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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Pickin’ And Grinnin’

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle. This week has been one for the history books, and not just because we were camped at Fort Pickens near Pensacola Beach, Florida.

However, I would like to leave this week in the history books too. But, we made it thru, and as usual, we learned something from all the twists and turns. I am also sure we will learn more next week with more twists and turns. Am I being negative? Nah, just realistic. That’s what I do. If you don’t like it, well, then You. Are. Arrested.

Deputy Digby? He didn’t worry a lot this week, but he did a pretty good job at what he does, and that is being Digby. Digby. Don’t. Care.

Since we were at Fort Pickens here in this Florida place, he took it literally and made a decision yesterday. He said that as long as everyone else was worrying about the RV, and the Jeep, and Boy Person’s frost bitten nose, he would just handle the pickin’ and a grinnin’ at Fort Pickens.

Instead of contemplation and philosophizing, he takes the route of seeing things for what they are.  I kind of saw this week as a bad one.  But for Deputy Digby, he said that because Boy Person wasn’t feeling good, he just got to be with him more. And that was all he saw.  Not Boy Person’s big, frost bite nose. I saw his nose. Just sayin’.

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When bad things happen, sometimes, that is all we see, isn’t it? Deputy Digby said concentrating on only the bad things this week would have made us forget the Fort.

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Concentrating on the bad would have made us forget the white sand beaches.

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Only seeing the bad would have meant we would have forgotten that at the end of the day, we were still all together despite the bad.

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And most of all, for me, only seeing the bad would have made me forget my new friend Piper who headed back to her house in that Arkansas place.  It’s bad that we had to say goodbye.  But I have a feeling that our paths will cross again. And it was real good to meet her and her persons.

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As Sheriff, I have barely anything to learn.  But Deputy Digby sometimes does remind me that there are many things to be happy about and appreciate even if the skies seem dark. And cold.

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Eventually, the sun has to come out.  And it came out by the end of the week.

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We do have choices, and what we pick to see means we can either frown or grin.  Today, we choose to be pickin’ and grinnin’.

There may not be many more hours left to get to Amelia Island.  But for us, for the RV…it seems like a million.  We know we can do it if we try.  Today, we are going to try and make it to Chipley, Florida.  The RV is leaking something again, and Boy Person is going to cover up his face and his nose and try to fix it before we leave.  Will he be grinnin’ about it? We might not be able to see his face, but maybe if he see our smiles and our positivity, it will help.  Actually, I don’t grin.  I will leave that up to the Deputy.

What we pick to see in our day may mean how we see tomorrow.  Choose wisely, my friends.

-Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle

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Tell Me About The Good Old Days

This is Deputy Digby Pancake.  If you are cold, well, join the crowd.  Or you can join us here in Pensacola, Florida. I could use a few more persons to cuddle up with. Or you could knit me a blanket of warm pancakes. But, alas, that probably wouldn’t keep me warm for very long if I eat it.  Um. We thought this Florida place was supposed to be warm. What. Is. Happening.

Tell me ’bout the good old days
Sometimes it feels like this world’s gone crazy

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I have heard about the good ol’ days and how you miss them when they are gone.  I have also heard that we are living the good ol’ days right about now.  Can we send them back? Cause if these are the good ol’ days, I don’t wanna see the bad.

We thought things were looking up a bit, and I suppose they were.

Everything is changing fast
We call it progress, but I just don’t know

We made it to this Florida place. And yes, we are very happy about that. Is the Big Blue Treat Wagon all fixed? Far from it, but we are going to try an make it to our final destination near Jacksonville and Amelia Island, and then find a permanent fix then, I heard the persons say. One day at a time, one drive at a time. Is the Jeep ok? Ha. The Jeep is wore out too, but for now, it is plugging along.  Like all of us.  Except Boy Person.  Looks like all the working on the RV in the cold took a toll on his nose. And it is hurting pretty bad.  We wish that we could go back in time and he wouldn’t have got hurt out there under the RV with a frostbitten nose.

Let’s wander back into the past
And paint me the picture of long ago

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Now, there is not much that Sheriff Brickle and I can do about all of this.  Sheriff Brickle tried to arrest the cold yesterday when it messed with his sunshiney and he could only stay out there for five minutes.  He. Was. Not. Happy.

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But what we can do is appreciate that even all of these seemingly bad things happening can be put into perspective.

Tell me ’bout the good old days

First, the RV broke down which made us appreciate the Jeep. Then the Jeep broke down which made us appreciate that the RV decided to plug along a little more.  Then the RV broke down again and the Jeep was doing a little better. But all of this doesn’t seem to matter at all when someone that you care about isn’t feeling so good.  All the other stuff..are well…stuff.  And none of this seems important right now except to get Boy Person to feeling better.  So that our meals are not interrupted.  Did I say that out loud?

As dogs always do, we live in the moment, but even I can appreciate that life is all about perspective.  Things we may think are important one day may seem less important the next. The things that we worried about one day may not even exist the next.  If the good ol’ days don’t seem so good, stop and think.  Maybe they really aren’t that bad. For Sheriff Brickle, he may not have had sunshiney outside for long yesterday, but the sunshiney he got inside was pretty good too.

IMG_2632In fact, those things that seem to be so bad may make for some pretty great stories later on.  Looks like we are going to have a lot of stories

This year hasn’t started out so sweet, but that means that it can only get better.  And one thing is for sure.  As long as we are all together, that is the most important thing.  Simple?   Yes, it is.  But happy isn’t complicated. The good ol’ days are there.  It is up to us to see them, even through the bad.  There is magic to be found.  Even if you have to go to a walk in clinic like Boy Person today.  You may say, oh, I wish someone would have told me about those good old days and that I would miss them.  You still have to to make some good old days now.

IMG_2608Sometimes, persons are so worried about what is coming next that they don’t see the good in the journey.  They don’t see the moment.  They don’t appreciate the present, but only are looking to the future.  We have not had a lot of choices this past year and a half but to live in the moment, because we were so busy.  Now that we look back, it sure seemed fun.  And now…we are going to make this fun too.  Because every single minute of your day is one that you will never get back.  Today will be in the past tomorrow whether you want it to or not.  Make it worth remembering.

Oh, and we will keep you updated on the nose situation. That is all I know what to call it. That’s the law enforcement side coming out in me.

-Deputy Digby Pancake

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The Shadow Of Your Smile

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle.  Are those spots in my eyes? Am I having trouble seeing?  No. I have perfect eyesight…obviously.  It takes perfect eyesight to look in the mirror for so many hours a day.  But those spots in my eyes are there for a reason. Just look at my new friend.  My rescue friend, Piper.

Meeting new friends. #camplife #2travelingdogs

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I knew we had a reason to get to that Florida place.  But I could have never imagined that instead of the sunshiney, my life would be lit up by Piper.  Because apparently, Florida had other plans than to be warm.  What is with all of this wind and rain and snow flurries?  It blew in yesterday as strong as Deputy Digby’s breath.  And that deserves a weather report from the National Bad Breath Service.

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But as we were wondering if we would ever see the sunshiney again, here came Piper to our campsite.

Now I’ll remember many a day
And many a lonely mile
The echo of a piper’s song
The shadow of a smile

You don’t meet many friends on the road when you move every few days like we do.  But as soon as we pulled into camp, her persons helped us back up the Big Blue Treat Wagon RV and I spotted Piper in all her glory.

At first, she tried to act like she had other things to do like bite us.  But when we ignored her, she decided that she could trust us.  You see, it was hard for her to trust us right away, because a lot of people had let her down in the past until she found her forever family.  Her scars may not be apparent on the outside like her beautiful spots, but Digby and I heard them.  Us rescue dogs always hear the scars talking, even if the persons don’t.  Sometimes, the scars are loud with angry stories.  Sometimes, the scars whisper, but it doesn’t mean that they aren’t just as lasting.  Unlike persons, we have the patience to listen.  And as Piper took a moment to gaze at my handsome, and I saw her spots chasing away the scars, I knew.  Her smile came out, and her sunshiney lit up my sky.

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Now, I am not oblivious to the fact that my handsome can move mountains, or in this case, the sand of Pensacola.

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But Piper’s spots combined with my brindle stripes were magic.  Pure magic.  The persons talked, but all I could think about was her smile that told me she was happy and safe.  When you have been through something, or many somethings not so happy in your life, the normal days seem so wonderful.  For Piper, her now normal life is more special to her than even meeting me.  And that is special.  Not only was her beauty on the outside inspiring to us, her heart and her smile will be something I will never forget even  though I was only able to be with her for two days.

Because, you see, Piper and her persons are heading out of camp today to drive back home so that they don’t get caught in a storm.  And with Piper’s leaving, she is leaving a shadow that will be over me all day.  Her smile was so bright, that her leaving means an overcast day.  A shadow so big that it covers my heart. And I don’t think about much other than myself.  In truth, I am still thinking about myself, but Piper is an addition.

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Scars may be with each one of us in different ways. Sometimes, others see them.  Sometimes, they do not.  Sometimes, one person may see them and acknowledge them, and allow you to heal.  But sometimes, only you will know they are there.  But if Piper can chase away her scars with beautiful Dalmation spots, you can too.  A smile so big can cast a shadow over the past.  We just have to trust in ourself that we can heal.  You can do it if I can.  You can do it if Digby can.  You can do it if Piper can.

I hope that one day I will see Piper again.  Until then, every time I see my shadow, I will try not to think of myself as much, but think of Piper’s smile.  Florida has welcomed us back with cold, harsh weather.  But I will chase it away with my forecast of brighter days ahead.

-Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle

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I Can’t Go For That

This is Deputy Digby Pancake.  Let me be the first to welcome you back…again…to this Florida place!

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Thanks to you cheering us on, we crossed that state line yesterday.  We could not have done it without every single one of you telling us that we could do it.  We read every comment.  We felt the love.

I, I ‘ll do anything
That you want me to do
And I’ll do almost anything
That you want me to, ooh

But…we are still a ways from our hopefully…final stop in Fernandina Beach. Will we find a house there?  We just don’t know.  But it is worth a try, right?  We just hope that the Big Blue Treat Wagon RV agrees with us.  It doesn’t seem to have a lot of energy lately.  It doesn’t seem to want to move very fast, and it keeps trying to scare us.  Is there such a thing as a hospital for an RV?

Easy, ready, willing, overtime
Where does it stop
Where do you dare me
To draw the line

We kind of understand why the Big Blue Treat Wagon RV is tired.  If not for it, we could not have visited all of the 48 rescues and met so many of you.  But we are not ready to give up on it.  It deserves to make it to Fernandina Beach to rest a bit too.  I won’t accept it quitting.  We aren’t going to leave it behind.  We leave no one behind.

I can go for being twice as nice
I can go for just repeating
The same old lines
Use the body
Now you want my soul
Ooh, forget about it
Now say no go

You see, yesterday, we were more than a bit nervous about driving over so many bridges and breaking down.  But since Sheriff Brickle arrested Louisiana, we decided that we should probably make an exit from the gators before they woke up.

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Boy Person may have fixed the Big Blue Treat Wagon for now, but we know that is is hanging on by a thread.  And duct tape.  We feel like we all are, especially Boy Person’s frost bitten nose.  Wow, the last two weeks have been rough.On Boy Person’s face. Bahahaha!

But none of us look any better. Girl Person’s shoes are falling apart, our harnesses need the swamp mud washed off, and we are well..looking pretty pitiful after the past few weeks.  Except Brickle.  He told me to write that. And I’m too tired to argue about it.

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And so we are going to take a few more days to get to where we can start looking for a house without wheels.  We have to catch our breaths, run all of us thru a car wash, and make a plan.  We haven’t really told the Big Blue Treat Wagon RV any of this yet, because we don’t want it to be sad. And we don’t want it to quit.

I can’t go for that
Can’t go for that
Can’t go for that
I can’t go for that

It deserves for us to love it as long as we can.  And who knows.  If we don’t find a house for a bit, we may be loving it for a little while longer.  But we have to make it healthy again. It just needs a few words of encouragement and maybe some work from Boy Person.  I don’t know how much energy any of have left yet.  But we aren’t ones to give up.  No.  We can’t go for that.

You all may not have been with us in this Big Blue Treat Wagon during our journey, because, well, you would have ran out from the dirt and dog hair.  But we felt like you were with us.  And we hope that you aren’t going to go anywhere, because we aren’t.  This is our first stop in this Florida place and we will be here in Pensacola until Friday.  Then we head to Falling Waters State Park in Chipley, Florida for a few days. After that, we will be near Jacksonville (which is next to Fernandina Beach).  If we can make it.  It may not seem like a lot of hours to most people, but for this RV, it seems like we have to go to the moon.  Sometimes, we think that would have been way easier.

Oh, we are still worried that we won’t find a house.  But we have to take it one step at a time, right?  Sometimes, life can be very overwhelming.  Sometimes, when my dinner is five minutes late, I feel like it will never come.  But then, when it does, I realize it was late because Girl Person made it extra good that night.  And that is what we hope is happening to us now.  For each step of this journey, you have been there, and telling us that it would all work out.  And we hope that by dragging our feet and our Big Blue Treat Wagon, that we will make it.  But don’t forget.  This is just the start of a new chapter for 2 Traveling Dogs.  And this blog and Facebook page are not going anywhere.  I can’t go for that.

You’ve got the body
Now you want my soul
Don’t even think about it
Say no go

-Deputy Digby Pancake

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Just A Gigolo…Everywhere I Go

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle. First of all…Louisiana? It’s been real. Real hard. Breaking down numerous times, frostbite, and running from alligators has taken it’s toll. We love ya, we really do. But. You. Are. Arrested.

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Now, you may think that arrest was a long time coming. And oh, it was. But when the light of the sun coming off the swamp makes you look this good? You have to show some mercy. For a minute.

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When we got back on the road Saturday, it was only because Boy Person had worked his butt off, and apparently his frostbitten nose off for days in the rain and cold.

We finally got on the road, and we were going good and feeling pretty good, until we went over a very scary bridge and all of a sudden, the persons regretted their decision not to get any diesel because they were afraid if they stopped, we couldn’t get going again. Water in the lines of this RV has been plaguing us for a year now, and if it gets too low, well, it sputters and won’t move…even if you are in the middle of the highway in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. As the RV struggled to keep going, Girl Person started praying out loud, Boy Person told her to stop that, that other people needed help more, she started freaking out, Deputy Digby tried to jump in the front seat, and I, just, paniced. How we made it to that gas station, we will never know…and as we stopped, the RV let out the biggest sigh you have ever heard, and we thought we were done. Literally. But somehow again, Boy Person got us moving, and we questioned whether we were going to make it at all to camp. We were so tired. We struggled for hours as it overheated, but we finally made it. Barely. The alligators had a welcome sign for us at our picnic table in the swamp.

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Now. That is that, and all that is boring. You would think that after all of this time on the road that my good looks could have gotten us further faster. Literally. And I began to wonder.  Had I in fact been working it enough?

I’m just a gigolo and everywhere I go
People know the part I’m playing
Paid for every dance, selling each romance
Ooh, and they’re sayin’

You see, this Big Blue Treat Wagon RV and our Jeep are both trying to quit on us.  We do know that they have had a rough time with all this traveling across the country twice now, and they have worked very hard.  But these skinny legs ain’t gonna get us home, and Deputy Digby’s tree stump legs ain’t either.  So I thought, hey.  You know, I have never charged for the privilege of gazing at my handsome.  But maybe I should start. And just as I thought that…there was a knock on the door yesterday.  Which interrupted my beauty sleep by the way.

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There she was.  A picture of refreshment in this cold, Louisiana swamp.  There she was.  She had read my mind.  She came with a foil covered paper plate from heaven. Yes…she knew what it was going to take to get us home to that Florida place.  Sweet payment for my handsome face on her phone, her computer screen, and yeah, probably framed on her mantle.

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Won’t some sweet mama come and take a chance with me?
‘Cause I ain’t so bad

You see, when you are at your lowest point, and wondering how you can keep going, that  seems to be when the sweetest things happen.  Someone tells you that you are doing a good job, that you are loved, that you are appreciated.

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Sometimes, life on the road can get pretty lonely.

I ain’t got nobody
Nobody cares for me
Nobody cares for me
I’m so sad and lonely
Oh lonely, oh lonely, lonely, lonely

And sometimes, when your house on wheels keeps trying to tell you it is tired, you wonder if you are ever gonna get home.  And if my looks could get us there, honey, we would have been there five days before yesterday.  But we found out what we needed more than a big bank account, possessions, or even new cars.  We needed to be told we were appreciated and that we had made a difference.  Deputy Digby just needed the muffins.

To take time out of your day to tell someone that they are appreciated is not something that many of us find easy.  Maybe that is why I only get about a hundred fan letters a day.  But your simple words of praise, or bringing someone a banana nut muffin may give them the energy that they need to keep going.  For us, we are going to try today to make it to our first stop in that Florida place.  Do we think that the RV will make it?  We certainly have our doubts.  But we have to try.  First of all, because alligators may get us.  But second of all, we are now powered on banana nut muffins today.  And we think that maybe, just maybe, we can do it.

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Now.  Question.  Do I work it enough?  I am thinking no.  I realize it takes no effort on my part to look this good, so maybe if I turn on the handsome, power it up along with those muffins today, we will get to that Florida place.  Are you with us?

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At some point in our lives, all of us will have our choices taken away from us.  That trip you want to go on? Maybe you won’t be able to go.  That person you have been meaning to call but don’t have time? They may not answer tomorrow.  That new job or new project you have wanted to start?  The opportunity may be gone.  So don’t wait. Work it.  Be a gigolo! Praise others.  Keep going.  Make it sweet while you can.

And there will come a day when youth will pass away
What will they say about me?
When the end comes, I know
They was just a gigolo
Life goes on without me

–Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle

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As Dog Parents, We Are All Faking It

It was one of those weeks that made me question everything in my life. You know how one thing goes wrong and then, well, everything goes wrong? Nothing I did seemed to matter, at all. Everything. Kept. Going. Wrong.

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Actually, I haven’t felt this depressed in years. Being on the road for so long has kept us busy, and most times, the depression at bay. One thing though that I take pride in is my dogs. No, not because they are pure breds…which they are not. No, not because they are gorgeous…well, they are.

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But I take pride in the fact that I take care of them to my best abilities, despite my depression, and they seem happy. But, this week, when everything was going wrong in my life, I began to question even my abilities as a dog parent. Was I acting happy enough around them? In other words, faking it? Were we hiding our concern that we were broke down and scared? What was I going to do if we had to get out of our RV and leave it to be repaired? How were they going to handle a hotel? What had I done with my life? Was this whole trip a huge mistake? What was I doing to them? I should probably stop rambling. But that is how I felt. I still feel like that today, by the way.

I know what to tell myself.  That they understand.  That they only want to be with me. That’s what I would tell someone else.  And I do believe it, because I think that as dog parents, we really are doing the best we can.

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How many times have you questioned how you take care of your dogs?

“Maybe I should be taking care of them like someone else.”

“Someone else surely knows that I am a failure. ”

“Everyone else takes better care of their dogs”.

Oh, those have been some of my daily thoughts in the past. But in a past life of mine in a corporate job, I learned one thing and one thing only.  All of us are faking it.  Whether we are a professional banker, a doctor, a mom to human kids…we are faking it.  Whether we are a chef, a dog walker, a computer analyst, none of us know everything about our jobs. Sometimes, we want to think that we are an expert, but all of us still have a lot to learn.  Some of us admit that, some of us don’t. How does this relate to my dogs?

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We are human.  We will make mistakes when it comes to parenting our dogs. Did I handle everything correctly this week while we were going through the trials of daily life? I did not.  I found myself irritated by Digby pulling me into the mud.  I found myself tired, so tired that I didn’t want to walk them.  And I felt guilty about it. And here the depression came again. I was so bad at this.  Surely, someone else could do better.

And then I thought, as long as I was faking it, I might as well make it count.  I acted extraordinarily happy around them, and found my spirits lifted a bit.  Even though it was fake.  And I thought, hey, if I can fake this, I can fake being the best dog parent, and then maybe, just maybe, my dogs will believe it.

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As dog parents, we will maybe feed them a wrong food from time to time, or forget to wash their favorite blanket.  But don’t think for a moment that someone else would be a better dog parent to your dogs.  They love you, even with all the mistakes that you make.  And I truly believe in my heart that they laugh at us and our craziness sometimes too.  We are probably very entertaining.

Who is an expert at being a dog parent? Even though we are all faking it, we are trying and that qualifies.

You maybe didn’t break down in the swamps of Louisiana this week. But I bet you had your own problems.  Your dog thanks you for doing the best that you could.

-Rachael Johnson, Girl Person, 2 Traveling Dogs

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Everything Is Beautiful In Its Own Way

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle. You know, some people would not have called this a beautiful week. In fact, probably fewer than one. The Big Blue Treat Wagon quit, the Jeep is trying to quit still, and Girl Person and Boy Person said if they had a choice, they would turn their two week’s notice into themselves. Deputy Digby wouldn’t quit because he doesn’t do anything to quit anything.

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It was one of those weeks where my beauty was certainly a ray of sunshine. You see, we had been watching for rain for days. Just one of the problems that the Big Blue Treat Wagon RV has is that it is old. It also doesn’t like the rain and instead tries to throw it inside the windows or throw it in the air conditioner to pour down from the ceiling. Pouring rain is not such a sweet thing.

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But. The rain was less than we had thought, and although Boy Person worked so hard for two days, he didn’t give up. He tried to remain positive and Girl Person tried to leave him alone. You see, after a million trillion years of being married, they are like the dinosaurs. They know when to be extinct from each other.

But on one of our walks by the Louisiana swamp, it became apparent that we were not the only ones there. In fact, a few alligators made their presence known, and yep. We respected the fact that they were having their breakfast, but we didn’t want to be their side of bacon with eggs.

When you see an alligator eat a duck. #heckaheckanoooo #louisiana #whoneedscoffee

A post shared by 2TravelingDogs (@2travelingdogs) on

It was as we were running away and trying to catch our breath that Girl Person remarked that she didn’t know what was worse. Being broke down in the Louisiana swamp and trying to keep from being an alligator’s meal, or the stress that it was putting on all of us to keep going. And she said that was it. We had to regroup again. We had to look at the bright side, even if the rain was coming down. Somehow, we would find a way out of this mess just like the quicksand trying to swallow our positiveness up.

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That is when I decided that my handsome fixes just about anything. No, it can’t make the RV run any better, or at all. But when you see my handsome, it allows you to see all of the other beautiful things around you.  I mean…look at me.  Have you ever hit the enhance button to make a picture look better?  Well, it goes without saying that there is no such button on my picture because it is already perfect.

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I believe that everything, even Digby, is beautiful in its own way.  Not as beautiful as me.  But even our problems are beautiful because it helps us to appreciate the good days.

It’s funny.  We don’t have a home to go to yet in that Florida place.  But we are trying our hardest to get there.  Because we have to believe that our home is there. We have to get there.  This Big Blue Treat Wagon has to get us there.  It has to.  We have to do this. Rain or quicksand.  Alligators or mosquitos.  Big Blue Treat Wagon RV or the bus.  We just wanna go home.

So many of our fans offered to help, and if we knew what help to ask for, we probably still wouldn’t ask.  The persons are pretty stubborn that way.  Like me, they take care of their own business.

So bear with us today. We will find out if we have to get towed out of here to let someone fix this thing.  We will let you know what is happening on our Facebook page today.  Stay. Tuned.  And if your day is filled with stuff that is trying to make you forget about the beautiful, you know what to do.  Here is my picture again.  You’re welcome.

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-Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle

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