I Did It My Way

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle.  How is it that some days seem longer than others, when supposedly there are the same hours in a day?  Well.  Yesterday.  Is.  Arrested.

I’ve lived a life that’s full
I’ve traveled each and every highway
But more, much more than this
I did it my way

If you have ever driven though a city called Los Angeles, you don’t want to.  You really don’t want to.  Yet, we had to.  And we were stuck for hours, and more hours, and many more hours after that.  It seemed like we would never get out of it.  And we started to wonder if we should just walk back to that Florida place at this point.  It would have been much faster.

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As all good Sheriffs do, I tried my best to keep the peace and keep the calm going in the RV.  Boy Person’s back hurt after about five hours.  Girl Person’s Anxiety Monster starting jumping out of the closets and drawers and from under the dirty dog hair couch.  Deputy Digby Pancake wanted a snack from the stewardess, aka Girl Person, every few minutes, and well, this was proving to be a very long day.  And night.

I planned each charted course
Each careful step along the byway
And more, much more than this
I did it my way

When you are as good looking as I am, it is sometimes overwhelming, because you feel like you missed your calling.  Here I am, with so much handsome, and I am stuck in this RV with not enough people to admire me all day.  And then, as we drove thru LA, I realized it.  I needed to be seen.  I could be a star!  This was the land of movie stars! So I threw down my Sheriff badge, and thought that as long as we were stuck in this traffic, I was going to BE a star.  I was going to do it my way.

Girl Person said that there was no way she would ever live there with that traffic and all those people, and I thought, well, that is because you are not a star.  As a movie star, I wouldn’t even have to drive, I would be driven everywhere.  And as a movie star, I would get as many peanut butter cookies as I wanted every day, and bottled water and gourmet meals.  And then.  It dawned on me.  Hey.  I DO get all of that!  There.  Mystery solved.  I. Am. A. Star. I. Knew. It.

Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall
And did it my way

Girl Person said that to her, I was a star from the day that I was born, even though she didn’t even know me then.  She said that a star doesn’t have to live in a certain place like Los Angeles with a lot of traffic, fancy houses and fancy cars.  She said that a star can live in the smallest house and have the simplest life.  She said real stars make the world brighter, just by them being in it.  And she said that I am definitely her star.  And Deputy Digby too.

To think I did all that
And may I say – not in a shy way
Oh no, oh no, not me
I did it my way

But Girl Person says that when you are a star, it comes with responsibility.  And for me, being a Sheriff is only the first responsibility.  Being handsome is the second, but that actually comes with the first, because it is a package deal.  If we are to be stars, we have to shine where we can shine the brightest!  We can all make a difference for someone else and light their path.  For me, I made a difference just by people being able to stare at me in traffic.  You. Are. Welcome.

So wherever you can shine bright today, shine.  Even if you aren’t having the most perfect day, and you are stuck somewhere like we were stuck in LA yesterday, you can still find a way to shine.  Be bright.  Do it your way.  Because my way is taken.

For what is a man, what has he got
If not himself, then he has naught
To say the things he truly feels
And not the words of one who kneels
The record shows I took the blows
And did it my way
Yes, it was my way

-Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle

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The Tale Of Digby And The Fickle Flapjack

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle. Have you ever found yourself somewhere and wondered how in the world that you got there?  Yeah.  We felt like that yesterday.  We thought that we were in California, but then we found ourselves in a Danish town called Solvang.

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And the first place that Digby found?  You guessed it.  A pancake house.

IMG_9859.JPGAs Deputy, it takes a lot of pancakes to keep him going and happy.  And yet, there are never enough.  If you are a pancake anywhere in the same state as Digby, you are not safe.  And as Sheriff, it is my duty to keep everyone safe, even in Solvang.  Especially a fickle flapjack in Solvang, California.  Yes.  A fickle flapjack.

How did we find a fickle flapjack?  You see, in the town of Solvang, the way people talk to each other is in fairy tales. There are many tales to tell, and many things that you may not find in other places because they live in a fairy tale.  Like that fickle flapjack.  Apparently, a gentleman by the name of Hans Christian Andersen has a museum here.  You might recognize some of his work like the Ugly Duckling, The Princess and the Pea and maybe even The Little Mermaid. He loved fairy tales.  And Solvang loves Hans Christian Andersen.

 

If you live here in Solvang, and you are a flapjack, and a Digby Pancake comes to visit your town, you tell all of the other flapjacks, and if you are 2 Traveling Dogs, you find yourself in at the middle of a fairy tale too.

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Thus begins The Tale Of Digby And The Fickle Flapjack

2 dogs traveled far and wide in search of a good meal.  As they happened upon a town of windmills and pancake houses, it appeared to them that their stomachs were about to be satisfied with as many plates of danish pancakes as they wanted.

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They had thought of a good meal for many hours, two in fact. And they were famished.  They were law enforcement dogs, and they needed to keep up their appetites. But as they ordered from the menu, they realized that in fact a pancake house had only pancakes. You see, one of the dogs were not as keen on pancakes as the other, and as he gazed upon his plate of pancakes, which were the only thing that he could order, he began to wonder.  Could these pancakes have feelings?  Did they deserve to be eaten? Did he have the right to tell his Deputy that his empty belly might not be as important as a flapjack’s feelings and right to live in a town of windmills?

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He was a Sheriff.  Wasn’t it his duty to protect flapjacks when they needed to be protected?  He had taken an oath in fact.

So as this Sheriff looked at his pancakes, he forgot that the Deputy had received his plate too, and as he gazed up, he saw that the Deputy’s flapjacks were already gone.  It was too late.  But he could still save his plate of pancakes.  But as he began to explain to Digby that the flapjacks on his plate were not to be eaten that day, because they were visiting a town of fairy tales, the Deputy had already ate three out of four.  And the Sheriff was mad.  The Sheriff was very mad.  He yanked his one flapjack from the table and told Deputy Digby that this flapjack was not to be eaten.  He told Deputy Digby that this flapjack was now going to travel with them.

But what the Sheriff did not know was that this particular flapjack was a fickle one.  He had lived a life of crime in this town for many years.  It was his habit to steal.  This was a fickle flapjack.  And now that he was protected by a Sheriff, he found that his life of crime was very easy to continue.  Every day, he would break into the town’s houses and steal butter to slather all over himself.  But then, he would break into another house and steal syrup to slather all over himself.  He was very fickle. As Sheriff Brickle kept receiving reports of break-ins, he looked at their new traveling companion and saw that he in fact had much butter and much syrup all over himself.  And he got mad for saving him and protecting him.  He now had to protect the town from this fickle flapjack and locked him up. The town felt safe again and people were no longer blaming the flapjacks on their plate at the pancake house for their missing butter and syrup. The Sheriff had saved the town from this fickle flapjack.

But as he went to go check on him one day in jail, he noticed that the fickle flapjack was gone.  He had escaped.  He called the Deputy who rushed in with butter.  And gasp.  Maple syrup on his mouth.   And he had not went to the pancake house that day.  And the Sheriff asked the Deputy where their inmate was and all the Deputy could say was that justice had been served.  And it was delicious.

Thus, the tale of the fickle flapjack was to be told in Solvang for many years. They didn’t even tell the story of the The Princess and the Pea any longer.

And they would, from that day only, only tell The Tale Of Digby Pancake and the Fickle Flapjack.  There is never a choice between butter and syrup.  You have to choose both.  The flapjack should have known that, and for the rest of flapjacks in Solvang, they tell this tale to their little silver dollar pancakes to remind them not to be fickle.  Like the fickle flapjack.  And that is why you find so many danishes now here.  Because.  That’s why.

-The End

-Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle

P.S.  We are back on the road today!  We are headed to somewhere called Temecula, California.  Are you coming with us?  We have no room for fickle flapjacks.

 

FIGments Of Imagination

This is Deputy Digby Pancake.  We arrived in Santa Barbara, California yesterday, and wow, was it a long ride.  Not really.  It was only two hours from Arroyo Grande.

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But since the persons decided they wanted to see a few more things before really hitting the road hard next week to that Florida place, it seemed only appropriate that we stop at the world’s biggest fig tree.  Actually, I don’t know when it is ever appropriate to stop at the world’s biggest fig tree.  But everyone should do it. When I saw it, well, I thought maybe it was a FIGment of my imagination!

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The persons told us that probably not many people would go out of their way to see a tree.  But why not?  People will go out of their way to go to stores, or see statues, or even go to museums.  But a tree that is the largest fig tree in the world, on the middle of a busy street, has so many people that drive by it, and never stop to give it the respect it deserves.  What they don’t FIGure out is that your life should never be so busy that you can’t stop to admire a fig tree.

The only way that a fig tree this large could disappoint me would be to not let me pee on it.  I have peed on a tree in all 48 states, and this would have been the absolute dream to mark my spot…FIGuratively speaking of course.  But the fence around it told me that this was not possible.  And as Girl Person talked about the fruit on it, and the cookies that she used to eat when she was little that were soft and chewy and gooey…well, I thought that if I ever could plant a tree other than a pancake tree, this would be it. Soft. Sweet. Gooey. Chewy.  Just. Like. Me.

We are carrying a lot of things back with us to our new house…wherever that is.  Memories and lessons are just some of them. We put all of these things on a shelf like a FIGurine.  Because we have lived the dream.

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We have saved seeds from our favorite fruits and vegetables to plant, we bought a little sequoia tree, and we made a bird feeder. These things all need a home now as much as we do.  But just like this fig tree was transplanted and moved in order to reach its full potential, that has been where our paths and our journey have led us too.  Every single stop, and every single state on this trip has prepared us for our destination.  We feel like  home is a destination, just like the fig tree should be in Santa Barbara, California.  Things worth stopping for and appreciating in our lives may not things on a tourist map, or that you have to pay for.  And finding a house may seem like something ordinary too…to most people.  But I can tell you this.  For us, this is probably the most exciting part of our journey.  And the most scary.  Because it feels like it will never happen.  Is a house just a FIGment of our imagination?  The fig tree showed us we can do it. Why? If a fig tree can be moved, uprooted, and grow into the world’s largest fig tree ever, maybe our life will be the best ever.  We have to keep watering our hopes and Girl Person says we might even need to put a fence around it to keep focused.  Because we can do this!

This fig tree, even though it is over 100 years old, still has fruit, is still beautiful, and continues to grow.  It also still keeps growing fig cakes.

At least my fig tree will.  FIGments of imagination?  I think not. Sweet.  Chewy.  Gooey.  Where I plant my fig tree by my pancake tree will be the best place ever. Now, we just need to find it.  Thank you fig tree.  Thank you for being there when people decide that you are important enough to visit.  You are the biggest, the largest, the prettiest fig tree in the whole wide world. The important things in our lives will always be there for us too.  When we are ready to appreciate them.  Make the time.  Life is sweet.

-Deputy Digby Pancake

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Please Stay On The Trail

This is Deputy Digby Pancake. I am a dog of few words unless it is about pancakes. And I am a dog of many words if it is about pancakes. And it is always about pancakes, so I suppose I am a normal, barking dog of just enough words.

Who cares about the clouds when we’re together?
Just sing a song, and bring the sunny weather.

Today, we are headed out of camp to another spot in this California place. Girl Person and Boy Person figure that since we are here, we might as well see just a few more things they want to see before they head out.

Girl Person says that spending the last year and a half rushing around has made her realize that there is pretty much nothing to rush around for. She says life is going to happen, no matter what you do. Whether you rush to get there or take your time is your choice. And I think you know my choice. Since the roads back to that Florida place aren’t going anywhere, we aren’t staying on the trail. In fact, we keep getting off of it.

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So we are going to another wine region…surprise, surprise. And then, for years, Girl Person has talked about something called a french fry burrito that is in somewhere called San Diego. In case you didn’t know, french fries to Girl Person are like pancakes to me. Peanut butter cookies to Brickle. Nachos to Boy Person. And french fries are a valid excuse to spend our last days in California. Enjoying something we all love. I can love french fries too. I know it. Can you put maple syrup on them?

If you had to choose which one of us out of Brickle and I sticks to the trail, I suppose you would probably guess it would be me.

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Actually, I know you wouldn’t pick me. I just tried to throw you off. The trail. Yes, truth be told, I never want to stay on any trail. I never want to stay on any road. And I never want to go in the direction that I am told to go in. I will go the opposite. That is my trail, in fact. And you know what? The older I get, the less I care about what direction I am told to go in. I have earned these foxhound strides to go where I please, much to the distress of Girl Person lately and her hurt arm. Guess all those years of pulling her off mountains, down mountains and off trails have taken their toll. But if she would just let me go in what direction I want to go in, it would be a lot easier. But just for a second, because then I would go the opposite way.

Some trails are happy ones,
Others are blue

Girl Person says that perhaps I should have had a job as a trailblazer. I don’t know what that is, but if it entails blazing trails by peeing on Brickle’s head, I have that covered. She says that is not what it means, but that it would be discovering new trails. Well, in my opinion, because I am a dog of just enough words, and they have about run out today, I am the best trailblazer in my own way! Trails to me are only one path you can go. There are so many others around it and off of it, still waiting to be discovered. If we only stick to one path, and don’t go down the ones we want to explore, how will we know if we like it? How will we know if our true destination is the opposite way we are going? Only if we try to go down that path. We can always turn around.

And so, if you have stayed on the trail for too long, it isn’t too late to go down another. There is still enough daylight left. Get off the trail.

It’s the way you ride the trail that counts,
Here’s a happy one for you.

-Deputy Digby Pancake

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Why I Changed What I Was Eating When I Became An Animal Rescuer

Have I ever mentioned how much I love food? You may know this already since half of our posts are about cooking for dogs, and even making dishes that we can share together. Yes, I even had a business at one time, making “cook for your dog” mixes.

Yes, I. Love. Food.

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You may also know that I grew up in the south. Fried chicken, mashed potatoes with gravy, and extra gravy with my gravy were my favorites! Oh, how I loved spaghetti with meat sauce and a nice steak. Having grown up in a rural area of Florida, my grandfather raised cows. And when I went with him everyday to feed them in tow with my cousins, we always wondered…who was going to be next? Who would be the next cow to disappear? Hopefully it wouldn’t be the one named after me, I thought. Yes, he named the cows after us, and when they “went away”, we got a little money, and then, well, I opened up the freezer one day to see a package of meat with a simple label. “Rachael”. And that was my first taste of reality. There was no way in the world I would have ever ate what was in that package. And although I had a steak from the store the next day, it seemed different to me. But I never forgot opening up that freezer. It just didn’t stop me as a child from doing what I was used to doing.

You may have already guessed that I do not eat meat. But what you may also not know is that I don’t judge you if you do. Just for me personally, as we share all of the ups and downs in our lives and our dog’s lives, I feel it is important, especially on the weekend edition of this blog, to let you know why we do some of what we do. We want to show you what drives our passions, what makes us who we are, and what has molded us into the persons we are. And for me, not eating meat did not happen overnight. But it did happen as my life’s path changed directions.

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When I started 2 Traveling Dogs in 2011, it wasn’t for animal rescue. I wanted to show people, as we moved across the country, that moving with your pets was possible, and that there was no need to leave them behind. We wanted to show people it could be fun to travel with their pets, and we did that. But after seeing the popularity of the blog, and the interest people showed in my dogs, I realized that this website could not be “everything to everyone”. In my attempt to appeal to everyone, I was missing out on our true passion…animal rescue. All of a sudden, a platform was opened up to us to try and use our popularity to save animals, just like someone saved Brickle and Digby.

I was one of those persons who refused to look at animal shelters’ websites, or go into one. “Our of sight, out of mind”, I thought. But now, I was forced to comb thru picture after picture and post after post on Facebook of animals who needed help, and fast! I dedicated each morning to sharing an animal that had 24 hours or less to live in a shelter, and as I was doing that one day, I saw it. There were some farm animals that needed help too! Oh. No.

I already at this point had cut beef out of my diet…cows. How we dissociate what we are eating by calling its meat something else, I will never understand. I had done this for health reasons though, not for any other reason, not even because of seeing my name on a label of meat in the refrigerator all of those years ago. But now, this particular morning, I saw farm animals that needed help. Their plea for help was the same as the dog I had just shared to Facebook. Their face was the same too. Even the chickens on this post begged for recognition. What was I doing? How was I able to try and save one animal while eating another one for dinner?

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It was in that moment, just like any other Tuesday, that I made up my mind. I was now giving up all meat. I was giving up my fried chicken. I was giving up my spaghetti with meat sauce. And well, I was pretty bummed about it. But unlike some, who try to give up things in stages, there was no stage for me. Because in life, I believe you either think something is wrong enough not to do it, or you don’t. And for me, I was done.

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I expected when I told my husband that he was not going to be happy about this. We liked to cook out on the grill, we liked to try exotic foods and meats. But to my surprise, he told me he had been waiting for this decision. And if I wasn’t going to eat meat, well, he didn’t need it either. And that was that.

But. We still ate fish for years after that point. I mean, I had to be balanced and everything. I didn’t see any fish that needed rescuing, and so, I figured that they certainly didn’t have feelings. I wasn’t crazy like that, I told myself. And oh, I loved sushi. I really loved sushi. So we ate fish for years. Until. One. Day.

There we were in our little trailer by the water in Florida. Every morning, after we ate breakfast, the dogs and I would go outside to the seawall and look over. And every morning, fish would come up to the seawall and look up at us. The first few times, I thought maybe they were different fish. I mean seriously, they couldn’t possibly be greeting us every day, right? They didn’t want to see the dogs, and the dogs didn’t want to see them…right? Wrong. As I took notice, I saw their personalities, I saw their recognition of us. And I recognized that I was being selfish. Did I love to eat sushi so much that I would eat these fish? NO way! And that was the day. I told Boy Person…and he said he already had decided it for himself. And that was that.

Was it hard to change to this new way of eating? I will tell you that sometimes I smell fried chicken, and although it sure doesn’t smell bad, what I remember is the memories associated with it like family times. But I also remember those farm animals that day on Facebook who needed help, and I would have done anything to help them like many others. How could I do that, and then eat another for dinner? It wasn’t right for me. I couldn’t rationalize saving some to kill others. And although I would never, ever tell anyone how to eat, or guilt them into doing so, I feel the need to tell others why some make this decision. For me, it was the right one.  And I feel better for it, emotionally and physically.

Do I still feed my dogs meat? I do. I do not believe in putting my human standards of right and wrong on them, and recognize the nutrition they need. But I do have an open mind to feeding them more ethically as I can afford, which is why we stress so much organic meats.

Animal rescue for me is what makes me whole. There are many times I put the needs of animals above my own to save them. It takes my time, my energy, my soul. And if I am going to devote all of that to recognizing them as living beings with distinct personalities and give them value, then I will value the other things I can eat.

Some may wonder if I think less of my Pappy for the cows and their untimely ends.

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As a child, I saw my Pappy with tears in his eyes when that truck came to take them away. I listened to him tell me that in order to keep their tax status, they had to have cows and sell some of the meat to pay for those taxes. And I saw him cry about it. But never once did I see him eat any of that meat in the freezer. Now I know why.

-Rachael Johnson, Girl Person of 2 Traveling Dogs
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Searching For A Heart Of Gold

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle. So yesterday, Girl Person was cleaning up the Big Blue Treat Wagon RV while we laid out in the sunshiney, trying to ignore all of the insanity going on around us at camp. You know that I am a Sheriff who has no tolerance for shenanigans. Zero tolerance policy for shenanigans, in fact. And having little people running through our campsite, throwing toys at the RV, throwing balls at the RV, and doing shenanigan after shenanigan was enough to warrant a million arrests in just a few hours. Unlike me, and unlike Girl Person, Boy Person has a way of staying calm…until he doesn’t. And even then, he gets his point across in a way that speaks pretty loud, even when he isn’t. And as usual, Digby…well…he just don’t care. Digby don’t care.

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So we had been patient all day. Well, I had not. I never am. You think I am, but I am not, because I know how to do that.

It’s these expressions
I never give
That keep me searching
For a heart of gold
And I’m getting old

Girl Person felt like she was on patrol herself. She had to pick up running babies headed for my blanket with no one around. She had to keep Deputy Digby from trying to howl at all of the running babies. And she had to pretend, like me, that she wasn’t about to flip out. Girl Person flips out? Yeah, she flips out. She said normally, she would not pick up someone else’s baby, but that I am her baby, and she will protect me from myself no matter what. And so it was a long, long day. And by night? Well, our patience was running a little low.

That is when we heard it. Shovels hurling rocks at the Big Blue Treat Wagon RV. So, in a way that only Boy Person can do with silence, he walked out the door with Girl Person standing there with a plate of hot sweet potatoes. With butter. I don’t know what that has to do with anything, but I like saying butter. It is my middle name. And it is salted butter by the way. I am salty.

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Girl Person put down her buttered sweet potatoes, and turned down the radio from the only station we can get out here…classic rock. Classic. So that is when she heard Boy Person telling the bigger persons that he was a kid once, but that throwing rocks with shovels at the RV and running through our campsite was dangerous. He told them that his dogs did not like it, and that we were their kids, and he did not want anyone hurt. They apologized, and told him it wouldn’t happen again. Boy Person thanked them and came inside. Exhausted.

Boy Person said that he just will never understand why things have to get so far sometimes before something is done. With just a little diligence on their part, and yes, a little more tolerance on our part, it could have been a more peaceful day. We had not been storing up enough love and patience lately, being so tired.

I want to live,
I want to give
I’ve been a miner
For a heart of gold.

We have let things get to us a little too much, and as Girl Person says, it is no one’s fault that we are tired. It is no one’s fault that they are trying to enjoy their vacation.

We have learned a lot…so much from our time on the road.

I’ve been to Hollywood
I’ve been to Redwood
I crossed the ocean
For a heart of gold

We have been taught life lessons, what is important, and how to be better persons and dogs.  Our hearts have been touched.  But have we kept what we have learned IN our hearts?

We seem to have forgotten some of the lessons, getting caught up in our own problems of finding a house and being tired of traveling. I won’t mention the broken air conditioner right now or anything though. So as Girl Person was relating this to us all, and she started cleaning again, because she cleans a lot when she is stressed out, she found it. A bag. A bag of dirt. And this wasn’t just any bag of dirt.

Who remembers when we went to look for diamonds in Arkansas? Who remembers we found absolutely no diamonds, but a week after we left, someone found the biggest one there yet? Yeah, I remember that. It could have bought a lot of peanut butter cookies. Butter.

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Well, the persons bought a bag of dirt to take with us for later to look through. A bag of dirt that may have a diamond in there! And we forgot we had it! Kind of like our patience lately. We may be dealing with a bag of dirt in life right now, but the treasures we have collected along the way are definitely in there. And we aim to search for them. After we get some rest. You don’t get a lot of sleep with screaming kids. And you know how I am about my beauty sleep…

And I’m getting old.
Keeps me searching
For a heart of gold
And I’m getting old.

Sometimes, life has a way of beating you down. Sometimes, being patient towards others is hard. But if we dig, real deep sometimes, and find where our hearts truly are, maybe..just maybe…it will be a little easier to show love. At least we can try.

-Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle

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What Did You Do With The Time In-Between?

This is Deputy Digby Pancake. On a day when many persons don’t have to work, it only seems appropriate that I don’t work. Any excuse in my book to not work alleviates some of the work out of making an excuse. And I like that.

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This has been a week for us of catching up at camp. We have been catching up on some rest, catching up on work for the persons at least, and catching up on eating good food so that we are feeling pretty good to start the long trek back to that Florida place.

And we haven’t been complaining, because that in itself would be work. And I am off of work. Remember my excuse? It was kind of a lot of work to remind you.

Everybody needs a second chance, oh

There are a lot of things that persons do that make no sense to me. Work. But also, work. It seems like they go around in circles all week to sit in one place for the weekend. Or they wait to have fun till the weekend, like it has to be scheduled or something. And isn’t that already work?

I do hear that work makes pancakes possible and peanut butter cookies too. So I get the point. But can’t a little weekend time be squeezed into every day? Isn’t the in-between time the most time?

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And I think that you can do it. I sense that you need to make some changes. And I am here to tell you that it is time.

You want a piece of my heart
You better start from start
You wanna be in the show
Come on baby lets go

You know how you feel today when you have no work and are enjoying life? How much of that feeling can you put into even the days that you work? For us dogs, naps are squeezed in, playtime, eating and you know the drill. We schedule accordingly to fit it all in. And we have this mastered, although humans are called masters, and that is not correct.

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We have learned a lot during our time on the road. One thing we have learned is that schedules are meant to be broken. Even if you don’t mean to break them, something will break to alter your plans. But at the end of the day, if you can sit on your couch hopefully with the ones you love, and know that they are there with you, it makes whatever happened that day unimportant. The end of the day is going to come no matter what. The weekend is going to come no matter what. But what did you do with the time between?

Everyone’s watching, to see what you will do
Everyone’s looking at you, oh
Everyone’s wondering, will you come out tonight
Everyone’s trying to get it right, get it right

Sometimes, Girl Person thinks of all the time she spent away from me and the Sheriff. She always promised us that one day she would be a stay at home dog mom. And although she still works hard, and makes less money, she is more happier for it. We can’t afford all of the things that we want. But who needs the things? Waste not, want not, Sheriff Brickle says. Who needs the things that you work 24 hours a day for to sit around the things on the weekend because you are too tired to enjoy them?

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Days are days. Calendars are calendars. The birds don’t know what day it is. The ants don’t know what day it is. And they don’t need to. Because they make the most of their days no matter what a calendar says. They are thankful every day.  They live life every day. If we chose to live like that, and not as we are expected to, or told to, how much happier, thankful and grateful would we be?

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For one thing, I am expected not to eat so much horse poop that I puke all over the RV, but I sometimes do that. Sheriff Brickle is expected not to growl at screaming children running thru our campsite at all hours of the day, and especially one named Spence. But he does it. And sometimes, doing what you are not expected to do is funner. Don’t you agree?

So throw away those expectations, dates and too much work.

Everybody’s working for the weekend
Everybody wants a little romance
Everybody’s goin’ off the deep end
Everybody needs a second chance, oh

For us to truly appreciate all that we have been given and all that we have, we have to know what life is truly about, and who makes our life worth living. So if you are only working for the weekend to rest, maybe you need to make some changes. If you are only working to sit down and rest, what can you change to take better care of yourself, and your furkids? We only have so much time according to the calendars. Do you know what day it is? A day to live like tomorrow. A day that should have been lived yesterday. Today.

-Deputy Digby Pancake

We have some great deals this weekend from the companies that support us like

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I Wish Those Days Could Come Back Once More. Or Twice.

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle. It has been said before that life goes on with or without you. And when you think about time, which is something that dogs don’t do very much, but I am not a regular dog, you have to wonder. What were things like before you, and what will things be like after you?

IMG_9499For us, every time we have moved campsites, and that has been a lot of times the past year and a half, Girl Person always says goodbye to the campsite. Some sites, she doesn’t have long farewells, but some of our hearts do remain in a few.

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And as we pull away, Girl Person always says that she wonders if the birds there will miss us, or the butterflies, or the ants or the bees.

 

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She wonders if the next people will be nice to them or appreciate them for the short time that they are there too. Does Girl Person think too much? Does Girl Person worry too much? Oh, I am sure that she does. And since we are so much alike, I understand it. Because I worry about it too. Will they remember how handsome I was? Will they ever see a more handsome dog? But I already know that answer.

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Have you ever loved someone so much that even things that you think have nothing to do with them, make you remember them? Girl Person thinks of her Pappy very often.

I wish those days could come back once more
Why did those days ev-er have to go

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Oftentimes, there are specific conversations that they had that she will talk about and tell us about, and every time, we have to pretend like we have never heard it before. But that is ok, because we like to remember him too.

I wish those days could come back once more
Why did those days ever have to go
I wish those days could come back once more

One day, years ago, she was watching their favorite TV show at the time, American Idol. Pappy had just began to forget things a little more every day, but he liked to watch that show with Granny and Cuddles, and Girl Person’s dog at the time, Skanky.  This was before I graced them with my presence, by the way. She said that as she sat there, she looked around the room and realized that her time left with everyone there would probably be short, and she wanted to let each one of them know how much they meant to her. As she went to sit by Pappy in his recliner, she told him how much she had appreciated everything he had ever taught her.

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She thanked him for teaching her about the orange trees, she thanked him for teaching her the importance of family.

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Granny, Pappy, Girl Person’s Dad and Girl Person’s Aunt Mary in the 50’s.

She thanked him for all of the things he had taught her about gardening, and for giving her the experience of growing up with the cows. She was trying not to talk too serious, even thanking him for putting up with her and her cousins all those years!  Oh, they were bad…

Sneaking out the back door
To hang out with those hoodlum friends of mine
Greeted at the back door
With boy thought I told you not to go outside

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Girl Person, Mom, Aunt Mary, little brother, cousins and little Tuffy in the 70’s

But he got her meaning behind the words. He looked at her in a way that only Pappy could do, and he told her that his time was short, that he wouldn’t be here forever. Girl Person told him not to say things like that, but he continued. Pappy said that when he was younger, he could not ever have imagined getting old, and told her not to get old.  He said he thought he had all the time in the world with his family.  He never pictured the days when each one of them would not be there…one by one. He told her that he was realistic and he knew that he would not be around for much longer. He told her that he didn’t want to go, that he wanted to stay. He said he wanted to be with his family forever, and that he was scared. Quite scared.

I wish those days could come back once more
Why did those days ev-er have to go
Cause I love them so

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Pappy, Granny and Pappy’s brothers and sisters

Girl Person told him that she understood, although she really didn’t. She had many more days left.  He did not.

She told him that she would never go one day without his memory. She told him that he was truly her best friend, that it didn’t matter the years between them, and she told him how much that he and Granny had made a difference in her life, and always would.

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Granny and Cuddles

She promised him that she would make a difference for others too. And as Granny brought a fresh batch of burnt, microwaved popcorn to them so that they could finish watching “their program”, she let it go. She let it go to enjoy that moment, and the time they had left. And she was right, their time was short. Because by the next season, when the only ones left in the room to watch their show was Girl Person and Granny, I was there too. And Digby would come later. So would the peanuts in place of the popcorn. New memories were made, but the old were not forgotten.

And so. That is how we are even feeling now as we leave each place behind. How can camping make Girl Person remember her Pappy and Granny?  She always thinks of things they would like in each place, or what they would think. We say goodbye every time to our campsites, not only leaving a little bit of ourselves behind, but our family too.

So as you look around the room this week, even today, live in the moment, but say what you need to say. Do what you need to do. Appreciate what and who you need to appreciate.

Can there be any good in goodbye? Perhaps. For me, when I say goodbye to myself after looking in the mirror for so long, I know that when I see myself again, I am going to be so impressed. And so for those that we have had to say goodbye to, the good can be in that they taught us so much, they prepared us for maybe another path in life’s journey. And although Pappy would have never understood what in the world we are doing right now, he would have liked to hear the stories, Granny would have liked to worry about us, and Skanky would have liked to chase all kinds of critters at every stop. One minute they were all in that room watching TV.  Now only Cuddles and Aunt Person is there.

But since me and Deputy Digby are along for the ride right now, we will take time today to think about those who would have liked to be here too. And we will live it up for them.

How can you live your life in gratitude for someone else and what they taught you?  Can you start now?  One day you will wish for these days once more.  Appreciate all you can before it is too late.

-Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle

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Don’t Rock The Boat, Baby

This is Deputy Digby Pancake. If there were ever dogs that had too many jobs, it would be Sheriff Brickle and I. And me. Myself. What is proper grammar, I have no idea, which this sentence is not proper as well, but who is proper? Not me. Not I. Not myself. Would you like me to keep going with this?

So I’d like to know where, you got the notion
Said I’d like to know where, you got the notion
(To rock the boat), don’t rock the boat baby

Since I have so many jobs, I won’t be adding Grammar Police, that is another jurisdiction. You see, yesterday, we had some issues with parking this Big Blue Treat Wagon RV, which is out of treats, but I am not an auditor, so I won’t be writing a report on that. Not my job again. However, as Deputy, I can write a report on how everyone was arrested yesterday. Girl Person, for finding us a campsite here, the only one here, which in retrospect, there was a reason why it was the only one. Boy Person for trying so hard to park this RV, which from here on out will not be called the Big Blue Treat Wagon RV, because we gave all of our treats away to the rescues and shelters. We could use a fill up. And then, Sheriff Brickle for pretending like he didn’t know what was going on so that he could lay in the shade and ignore the whole situation to leave it on me as Deputy.

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I will even arrest myself for not understanding what in the world was going on, still trying to catch a varmit in a hole of which I do not know what said varmit is, because I don’t live here. I will arrest myself for being able to go to sleep during the whole commotion. And I will arrest myself for not thinking that it was a big deal. Until. Our boat started rocking.

As you probably could have guessed by now, we were unable to find a camping spot anywhere due to the holiday this week. We wanted to keep heading out of this California place, stopping to see a few more things, but we couldn’t find anywhere to stay. I will interrupt all of those who are going to message us and email us that we should have thought of this long ago, and I will tell you that we can barely get by day by day, we have been doing this over a year and a half now, and we have made every mistake there is to be made on the road. Not being able to keep up with this traveling schedule is something that the persons still have to work on in-between their work, moving every few days, looking for a house, doing laundry, finding food every where we go and…well…should I go on? So yeah, your point is taken. And that’s that.

Our love is like a ship on the ocean
We’ve been sailing with a cargo full of love and devotion

So anyway, the only camping spot that we could find is right where we have been for the last week. They literally had one spot left, and due to hot weather in some parts of the state next week, and holiday traffic, we decided that we should probably just stay where we were, delay traveling for another week and make the best of it. The persons were feeling a bit down about not sticking to the schedule, but sometimes, you can’t change what you can’t change. And if you have to be stuck somewhere, this is a pretty nice place to make due.

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Up to now we sailed through every storm
And I’ve always had your tender lips to keep me warm
Oh, I need to have the strength that flows from you
Don’t let me drift away my dear, when love can see me through
(Our love is like a ship on the ocean)

But in order to stay, we had to move campsites down the road. As we packed all of our stuff up once again, we got back in the RV and headed to the new spot. And it looked just like any other spot. But when Boy Person backed up into it, it was not meant to be. This spot was on a slope. A very big slope. And when you are trying to get your house level, it is not so easy to do in a spot like this. In fact, it is pretty much impossible. Mission impossible seemed possible compared to this.

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So, as Boy Person kept backing up and pulling forward to try and make it work, it became apparent that it was not going to work. At all. So he pulled out all kinds of blocks to put under the tires.

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He pulled out all the stops, but it wasn’t working. Again. He went up to the camp office, told the people that this spot was not working, and they let him know there was no other spot to try and make work, and yeah. There was no money back guarantee.

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Now. Some days are a test of patience, a test of anger control, a test to see what you are made of. If you are Sheriff Brickle, sugar, spice and everything nice isn’t in the recipe. But Boy Person’s recipe? He has more patience added in there than Girl Person, and as she got hit with dust, diesel fumes and almost getting ran over a few times by this RV, she was over it. We had been stuck in the Jeep waiting this whole time, watching the RV go back and forth. Up and down. So Girl Person got us out, made us a comfy spot on a rug in the shade and told us to be good as she continued to help Boy Person. But as he backed up over some blocks for the millionth time, I saw it. It started rocking back and forth, the back tires literally came up off the ground completely and Boy Person told us all to run. Now, when someone tells me to run, I don’t ask twice. But Girl Person will be arrested for asking, “why?”. And as Boy Person pushed us all out of the way, that boat went rocking, Boy Person jumped back inside of it and that was that. He told Girl Person it was too late to drive anywhere else. But Girl Person had added too much spice to her recipe that morning, and she told Boy Person we were getting out of here, no matter what it cost.

don’t tip the boat over
(Rock the boat), don’t rock the boat baby
(Rock the boat)

After he calmed himself down, he told her that the only thing he knew to do was go buy some wood and stack it as high as he could to get this RV level. And so off he went to the store, which was by the way, an hour away.

So, Girl Person made herself useful with walking me and the Sheriff, avoiding discarded bones for us to pick up, trying to get away from the crowds of deer, while also trying not to get pulled down a mountain to run into bears or mountain lions. She managed to do all of the following, and therefore considered herself to be having a very successful waiting time. Have you ever had to wait in a doctor’s office, and it seems to take forever, because it is taking forever? That is how Girl Person felt. She was out in the middle of nowhere and all of a sudden realized how alone she felt. She might as well have been on a boat in the middle of the ocean in her opinion, away from the bears.

When you want to see a yellow Jeep pull up, you never do and you might as well be watching for water to boil. A watched pot never boils, Granny said, but eventually it must, right? And so Boy Person pulled up finally with his stacks of wood, and he had even stopped and bought us eggs on the side of the road for our breakfast. We were pretty much happy to see him again.

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He looked a little worse for wear after his whole day ordeal, and as he and Girl Person tried to make it so our boat would not tip over, and while he tried not to back up into a pole, Girl Person told me we had to get out of the way in case the RV did fall. Now, I usually don’t worry, but worry was called for in this situation for a couple of reasons. First, you don’t want your house to tip over. Second, your eggs will break if your house tips over, and you won’t get any eggies. And so worry I did, as Sheriff Brickle continued to ignore the situation. And after much drama, running around and shoving wood under the tires, Boy Person said it was going to have to do. And so it did. No eggs were broke, no boat tipped over, and once again, we were set up for the week.

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You may be thinking to yourself that this was a long blog. Well, a long blog for a long day. And some days seem longer than others, and that is good in my opinion, because we don’t have enough of them in the first place. Any day, whether your house is about to tip over or not can be a good day, if you can only find the humor in it. You may have to look very hard, and get loads of wood stacked up to reach it, but try. You may laugh about it all in the end.

-Deputy Digby Pancake

Don’t miss out on our 2018 Wall Calendar!  You won’t believe how pawsome it is!  Thank you for your support!

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I Can’t Tell You Why

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle. If you think that every day is just like the day before, well, you would probably be wrong, but there is no probably about that. Because on any given day, there is always something extraordinary that is happening.

Nothing’s wrong as far as I can see
We make it harder than it has to be
And I can’t tell you why
No, baby, I can’t tell you why
I can’t tell you why

And for us, we saw something very ordinary and routine to a group of butterflies, yet amazing to us. We met the beautiful monarch butterflies who had traveled a long, long way to stop in a place called the Monarch Butterfly Grove in Pismo Beach, California.

img_9529We are sure that your day went on, totally unaware of these butterflies, or maybe even other things amazing around you too.  Because our world makes it easy to keep us occupied with things that are definitely less than amazing like work or running errands or even watching the news.  And it makes us forget about such beauties as the monarch butterflies.

If you looked up in the eucalyptus trees at the butterfly grove, you may have seen just big brown clusters that looked like leaves.

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And yet, when you looked closer, you could see that these clusters were thousands of butterflies hanging. Each row of butterflies protected the one below with their wings. And what I found more amazing than even my handsome on this day was that this very extra ordinary occurrence was happening on a day that would have seemed like any other. How many people had walked by these trees and didn’t notice what was there? How many things do you walk by every day that you don’t notice? And question. Did you notice my handsome today too?  If you didn’t well, I can’t tell you why.  Why though?

More amazing to us was that these butterflies did not realize how wonderfully amazing they were. For them, this stop was part of their journey, something that they knew to do. They didn’t know they would be stared at, admired, and looked up to, literally, for their stamina, their beauty and their perseverence. Yet, even though they didn’t realize it, they were being inspiring. How many do YOU inspire every day by the things that you may think are ordinary? I can venture to say that you do inspire, you do motivate and it deserves to be recognized. I see it. But do you? If you don’t recognize it, you won’t keep doing it. And you need to keep doing it. Because others need you to do it.

You don’t have to worry
Just hold on tight (don’t get caught in your little world)
Cause I love you

Our time in California is not over yet. This is a week where a lot of people have off from work, and so we must find a campground that we can stay at until the holiday is over… which may not be an easy task!  So stay tuned to our Facebook page to see what we can figure out.  Maybe we can hitch a ride on some monarch butterflies.

Every time I try to walk away
Something makes me turn around and stay
And I can’t tell you why
No, no, baby, I can’t tell you why
I can’t tell you why

Yes, we are still on our journey back to that Florida place unless something changes our direction along the way. But for the monarch butterflies, their direction is set, they don’t go off course. They are an example to us that no matter how small you may think that your place in this world is, your life matters. It contributes to making the world go round, and we can each make it a more beautiful place.

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We will either inspire others in our life, or we will make them work to change our our direction. Be an example of harmony and make a difference in what you think makes a difference. And most importantly, take notice of others too. Just look around you, or look up to the monarch butterflies.

-Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle

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