, I’ll be thinking of you
Look in my heart and let love keep us together, whatever
Whatever, I will, I will, I will, I will

And so the point that we didn’t get a house really didn’t matter to me during this time.  Because I was living my dream.  And it is a hard one to wake up from.  So yeah.  I am just going to say that it IS a little hard to leave today.

But adventure is calling our name.  Actually, the woods are calling Digby’s name.  And so we must go.  And we are.  Even Jax is coming along for the ride this time.  The loss of his nose is another blog for another day.  I don’t have time for that right now.  Let’s just say I’ll explain tomorrow and also.  Jax. Is. Arrested.

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Today, I have other things to concentrate on like getting this Big Blue Treat Wagon safely to Savannah, Georgia.  We are going to be there two weeks.  This is going to be fun, but Jacksonville, Florida?  I need to say something.  Something that I have been holding in.  Something that I have wanted to say for these six months.  Thank you.  Simply. Thank you. Do I have to go? It’s come to this.

So don’t go breaking my heart
I won’t go breaking your heart
Don’t go breaking my heart

Sometimes, I suppose that a broken heart is undeniable, even if you know what happened is the best thing.  So it may take me a few days to get back in the groove.

Why will it take me a bit to get back in the groove?  Jacksonville, Florida was that special to us.  They say home is where you heart is.  For these six months, our hearts were here.  But I do have to say too that our hearts were in that Sonoma County, California place.  And so that goes to show me that we can change.  Circumstances can change.  Our feelings can change. And that might mean we can fall in love again, somewhere else.  But will that somewhere be as special?  I just don’t know.  And so keeping the door open here is what I think we should do.  I have the key to that door and my heart and I won’t shut it yet on my beach.  Yes, Jacksonville? This area is hereby called Brickle Beach from now on.

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I thought about writing all about everything I loved here in this Jacksonville, Florida place and the Amelia Island, Florida place.

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But I have to say.  There was too much.  In fact, my feelings about here are so strong that putting them into words seems to make my heart hurt a little.  And that interrupts my handsome time which is all the time, and no one has time for that.

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Many people have said that you should never say goodbye.  So, I won’t say goodbye to all that I love here.  I won’t say goodbye to our friends here, or our family.

I won’t say goodbye to Tod the Toad.

I won’t say goodbye to the Scarlet Pimpernel.

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I won’t say goodbye to Gandpa’s french toast breakfast.

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I won’t say goodbye to the Fort Caroline we loved to hike at every week.

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I won’t say goodbye to my friend Beasley Ann.

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I won’t say goodbye to our friends at the dog park.

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I won’t say goodbye to some of the best fan friends we have met in person. Thank you, Aunt Fran.

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I won’t say goodbye to our new friend Dozer the therapy donkey.

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I won’t say goodbye to the best campground in the entire world with the best camping friends ever.

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No, no.  I won’t say it.  Because the one thing I have learned from traveling all these years now is that sometimes, love is better the second time around.  So if we meet again, it will be better than the last.

 

And if we don’t? Then it wasn’t meant to be.  But I have to think that the No Path Path will take us where we need to go.  So this is it.  Today it is.  Thank you, Jacksonville, Florida for welcoming us and not saying goodbye.  See ya later, alligator.

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Maybe I’ll call.

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-Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle

Don’t miss out on our new design for this trip! Only available for a few more days!

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Learn How To Cook For Yourself And Your Dog At The Same Time

This special Sunday Edition is brought to you by Your Dog’s Diner.  Normally, the dogs do all of the talking on our daily dog blog.  

I know.  I know.  You are busy.  You don’t have time to even cook for yourself.  How many times have I heard this?  I can’t even count.  But I will never give up on trying to show dog parents that there is a different way of feeding the ones that are our best friends, our lifesavers, our constant companions….our dogs.

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I know in my heart that one of the ways we can truly change a dog’s life is by the food that we give him or her.  Yes.  Food.  Is food not something that we all look forward to every day?  Variety and good ingredients are important.  Real, fresh food is what we believe all dogs deserve.  As I will never stop advocating for homeless animals, I will also never stop advocating changes to what we feed our dogs.  But again, if you are telling me that you don’t have time to cook for yourself, I get it.  I get that you probably never will.  Unless you want to.  And we are here to help.  How?

Every week, we bring to you a free, cooking class.  This is not only a cooking class to learn how to cook for your dog, but yourself as well.  If we are going to go to the trouble to cook for our dogs, shouldn’t we want to eat what we make too? Would that be worth your time…if you could share?  We think so.  And we want you to learn and have fun!

So where can you find these weekly episodes?

Every Friday at 12 p.m. ET, each episode will be posted to Instagram TV and our Facebook page.

Past episodes include:

Spaghetti For Dogs and People

International Cooking Class For Middle Eastern Hamburgers

Coconut Bread

Warm Cesar Salad 

You can also find all of our Daytime NBC cooking videos on our YouTube Channel including chicken jerky, Mutt Salad and Barkaritas.

Listen to our weekly podcast to hear about a paw picked recipe for each state on our travels!

How can you get involved?

We want YOUR input, recipes and suggestions!  Email us at contact@2travelingdogs.com or comment at the end of this blog.  This is labor of love for us and we need your support.  Making the world a better place for animals and our dogs starts with each one of us.  Much of their happiness is dependent on how we take care of them.

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Make sure to include exercise, love, adventure and real food in your efforts to be the best dog parent there is.  Not only will our dogs live longer for it, but you will too.

-Rachael Johnson, Owner and Girl Person of 2 Traveling Dogs and Your Dog’s Diner

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A New Path With Mixed Emotions

This is part of our Saturday Editorial Series. Normally, the dogs do all of the talking! Catch us every weekday at www.2travelingdogs.com and our weekly podcast on iTunes and Stitcher.

Well, here we go again!  And yet, this time, the journey that we are about to go on feels quite different than the last, 48 states, 48 rescues tour.

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As I do on every weekend editorial, I like to share with you some of my thoughts, emotions and trials as a dog parent of Brickle and Digby.  Sometimes, what I write is hard, and honestly, never easy!  But part of my goal is to make you feel like you are not alone if you are facing the same situations in life.  Another part of my goal is that we all become a bit more tolerant, accepting, and an encouragement to one another.  But sometimes, I just have to write for me.  And this is one of those times.

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The decision to embark on the No Path Path was not an easy one or a fast one.  If you have been following us, you know that we have been back in this Florida place after our last tour for almost six months.  Our aim was to look for and buy a home that we could rest a bit in after our travels.  But as the search, the work, the stress and the frustration over not finding a place started to wear on us, we became a bit more depressed.  I became a bit more harsh on myself.  I started to second guess all of our decisions up to this point, and fact was fact.  We either could not afford a house that we found that could possibly work, or nothing was an inspiration to us.  Inspiration? A house? What were we looking for?  Not what most people look for. You know we always have to make things interesting!

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We were looking for something different. For us, after having the freedom to travel and be together in a simple life the past few years, well, it was going to be hard to give that up.  But we knew if we found an old building to restore or a warehouse, or a historic, simple, fixer-upper near the water that we could afford, we would do it!  But that place never showed up.  Not even with us being here for so many months.  Will it show up when we are back on the road? Perhaps.  That is going to be part of the fun too.  An old train station, perhaps?  An old general store? Oh, you never know!

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So, we decided to stop stressing about it, realize that maybe our path needed to lead us somewhere else, and maybe…we needed a break from looking.  Did we love it here near Amelia Island? Oh, we did.  And yet, we could only stay at camp for so many months.  People don’t realize, but most campgrounds have time limits on how long you can stay. This was a rare one that allowed us up to six months.  And so, the decision was partly being made for us. Our time was up. And since all signs were pointing to go, we are going to go. And who knows.  Maybe that path will lead us back here again. Brickle has that in the suggestion box.

img_3936In many ways, I am looking forward to getting back on the road. We find that the longer we sit, the more our depression makes itself known. We have never kept that a secret. Also, Brickle and Digby are now nine years old.  They deserve and want to have fun, but on a less crazy schedule like we did before.  It would not be fair to their health, ours, or the Big Blue Treat Wagon!  But a No Path Path means we can take Digby to his happy place, the mountains, on his schedule.  He has been slowing down a lot lately, so it is our hopes that this will cheer him up…new trails and smells and adventure!  Brickle’s happy place of the beach was so good for him for these six months. Our backyard was his ocean.  It will always be his ocean. But the heat is starting to take a toll, and with hurricane season on top of us, this is a good time for departure.

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So there you have it.  When you don’t know what direction to go in life, sometimes, you just have to simply keep moving.  I have found by talking to so many people that none of us have anything figured out!  We have to think that our No Path Path will perhaps lead us to where we are inevitably supposed to go.  Go with the flow? Digby has taught us that.

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I am not going to pretend that every time we say goodbye to our family, friends and new friends that it isn’t hard. Oh, it is the hardest thing in the world.  Sometimes, I worry about disappointing people.  I worry about how crazy our lives seem to be and how that must worry them.  But the fact is, right now, we just can’t sit still.  We have to keep on movin’.  And as long as we are all able, willing, and more than happy to keep exploring, we are going to do it.  It has always been our goal to show that a rescue animal can make a difference.  We have two.

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So is this No Path Path going to be easy?  Nope.  Our RV still needs a lot of work.  Is it going to be a challenge? Yes! It always is.  But as you have been there with us for over seven years now, we know that you will continue to be!  So, are you ready to join us? We are headed to the mountains! Digby is going to be our navigator for the remainder of the year, so who knows where we will end up! He has decided that on Monday, first is Savannah, Georgia.  Then Charleston, South Carolina.  Then…let’s see where is next! Let’s meet some rescue animals, hear their stories and embark on a new adventure!

Many places we have ended up the past few years, I never would have imagined visiting.  But every place became a part of me and who I am now.  I hope that as a family, we can continue to do this for as long as we can.

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We can do this, we are excited and you know what?  We hope you are too! The No Path Path?  HERE WE COME!

If you missed any of the blogs this week with full explanations, keep scrolling below.

-Rachael Johnson, Owner, 2 Traveling Dogs and Your Dog’s Diner

Don’t forget to keep up!  What can you expect each week?

A new PODCAST on Itunes and Stitcher!

A new coooking segment for dogs every Friday on Instagram TV and our Facebook page!

Take part in our 2 Traveling Dogs Book Club by joining our Facebook Group Page

Get extra content on our Twitter page every day

Follow us on Instagram where we will be sharing pictures of rescue animals we meet along the way!

Get our NEW shirt! Only available for a limited time!!

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Tails On The Trails

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle.  Am I a sight for sore eyes, or what? Am I a breath of fresh air? Am I the light of your life? Did. You. Miss. Me.

As the bird, cat, fish and Deputy Digby told you, we are headed out again on more adventures Monday.  Yes, I am a bit bummed to leave my beach.  My happy place.  I can’t deny that.  This face don’t lie.

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But I have to tell you.  I never thought that we would get to live right on the beach for almost six months.  I never thought that we could walk to the beach every morning and every night after dinner.  It has been so special to be here.  But as happy as I was here, I also knew the whole time that this was not Deputy Digby’s happy place.  Sure, he liked it ok.  Sometimes.  But Digby’s happy place is in the woods and on trails and in the mountains.  That’s ok.  Because we are so different, that makes life interesting.  And so the persons talked to me about it, and asked me if I minded if Deputy Digby got a few months in his happy place.  They told me that since we did such a good job on our last tour, that we each deserved some vacation time.  And so of course I said ok.  If we could come back perhaps.  The persons said that if our trails lead us back here, or around here, that will happen.  If not, it may be another beach.  And so if we are truly on this No Path Path, we won’t worry about any of that though.  Because this is going to be about the journey, letting go of maps and destinations and enjoying the ride.  If the Big Blue Treat Wagon can make it.

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As excited as I am about the trip, I also needed to make known to the persons that they had an assignment.  Our last assignment of 48 states and 48 rescues was all about the people doing good things for animals.  So my suggestion was to make this path about the animals and hear their happy stories after being rescued!  So we are going to call it Tails On The Trails.  If you follow us on Instagram, you will use the hashtag #TailsOnTheTrails to find the pictures.

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So that’s the news folks!  As Sheriff, allow me to summarize for you.  We will be leaving Jacksonville, Florida July 9th, then headed to Savannah, Georgia, Charleston, South Carolina, and then we will see after that.  We will be hitting some mountain trails for Digby, meeting rescues along the way, and we are going to enjoy this!  Unlike our last trip with schedules and deadlines, the No Path Path has none of that.  Just adventure, excitement, a few or many breakdowns again and love.  So won’t you join us? Let’s do this!  Watch live as we leave Monday on our Facebook page.  With tears in our eyes and anticipation in our hearts, we hope that this path will lead us further on the journey of happiness in life.

You see, we all realize that we do not have all the time that we want to with each other.  For the persons to make Digby and I happy and fulfilled, well…that is what is important to them now.  It’s always been about us, but even more so now.  So let’s have fun the rest of the year, see where this No Path Path takes us and where it does not.  That’s the beauty of this…besides my brindleness of course.

-Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle

Monday, we will have a special blog dedicated to our time here in Jacksonville, Florida and on Saturday’s Editorial, look for Girl Person’s blog on how she really feels about this. 

Don’t forget to purchase our new shirt to celebrate our new journey! Now available for only a limited time!

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The No Path Path

This is Deputy Digby Pancake.  I bet that you have been missing me this week!  I know I have been missing me and I am right here.  Seems kinda strange not to write the dog blog everyday and let a bird, fish and cat take over.  But I guess we all need a change sometimes.  Yes.  Even me.

So, Khaleesi the cat broke it to you yesterday, I heard.  Yes! We are leaving this Florida place on Monday.  And she let you know that our new journey until the end of the year is called “The No Path Path”!  If there was ever anyone that did not stick to a path, that is me. And so I am really excited about this journey.  More excited than I have been in awhile.

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You see, I have never thought about sticking to the path.  I always try to get off.  I always try to get lost and go deep into the woods.  I really don’t care where we go, as long as there is something to smell or roll on along the way.  I don’t care about tomorrow.  I care more about what I am doing.  Right then.  Since the persons got so tired of looking at houses that just didn’t seem to fit for us now, we thought, why not keep moving? If the Big Blue Treat Wagon can keep us for a little longer, and we can make sure it is happy too, maybe this is where our path was supposed to take us.  Even if we change our path for a bit, we heard that the trails and the paths will maybe lead us somewhere amazing.  If not, we can always turn around on the path.

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So on Monday, we are headed towards some new trails, some new mountain paths.  The mountains are my happy place.  Sheriff Brickle has his own…the beach.  And the persons decided that since me and Brickle did such a good job on our 48 States, 48 Rescues tour, that it was our turn.  Our turn to each have some time in our happy places.  This was about us now.

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As Khaleesi the cat told you, our first stop is Savannah, Georgia.  Then, Charleston, South Carolina.  Then we will pick another path to another place! The beauty of this No Path Path is that we can change our paths and just have some fun.  But this isn’t all there is to our new journey for the rest of the year.  We will have a few surprises and the persons have a new assignment. You know animal rescue is our mission.  And that will not be left out of this trip. But Sheriff Brickle will tell you all about that tomorrow.

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For now, we hope that you will come along with us on more adventures, more fun and more life.

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Sometimes, I get sidetracked and think I will never find anything stinky enough to roll in.  But I find something even better.  When life hands you detours and road blocks, you can either stop.  Or you can find a way around to your happy.  We continue to be thankful for the opportunity we have everyday of being together as a family and doing what we love.

We don’t need a house made out of stone or concrete or blocks to hold that love.  Our Big Blue Treat Wagon will do for now.  I am so excited!!!  We are ready to pack up and go!  Are you ready?

-Deputy Digby Pancake

Our new shirt is only available for a limited time! Celebrate our new path with us!

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The Path Of Khaleesi Cat

Hello.  Meow. Hiss. All that good stuff.  My name is Khaleesi.  I am a friend or foe of Brickle and Digby.  Depends on the day.  I have only known these guys for a few months at camp, but I, because I am Khaleesi, have been tasked with breaking some news for you. Someone once said if cats could talk, they wouldn’t.  So not sure why I am being asked to write this blog today. So be it.  Hiss, by the way.

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But here it goes.  Brickle and Digby’s path starts again by leaving this campground on Monday.  They are leaving this Florida place. Sorry to break it to you. But I understand why they are leaving.  Because I am also a traveling cat.  I have to travel.

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It’s not that I don’t like my home.  But home is different for many people and animals.  Also, home can change.  One minute, you can like a house on wheels.  One minute, you can like a house made out of stone.  One minute, my looks can turn you to stone.

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Cats don’t beat around the bush.  We hide in the bush and jump out at you.  Brickle, Digby and their persons are embarking on a new path Monday called “The No Path Path”.  Yes.  “The No Path Path”.  They are leaving this Florida place on Monday to hit the road again!  Why?  First of all, they did not find a home in this Florida place now that made them want to give up the Big Blue Treat Wagon and their freedom.  Secondly, because Brickle and Digby have given so much of themselves by working for rescues on the last trip, they wanted to make this new journey more about them.  And so…since Brickle has been in his absolute happy place for a few months now, it is that Digby Pancake fellow’s turn now!  His happy place?  It is the woods.  The mountains.  The mountain air.  And so Monday, the persons are first headed to Savannah, Georgia.  The second stop will be Charleston, South Carolina.  And then…they said that they will write and inform me of the rest.  But for the rest of the year, it is about the boys. Everything is usually about me in my neck of the woods, so I am confused about this.

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Brickle told me that on the last trip, “48 States, 48 Rescues” focused on people doing great things for animals across the country.  This trip?  They are going to focus on the animals they meet along the way! They will be posting to social media sites pictures of rescue dogs or cats they meet and their happy stories!  #TailsOnTheTrails will be part of their path.  The “No Path Path”.

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How far, you may wonder do cats like me, domesticated cats roam normally?  Males usually go about 1500 feet away from their home, while female cats are less curious – they walk approximately 750 feet away from home.  But not all cats, not all dogs, and certainly not all people fit a mold of what is expected of them.  Probably, Brickle did not expect that I would scratch him and leave one of my claws in his nose last week.  That was meant for Digby, by the way.  But all in all, expectations can certainly get ya.  And as  Brickle and Digby’s persons really thought about what they wanted to do, at least for the rest of the year, they knew that their path to a house without wheels was not happening just yet.  And that was ok.  At least not for now.  So they got on another path to happiness.  They are preparing that Big Blue Treat Wagon RV to make sure it lasts for a little while longer, and packing up all the treats.  I offered for Brickle and Digby to borrow some of my dresses for the trip, but they declined.  I was also arrested.  Whatever that means.

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I will certainly be joining them on this new journey in spirit.  As I told them, from the very beginning of my life, I loved traveling.  I am only two years old, so I have more traveling to go.  I came from the North Georgia mountains, so I hope that I can go visit there too one day.  I am a little jealous that they get to walk in the streams and hear the creeks.  I know that this may not be the path they thought they would take, but I think it is wonderful.  Even though I am only two years old, I know that others don’t often see their lives as others do.  I hope that they can have the funnest time ever, making a difference by showing that rescue animals can have a wonderful life after they are rescued.  Making a difference the Brickle and Digby way is by example.  And I will miss them and scratching Brickle’s nose.  But who knows?  Their paths may lead them back here next year.  That’s the beauty of life when traveling.  You never know truly where your paths may lead you.  You can get directions, but if you get lost, you may end up somewhere amazing.  Are you ready to hit the road with them again?

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I have a feeling that some surprises may be along the way.  Will it be a place to call home they find?  Will it be an exciting destination?  A break down?  Oh, yes, that is happening. But one thing is for certain.  The persons love Brickle and Digby.  The persons want them to enjoy life as individuals, just like I am.  And for now…this is the best thing to do.  The “No Path Path” may not be a specific place to travel to.  But this time, it’s about the journey.

The path of Khaleesi the cat may be different than other cats.  I may be different than other cats.  But isn’t being different the best ever? Some may not understand Brickle, Digby, and their persons’ decision, some may.  But one thing that everyone can agree on is that whatever path we each take, it is up to each of us to make it great.  And this is going to be great.  Traveling dogs have to travel.  Beautiful cats have to be beautiful.  Nuff said.

Thanks for letting me break the news.  The “No Path Path” and #TailsOnTheTrails begins Monday. Perhaps we will talk again, but not sure I care if we do.  Meow.  Hiss.

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-Khaleesi, The Traveling Cat

To celebrate our new path, we have a new shirt! Only available for a limited time! Don’t miss it!

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And a deal just for our fans, use coupon code 2TravelingDogs to save at

www.4-legger.com

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The Path Of Fishy Fish

This is Fishy Fish.  Not sure if we have met before.  But I have been with Brickle and Digby and their persons for a few months now in this Florida place campground with a beach.  No, no, I was not in their campsite.  Of course, my house is the ocean.  Yet, almost every night, I took my path to where they would be.  I swam so that I could look at them on the shore.  I saw Sheriff Brickle, who has no jurisdiction in the waters, I do have to say.  I saw him gazing into the ocean like he loved it beyond words.  Oh, I know love when I see it. Even though I am a Fishy Fish.

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But I also know that the Deputy Digby Pancake fellow wasn’t as keen on the ocean waves as his brother.  No, Digby was a land sort of fellow, born without sea legs and yearning for the call of the woods.

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I have never been to the woods, although I have heard tales about it.  I suppose if I ever see the woods, it will mean I am out of the ocean…so yeah.  I’ll stick to my path here.

You see, my name is Fishy Fish because I smell like a fish, because, well, I am a fish.  And when you are a fish that smells like a fish, you are what you were meant to be, and you are quite proud of it.  I am proud to say as well that I love my home of the ocean.  I never would want to go anywhere else.  Which is why I stay far away from those poles with lines and hooks on them.  Never have understood why persons want to take fish out of their homes when we are just trying to be happy too.

Some fish I heard have glass homes, and I have been told through generations of my family that they can’t swim very far in there.  Did you know that fish like to swim horizontally and not vertically? That’s why fish in those glass houses aren’t very happy either since they don’t have much room to swim.  And for them, their path is the same one over and over, unlike fishy fish like me who have the whole ocean available as our path.  And as I was contemplating this while looking at Sheriff Brickle on the shore, it occurred to me.  What did Brickle and Digby and their persons with legs think about their path?  Were they going to be happy in one glass house with the same paths over and over again?  Or did they need a bigger ocean?  I wondered.

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And as I heard them talking about packing up and leaving camp on Monday, I wondered where they were going.  And where their path was going to lead them.  To a glass house of sorts or a bigger ocean? And although I want to come along, my path is right here, in my ocean.  Maybe you have your ocean too.

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I will miss them every morning and every night as I have my dinner.  I will miss the smell of Deputy Digby who in fact, also smells like a fish.  But I know that their paths will lead to them where they are supposed to be.  For now.  And isn’t that what is important? The now is all we have.  Fish like me rely on how our water is now.  Right now.  If it is polluted, we can’t live.  If we don’t swim with the tides, we can’t live.  We have to go where it is healthy for us to go.  And you are no different, persons and dogs.  Go where you need to go for now.  And maybe one day, where you need to go will be here again.  If not, maybe I will see you on another shore.

-Fishy Fish

To celebrate our new path, we have a new shirt design! Only available for a very limited time!

The Path Of Scarlet Pimpernel

Hello.  This is Scarlet Pimpernel.  You can’t hear me right now, but my hello is a melody of hellos and salutations unlike any other hello you could greet.  And today, I have been tasked with the start of a special week of blogs on the 2 Traveling Dogs Dog Blog.  But today, it is the Red Bird Blog.  I am doing the talking.  I am doing the singing.  And it is time for you to listen.  When was the last time you really listened to the birds?

I have shared campsites with Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle and Deputy Digby Pancake, their persons and the Big Blue Treat Wagon RV for almost five months now.  I was here before them, and I will be here after them when they pull out of this campsite next Monday.  Although it has been a bittersweet rival of wits with the RV mirror and demanding more gourmet birdseed every morning, I will miss them.  I appreciated them because they appreciated me.  But alas, our paths seem to be going different ways.

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For a red bird, a cardinal like myself, we stay in one area year round.  We don’t migrate.  We don’t want to.  It has been told to me by my family that birds like me live for three years in the wild although several individuals have had life spans of 13 to 15 years. The longevity record for a captive northern cardinal is 28 ½ years!  But I say, why would you want to be in a cage just to live longer? And I suppose that is how the residents in the Big Blue Treat Wagon feel a little bit too.  Actually, I heard them talk.  I am a pretty good eavesdropper. Ok, truth is I paid them to listen.  I have things to do.

I actually wondered when or if the persons were ever going to leave site 166 or the other sites they moved to in-between.  I heard that they were looking for a house, I heard this for months.  I heard what they were looking for and what they weren’t looking for, and as a bird, I could not help them.  I can’t even type this Bird Blog without some help. What I could do was appreciate that beyond being the most handsome bird in the world sharing spaces with the self proclaimed most handsome dog in the world, that there was a lot of handsome going on.  And I felt it a shame to take that away from site 166.

But then they broke the news.  They are pulling out of here next Monday.

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As a red bird, my path is one that I love.  I raise three different sets of birds with my partner every summer.  I like sunflower seeds and staying around the same place.  I like the sunshine and breeze and protecting my young.  It is a nice thing to know your path and enjoy it.  And I only hope that the Big Blue Treat Wagon and its bird seed suppliers are starting on a path that they will enjoy.  A path that they are happy with.  Overthinking everything in life can make you actually stop living.

“The moment a little boy is concerned with which is a jay and which is a sparrow, he can no longer see the birds or hear them sing.”
― Eric Berne

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Well, just like you, I have to wait and see where their path is.  Just like me, other animals around here will be telling you their paths this week and what makes them happy.  Isn’t that what all of us really want, whether our lives are short or long? It is how we live the days we have in the best, fulfilling and happy way possible.

I was here when the Big Blue Treat Wagon pulled in back in January.  And I will be here when they pull away.  I won’t be sad, because it was simply a visit full of joy that I won’t let overshadow the part of leaving.  Maybe our paths will cross again.  I have a feeling that they will…maybe even in site 166.

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A bird can fly because we believe we can fly.  Yes, we also have wings.  But you do to.  What path will you fly to?  It is time to take off.  Brickle and Digby are ready.

-Scarlet Pimpernel

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