Connections

This is Deputy Digby Pancake.  It seems like we have some sort of connection going on…you and me. You come here every day to see what me and Sheriff Brickle are going to say.  And well, I like it.  I like it a lot. Not as much as pancakes.  But I like it.

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It also seems like me and Girl Person have a connection too.  She never leaves us unless it is vitally important.  And yesterday was one of those days, I am afraid.  Her and Gandma had business to take care of to look for a house.  And I was sad about it.  So much so that Boy Person took me for a ride.

After I was told that Girl Person would come back eventually, I was ok.  Actually, I was only ok after Boy Person gave us our usual treats and home cooked meal.  Yes, Boy Person and I have a connection too.  Our connection was a little tested though when I fell in the mud and ate an old bbq rib on our walk.

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But, Girl Person had work to do.  She drove around with Gandma and some nice person called a realtor person. They knocked on doors, they went to other realtor persons, they drove down dirt roads, sandy roads, paved roads.  Searching, searching for a house, a yard, some water and looking for a connection.  A connection to a new life and new adventures. They asked about houses for sale, land for sale, land not for sale, houses not for sale yet.  You name it.  They asked.

Why are there so many songs about rainbows and what’s on the other side?
Rainbows are visions, but only illusions, and rainbows have nothing to hide.

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Well, they thought that they had found the perfect place after all their searching. An old warehouse from the 40’s on the water and it had been for sale for over two years.  They imagined fixing it up, but making it into something really neat for us all.  Yes, it was a warehouse and a lot of work, but that was to be part of our journey too.

Have you been half asleep and have you heard voices?
I’ve heard them calling my name.
Is this the sweet sound that calls the young sailors.
The voice might be one and the same.

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As they thought about it, guess what?  It. Sold. Girl Person was upset, but again, kept going.  She came home very defeated, she said.  Were we trying too hard?  Why wasn’t anything working out?  I reminded her that me and Sheriff Brickle were also lifeguards now.  And she needed saving from that Depression Monster trying to get in here again.

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There isn’t much that a smile from me can’t cure.  And as she looked at me and Brickle and Boy Person, she said that she didn’t need much else in life.  And if she focused on missed opportunities, she would probably miss the connection she was looking for.

When you are in the middle of a storm, and there is a lot of rain coming down, you can either focus on the storm, or think about what comes after.  I know that frogs here in this Florida place love the rain.  They sing and they sing after it rains. And I suppose that we should be a little more like that.  We may have had some disappointments and stormy weather, but we got to see family and we got some sunshiney mixed in.  And maybe.  Just maybe…our perfect connection here is still waiting for us to find it.

Girl Person used to play a game called Connect 4 when she was a kid, she said.

She said that she always lost.  But she said that thinking about playing it with her little brother is what she remembers now.  Not that she lost.  And so, if we lost out on some houses this week, will we remember that years from now? Or will we remember the fun we had looking and the people that we were with?  I think you know the answer.  So we keep going.  We keep looking.  Because our connection is just waiting and the rainbow after the storm.

Who said that wishes would be heard and answered when wished on the morningstar?
Someone thought of that and someone believed it.
Look what it’s done so far.
What’s so amazing that keeps us stargazing and what do we think we might see?
Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection.
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

-Deputy Digby Pancake

Last week, we asked our fans about the top health concerns that they had for their pets.  Here is some insight and suggestions on your specific concerns from our friends at PetMedella! 

Lifeguards Reporting For Dooty

This is Deputy Digby Pancake.  It occurred to me yesterday that as long as we were on the beach upholding the law and everything that we were missing out on other opportunities. You know.  For saving lives and everything.

The persons are busy looking for a house.  So we need to amuse ourselves. So. Forget Baywatch.  There are some new buff, pancake and peanut butter butts reporting for dooty here on this beach.

Most persons would walk out on this beach, and think, oh how pretty.  Oh, how lovely.  But for us?  We see the dangers.  We see the birds waiting to get ya. You know, we haven’t forgot our time in Bodega Bay.

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We see the persons walking around without shoes on looking for shells and then about to fall in a pile of sea foam. That would be funny if you did that, but I am not allowed to laugh at you since I am a lifeguard now.

IMG_3164.jpgAnd we see the sharks out there.  They tell me not to pee in the water.  No worries.  I am not going in there.

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For Sheriff Brickle, he thinks that just by being buff, that makes him a good enough lifeguard.  However, he also realizes that persons may pretend they need help because of this just so that they can see him flex his muscles.

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As with any of my jobs, new or old, I try to figure out what food has to do with it.  For me, I see no point in life rafts.  What is the best way to save a life in my opinion?  Uh, duh.  Have a giant pancake.  That alone should help whoever is in trouble.  If you are drowning, you get a giant pancake. If you are about to be attacked by a shark, throw him the giant pancake instead.  If you get stung by a jellyfish, walk in a fluffy, giant pancake.  If you get sunburned, wear a giant pancake.  Should I go on?

For Sheriff Brickle, he says that if I am saving everyone with the giant pancakes, I will need someone to keep making the pancakes because obviously, I will need to eat them too.  Good thing that a fan sent us some in the mail yesterday.  She knew we had a job to do.  And we applaud you for your support. Also, thanks for the peanut butter, matzo and other accompaniments.  We will make sure to use these in our new jobs.

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The peanut butter will be lathered on Sheriff Brickle like suntan oil.  The maple syrup?  Good grief, I don’t need to tell you that it will be on the giant pancakes in the storehouse. Only one, two, or three however because those will be for extra emergencies.  Obviously.

Even the matzo will be used for the birds to keep them away from the pancakes…I mean, you.  Yes, we are protecting you.

This new job thing is working out.  But as you can guess, we expect to be paid overtime for our extra jobs.  And as we are fighting crime, saving lives and being buff, look for us on the beach.  Lifeguards.  Reporting for dooty.

-Deputy Digby Pancake

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Circles In The Sand

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle. Sometimes, you may doubt the power of my love for you. You probably should. Sometimes, I am only thinking about myself. Who wouldn’t when you look like this?

Oh baby when you look for me
Can you see forever?
I begin, baby, where you end
We belong together

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In all of our lives, we probably hold a place for people and places special in our hearts. Like you hold for me, I imagine. Can’t be helped. Again. Look at me.

But our hearts may have other things in it too. We may have only been to a special place once. Maybe we have been there all of our lives. Maybe you met someone once who stayed with you in your heart. Maybe your heart is your family.

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Us With Gandma

Whatever or whoever comes up in your mind so special probably gives you some peace and some comfort. And since we have been on the road for so long, it was hard for us to place where our comfort was. Seems like all we do in our lives is go around in circles. Sometimes we venture out of those circles. Sometimes, they keep leading us back for a reason.

Circle in the sand
Round and round
Never ending love is what we’ve found
And you complete the heart of me

Life is so short not only for us dogs, but for you persons too. It seems like yesterday that we saw our Gandma. But, it had been over a whole year. And when she drove four hours yesterday from Tampa to Jacksonville, it was like we were seeing things. But no. She was really here!

Had this much time passed? Digby was a little bit whiter. I was a bit handsomer. And yes, it was true. Many days had passed since that day we last saw her. And it made me think. How many more times did we need to go around in a circle? Should we keep going around in a circle to keep ending back in the same place?

Sundown all around
Walking through the summer’s end
Waves crash, baby, don’t look back
I won’t walk away again

They say life is a journey. I don’t know who “they” are, but it should be true. That journey may not be the same for everyone. Sometimes, it can be simply leaving someone or somewhere and realizing that your navigation was wrong and turning around. Or, your journey could be to find your way back to someone or someplace you once loved and where you left your heart. But your journey could also be to keep going or to keep searching, because you still need to FIND your heart. And I suppose that all roads should lead back to that. A circle. Your heart. Many times though, you have to remember where you left it. And that my friends is not so easy. Until you realize that if you are on a circle that it will always lead you back. Keep. Going.  We. Are. Trying.

So as we keep going on our circle this week, we have a few things planned. We have two places we are looking at to live. We will keep you updated on that. Then, we will be going to a special place..some call it the Fountain of Youth. I don’t need any help in the looks department, but I will go for kicks.
So are you still with us on this circle? Seems like we have been on it for awhile with no answers. But in reality, as long as we keep going, our hearts will lead us. And we will find comfort in the fact that it is going to be worth it.

You know that I love the beach.  You know that the beach loves me because it makes me look so dern handsome.

I say a circle or even circles in the sand is always good.  Because if you get on the wrong one, you know that the waves of life will come and wash it away.  And if a new start is needed, draw a new circle.  Just. Keep. Circling. You will find your way.  If we can, you can.

-Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle

Our second Big Game Appawtizer Recipe is up!

When An Animal Rescuer Just.Gets.Tired.

Last week, we focused our Saturday editorial on the “business of animal rescue”.

We heard from many of our fans, rescue workers, shelter volunteers and friends who had their opinions on how animal rescue operations should be handled.

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Soft Paw Animal Rescue, Santa Rosa, California

Each one has their own way, but the overwhelming basis of everyone’s opinions and efforts all came down to one factor in my opinion.  That everyone is trying.  Everyone who cared enough to “weigh in” on how they chose to operate their rescue, how they volunteered, or how they could contribute to solving the problem of animal homelessness cared. And sometimes, this care is apparent in every word…even typed to us in emails, messages and comments on our blog.  We hear you.  And we feel you.  And we see it.  You. Are. Tired.

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Sometimes, I go on to my Facebook timeline and I start seeing the posts on a Saturday morning.  Or a Monday afternoon.  Or a Friday morning.  Yep.  Pretty much everyday.  I see my “rescue friends” as I will call them, posting updates on how tired they are.  Or how they slept maybe two hours in two days.

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Then I see the posts of pleas for assistance in picking up an animal from the vet, or transporting an animal to a foster.  Or just pleas for help in general.  And I want to help.  But you guessed it.  I am tired too.  And then, well, I begin to think to myself.  Is this all worth it?  When will it end?  Why do I care so much about my friends, or even rescues or shelters I have never been to?  Why am I crying about the dog I see in another state that is about to be euthanized?  Why am I getting so angry about it all?  I want to throw my computer or my phone into the wall.  And I get frustrated.  Because for every victory, it seem like sometimes that I see twice the amount of hopelessness.  And I want to quit.  And I am more than sure that if you are you even reading this, that you have felt like quitting too.

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During our Adventure Of A Lifetime as you know, we met people from 48 different rescues and shelters across the United States.  We saw the good in animal rescue.  We saw what needed to be improved upon.  But if we are looking to improve the process of animal rescue, what do we need to start with?  The people doing it.  They need help.  You need help.  And you need someone to tell you that.  I am telling you that.

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You may have heard of compassion fatigue and the alarming rates of suicide for veterinarians and animal rescuers.  This is real.  And as we met so many people across the country, I saw this manifested in a few ways.  Either the animal rescuer who is tired tries to do more, sacrificing everything.  Money, time, family, friends.  Nothing else is important.  Sometimes these rescuers don’t know when to say no, filling their own homes with animals when fosters or adopters aren’t found.  And instead of this being a rare situation, it becomes the norm.  The next type of rescuer we met had been witness to so much injustice that they hated all people, harboring resentment and suspicion to all  others, even ones trying to help them.  Turning down applications or taking on the whole workload themselves led them to be tired and inefficient.

Then we met rescuers who had simply burnt out.  They had maybe exhausted all of their funds, or did not find community support.

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Were any of these rescues or shelters succeeding?  No. And I believe that if we are to help the animals who so desperately need us, we have to, and we MUST recognize that the ones taking on this work need our help.  They need our encouragement.  They need acknowledgment.  Before it is too late.  And if you are the one who needs help, you must acknowledge that too.

I am going to admit something right now.  Some days I don’t want to even hear the words “animal rescue”.

IMG_2858Maybe it is the day that I see an animal was euthanized.  Maybe it is the day that I just think about what my own dogs may have been through before they rescued me.  And then, some days, I look at my friends who don’t seem to have the same concerns I do.  They are going to dinner or parties, totally not thinking about or trying to make a difference. And they are ok with that.  And I wonder.  Am I the strange one?  Should I care?  And then, when I think about how tired I am, I think maybe I shouldn’t do this any more.  Have you felt like that?  What can we do about it so that we can help just one more animal who needs us?  And let’s not forgot our own animals.  They need us too!

I am not one for checklists.  Probably, an expert writing an article like this would tell you exactly what you needed to do to regroup or to get refreshment for your weary soul. But I probably don’t know you.  However, I will tell you what I do.

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I know what makes me happy.  Wine. Cooking. Travel. Family. My dogs.  So, every day, I turn off my phone.  I cut vegetables, I make my favorite foods.  I tune out.  Even if for an hour.  And this hour is so hard!  I want to turn my phone back on and make sure I answered all my emails, or make sure I helped a friend network an animal.  But I can’t.  Because I need this hour to be me. Because shocker!  I am a person outside of animal rescue.  And you are too.  What makes you happy outside of rescue? Think about it.  You are in there.  You have to nourish your soul.  This is not selfish, but like medicine.  Get your dose.

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We are only people trying.  We are people working against others who mistreat animals, or who were not educated on the value of animals.  And without us, many animals would die.  Do you acknowledge that too?  Do you see how wonderful you are and how beautiful you are despite those bags under your eyes?

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We see it.  We read it.  We hear you.  You are tired, animal rescuer.  We cannot let ourselves be a part of the statistics of compassion fatigue simply because the animals need us.  We can’t take care of others unless we take care of ourselves.  We are only people.  We can’t do everything even though we wish that we could.  We are not perfect like dogs are.  We aren’t dogs, y’all.

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If it is time to take a break for an hour or a month, listen to your body.  Listen to your heart.  Without your heart in it, your animal rescue efforts will not succeed.  And animals are counting on you.

-Rachael Johnson, Girl Person and Owner of 2 Traveling Dogs

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Itchy Feet

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle. Oh, what a week.  We can barely remember it all.  But we are settling in to a little bit of a routine, getting ourselves well, and the persons are too.  It is nice to not have somewhere that we have to be every day.  For now.  But alas, our itchy feet are already striking again.  Already.

Take me to the hotel baggage gone, oh well
Come on, come on won’t you get me to my room
I want to move
Playin’ in a travelin’ band
Yeah
Well I’m flyin’ ‘cross the land, tryin’ to get a hand
Playin’ in a travelin’ band

They don’t call us the 2 Traveling Dogs for nothin. As we were going on a hike yesterday, we saw an RV pulling out and Girl Person remarked that she wondered where they were going.  Now. Seriously.  We have only been here for like three days.  Even I need a break.

IMG_2901.JPGGirl Person’s Pappy used to say that her great, great grandfather had itchy feet and liked to move too much.  That he was never happy in one place for a long time.  And well? We might be feeling like that a little bit.  Shocker. I know.  But we are trying to shake it off.  Shake it off.  We have to focus.

I want to move
Playin’ in a travelin’ band
Yeah

IMG_2846.JPGFocusing is hard sometimes. There is a lot to be said for being on the go all of the time.  You never have a chance to be sad, because you have to keep going.  You are always seeing new things and you learn new things.

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But the down side is that you can’t keep new friends, you don’t get a chance to relax, and you don’t get a yard to relax in.  So yeah.  This is a bit of a change for us.  And we are trying to get used to the idea of being stationary.  Even if it is for a week.  I also have to get used to the idea that not as many persons and furkids as I would like get to see my handsome in person.  I reckon that may be a bit disappointing to them.

With your fussin’ and your fightin’ won’t you get me to the rhyme
I want to move
Playin’ in a travelin’ band
Yeah

So what have we found out this week?  That we aren’t ready to give up traveling completely.  You see, when traveling is in your heart, you don’t want to break it.  But somewhere, there has to be a balance.  Maybe we need to keep traveling to see that?  I know.  There we go again.

For today, we are headed to somewhere called St. Augustine, Florida to look for places to live there.  And this morning, I told the pelicans here about that.  Yes, we are already starting to make new friends.  And that.  Well, I admit is almost as good as traveling.

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Finding out what is in your heart and where you want to go with that is hard sometimes. You may think that you know what you want, but are we ever really truly happy?  I think that we can be if we let our heart guide us where we want to go. It is when we ignore the navigation that our travels may lead us to somewhere we don’t want to be.  But.  Even then, we can always change course.  It has been said that you only live once.  I disagree.  We live every day.  We only die once.  And so today, get our your map and plan accordingly.  Listen to your heart.  It will tell you where to go.  Now.  If we can only hear what ours has to say above the itching of our feet.

-Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle

Do you remember our third rescue visit on the Adventure Of A Lifetime with the Outer Banks SPCA in North Carolina?

Our first Big Game Recipe Countdown starts today!  Are you ready for one of Deputy Digby’s favorites?  Deviled Eggies For Dogs!  Full recipe below video!  If you have a suggestion for our next recipe installment, let us know!

Looking for a Big Game food that you and your dog can share?
2 Traveling Dogs Deviled Eggies

Enjoy this appawtizer during the Big Game! Yes. You can share with your dog!

Ingredients

6 organic, free range eggs
1 cooked, mashed organic sweet potato
1/2 cup organic, plain yogurt
2 slices of cooked turkey bacon
1 tablespoon organic apple cider vinegar

Cover eggs with water and bring to a boil. Boil for five minutes. When they are done boiling, drain off hot water and run cold water over them until the eggs get cold. Crack each egg against kettle just enough to make a few cracks in shell. Let eggs sit in cold water about 10 minutes peel will come off easily.

Once peeled, but each egg in half and set aside.

Mix yogurt, mashed sweet potato, bacon and apple cider vinegar together. Remove yolk carefully from each egg half and add to mixture. Mix again. Spoon filling into each egg half and serve!

Unused portions may be refrigerated for up to three days. This is meant as a treat for your dog and not a regular meal replacement.

Can you share? YES! You may just want to add salt and other spices to your batch! Enjoy!

For more recipes, join us at www.yourdogsdiner.com

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We Can’t Build Our Dreams On Suspicious Minds, Now Can We?

This is Deputy Digby Pancake. Phew.  I feel like I should be breathing a sigh of relief, although Sheriff Brickle says I need to brush my teeth, so I shouldn’t breathe too deep.  Our first couple of days in this Florida place came with a need to regroup.  To make some decisions, and apparently, even if I don’t move fast, these decisions are going to have to be made pretty quickly.  As quick as when I throw myself on a pile of horse poop and roll around in it.

We’re caught in a trap
I can’t walk out
Because I love you too much, baby

Why? Well, obviously The Big Blue Treat Wagon RV is done after over 22,000 miles.  And like a can of worms explodes, which I have never seen by the way, we feel like everything is exploding beneath our feet, which we can feel every step, because we can’t get the jacks down on this thing, and we are rocking just like that ferry we had to take to Amelia Island yesterday to look at houses.

You know, we learned a lot on this trip.  And although the persons can be pretty stubborn with frostbite noses and broken bones in their foot, they realize that this trip was hard on us all.  We will admit it.  The last few weeks were probably some of the hardest. But now it is time for some decisions.  I heard the persons talking.  They didn’t think I did…but I did.  I am very suspicious that way when I hear my name…

We can’t go on together
With suspicious minds (suspicious minds)
And we can’t build our dreams
On suspicious minds

You see, the persons have a lot of things they want to do in their lives still and places that they want to go.  But Boy Person said me and the Sheriff would not want to go to these places and that it would be too hard on us.  So some dreams he said would have to be put on hold because the most important people in their lives were us.  And what we wanted would be put first.  Rest, a little travel, good food and more rest.  We did our jobs.  We did our jobs well on this adventure.

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And now the next adventure will be all about us and not just thanking rescues, but thanking us.  Me and the Sheriff.  And by thanking us, we will show others how their dogs and pets should be treated.

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Now, I have to say that I am a little suspicious about this.  Because I see no plate of pancakes in my lap right now.  But I get it.  We spent the past year and nine months thanking rescues and shelters and spreading the word about rescue.  But now, our next adventure will include thanking me and the Sheriff for a job well done and continue to be examples that every life counts.

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We have some great things on the calendar to do, but first and foremost, we have a few things to accomplish mixed in with our every day adventures, hikes and yep, poop. It always includes poop I am afraid.

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We have to fix this Big Blue Treat Wagon RV to either prepare it to move on or to move us on to somewhere else if we can’t find a house here.  There are other areas in this Florida place that we may look at too like Saint Augustine I heard them say.  So give us a few days on that one.  We are going to pound the pavement….or the sand.  Whatever works.  I heard Gandma is coming to visit us from that Tampa place next week to help us too.  So stay tuned.  We haven’t seen her in a long time. She better bring presents.

Here we go again
Asking where I’ve been
You can’t see the tears are real
I’m crying (Yes, I’m crying)

In a way, the persons are in a trap with themselves.  Their depression monsters, their thinking that we won’t find a place to live or that the RV can’t be fixed.  They tell themselves that we will find a way, just like we found a way to go to 48 states and 48 rescues.  I am suspicious that they won’t be able to pull out of this because on top of everything they don’t feel good.  I worry like that.  But Sheriff Brickle tells me we always find a way, that our fans and our family always encourage us.  And we will find a way.  So I will believe him.  He also says that in the meantime, we have many, many arrests to make here in Jacksonville, Florida.  We will make our time here count!  The boys are back in town.  If you look suspicious?  You. Are. Arrested.

When you spend all of your time being suspicious like Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle, sometimes, you don’t trust your own instincts.  You don’t believe that good things can actually happen.  Things seem like bigger problems than what they actually are.  Being suspicious is no fun.  Eating pancakes is fun.  So we are going to try and feel better here, do a lot of laundry, get some groceries, do some hiking and relax. I will do actually none of that but relax.  Don’t be suspicious about that, there is no reason.

Oh, let our love survive
Or dry the tears from your eyes
Let’s don’t let a good thing die
When, honey, you know
I’ve never lied to you
Mmm, yeah, yeah

So.  Let this next adventure start!  I have a feeling it is going to be just as exciting as the last.  And I have another feeling that I have to pee.

-Deputy Digby Pancake

Our rescue visit #2 on the Adventure Of A Lifetime brought us to Animal Lovers Of Edisto  Canine Rescue in Edisto, South Carolina!  This was one of our favorite visits of the entire trip and they inspired us to keep going!

Get all of your 2 Traveling Dogs gear by clicking here!

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But I Would Walk 500 Miles, And I Would Walk 500 More

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle. It is hard to believe, just like my handsome is hard to believe.  But after a little over one year and nine months, we did it.  48 states, 48 rescues and back to where we started.  That Florida place.

Everything is pretty much a blur. But even with my blurry vision, which sometimes happens when you gaze at beauty this awe inspiring, you can appreciate it.  And we would do it all again.

But I would walk 500 miles
And I would walk 500 more
Just to be the man who walks a thousand miles
To fall down at your door

It is strange in a way.  Even though we got back to this Florida place, and our adventure is supposed to be over…it sure doesn’t feel like it.  It actually feels like our adventure is just beginning again…but this time, we don’t know what the adventure will be.

When you fight so hard for so long, sometimes, the fight just escapes you.  And the Big Blue Treat Wagon let out a big sigh when we parked last night.  We understood.  We thanked it.  We sighed a little ourselves. Too, we felt like every state and every rescue we visited on this trip was a bit of a fight.  It was hard to get there, we broke down a lot, we cried a lot, we were emotional a lot.  It was hard seeing animals in need. It was hard seeing the people giving everything they had to help them. But.  We would do it all again if only one life was saved.  We would do it all again if we inspired one person to rescue.  We would do it all again if it meant something to you, if we made your day a little better.  And we hope that we did.  We could have never imagined the adventure we were about to undertake at the beginning.  Even with all of the problems, would we still have left?  We would have.

When I’m lonely, well I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the man who’s lonely without you
And when I’m dreaming, well I know I’m gonna dream
I’m gonna dream about the time when I’m with you

Yes, it was wonderful to visit new places, see new things.  We would never trade our experiences, not even for peanut butter cookies or pancakes. Well, Digby actually would trade them for pancakes.  But what do we remember most?  The fans that cheered us on. The rescues that told us thank you for visiting them.  The animals that needed us.  Life is not all about adventure, but the things that we learn from others when we open our hearts.  ‘Because a place is just a place.  A state is just a state. It is the people on the land that make it a memory.

When I go out, yeah I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the man who goes along with you

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As we come to the end of this adventure, we know that it will only be one part of our life.   Life shouldn’t be about just one adventure, it is more than that!  And we hope that you will help us choose our next adventure. We may have 500 miles more to go before we find out.  But if that’s what it takes, we can do it.

That may be finding a house here in this Florida place. But it may be somewhere else.  Wherever it may be, we will all be together and we will never stop trying to change the lives of animals that need us.

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Since we started this blog in 2011, we only wanted persons to see that every animal was a life.  We wanted persons to see that two rescue dogs…2 Traveling Dogs had something to say.  We wanted to give back.  We wanted persons to see that every life was important, that we all had feelings, dreams and goals.  Even if we would have never went on this trip, the every day adventures of our lives are worth hearing about too.  Aren’t the every day adventures of life something we cherish most? This blog will keep going until we can’t talk anymore.  Because that is our ultimate adventure.  And we hope you will stay with us.  We need  you. Yes. I admit it.  I also admit that if you leave that You. Are. Arrested.

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By the way…do you think that you know how many miles we went on this adventure?  Look for our Facebook page post today to guess! The fan closest will win a prize!! No, the prize is not to look at my handsome.  The quota has been reached today and there is no more to be awarded.

At the end of the day…at the end of our life’s adventure, we don’t want to look back and wonder what if.  If your what if is knocking at your door, answer it.  Your next adventure is waiting.  And ours is too.  Now, it is up to us to see it.

When I come home (when I come home) well I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the man who comes back home to you
And if I grow-old (when I grow-old) well I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the man who’s growing old with you

-Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle

Do you remember our first rescue visit?  Each day we will be revisiting each one, starting with One Love Animal Rescue in Savannah, Georgia!

Does organic shampoo make a difference?  Find out just one of the secrets to Sheriff Brickle’s handsome!

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Don’t Fear The Reaper. Fear The Pine Cone.

This is Deputy Digby. Have you ever woke up on a day when you have something really big planned, and other things just get in the way of those plans? Like, have you had a pine cone fall on your head the size of a plate of all you can eat pancakes? That was just the start to our day today.

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There we were. Finishing an early breakfast of eggies and toast. And we heard it. A loud bang on the roof of the motorhome that sounded like all the pinecones in Florida had decided to rain on our parade of heading to Jacksonville. As Boy Person went outside to investigate, he looked up and bam! Right on his head fell the biggest pine cone ever. On his head. But hey, at least it didn’t fall on his two noses. Yes, I said two noses. Appears like the healing of a frost bitten nose requires part of said nose to get bigger before the dead part falls off. And I am not rolling in none of that for once.

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Or, maybe you have big plans for the day and you decide, hey, I am going to go for a run with my frost bitten nose before we start driving those five hours. Cause, you know, that is normal or whatever with a pine cone injury on your head as well. And then, you have a six foot long rattlesnake try to bite your Boy Person who has frost bite on his nose and is jogging thru trails with a mask on. Don’t fear the reaper they say. We don’t. We just fear giant pine cones, rattlesnakes and frostbite, y’all.

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So. What do you do with all of these pine cones that seem to be trying to get in your way to that Jacksonville, Florida place so that you can look for a house with a yard? You embrace them. You try to find out what in the world they are trying to tell you for goodness sake. You stop. You look at them. And you wonder. Should I build a house out of pine cones? Is that what they are trying to tell us? Seems to me that would take a lot of planning to be able to do that properly. And it seems like it would not stand up to the wrath of a Florida hurricane. So…no. I don’t think that was it.

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Or maybe. The pine cones were trying to tell us that we had been ignoring them all of our life. Sure, we had lived in this Florida place for a while and we saw them every day. But did we appreciate them? No. We didn’t really think about their lifecycle, how they grew other pine trees when they fell down, or how they fed animals with their pine nuts.

IMG_2835.JPGAnd now that we were back in this Florida place and too many other things were on our minds, we were not paying enough attention to them. We were also not paying attention to the tallest waterfall in Florida which is also a sinkhole, but hey, we can only have so many lessons in one day.

I mean, how can you pay attention to pine cones and waterfall sinkholes when a rattlesnake is going to bite you that is six foot long?

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Sure, the rattlesnake was rattling, but when your Boy Person has frost bite on two noses and an injury from said pine cone, he starts wondering if the reaper is truly trying to get him.  And he wondered. Maybe the lesson was that we had to gather up as many pine cones as possible and shake them.  Play them like a cowbell, baby.  We could warn others like the rattlesnake tried to warn Boy Person.  Stay far away from us at all costs.  Don’t fear the reaper.  Fear the misfortunes of 2 Traveling Dogs.  You see us coming, run.  Run from the pine cones we will be playing like a cowbell.  Baby.

But, as with all lessons, you can either take them or leave them. And today…pine cones?  We would prefer that you stay in Chipley, Florida.  If we need your lessons, we will summon you from that Jacksonville, Florida place when we get there.  We don’t need you hitching a ride to fall on our heads or to call the rattlesnakes.  We think that your value will be in staying put so that others can appreciate your beauty.  It’s kinda like Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle.  Appreciate his beauty from afar.  Get too close and he will get ya!

Have you ever? #seriously #beautiful #2travelingdogs #adoptdontshop

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So the day can only get better.  And we are ready to start this last drive for a little while at least to that Jacksonville, Florida place.  Are you coming with us?  Please.  No pine cones in your luggage.  No pine cones in your pants.  No pine cones on your head.  You will be checked at the door.

Let’s do this!

-Deputy Digby Pancake

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You Say It’s Urgent

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle.  You know that I am the Sheriff around these parts and all parts.  But apparently, I am also a medic. Why?  A Sheriff has to perform many jobs as needed.  And what was needed around here for the past week? A dern ambulance, y’all.

Urgent, urgent, emergency

Yes, an ambulance.  You see, well, when your Boy Person gets frostbite on his nose…real bad frostbite on his nose…you need an ambulance.

Got fire in your veins
Burnin’ hot but you don’t feel the pain
Your desire is insane
You can’t stop until you do it again

And then.  When your Girl Person takes you outside at night and falls into a bbq grill, knocking herself out and her shoes off in two different directions…you need an ambulance.

You’re not shy, you get around
You wanna fly, don’t want your feet on the ground
You stay up, you won’t come down
You wanna live, you wanna move to the sound

No, you don’t need an RV. Obviously.

How was your week, someone said? #frostbite #brokenbone #yep #2travelingdogs

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The way things go around here is never boring.  And when we think about all of the twists and turns since we left for this adventure in May 2016, wow.  It had a lot of twists.  And turns.  Yet, when we remember the twists and turns, we remember them with a laugh, not a cry.  So maybe in a few weeks, we can laugh about this too.  We actually think, even despite all of the RV’s problems and the Jeep’s problems that they did pretty good to go to 48 states and 48 rescues and more.  But yep.  They are pretty much done now.  We get it.  Cause we are tired too.

You’re not warm or sentimental
You’re so extreme, you can be so temperamental

But even with all of things happening around us and to us the past two weeks, the persons tried to remain positive.  You see, Girl Person, as she was looking at us laying in the sunshiney, she told Boy Person that her every day goal was that we were happy no matter what was happening around us.

And I appreciate that about Girl Person.  But what she doesn’t know is that a Sheriff always knows what it is going on.  Even if she is trying to hide it from me.

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For a dog, there is never anything so urgent, unless it is dinner.  I am thinking that the past few weeks were meant to teach us something.  What would that be?  Apparently, I have to tell you.  When you think that you only have one way to be happy, you are wrong.  For us, we have been so focused on finding a house that we forgot a few things.  We forgot we had our health.  We forgot that we had a house…even if it was on wheels.  We forgot how important a car was, even if it didn’t look the best, or if it was clean enough.  And then, well, when those things are pretty much close to be taken away?  You realize that your urgent situation of finding a house was not so important.  Or urgent.

You say it’s urgent
Make it fast, make it urgent
Do it quick, do it urgent
Gotta rush, make it urgent
Want it quick

Things don’t always happen on the timetables we want.  Sometimes, things happen to us that are not so good.  I am totally saying that Boy Person’s nose and his pain are not so good.  Girl Person’s swollen foot and legs? Not good.  But those are just a few things.  The good things outweigh the bad.  Just like this trip.  The good outweighed the bad.  The people we met that were good? They were more than the bad.  And we still have a lot to do…together.

Yeah, there’s one thing in common that we both share
That’s a need for for each other anytime, anywhere

This is just the start of a new adventure.  We don’t know what it will bring for us. We may find house in this Florida place.  We may not.  We may keep traveling.  We may not.  As a medic this week in addition to being a Sheriff, my job was to remedy the ailing spirits in this Big Blue Treat Wagon RV.  It is hard not to get depressed when you feel bad and you are nervous.  But this is exciting.  Not as exciting as a plate of warm peanut butter cookies, but exciting.  Not as exciting as my good looks, but exciting.

Have you ever? #seriously #beautiful #2travelingdogs #adoptdontshop

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So, stay with us.  This blog isn’t going anywhere. How could it?  We need your help in deciding our next step and adventures.  So don’t go anywhere.  Or you know what will happen.  You. Are. Arrested.

Today, we are staying one more day in this area of Florida to have the persons rest.  But tomorrow, we start our last trip for a bit to Jacksonville, Florida.  Nervous?  A bit.  This Big Blue Treat Wagon RV may have other plans.  But since I am a medic, I will just turn on the sirens and go! Tomorrow, let’s hope the RV has one last hurrah…

Urgent, urgent, emergency
Urgent, urgent, emergency
Urgent, urgent, emergency
Urgent, urgent, emergency
So urgent, emergency
Emer emer emer
It’s urgent

Let’s do this!

-Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle

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Why There Is A Place For “Business” In Animal Rescue

Having traveled to all the 48 contiguous states in America this past year and 48 animal rescues and shelters, we learned many things from the wonderful people doing an often thankless job. But we also learned from the good people out there trying to volunteer for, help, and adopt from these rescues.

(Soft Paws Animal Rescue, Santa Rosa, California)

Animal rescue starts with a desire to help, to save lives and to make a difference. And this important trait of an animal rescuer cannot be overlooked or undervalued. If the love isn’t there, there won’t be success in saving lives and making the difference that we want to. But, love is not the only important success trait to this way of life.

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In a perfect world, we wouldn’t need animal rescues, shelters, organizations or selfless people to save lives. However, until we get to that point, it will take changes both for potential adopters and volunteers, and the rescues and shelters that are the backbone of this rescue movement.

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South Coast Humane Society, Brookings, Oregon

Before our travels, I prepared my heart for what I was about to see, the people and animals we were going to meet, and the states we were going to visit. I had no agenda but to highlight the people doing these good things for animals across the country who normally would have received no thanks.

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But as we traveled, it became very apparent to me that behind the scenes were a great divide between those in the rescues and the shelters and the people they were trying to reach to help them and their animals. This divide, I began to see, was caused not only by a lack of organization, but also being stretched too thin. This divide was caused by expectations not being met on both sides of the crate or cage so to speak. And I believe that it can be changed, but only if both sides are willing to accept that change is needed and not take offense. If we truly are all about saving lives, and willing to put the animals first that need us instead of our own egos, I believe that this can be done.

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WAG, Sequim, Washington

The first aspect I noticed that animal rescues and shelters were lacking was often organization. Here they were, spending countless hours, tears and resources to save and pull these animals. But once they were safe and in their care, many times, the ball dropped. There was no networking, no social media promotion, no updated website pictures or descriptions. Sometimes, their animals sat in the shelter or foster family with no one to adopt, for years, yes years. No one even knew about them. Yes, we understand that there are situations where backlog occurs, or emergency situations where these sort of processes take longer. And we realize every situation is different. But when we noticed this, it brought up a question in my mind. If rescues or shelters had a bit more “business”, this would be a rarity, not the norm. When it becomes the norm, that is the issue. We often hear pleas that these rescues or shelters need more help to get their job done. But does a business take on more work usually than they can handle? How successful for the longterm would this business be?

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Animeals, Missoula, Montana

Criticizing others for trying to save lives is not what I am trying to convey. Only gratitude is in my heart after visiting so many rescues. But when I saw the divide from potential adopters not being able to reach these rescues by email, by social media, by telephone, I knew I had to address this. Why? People were getting frustrated, turning to breeders to get their new family member.

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It put a bad spin on rescue in general, and I am sure no rescues out there want this. But reality has to be addressed. If you cannot handle the load you have, don’t take on more until you can find a way to handle it. Reach out to other rescues, reach out to the public. If you have social media, use it or don’t have it. If you have email, use it or don’t have it. The adopters out there usually are trying to work with you. Yes, you have to do your due diligence with background checks, home visits, etc. But be upfront about this and your reasons. Do what you say you will do. Don’t turn away adopters by not treating your rescue like a business. A business would never accept bad customer service. Don’t accept it from yours.

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Four Paws Pet Adoptions, Rexburg, Idaho

And for the public, potential adopters, fosters and volunteers?  I ask that you understand that these rescues and shelters have invested much time and effort into each animal that goes into their care. They also have invested many funds for vet bills, rehabilitation and emergencies. They must have their procedures in place to make sure their investments who are the lives that they have saved not only end up in a forever home, but not back in their care. This costs them more time, more money and they are not able to save the next life if an adoption fails. Be patient, do your part, provide what they ask for and accept that a home visit is often necessary. They are not trying to intrude or inconvenience you. If it is important to you to save a life, make it important to be a part of the solution. And those adoption fees?  Really think about complaining before you do.  If you feel a fee is too high, then think about what went in to saving your potential new family member.  Is that fee too high now?

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Soft Paws Animal Rescue, Santa Rosa, California

One of the most successful, business minded, professional rescues we met on our “48 states, 48 rescues” tour was AHeinz57 Animal Rescue and Transport.

Amy Heinz, the founder, has made it her goal to not only run her rescue in a business like manner, but she makes it fun. She uses social media to get people emotionally attached, involved and have fun. She networked for community support in a professional manner, and she used the power of TV to land a spot on the Puppy Bowl! Now, she is building a facility for the animals that will be able to save even more animals in DeSoto, Iowa. This took much work on her part, but she was supported by her family, her friends, and when times were hard, she didn’t give up but found a way to get the community involved to help her.

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If animal rescue is no longer needed one day, it will be because of the efforts of people and rescues working together. It will take education to the public, and a business minded approach. But it will also take love. And we can never forget that. We can’t forget that. The animals are what are important, not our egos. We can make a change.

-Rachael Johnson, Owner and Girl Person of 2 Traveling Dogs

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