Monday, April 14, 2008

Q & A with the Big Dog

We've met so many wonderful, warm and generous people along our travels so far with lots of questions, some of which I thought you might have, too.

1. How are Hudson & Murphy? Fantastic! They had their first vet visit Monday the 7th. I've been so worried about weight loss but both actually have been packing some on, 3/4 of a pound for the wee lad and 2 for the old boy (57.7 and 110 respectively). Dr. Hogan was surprised at how good their pads were looking but now that the asphalt is starting to heat up, the boys are sporting their booties!

Some of you have asked if they are happy. Without a doubt, they're having the time of their lives. Sure we've had our share of challenges and it's been rough and tough at times but every day we're greeted with new adventures and the boys have made so many new friends. People stop us on the road just to take their picture, give them hugs & kisses, and even bring them treats.

2. How much progress have you made? To date, we've traveled about 140 miles and still have 220 left to reach Arkansas. I had originally budgeted 45 days to cross Texas but that's looking more like 60. Our goal is to make it to the state line by mid May but now that we're getting good media coverage and doing more community activities, we may have to bump that back some still. Getting the message out is of primary importance and we want to make sure we use this opportunity as best we can.

3. Do you accept rides? Absolutely not. We're in for the full stretch. People offering us a place to stay overnight can pick us up but they have to take us back. Interestingly, they feel like they're kicking us off on the side of the road and that makes some of them a tad uncomfortable but it's part of the deal.

4. You said you weren't going to travel on highways but you are now. True... we've had to make many adjustments since we started and this is the big one. Not only logistically but for me, mentally and emotionally. Six months ago, I would have never walked the boys anywhere near a highway. The onslaught of semis, oversized trucks, and seventy mile an hour traffic can be taxing on the wits but we have a routine which seems to be working. Plus, now that a lot of people know about us, it's amazing how many go out of their way to give us as wide as margin as possible.

5. Where are you sleeping? Of the 28 nights we've been on the road, only six were spent indoors. The rest were on the side of the road or on the occasional propitious night, we're given permission to pitch tent on someone's property.

Three times we've had to sleep alfresco... under the stars and completely unsheltered. I made the premature mistake of shedding my winter clothes last week and have had some extremely uncomfortable nights but the boys were by me and I'd spoon one for 30 minutes then turn over and spoon the other.

6. What do you do about hygiene? These last few weeks, I've been looking bad enough to put the entire grunge movement back underground. I even got the 'suspicious character' phone call and was almost refused service at a restaurant once. At a bare minimum, I try to get a shower and a shave once a week as well as wash my clothes. But I carry a toothbrush & floss, rinse-free antibacterial soap, and even deodorant so I don't get too dirty and stinky.

7. What do you miss most out on the road? Without a doubt, music. Symphonies, concertos, and opera I find myself trying to replay in my head late at night. Adagio for Strings, the Four Seasons, George Winston...

But I've learned to find comfort in the noises of the night... coyote howls, cows grazing nearby (do they ever sleep?), cicadas, junebugs, and bullfrogs and all the other sections of the orchestra. On the flip side, the sound of silence is quite discomforting because that's usually a sign of an impending storm.

Have a question? Post it in the comments section & I'll happily answer them.


kim said...

How you must be having the time of your life!
Such a bond you and your dogs must be forming, even tighter than before your journey.
Lucky dogs.
My question,
Are you ever afraid? I know your dogs would probably protect you in a serious event, but do you worry that they may protect you at the cost of their own life?
(Crazy person, wild animal?)

teegee61 said...

If we want to help you with food and shelter, how do we contact you? I am in New England and it looks like you are coming right through my town.

wolfwatcher said...

Hi teegee61-

If you'd like to offer some food or a place to lay their heads for a night, that would be awesome-thanks!
Please contact: