Help Animals By Helping People

This is part of our Editorial Series. Normally, we let the dogs do all the talking on our daily dog blog. Join Peanut Butter Brickle and Digby Pancake each weekday at www.2travelingdogs.com

This post is sponsored by Mongoose Bicycles! They have bicycles for every price range and activity level at www.mongoose.com

We have been on the road as full-time RV travelers with our dogs for more than three years.

We have spent much of our time and focus on animal rescue for over eight years. And as you can imagine, we have seen the worst but also the best in people.

Often, those involved in animal rescue experience burnout. We give all of ourselves, including our time, finances and emotional well-being to do our part for the big picture. We’ve been there. And we go “there” quite often.

So during one of our recent burnout episodes, we realized that we needed some downtime, but probably not in the way most people would relax. We had carried around our bikes for three years, and had probably rode them three times at most.

We decided that since we were on the beach and at a campground with great trails, that we should get some fun time scheduled in. But after looking at our bikes, we realized they needed some help and repairs. And it just wasn’t what we had time to do. We thought about purchasing some bikes as a treat to ourselves and to help us get exercise to keep our minds positively and focused.

It was around this time that we were driving and saw people and their need for food and money, with pleas on signs, held up for all to see in the hot, Florida sun. All of a sudden, I had a huge wave of guilt. If I saw a homeless animal hungry that needed help on the side of the road, I would stop. I would try to find some way to help. Some way! What made me turn away from people in the same situation? And although we have spent many years advocating for animal rescue, I knew was missing something here.

It certainly made me think about my current priority of buying a bike. But I also had a thought. What if we could somehow donate our bikes to someone in need? Was this possible, and how could this make a difference? I immediately researched how to donate used bikes. I found an organization in the area called the Sulzbacher Center. According to their website, “Three thousand of our neighbors— men, women and children—are homeless every night in Jacksonville. Each one has an immediate need for food and shelter. But just as important each one deserves the opportunity to achieve a better life with a home of their own, an income to live on and access to health care. Sulzbacher provides programs that transform lives. In the process, we create a better city for all of us.”

I researched different programs and found my answer to donating our bikes. I found out about a program called Jax RECycle started by Rick Patterson. He started Jax RECycle in 2008, and since then he said the group has fixed about 500 bikes for the Sulzbacher Center and other organizations for the homeless in Jacksonville, Florida. In cooperation with a local bike shop called ZenCog, people can donate their used bikes any day of the week and the bikes are brought back to glory to make a huge difference for those in need. How?

By providing transportation, this can enable someone to get a job, secure enjoyment, build their confidence and more. I knew we had to do this. And I knew there must be a bike company out there that wanted to be involved in our project. I contacted Mongoose Bikes!

And without a moment’s hesitation, we agreed to work together to educate others on how they can make a difference by donating their old bikes. But why would our readers be interested in this when we are all devoted animal lovers?

We spent our time and resources to visit 48 animal shelters and rescues across the United States. But our goal was not only to get animals seen in order to be adopted, but to show the good people doing great things for animals.

These people had a fun side, and we did little game shows and interviews. Our goal was to be positive and encourage. But we ended up being encouraged. Many of these volunteers and rescuers had found “their calling” helping animals after being discouraged and down themselves. We saw shelters working with prisons to train their adoptables. We saw children in need being given a sense of accomplishment by reading to shelter animals. We saw shelters with food banks giving food to people and their animals. And we were struck by all of this! I had been missing something very important. If people who need help are not encouraged or made to feel valued, will they treat an animal any different? Probably not.

We cannot show kindness only to animals and expect the big picture to change. People need rescuing too.

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#sponsored 🚲 Think about a time when you may have been down or depressed. Maybe you went thru hard financial times, or were a victim of a crime. Maybe you found yourself at your lowest point. Many want to make a better life for themselves, but see no starting point. Even if they want to get a job to support their families or pets, they may have no transportation. We have partnered with @mongoosebikes this week to tell you how YOU can help those in need. Sure, we are about saving homeless animals. But people make a difference for animals. And it’s our responsibility to not turn away from any individual in need. You know that old bike sitting in your garage? Can you donate it to help someone back on the road to a better life? We headed to a bike shop turning old bikes into beautiful treasures for those without homes! Mongoose generously has supported this project! Stay tuned for our journey of learning ways we could help those without homes in our area and how you can too. We want you today to look up organizations in YOUR area and tell us what simple ways we can help by donating to people in need! #2travelingdogs #mongoosebikes #mongoose #givingback #homeless #recycle #donate

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And although each one of us can’t do it all, we can set small examples and take part in small acts of kindness that can change the path for someone in need. And this could possibly lead them on a new path of not only bettering their lives, but for animals too.

Programs to help the less fortunate are different dependent on the area you live in. All of our circumstances are different too. We may not be able to donate monetarily, but do we have an item or resource we could give like our used bikes?

This project felt so good to us. First, we found a way to help people on the road to a better life. But we also were encouraged that we found a company that cared too. Not only did Mongoose care about helping people. But because they provided us with bikes to keep active and stay fit to keep helping others, they showed that they cared for animals too. Thank you to Mongoose Bikes and also Schwinn who hooked up our senior boys with some pretty cool dog trailers!

Keep reading below to see Brickle and Digby’s favorite bikes!

And let us know in the comment section below and on social media where you live and what programs exist to help people. Always remember…kindness extends to all individuals, those with fur and without! Those who can ride bikes and those who ride along!

Rachael Johnson

Co-founder of 2 Traveling Dogs

Brickle’s Mongoose Bike Pick: Teocali Expert

This is Sheriff Brickle. Life is an adventure. Some days you climb mountains. ⛰ Some days you speed downhill. If I could tackle life on a bike, I would pick this one! Boy Person has always loved exercise and adventure, but it’s hard to find the time between work, animal rescue and taking care of me and Digby. That’s why he was so excited that Mongoose Bicycles provided him with a way to stay mentally happy and physically healthy. This is the Mongoose Teocali Expert for uphill and downhill adventures and more! Mongoose has bikes for every price range and activity level. We thank Mongoose for partnering with us as we donated our used bicycles in order to enable those in need to get transportation to work and get their lives back on track! What can you do to make a difference? Look up homeless programs where YOU live and tell us about them! After all, it’s people who help animals. And kindness should be extended to all individuals.

Find the Teocali Expert at www.mongoose.com and tell them Sheriff Brickle sent you!

Digby’s Pick: Argus Comp Fat Tire Bike

This is Digby Pancake. Since the persons donated their bikes to a local bike shop to be fixed up for the homeless shelter, they looked for bikes that would help them too. Girl Person said that in between work and animal rescue, she needs time to clear her mind and get her heart pumping! If she doesn’t take care of herself and her health, she can’t help anyone else, and she definitely can’t make me pancakes. I really like her new bike. It has fat tires and a pretty paint job and she says it rides as smooth on the beach as a melted slab of butter. If there was ever a bike that I liked, it would have to be the fat tire bike called the Argus Comp from Mongoose Bicycles! You can find it at www.mongoose.com and tell them Digby Pancake sent you.

This blog was sponsored by Mongoose, and we received bicycles. All opinions are our own.

Why We Chose An Alternative To Dog Parks

This 2 Traveling Dogs Editorial is sponsored by Sniffspot! Enable your pup to get the exercise they need in the safety of a private area. It’s like an AirBnb for dogs! Learn more and find out how you can earn money by hosting a Sniffspot in your yard or property too at www.sniffspot.com

PLUS, at the end of this article, enter our super special giveaway!

Before adopting Brickle, I never took my past furkids to dog parks. We had plenty of land and room to run around. They had the life!

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We often joked that they clocked in when we left for work to my grandparents’ house thru the orange grove, and clocked out at 5 p.m when we got home from work. Skanky and Mr. Scotty didn’t like car rides and tolerated other dogs.Their lives revolved around their land and us. I used to drive by dog parks and they seemed so unnecessary to me. Until Peanut Butter Brickle came into our lives.

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Brickle was an energetic puppy who loved, loved, loved other dogs. I knew right away that I alone would not be enough for him. I knew he needed others. And I didn’t want him to be lonely. I knew nothing about dog parks! But I took him anyway, and within five minutes, I was being coached by other dog parents on etiquette and manners. He caught on right away. Until that one instance when another dog parent didn’t like his puppy playing and you guessed it…it didn’t go over too well when he yelled at my boy. However, I still took Brickle to the park, and even after adopting Digby, we made it our routine to go often.

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Brickle and Digby were totally different than our other dogs. And I found it to be a bit stressful dealing with not only the chance of fights (mostly between people) but Digby was a bolter! Once free, his hound dog nose could take him miles away. Then, one day, someone didn’t look at the dog park gate as he ran out. Brickle got him back, but it gave me a heart attack. It was a long time before we went back.

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Over the years, it’s become a treat to take the boys to dog parks. Being full time travelers though presents a set of challenges. One of which is not knowing an area, rules or dangers associated. But…we keep going. They need exercise and really, being on leash all the time is no way for anyone to live.

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Then, over the last year, Digby brought another set of challenges to the dog park. His humping antics were out of control. You can try and tell me I should have trained them, and I’ll listen.But if you know this Blog, you know I gave up on that a long time ago! I prefer they be individuals and happy. Not ordered around.That being said, I also recognize that you can’t infringe on others or put them in danger.That’s my responsibility. And the last time we went to a dog park? I threw up my paws and vowed never again when I had to put Digby back on his leash in ten minutes after another humpfest and stern talking to by another dogparent. This wasn’t enjoyable. For anyone. That’s when we were contacted by a company called Sniffspot.

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At first, I didn’t understand what Sniffspot was about and how it was going to make a lot of dog parents’ lives easier.This was an extremely new concept. And like all new concepts, we have to learn and see how it can benefit us. Also, right about this time, we met a dog named Molly at camp.

Molly is a big, beautiful Great Dane. Molly needs exercise, but, like many of us, Molly has some issues with fear and other dogs. Without exercise, this is worse. And I knew that other dogs like Molly really needed Sniffspot. This was genius. And I don’t say that often.

How does Sniffspot explain who they are?

According to their website, Sniffspot is “designed for safe exercise and training for reactive dogs.” Sniffspot “enables your pup to get the exercise they need in the safety of a private area.”

But even if your dog is not reactive, it is still a wonderful resource! When traveling, you can search yards in that area, and book by the hour.  How is Sniffspot different than a traditional dog park?  Why is it better for some dogs?

“Screening of owners: Sniffspot verifies all guests via their email and credit card. Hosts also review guests, so that guests can develop a positive or negative reputation based on their behavior. This way guests can have assurances that any other guests using the space are legitimate and conscientious.

Screening of dogs: Sniffspot requires that all dogs have verification of vaccinations and certification that they are free of parasites and fleas. Additionally, the guest review system captures the behavior of their pooches, ensuring that any other dogs you meet at a sniff spot will be well behaved.

Limited use: Each sniff spot has a maximum number of dogs allowed to ensure they will not be overcrowded. Additionally, you can control how many dogs will be there with you. If you want a private visit, you can book a private visit. This gives you complete control over your experience at sniff spots.”

We often talk of 2 Traveling Dogs as being a community. And we are.  That’s where we can help each other! As dog parents, if you have a fenced yard or property, you can sign up to be a host.  Because as awesome as Sniffspot is, they need more hosts to add to their website!  So right now if you sign up to be a host and use code 2TD, you will receive $15 after your first review!  What are the benefits of being a host?

“Have fun with dogs! Hosting a sniff spot is a great way to make dogs happy. You are not required to be home or meet dogs coming to your sniff spot, but you can!

Earn passive income! Sniffspot is one of the only ways you can make money with no incremental work. Just let people use your yard or land and collect income. Some hosts are earning more than $1000 per month.

Expand or start a pet business! Hosting a sniff spot is a great way to for dog walkers or dog sitters to grow their revenue per customer and get more customer leads.

Safety first! Vaccinations required, waiver, $1M Host Protection Insurance for liability, damage protection.”

Sheriff Brickle approves of this legal stuff.

Just this past week, the veterinarian told us that although Digby needs exercise, he does not want him visiting dog parks in order to avoid injury. We know other dog parents are in this same situation. So we owe our thanks to Sniffspot!

Next Friday, weather cooperating, we will be reporting to you live on our Facebook page as we visit a local sniff spot!

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Are you ready to give your dog the exercise he or she needs, deserves, and is craving?

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As an extra incentive, we have a giveaway for new hosts! Once you sign up to be a host in the month of June with code 2TD, you will be entered in our drawing! One new host will get:

2 bottles of organic dog shampoo from 4-Legger!

2 bags of organic dog treats from 4Legz

One pair of grooming gloves from HandsOn Gloves!

A winner will be randomly picked on July 5, 2019 and contacted by July 10, 2019.

We sincerely hope that if you have been turned off by dog parks like we have, that you will find this alternative a fun one! And if you have a yard or your own property, let’s all help each other out as dog parents to provide this alternative for others!

-Rachael Johnson

Co-Founder, 2 Traveling Dogs and Your Dog’s Diner

Although this post is sponsored and we received compensation, all opinions are our own.