Feed The Alligators and You Get Bigger Alligators

This is Deputy Digby Pancake.  You know, when you have been cooped up as long as we have these past few weeks because of the rain, you start hearing things.  You start seeing things.  You start imagining things.  You start being hungry.  Actually, if you are me, you never stop being hungry.  And so, if you have to nap the day away, you choose to dream about things that you like.  Pancakes.  Pancakes with syrup.  Eating all the pancakes.  When it is raining, you can dream about anything that you want to, and for as long as you want to.  And it makes me happy.

I’ve heard people say that “the nicest thing about the rain is that it always stops.”  And yes, sometimes it does stop and you have to wake up for dinner.

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Now, sometimes, if you are like me, when you wake up, you are a bit groggy.  It takes a minute, or an hour to realize even where I am at first.  So when I looked out of the window after my fifth nap of the day yesterday, I thought I was seeing things.

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I am not sure if you can see it.  If you can, you may wonder.  Am I seeing things?  What is that?  I rubbed my eyes a bit more…

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Now.  You know that our friend Ollie Gator lives around here.  And we are always on the lookout around the lakes and the creeks and the swamps.  But it never would have been in my wildest dreams of even blueberries and pancakes that we would be camped next door…to…him. This was our neighbor?

I like this campground, I am just going to say that.  But, it is true, sometimes, we get neighbors that are loud.  Or neighbors that throw trash.  Or neighbors that leave their lights on all night.  So this new neighbor?  He wasn’t the worst.  And in fact, this guy was just sitting there.  Being all alligator like.  My only worry?  I would have to share if he came over and asked for a cup of something.  Like flour or whatever.

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About the same time as I saw our new neighbor, Boy Person saw him too.  He asked Girl Person if she had looked out the window.  And I wondered…what was the big deal here?  Seriously though, he had his camping pass in the window.  But then Boy Person asked Girl Person if he was real.  Girl Person shrieked, looked a little closer, and they stood there and watched it to see if he was breathing.

They could not decide.  But right about that time, other neighbors who have busted in our RV for the last two days decided to make their presence known too.  The flies.  The family of flies.  We get one out, two come back in.  We get two out, four come in.  And so, the persons got distracted as they always do.  Even with the new neighbor not breathing outside of our door.

And even though I was sleepy, and yes, hungry, I noticed what was happening here.  I wasn’t currently worried about the new neighbor, because he wasn’t that big.  Also, not breathing.  But if the persons kept getting the flies out of here, and our neighbor kept eating the flies, wouldn’t he get bigger?  And then he would be able to move and then come knock on our door and ask for flour which makes my pancakes?  I could not let the all you can eat fly buffet from this Big Blue Treat Wagon RV be open any longer.  Sheriff Brickle and I had to take matters into our own paws and eat all of the flies before our neighbor could.

Now, when you have had the ultimate in culinary delights, you find it hard to go back to the real world of flies.  I don’t like Shoofly Pie.  At all.  And Brickle either. So as bored as we were with the rain and the dreaming, and what was at stake with our new neighbor, we made the executive decision to just go back to sleep.

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They say if you feed the alligators, you get bigger alligators.  But also, he was not a real alligator.  Did I really need to tell you this?  And they call Sheriff Brickle the smart one.

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For the persons, spending their day chasing out flies, and inviting more in, while trying to decide if an alligator was real or not outside our RV put some stuff into perspective.  We had a bit of a crazy life.  And we wouldn’t change this life for anything.  Maybe there are crazy things in your life too.  Maybe sometimes,  you think that you are the craziest of all.  And you may be right.  But I like that.

Because I can guarantee you will never be as crazy as a person chasing out flies while watching for a fake alligator to breathe.  I guarantee.

-Deputy Digby Pancake

Did you watch Girl Person live on Facebook making Chicken Cacciatore For Dogs and People to share?  Watch below! Get the full recipe here.

Don’t Accuse The Squirelly Squirrel

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle.  I am always in an arresting mood.  That is not up for discussion.  Or debate, actually.

But even I recognize that some are falsely accused.  Like Squirelly Squirrel.  Yet, they get taken to court every day.

Now.  Every criminal has a mug shot.  And yet, because Squirelly Squirrel did not actually commit a crime, obviously, I do not have a mugshot.  I don’t even have a cupshot.  But what I do have is a story.  A story of how squirrels, even a Squirelly Squirrel can get accused, every day, of something that they aren’t even doing.  And it has to stop.

“You can’t be suspicious of a tree, or accuse a bird or a squirrel of subversion or challenge the ideology of a violet.”

Now.  First things first.  Squirely Squirrel has taken it upon himself to jump like an acrobat from a tree to the bird feeder hanging off of the side of the motorhome every morning to partake of the bird seed buffet.  Now, you know I am all about the details.  So.  Did you know that seeds are not only meant for birds? Ugh, yeah.  Other animals eat seeds, like the squirrel.  I say the bags are false advertising.  That is like putting on a bag, Brickle Peanut Butter Cookies and saying that no one else should eat those cookies.  Which would be perfect for me, but I am a realist, folks.  That is not going to happen.

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The persons watch Squirelly Squirrel every morning with the anticipation of Digby watching pancakes sizzle.  Well, actually, not really.  But it is fun to watch him. Also, we do not have TV.  He usually can’t hold on very long, gets dizzy from hanging upside down, and then knocks the seeds out of the container.  No, he isn’t the most elegant of squirrels, but then, who is he trying to impress? It’s not like he is on Dancing With The Stars. I could be though.

So you may wonder.  If Squirelly Squirrel is trying to take the seeds from the birds, why don’t I arrest him.  But I ask you this.  What if the birds are taking the seeds from the squirrels?  Who are we to say? Are you a lawyer?  I didn’t know if you are.

It amazes me how persons can think of one animal as being as a nuisance, like a squirrel.  But then marvel at watching the birds.  But all animals are amazing.

Have you ever watched a squirrel?  I implore you to do so, and as well, buy us some more seed because he is eating it all.  But I will not complain.  It isn’t like he is taking my Brickle Peanut Butter Cookies.  At least not yet.  You see, squirrels like Squirelly Squirrel have life all figured out.  They live life.  They have fun.  They spend their days eating and sleeping and chasing and climbing trees.  And through it all, it never occurs to them that they may be stealing anything like seeds.

“If we had a keen vision of all that is ordinary in human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow or the squirrel’s heart beat, and we should die of that roar which is the other side of silence.” George Eliot

The normalcy of life and those who live it often goes unnoticed by all of us.  And that my friends is the problem.  No arrests will be made today if you thank a squirrel. Thank a squirrel for reminding you that we all deserve the happiness that we find on this earth, and that each of us equally deserve it.

-Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle

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Puddle Wonderful

This is Deputy Digby Pancake.  Well, some may say that it doesn’t feel good when you pee on a light pole and get shocked.  Some may say that.  I will say that.

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Some may also say that they don’t feel so good after such an occurrence.  But I think that my reset button just got pressed.  All of a sudden, I am more cuter.  I am hungrier.  And I want more pancakes.  That reset button just feels like a normal Tuesday.  Thank you all for your concern.  It was quite a scare for everyone, and in case you are wondering, yes,  you can send me a bouquet of pancakes.

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Some may also say that days of storms and rain have us all a little stir crazy.  Which is the reason why we decided to walk off our moods at the beach.  But to get to the beach, you have to walk thru the campground, even if it is raining.  Because you do what you gotta do.  And after so much rain, it looks like you would expect it to.  Full of mud and dirt and lots and lots of puddles. And apparently, when you walk thru puddles you are supposed not to like that.  Who does not like that?

“A frog would leap from a throne of gold into a puddle.”

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When persons don’t make sense, I call them out on it.  In fact, not only do I snap them into reality by being myself, but my intentions are to make them be themselves, without all of the worries or cares or concerns.  Because simply put, life is not as complicated as they make it.  Finding joy, even in puddles is necessary.  Otherwise, what do you really have in life?

“Childhood is that state which is the moment a puddle is first viewed as an obstacle instead of an opportunity.”

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Can you imagine for a moment if you were a puddle?  You found yourself in the best hole, and you were a big puddle.  You were just being the best puddle that you could be.  People would walk by and look at their reflections.  But maybe they were the reflection of who actually was in the puddle.  I actually have no idea what that means.

“Did you ever wonder if the person in the puddle is real, and you’re just a reflection of him?”

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But, if for but a moment, a puddle could be walked thru or jumped over, that puddle, was but if for a second, a time that you could be a kid, or a puppy again.  Because in life, there are simple, lovely, wonderful things like puddles.

Sometimes, people only seeing having to clean us dogs up, or the nuisance of obstacles like a puddle that is in their way.  But if you care to get your feet wet, but not while peeing on a light pole, that is when you don’t have to worry.  You didn’t let the worries win.

“Imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, ” This is an interesting world I find myself in, an interesting hole I find myself in; fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well! It must have been made to have me in it!”

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That light pole may have shocked some sense even into Sheriff Brickle.  As he was worried about me, when he realized I was ok, that puddle that had blocked our path became not a puddle that he was concerned about getting his paws dirty in.  But he ran through it to get me home with a happy dance that I haven’t seen in awhile.  He danced through that puddle.  And that puddle, right at that moment was wonderful.  A true wonderland.

When you have a chance to appreciate the puddles in life by dancing thru them, or jumping over them, or splashing through them, do it.  And if the ones that you love, and the ones that love you jump in with you, all the better.

Our world tries to distract us with nonsense, trying to make us think that even puddles aren’t important.  But the real world is wonderful, full of puddles and mud and wonderful. But also, don’t pee on a light pole in the puddle.  I just want to emphasize that.  Otherwise, jump in!

“Sometimes the whole world is mud luscious and puddle wonderful”

-Deputy Digby Pancake

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The Wooden Boats

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle.  There is no denying that I am the head of the house. Top law enforcement in my neck of the campground.  Most handsome dog in the world, and or universe.  But I am also the captain of my ship.  Sailor extraordinaire.  On any ship. Or boat.

I was one of the fortunate ones.  I knew my calling in life, to be all of the above.  But there are others that also know their calling.  And when you travel, you get to see many different ways that some use their calling to make themselves happy and others too. They sing their own tune.  Do we hear it?  Do we dance to their music?

Such was the case when we happened upon a small town called Mayport, Florida.  Bear with me here if you think you are in school, because you are.  This is the class of Brickle and no one is excused.

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Now, I am not a historian, and I don’t claim to be.  But every place that we visit has a history. When we happened upon this town of Mayport, and a place full of wooden boats…yes…wooden boats…it made us think about our history too.

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Now, some may have passed by the small seafood place that this wooden boat museum was in.

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In fact, some may not have even seen it at all.  There are many places and things that we may drive by every day and wonder about.  But how many times have you actually stopped to see what may be the history and who made that history?  Because in every piece of wood, nail or sidewalk, someone made that.  And they probably put a part of themselves in it too.

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For us, we may have been across the United States more times than I would like to think about.  But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t something new to learn, even around a corner we have traveled down many times.  You see, one man in the little town of Mayport, Florida decided that he wanted to make his mark right here.  He wanted to do something and he did it.  And he didn’t need to make money from it, or be famous.  He just wanted to do it because it was in his heart.  He made model, wooden boats.  He made many, model, wooden boats.

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You would think with all of these beautiful, detailed wooden boats, that he would have sold some.  He never did.  That was not his goal.  He enjoyed making them, he enjoyed thinking about the family that he came from, and their time on the water.  He was able to make these boats from memory in a detail that no one else could have.  This was his calling.  This was one of his contributions to the world.  And now, all of these boats still remain.  Even though he is not here.

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You see, the boats are gathering dust.  They don’t sail on the water, but instead are kept in his old seafood shack.  And as patrons come to eat the catches of the day, they can escape not to a fancy museum, but one that is better.  One that is made extravagant by their imagination. And wasn’t this a wonderful gift that he gave to the world?

It made me think.  What kind of music was I playing?  Growling is one.  Barking is another.  But how do I make a pawsitive contribution not only now, but for after we are gone?

We may not be in this town forever, so to appreciate what is here, and be respectful of the ones that have made it what it is is important.  That goes for where you are too. Wherever we travel to, we should stop.  Look.  Listen.  And learn.  Learn about the people here before us.  Learn about the history and the lessons, and then apply what we learn to be better for it. Now, if there would have been a peanut butter cookie museum here, I definitely would have stopped to check that out too.  Maybe I should build one…

-Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle

Did you listen to our newest podcast?  It is now available on Itunes and Stitcher!  The preview is below.  If you can, leave us a review!  Or, You. Are. Arrested.  

Listen at https://apple.co/2JbyLRQ

 

Pawcast Podcast #23 North Dakota

On this week’s 2 Traveling Dogs Pawcast Podcast, we take you to the least visited state in America!  We don’t know why, because North Dakota is amazing!  We talk about a dog friendly recipe inspired by Norwegian immigrants and a wonderful animal rescue visit.  Join us! This podcast is available on Itunes and Stitcher!  Please be sure and leave us a review!

Mentioned in this episode:

Oreo’s Animal Rescue

Stop Hounding Me In North Dakota

Lefse For Dogs and People To Share

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Am I Too Concerned About My Senior Dog?

Please be sure and enter a super special giveaway at the end of this blog!

I never thought about it…at least not consciously.  When Brickle and Digby came into our lives, they were young.  And I could not let myself go down the path of imagining them older.  I could not let myself go there.  My previous dogs lived long lives, but let’s be honest.  Time with our dogs, or anyone we love, is never long enough.  Truly.

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But if you are like me, you love your dogs beyond any else’s comprehension.  I could never explain, or would I want to, the absolute love I have for my dogs.  And yes, I would do anything for them.  I would, and do, spend money I don’t have for the best food for them.  I make sure they get enough exercise, even when I am sick.  I put myself second, and maybe last, if they need me.  But last week, as Brickle had a little bout of stomach issues because of the rain and his nervousness, and Digby was having some trouble with an eye infection, I thought a bit.  Was I really taking care of them the way that I should?  Was I doing everything in my power so that they lived as long as they could?  Because truth be told, as they turned nine this year, what I had been ignoring all along hit me in the heart.  I had senior dogs.  I had older dogs.  What was I going to do?

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I heard one time that women have more than 70,000 thoughts per day.  Well, combine that with being a dog parent, and I can guarantee that all of my thoughts would make anyone’s head spin.  But the most frequent thought in my head the past few months is how much longer do we have left together?  Should I count down the years?  How is this healthy for anyone?  It is not.  And it is a big time waster of every precious minute.  So, how can I take care of them in the best way that I know how, make sure that they are happy and yet recognize when I need to make changes?

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So, I posed a question on our Facebook group page.  I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t alone. I asked, “If you have a senior dog, what are your biggest concerns?”  Here were some of the answers.

Mobility and pain.”

“My sweet 11 year old snoopy came to me with skin issues. I also worry about his teeth and his heart. I pretty much worry about everything. He is the apple of my eye.”

“End of life issues.”

“That my Fuzzy will die and leave me. She is almost 10.”

Mobility is my biggest concern for soon to be 13 year old Snookie.”

“My biggest concern is mobility, as they are 100 lb dogs.”

“…Recently she seems to be having digestive issues and supposedly allergic troubles to so much stuff. I suspect allergies too but can’t afford expensive testing.”

“My Sunny is 11years old and I dread the day I lose her. The dog I had before her contracted Lymphoma at the age of 11 and died within a few months so I have been worried since her birthday.”

Everyone is different and every dog is different. I appreciated these answers and many others not only for the honesty in them, but for the admittance that we all worried.  Simple.  But for me, sometimes I feel like no one could understand how much I love my boys.  I sometimes feel that I am crazy for loving them so much.  But I also realize the responsibility that I have of putting my emotions aside and finding out what needs to be done, the tasks at hand, and make informed decisions.  For Brickle and Digby, the changes lately are becoming more apparent.  And I will discuss just the few that we are dealing with here in our family so maybe you won’t feel so alone too if you have a beloved senior pet.

  1.  Mobility This might be the most frustrating part of getting older not only for dogs, but for people too.  For us, hiking every day and keeping active has proven to not only be a great stress reliever, but I feel keeps everything going!  However, a few months ago I noticed the difficult time that Digby had getting in our car.  And then Brickle started having a harder time as well.  I wondered if they were getting enough exercise, or not enough.  Was I pushing them too hard?  And guess what? I still don’t have the answers.  So we learned to take it day by day.  If we do a longer hike one day, we rest the next.  I have started to listen to their body language, their demeanor and how much water they drink.  I have began a regimen of different products and routines that we will discuss more next month.  But I have adjusted their diet, started a supplement that we are giving away below, and the results have been very encouraging.  And isn’t that what we all need most of all as we are getting older…encouragement?
  2.  Diet  If you know our website, blog or missions at all, you know that we advocate fresh food for dogs.  That is why we hold a live cooking class on Facebook every week.  It is why we tell everyone to throw away their dog food bags, and I won’t ever stop!  Although I am not a vet, and I certainly don’t know everything about nutrition, I have learned to trust my instincts, do my research, and be balanced in this regard.  I love to eat, I truly enjoy food, and my dogs are no different.  But for senior dogs, nutrition may change. Senior dog diets often should have lower calories, higher protein, lower sodium, and fewer carbohydrates.  We personally alternate between a raw and cooked diet.  I have learned to watch their appetites and adjust with our activity levels.
  3. Health Care  This may be one of the most frustrating parts of caring for an older dog, at least for me.  For all of the wonderful vets out there, there are many more that I feel don’t see our dogs as individuals, but numbers.  Yes, it may not be very professional of me to say this, but I would rather tell the truth.  And knowing when certain aspects of care are necessary or not, plus weighing costs involved when you don’t know if you trust your vet is so maddening.  This has proven the case in our family.  The last vet we visited in Bodega Bay, California made it clear to me that there were still great ones out there, but some of us never find that perfect vet.  So what can we do?  I truly believe that there is a balance between using our own heads, doing our own research, and trusting our hearts when it comes to care for our dogs.  Yes, professional care is needed.  But never let anyone, whether they are a vet or not make you feel bad for decisions you make.  They are YOUR furkid.  You know them best, you will take care of them best.  And you can do it.  You can.  And you are not alone. Others are going down the same path with different feet.

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So, as I asked at the beginning…am I too concerned about my senior dog?  At this moment in time, this week, I will say that I have been.  I have been analyzing every breath, every groan.  Last week?  I didn’t worry so much, but the fact is, nothing changed.  I have began to realize that is is how I deal with them getting older that will probably make the most difference in their quality of life, beyond any treatment, any pill, any vet.  We are the world to our pets, no matter how old they are.  Cherish every day that you have with the ones that you love.  And never doubt that you will make the best decisions that you can.  No one else could make them for your dog as good as you.

-Rachael Johnson, Owner, 2 Traveling Dogs

Catch our daily dog blog at www.2travelingdogs.com

ENTER BELOW TO WIN A GREAT PRODUCT! ONE OF OUR FAVORITES!

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We have a a very special giveaway this week from Nuture Abilities!  Yes!  They are giving away one bottle to a special fan of one of our favorite products.  We use Petandim for Digby due to mobility issues.  What is Petandim?

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You’re A Superstar. Yes, That’s What You Are. You Know It.

This is Deputy Digby Pancake.  If I could end this week with a summary of it, which I guess I actually am, I would say that it was a mixture of soggy pancakes, sugary sweet maple syrup on top to make it more soggy, and then eating it anyway because you never turn down a pancake.  Yes, the rain put a damper on things.  But just like you don’t turn down a soggy pancake, you don’t turn down any day.  Rain or no rain.

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But when Gandma and Gandpa came to visit, they seemed to bring the sunshiney right with them.

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For now….I hear more rain is on the way they say in this Florida place. And once again, I don’t know who “they” are that are always saying stuff, but I with they would not.

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When things in your day don’t go your way, and you look deep within yourself past your always growling tummy, you sometimes find a superstar in there. I did. It was someone that I didn’t even know was in there. I realized it this week.  Self?  You are a dern superstar.

I don’t have to work at being happy.  Because I am happy.  But for others, even Sheriff Brickle, well, he has to work at it.  But I realized.  I can make him happy by being happy.  I could make the persons happy by being happy.  Because who could resist a dog smile, even in the rain?  Superstar.

But I found out that I wasn’t the only superstar around here this week.  Sheriff Brickle was sick, but then, he decided that he didn’t want to miss out on any more walks.  He didn’t want to miss out on his chances of getting free dog biscuits from the campground host.  And so, he looked inside himself, channeled into his handsome, and pushed himself past his depression and nervousness of the rain and storms.  We got in a ferry, made our way to see Gandma and Gandpa, and then! The sunshiny came out!  Brickle knew it.  He was a superstar!

Now, you may know that Brickle has always considered himself a superstar.  Shocker, shocker.  But he found even more of one this week.  Despite all of the rain and the heat and the persons being stressed out too, he found that he was stronger than what he thought.  And with all of this positivity and superstars around me, I decided that as long as everyone was a star, and being strong and and signing autographs and stuff, but not really, well, I decided I had one more thing to accomplish.  And I saw it. A sausage in the seaweed on the beach.

Now, you may wonder.  Why would a sausage be in the seaweed? My first thought was why not?  I smelled it.  An uncooked, perfectly formed in the casing, Italian sausage.

Now, why someone would throw a sausage in the seaweed that they could have cooked up on the grill, I don’t know, but I actually didn’t care.  I did care to try and swallow it whole before Girl Person could pull it out of my mouth.  And I did just that.  My superstar inside had been replaced with sausage.  But it didn’t want to stay there long.

Girl Person has come to realize that with me and the Sheriff, she can’t get mad at a lot of things, because those “a lot of things” happen a lot.  And so she told me that she wished I would not have done that, but said that she was going to watch me if I got sick.  And as we continued to walk along the beach, we saw a sandbar, Sheriff Brickle found his superstar again, went crazy, pulled us in a very deep trench, we all fell in, and then, the sausage in my stomach fell out.  Of my mouth.  My superstar was there again.

When you are sitting in the water covered in sausage throwup, sometimes, you start laughing like a crazy person.  At least that is what happened to Girl Person.  She thought, well, as long as everyone was a superstar around here, she would try and win an academy award.  And if I would have had an award in the ocean with sausage throw up, I would have cleaned it off and presented it to her for the best. Laugh. Ever.

it was at that exact moment that all of the week’s anxieties and trials collided with sausage in the ocean to make us realize that we all needed each other, even more than we ever thought.  But I also needed some fried chicken too.

As we walked back to camp…all wet…with the past remnants of laughing and raw sausage, I saw it. A bucket of fried chicken. In the road.  Smashed. Fried. Chicken. Y’all.

As you can imagine, Girl Person was not having it, but I was, I snagged one, gulped it down whole, and while she was trying to pry it out of my mouth, the Sheriff grabbed his too like a perfectly baked peanut butter cookie.  It was then that the campground host pulled up in her golf cart with a pocket of biscuits.  Girl Person could only stand there and look around and wonder.  If this was what being a superstar was all about, she would take it.  Because life should be lived…even through raw sausage, rain, smashed fried chicken and cheap dog biscuits. That’s show business.  I will always guarantee a show.

So today..try and reach down…deep inside…and ask yourself.  “Why am I a superstar?”.  What did I do this week that no one else could have?  What did I do to make myself proud?  You’re a superstar.  Yes, that’s what you are.  You know it.

-Deputy Digby Pancake

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One For You. And That’s Enough.

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle.  It is no secret that I am quite sensitive.  Put that in your frying pan and fry it. Also, make Digby a pancake.

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Many may not know that my sensitivity can be a bit of a hindrance.  No, not to my handsome, as nothing can affect that.

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But apparently, when something bothers me, you can see it all over my face, not unlike Girl Person.

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I am what many call “an old soul”.  I have had this soul since I was born.  I haven’t changed.  But as I have gotten older, sometimes, things seem to bother me a little more.  Traffic, loud noises, people that rush around, and storms.  Thunder.  That lightening stuff.  And oh, we have had so much of that lately.

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Girl Person tries to tell me that they wouldn’t let anything happen to me, and yeah, I know that.  But I simply don’t like the noises.  I simply get all worked up about it.  And when that happens, my stomach hurts. And I don’t want to eat.  Has that ever happened to you?  Tell me about it so that I feel better.  Maybe you don’t like traffic either, or the news on that bad box television thing.  Maybe you forgot to pay a bill and don’t like the phone ringing.  Maybe you forgot to buy an item on your list at the store.  Maybe you get all worked up about something besides my handsome.  Which is hard to believe.

As Girl Person tried to cheer me up and took us to the dog park here, something happened.  A Florida rainstorm came up like no other.  The sun was shining, but down came the rain.  There was nowhere for us to go except under a tree and I was pretty upset about it.  So upset in fact that I just sat in the rain.  Defeated.  I didn’t know what to do except nothing.  It was time to fold em’.  Do you ever feel like that?

It seemed to me like the last eight days had been out to get me.  I wanted to be happy about the rain and the need for it.  And I was some of the time.  But then the other time, those thoughts about my nervousness got to me.  My sensitive side was in overdrive.  And I just couldn’t control it.  Just like my handsome.

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Girl Person tried everything.  She made me cookies.  She made me a caesar salad.

But nope, I didn’t want it.  My down in the dumps mood had made my tummy hurt.  And nothing could cheer me up.  Or so I thought.

Girl Person said that it was time we walk and clear our heads.  It had stopped raining for a little bit.  And a little bit was good enough for us.  For sure.  We made it to lake and as I stopped to sit down because I wanted to, a lady walked up.

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She asked me if I was ok.  And just that question was enough for me.  She didn’t ask how old I was. She didn’t ask if I had “too many miles” on me.  She didn’t ask anything, but if I was ok.  And I wasn’t ok.  That was the simple fact.  I was scared of more rain.  I was tired of it.  As Girl Person told her that I had not ate all day, she simply pulled out two little dog biscuits from her pocket and gave one to Digby.  There was one left for me. Now, usually, I am all about the peanut butter cookies.  But it wasn’t about that.  These biscuits had my name on it.  Because she cared.

I knew that she couldn’t make the rain go away.  I knew that she couldn’t do anything for me…but in actuality she did.  Even an old soul like me knows that a kind word, a kind question can in fact make everything better.

Lucky I’m sane after all I’ve been through
(Everybody say I’m cool, he’s cool)
I can’t complain but sometimes I still do
Life’s been good to me so far

If not for my honesty, and being who I was, that lady person may not have thought to offer me that biscuit.  No, I didn’t want anyone to feel sorry for me, but the fact that I thought all was a loss that day, and it wasn’t, made me a winner.  And that lady person?  She had no idea what that little biscuit did for me.

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It gave me more confidence, it brightened my day even more than the sunshiney could have.  And as we went back to the Big Blue Treat Wagon RV to rest before dinner, there was no denying it.  Love and kindness are never wasted.  It may take all of our energy sometimes to ask someone if they are ok.  And it is ok if they are not ok.  Because we all have our own problems to deal with.  No one may be able to solve them for us.  But if we take the time to make someone’s day better, maybe for us, the favor will be returned.

You may wonder if I only got one dog biscuit.  Yes, and I only got one question.  But that was enough.  If you believe you can make a difference, then you will make a difference.

-Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle

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When Will I See You Again?

This is Deputy Digby Pancake.  Some days you wake up, and it seems like any ordinary day.  But no days are ordinary to me.  Because you truly never know what will happen.

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Yesterday, Girl Person told us that we were going to go see Gandma and Gandpa.  Now, I may not be able to read a map.  But I do know that when we go and visit them, it takes us at least four hours to drive back to where we used to live near that Tampa, Florida place.  How do I know what an hour is? I do not.  But I do know time by the growl of my stomach.  And usually, dinner is always late when we make that drive.  So when Girl Person said that we were going to go and see them, I was already getting my stomach ready by a pep talk.  But as we got on the ferry, which was not the direction that we go in to see them…I knew that something was not adding up.  The Sheriff had already deciphered that information too.

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Something was not adding up.  But after the past week with all the rain, the Sheriff being sick, and the persons working too much, I was too tired to think much about it. Actually, I find it tiring to think in general, so I just don’t.  Just “being” is what I do best.  I sit back and enjoy the ride.

So as we got off of the ferry, I let the Sheriff do all of the thinking.  Girl Person continued to tell us that we were going to see Gandma and Gandpa.  But I didn’t see them anywhere at all.  And then…out of nowhere…they pulled up!  The same car that they had back in that Tampa, Florida place had driven them all of the way here!

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First of all, I realized that my dinner would not in fact be late.  And that was excellent.  And then, I realized that they had come to see us with dog treats in their car.  And then…I realized…that it was real nice to see them again.

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It was like they always show up at random.  We go somewhere like any other day, and sometimes they pull up in their car.  Most of the time, they do not.  And being on the road for such a long time made me realize that I really liked them pulling up.  But it also made me think, which I never do.  Sure, I was seeing them today.  But when would I see them again?

Life has a way of getting us caught in routine and not thinking that one day…things will change.  They will change.  They will.  If there is one thing I know after traveling for over two years now, is that the ones that you love the most will come to you wherever you are.  They may not always be able to pull up in their car, but they visit your heart.  Only if you let them.

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Just like I don’t ever take my dinner for granted, there are things in our life that we should appreciate too.  Don’t think that they just know either.  Tell them.  If we don’t tell the ones that we love how much they mean to us, sometimes that distance grows further, even if they are right beside us.

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This time tomorrow, things may be different.  In an hour from now, things may be different.  We have the choice in the moment where we are…right now…to really love.  To really feel.  To really make an effort.  As hard as it is, it will be harder if we don’t have that opportunity again.

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So thank you Gandma and Gandpa for coming to see us.

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We don’t know what the future brings, or where our adventures will lead us after next month.  But for now, we sure love you.  Persons always want things in the world to get better, but I know this.  If you want to change the world, love your family.

-Deputy Digby Pancake 

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How Does Your Garden Grow?

This is Deputy Digby Pancake.  If they into each life a little rain must fall, they didn’t say that it would last for over a week.  Who is they? Does anyone really know? And Sheriff Brickle?  He is getting quite irritable with his hair all a mess.  He doesn’t know it is a mess.  In fact, he thinks that it actually has been looking a little stylish.  I say he is a little mistaken.  But who am I to argue with a Sheriff that hasn’t got his sunshiney lately?  Nope, not I.

When things aren’t going your way, it is easy to go with the flow for a few days.  But when you see no end in sight, that usually is when you may start to worry.  You may start to get upset.  And you wonder, will it ever, truly, stop raining?

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Life is like that sometimes, it seems.  Like when you go to the store, and they don’t have your favorite brand of maple syrup and try to pass off some fake stuff.  Then you try to leave the store, and a deluge falls out of the sky that floods the entire neighborhood.  Then, you get in your car and there is a puddle on the floor because it rained so hard it came inside.  And you have no umbrella.  Because you don’t want to spend money to buy an umbrella.  And so you figure, life has got you all wet.  One thing leads to another.  Yes. This happened. What do you think that I do? Make up this stuff?

But then, you realize that your car is actually full of groceries.  Although wet, you have a car.  And food.  No maple syrup, but thankful, nonetheless.  And so you drive home, you get to your house on wheels, and you take out that new birdseed you bought for the Scarlet Pimpernel.  Because he won’t eat the kind you bought in California.

I didn’t know that birds were as picky about their food as Brickle.  But it is true.  Apparently, the Scarlet Pimpernel only likes certain seeds, and he decided to throw all of the rest of them on the ground.  And the ones he left? With all of the rain, apparently, he was trying to grow a garden.

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Now, I am all about having a green thumb…if I had thumbs.  But why would a bird be trying to grow his own garden, I wondered?

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Maybe he wanted to be the talk of all the birds in the campground.  Maybe he wanted to  grow his own grass so that he could buy a lawn mower and ride around in it like a proud peacock.  Seems logical.

Or maybe he wanted to save some money and have an endless supply of treats.  As you know, I have been looking for that coveted pancake tree for years.  But, no.  I thought about it some more.  And I figured that the Scarlet Pimpernel was trying to grow his own garden because he knows that we won’t be camped here forever.  When we leave, who is going to buy his favorite foods?  He was saving up for a rainy day…even though it actually may not be raining from the sky when we leave. It will be raining from our hearts.  Even the little bird one.

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Yes, our time here is coming to end soon.  As usual, our planning skills have much to be desired.  And we didn’t plan for this holiday week.  So we leave our space here in the campground on Thursday to move to another spot here for two nights.  Then, we have to go to St. Mary’s, Georgia on Saturday until Tuesday.  And then next Tuesday, we come back right here until the end of June.  And then?  You will have to wait and see!

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You see, we could have let the rain get us down, and truth be told, some days it did.  But in all of the rain and the storms and the mud and the dirt, we had to find out that actually even waiting for the rain to stop is a good thing.  How many have went through something in their life that they thought was the worst and would never get better?  What happened when you actually got through it?  I can bet as high as a stack of pancakes that afterwards, you learned something.  I can bet that you were a better person for it.  And I can bet that the lessons served as an umbrella for the next time the rain came.  This much is true…after the rain is the best time of all.

But if you are in the rain…right now…you can still start planting your garden.  You don’t have to wait until the sunshine comes, because you will need the rain too.  Life isn’t about waiting for storms to pass.  It’s about learning to be happy in the rain.  And what makes us happy today?  Even if the rain doesn’t stop, Gandma and Gandpa decided to drive the four hours from Tampa here.  And we get to see them today!  That my friends is going to be sunshiney even if there is no sun.  And isn’t that the trick?  Make the effort to grow your garden.  Get your seeds.  Make the best of what you have.  And see what grows.

-Deputy Digby Pancake

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