Friday, June 27, 2008

Little Rock, Here We Are!

Luke and The Boys are in Little Rock for two events this Saturday, June 28th, that promise to be lots of fun. Both events are in North Little Rock, back-to-back, which should keep the Boys busy for sure. And our own Malea, acting Director of 2 Dogs 2000 Miles (don’t let her kid you – this is no acting gig), is going to be with The Boys as well, so you’ll have a chance to meet her.

Saturday’s first event is scheduled to start at 9:30 AM and run until 12:30 PM and will be at the PetCo on 4221 East McCain Boulevard. Bring your dogs, bring your kids, bring your Great Aunt Bessie from Duluth! Everyone is welcome! Among other things, there’s to be a ceremonial walk with Luke and the Boys, which will afford folks the opportunity to walk with them and get pictures taken. How cool is that! Then Luke is scheduled to give a talk and answer questions from the audience. And I’m sure Hudson and Murphy will be happy to have attention lavished on them as well. PLUS – don’t forget, there will be a silent auction benefiting 2 Dogs 2000 Miles and local Little Rock shelters as well. I distinctly remember Kathy mentioning something about jewelry – a necklace – as one of the items to bid on. A perfect gift for someone, or a great gift for yourself, perhaps? And think of the great cause your bids will benefit.

Then, down the road a piece will be their next event at the PetSmart (do you see a pattern here?), located at 3480 Landers Road. They’ll be there from 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM. They’ll be appearing with the BoxAR Rescue group ( who will be taking 4th of July pictures with folks and their dogs, so don’t miss the action there. Luke and the Boys will be happy to have their photos taken with your pups (and, of course, your Great Aunt Bessie and anyone else you bring along).

Remember, along with all the fun, our most important goal is to spread the word about the fight against canine cancer. So come on out to the Little Rock events Saturday, meet Luke and the Boys, hear Luke talk about the 2 Dogs mission and learn how you can help spread the word about canine cancer research.


its a little after noon and we just made our goal for the day. We're midway to gurdon, ar & stopped at the little missouri bridge. Well, they finally did it to us. A long spanning bridge with absolutely NO shoulders. Pics later. Today we encountered our first water mocassin. I dread these more than all other snakes. Lori & silas are bringing murphy to pick us up. They have several cool events planned for us in little rock this weekend.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


hudson met a field mouse. Cute lil fellr & huds went nuts over. Only problem is he tried to stop every 5 minutes & look for more. Overcast & ideal conditions so we just made it to prescott.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Byreview Veterinary Clinic

There's this very special place just outside Hope, Arkansas
Hudson and I happened upon. By design, Highway 67 isn't hospitable to hikers. Railroad tracks on the left and fenced-in land on the right. We're always searching for shade and the slivers we do find are most often in thorny, brambly, tick infested thickets.

And then out of nowhere, we caught glimpse of a grove of great oaks with overreaching crowns close enough to the roadside so as to not cause suspicion. Having shed my packs and taken off Hudsy's front booties to air out, I became curious about this place and searched for some signage. Byreview Veterinary Clinic. "How cool is that?" I asked my boy. "We'll cool off a bit then I'll take you inside and buy you some treats". We got a whole lot more than that!

Not only did Dr. Damian Stroderd's lovely vet techs and staff greet us with open arms, they brought out two of their rescues in residence. First was a rapscallion of a raccoon, Baby, seen here trying to tip over my water jug. Then she tried to steal my credit card, my pen, and Hudson's treats. Naughty little girl.

Next we met J.D. short for John Deere. An appropriately named freckled fawn only two weeks old yet totally fearless. Nevermind
Hudson's five times his size, this little guy was chasing him around the clinic. He was incredulous.

Thanks for making our day truly special and giving us a memory we'll take with us all the way to Boston. Top photo from left: Kasi, Beverly, Sue, YBD, Terri, and Dr. Stroderd and his son, Ben, who took the picture.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Highway to Hope

Thursday June 19th around 4pm we arrived in Hope, Arkansas, the birthplace of, yeah, that guy (YBD tries to keep things non-partisan around here). Here are some photos and stories from this stretch of our journey. This is of the Lawrences home in Texarkana. Look closer at the pic and you'll see...

I awoke Saturday the 14th at 6am to the sense that something bad was brewing in the air and only minutes later, a violent wind storm hit and knocked down this 50' pin oak in their neighbors front yard, just a 100 feet from where me and the boys were sleeping. Whew!

Our first day out we were invited to pitch tent at the home of Mr and Mrs Howard. No wonder that we chose this spot under a gorgeous sycamore tree by their pond. Mrs. Howard had read about us in the Texarkana Gazette and upon seeing us on the road, stopped to photograph Hudson.

Hudson and I taking one of our frequent breaks. YBD just published our first video blog from the road. It's something we've always intended to do and can now that our operations are becoming more sophisticated. And YES, I know that (1) the Red River looks brown. It's the cheap camera I'm packing. and YES, (2) I know my singing is pretty rough but I included it because of the cute Hudson shot (I sound better live so again, it's the camera. Really!), and (3) I know the lyrics have this whole Brokeback Mountain feel to it and I haven't been on the road that long. Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Q&A II with YBD

Since we're getting all grow'd up now and we have so many new supporters, Yer Big Dog felt it's time to address some of the questions many of you have been asking.

1. How's Murphy doing?

Great. Not only is he no longer limping, he's ready to get back out on the road. Every time Hudson and I leave, he's right there raring to go. But he still needs time to heal and we want to be absolutely certain first. So I'm shooting footage of his recovery that we'll be publishing on youtube to share with vets, our experts, and others just to be sure. He's getting better - we're just not rushing his recovery - thanks for all the emails, well wishes, and prayers.

2. Is it a stress fracture and if so, what caused it?

First of all, we still don't and may never know that's what it is. The radiographs have been inconclusive and all we have is a negative diagnosis on everything else. It seems like the best guess. As to what caused it, we've ridden in the back of trucks in some pretty rocky terrain, shaken about like a couple of maracas. And since we're sort of at the mercy of the transportation of helpers and volunteers, we've also ridden with some, ahem, aggressive drivers. Either could be a possible scenario.

It's highly unlikely the trauma was caused by the low impact walking we do. Nor did Murphy sustain any sort of injury on the road which is why I didn't feel like this was the most likely of the three possible explanations at the onset.

3. Now that it's getting hot outside, what precautions are you taking?

I scout out each leg of the journey in advance to determine how far away we are from water at every point. If there isn't a convenient store or grocer every 10-12 miles, I leave bottles so that we're never at risk of running out of water. Next, I carry in my backpack (a) a rectal thermometer, (b) two chemical cold packs, and (c) isopropyl alcohol.

On a typical day, we'll walk up until about 2pm, enjoying the cooler morning temperatures then break until 4-5pm and try to pick up another mile or so in the evening. Our present pace is 7-8 miles per day and we expect that's about the most we can travel throughout the summer months.

4. What's the strangest thing you've found on the road?

Er... a breast implant. Seriously. Since Yer Big Dog has a shovel butt (gluteous minimus), he's been considering augmentation for years and was half tempted to pick it up. But since they have serial numbers, the person who lost it might come looking for it.

5. I see you're using a walking stick now. Pourquoi?

My dear uncle, Jamie, bought it for me when I was in Palestine, TX. I had resisted using one because (a) I was fearful of developing a Jesus complex, (b) people calling me Gandalf, and, (c) well, it's like a walking cane and while YBD isn't a spring chicken anymore he still has his pride. Good thing I swallowed it cause wow, what a difference it has made... especially on steep slopes.

6. Have you ever been attacked by dogs?

Surprising only once. This had been one of YBD's greatest fears and I used to carry a can of bear mace with me. But I had serious problems with this. As a dog lover, the mace is so potent and noxious it could potentially cause permanent damage so I got rid of it. I have found that the most powerful deterrant I have is my booming baritone voice. When dogs rush us, I bow out my chest and yell "GIT!" and it stops them in their tracks everytime. The one instance that we actually were attacked, we were rounding a corner and I was paying attention to Murphy's booties and I looked up and this Saint Bernard was just twenty feet away and already almost upon us. Murphy put an end to it and it was over in a few seconds. Fortunately, no one got hurt (including the Bernie).

7. Why don't you cut your hair or for crying out loud, shave?

I know, I know it's such a cliche... I'm sure I'm responsible for putting the grunge movement back underground but my hair protects my neck from the sun and the beard, my face. But if I get compared to Forrest Gump on more freakin time!!! :)

8. It must get boring on the road, do you listen to music?

Never. I must always be alert and aware of threats from all sides. I've almost been flattened twice by cars passing behind me. This is as taxing mentally as it is physically for that reason.

9. Do you accept ride? (redux)

My previous response was absolutely not. However, we have accepted rides to and from accomodations and while it's a policy to try to return to the exact spot where we were picked up, sometimes that's not always possible and on more than one ocassion, people have dropped us off where they felt like it. We also have been given rides to stores, once when my camel bak lost all its water. Another time when Murphy first started showing a slight limp. Also, we try as best we can to avoid walking in larger cities - most neither have good shoulders or sidewalks. Add traffic and all the other urban hazards, it's just too risky.

10. You're out there working with shelters and rescues so why isn't Hudson neutered?

When I lost Malcolm, I always regretted not having a son of his so I had this romantic notion of siring out Hudson when we completed our journey. However, now that I have met and talked to so many people working with rescues and learned the extent of the problem with overpopulation, I am now a changed man. I will never buy another dog (FYI - Malcolm was a gift and Murphy was a rescue) and I plan on becoming a foster parent when I get back to Boston. This is also part of the reason I have decided to take a day off of walking and volunteer at the animal shelters in the cities we walk through. I have considered having Hudson neutered now but we can't afford to lose several weeks while he recuperates.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

cat chat

wow what a rush. One thing most people dont know about your big dog is that im quite acrophobic. Being 50 feet over the raging waters of the red river with only a waist high rail & traffic coming at me made it more than a little unnerving. At 8:40 est I gave my first appearance on cat chat. Tracie is amazing & youll hear lots about her soon. Hudsons crashed & time to join him. Puppy up. Ybd

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

red river

tonight huds & i camp on the western banks of the red river on our way to hope. Its really quite spectacular but tommorow we cross its treacherous bridge. It spans the length of a football field & itll be the most challenging thus far. Wish us luck. Ybd

Sunday, June 15, 2008


A wonderful company out of Canada called Neo-Paws has generously donated some smart looking shoes for The Boys! As you know, the first booties we had just weren't working out. Due to their short height, the Velcro strap tightened near the front dew claws causing constant irritation and oftentimes rubbing them raw. I had to stop using them and while we awaited the new ones we came up with the "Improvised Bootie Device" (pictured left). Psst... they were really just socks and duct tape.

What's great about Neo Paws is that they're much taller, allowing the tightest point to be higher up the legs. Plus they're made from Nylon Mesh, a soft and breathable material ideal for summer temperatures. But aside from the practical benefits, they just look good. Without fail, we get comments daily. A transit worker directing traffic just outside of Henderson saw Hudson and she whistled then said, "Damn, honey, those are some fine looking shoes!" I laughed for the next five miles.

Our thanks to Ronnie and Neo Paws - you guys are awesome!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

on the move again

weve found a wonderful home for murphy: the lawrences, scott, sara, shelby, & abbott & their 2 dogs thatcher & buzz. He loves it there. Hudson & i will head out tommorow am. We scouted 67 yesterday & its pretty good road. Red river bridge is dangerous & we'll be fairly exposed at night but most traffic runs parallel on i30.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

arkansas route

the boys and i are camping out at the fairgrounds until we find a new family to take in murphy. Once we do we'll take hwy67 to little rock and from there hwy 70 to memphis. That should take no more than 6 weeks. Ybd

hello from arkansas

and so after almost 3 months on the road texas, in all her greatness and glory, has finally let her native sons pass. Im writing this from my new nokia n95 phone, a $600 marvel of technology and a complete mystery to me. Ah well i still have 10 more states to figure it out. Fyi - its a loaner. Thanks jody for getting it. Ill be able to post more often now. As always, your big dog (ybd)

Monday, June 9, 2008

Mr. DeMille, I’m Ready For My Close-Up

Now we have a real incentive for you to puppy up and load those pictures online! Can you say PHOTO CONTEST? We are asking people to share any photos they might have taken of this past Saturday's event in Texarkana. Anyone who took pictures that day and who adds them to the 2 Dogs 2000 Miles group Flickr web site at will be eligible to win a wonderful gift. The winner of this contest will receive an amazing gift basket provided by The Honest Kitchen, one of the 2 Dogs 2000 Miles sponsors. Overflowing with goodies, the basket will contain an Honest Kitchen canvas tote bag, The Honest Kitchen "Nuzzles" (duck and cherry cookies), a box of The Honest Kitchen food, a too-cool-blue "puppy up!" wristband, and some super-special organic trail mix made by none other than Malea, the Director of the 2 Dogs 2000 Miles Foundation (a treat she actually makes for Luke). Kathy, Volunteer Coordinator for 2 Dogs 2000 Miles, has been a personal taste-tester of the trail mix and she's been known to mumble "It rocks!" as she munches away! Sounds like a great prize, so start loading those photos ASAP! (Please make sure to label your photos with the subject, a description, and of course your name!)

Front Page News

Luke and The Boys made front page news in the Sunday, June 8th issue of the Texarkana Gazette (please follow this link to the front page story by Terri Richardson). The article details what their journey is about and is accompanied by a nice photo of Luke, Hudson, and Murphy. You can even see Hudson sporting his stylish Neo-Paws booties (which, for the life of me, look like argyle socks). A special thank you to Terri Richardson for such a terrific write-up and to all the folks of Texarkana who helped make the event possible. And, of course, always many thanks to all the 2 Dogs humans who puppied up and made the event a reality!

Pictured above are Hudson, still in Texas, Luke, standing right on the state line, and Murphy, already well into Arkansas and gazing off in the distance at Tennessee. (Photo from Main Street Arkansas.)

Saturday, June 7, 2008

It's Official - It's Arkansas

It's official - Luke and The Boys have crossed over into Arkansas!!! For the next two nights, they'll be happily camped out in a hotel (let's hear it for air conditioning and running water) on the Arkansas side of Texarkana. Not only will they be resting up before the next stage of their long journey begins, but they'll also be spending some time acquainting themselves with the area and the many supporters of the 2 Dogs 2000 Miles mission who are there.

Speaking of supporters, approximately 40 of them showed up today to partake in the festivities. Each and every one of them shared their Texas-sized, heart-felt hospitality and for that, we'll all be eternally grateful. The miles just seem to slip away faster when you know that there are so many folks sharing the journey, if only in spirit. And, of course, we'll have more on the border crossing , including pictures, soon.

One of the canine guests of the day was a sweetheart of a furry girl who had recently had cancer surgery. Talk about "puppying up!" The local gossip columns are likely to report tomorrow that hotty-Hudson could be seen shamelessly flirting with ALL of the ladies - both the two-legged and four-legged varieties. Hudson seems to have quite a fan club of his own.

Now that they've moved further on down the trail, work continues to help find Murphy a new temporary foster home while he recuperates. We'll keep you updated on the situation.

As the sun sets on another day and a new state for our traveling trio, please keep them in your thoughts as they start off on this next chapter in their adventure. We hope it's filled with fond memories and the absolute best of health for all of them.

puppy up!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Countdown to Texarkana!

Come on feet don't fail me now ….

It's hard to believe that the countdown to the Texarkana event is now measured in hours! Luke and The Boys, along with Lori and Silas — Murphy's foster family — are in the Texarkana area tonight gearing up for all of tomorrow's festivities. (Well, Luke, Lori, and Silas are gearing up. Dollars to dog cookies, Murphy and Hudson are snoozing somewhere.) Malea, the Director "extraordinaire" of the 2 Dogs 2000 Miles Foundation, is en-route to meet up with them. And we hear the Bare Naked Family (see their story in an earlier blog) will also be there. If you’re coming to the festivities, make sure you stop by and visit them as well. BNF continues to be a huge champion of both Luke and his mission, and we thank them for their continued support and for making the trip to share in this momentous occasion.

Remember, the border crossing party is Saturday, June 7th, 10 A.M.. Main Street Texarkana and the City of Texarkana, Texas, Parks and Recreation Department plan to welcome the group to Texarkana at KIDTOPIA Park at the corner of Elm and Broad Streets on the Texas side of Texarkana. In the June 5th edition of the Texarkana Gazette, Scott Lawrence, Main Street Texarkana executive director, said. “We realized it was going to be a big border crossing, so we wanted to make something kind of big of it. People can bring a picnic lunch to the park and maybe some goodies for the dogs.” So bring your pic-a-nic baskets, plenty of water, and a treat or two for Murphy and Hudson. And don’t forget your cameras!

What about those who can’t be there in person? You can still be part of the festivities via cyberspace. Check out the 2dogs2000miles Forum throughout the day Saturday ( to share in any virtual partying that might be going on. Feel free to raise a cyber toast to the Big Guy, to our wounded trooper Murphy, to everyone's trusty sidekick Hudson, and to all who have made the hike across Texas a reality.

And don't forget to wear your puppy up! wristband all day. It's yet another great way to tap into the positive energy that will be flowing from across the country. What? You don’t have a puppy up! wristband yet? Well, cruise on over to our website at: and get one for yourself, one for a friend, a few for Aunt Bessie (you know she’ll lose at least one), four for your favorite dog – well, you get the idea!

Thank you Texas and all the people who got us here! Ready or not, Arkansas, here we come!

Celebrate, celebrate, dance to the music.
Celebrate, celebrate, dance to the music. — (Three Dog Night) (Who else!?)

puppy up, everyone!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Murphy: A Follow Up

We got the results back from the biopsy last week and thankfully, they're negative. But because we didn't drill into the bone to extract marrow, we can only be about 95% certain it's not cancer. Just to be sure, we took another set of x-rays and now all signs point to a micro stress fracture of some sort that's just not detectable.

Thursday, I took Murphy off his pain meds & Rimadyl to see how he's recovering from the biopsy. I'm happy to report he's doing great. He's still expressing slight discomfort, mostly in the morning (who doesn't?) but I feel it's a significant improvement. He's still on the injured list and won't be rejoining us on the road for a few more weeks. We'll keep everyone updated with his progress and re-conditioning.

First of all, I'd like to thank the families who have put us up and put up with us the last month while we've been trying to figure out what was wrong with him: Jamie & Judy, Sam & Pat, Wayne & Bonnie, and Lori & Silas. We couldn't have made it through this without all of you.

Next, I apologize for not blogging sooner - had tried on several occasions but just couldn't find the words. Einstein once said that life is like riding a bicycle - to keep your balance you must keep moving. And that we did - Hudson and I finally finished the stretch to Henderson but it took us 3 and a half days to make just 30 miles or so. Honestly, my legs were leaden, my backpack felt like a boulder, and my heart was heavy. It just wasn't the same without our third teammate and it was equally hard on Hudsy.

One night while we were out on the road, I received a call from Lori. I had left a shirt at their house so Murphy would have my smell with him. She told me that he was carrying it around in his mouth so he could sleep with it. The image of that nearly broke me but it was all of the support, prayers, love, and hope from all of you that kept me going. And for that, I'll always be eternally grateful. On Memorial Day, I wanted to walk by myself while we were waiting for the results and in two days, I closed the 41 miles between Henderson and Marshall.

Only 70 miles remain to the Arkansas border and there's nothing stopping us now.....