Why I Love Dogs: Introducing Cody My New Best Furry Friend

Cody fit right into my van like he was born to it. I think he has some of Homer in him!

Cody fit right into my van just like he was born for it. I think he has some of Homer in him!

As I told you in a previous post,  I had to put my beloved Homer down last May 16th. Of course for a very long time my heart was broken and  I shed many, many tears. In a way it was fortunate that we were in the middle of the Alaska trip because we were constantly on the move and I kept busy and couldn’t wallow in my sadness. As soon as I left him in the vets office the only question was “when” would I get another dog and never “if” I would get another dog. I love dogs so much there is no question I will always have one

I’ve given some thought to why I love dogs so much and why my life is so empty without them; after all, they are a lot of work and problems and they can be very expensive. Why am I in such a hurry to add that burden to my life?

The answer is simple; I’m broken and not good with people. For some reason that I don’t understand, I’m not able to make deep, intimate connections with other people.  I’ve had many failed romantic relationship and two failed marriages. Even though I try to be a caring, giving  person, it seems like most of them end up with her either not liking me or being mean to me. I’ve never had really long term or deep friendships with either men or women. For example, I’ve lived in Alaska all my life and when I was there last month there wasn’t anyone I wanted to look up and spend time with except my son. I guess I’m just not a people-person; but I am a dog-person! Dogs offer me the unconditional love  I can’t seem to find in people.

cody-me

Dogs are all about love and it doesn’t matter if it’s real or imagined. Either way it makes me feel just as warm and good on the inside!

It’s easy for us to say the reason we love dogs is because they love us unconditionally; but many people will tell you that dogs aren’t able to love, they are just using us like we are using them. I don’t know if that is true or not but I do know they are never mean to me; they never act like they hate me and wish I would go away or die. I also know that much of the time they ACT like they love me and they almost always act like they are very glad to see me and want me around. It’s true that sometimes they are indifferent to me, but they never reject me and never hate me. For that reason,  there may or may not be a woman in my life, but there will always be a dog in my life! I don’t seem to be able to connect with or love people, but I am able to love a dog.

I’ve also learned that I need to care and sacrifice for someone else. For some strange reason, meeting the constant needs of a dog are not a problem for me, instead, they bring me joy. And make no mistake there are sacrifices to be made. They require:

  1. Time and attention: they need to be watered, fed, walked, groomed, played with and taken to the vet.
  2. They cost money: they need food, toys and medical attention.
  3. Occasionally the make a mess you have to clean up: destroying things, pooping, peeing and throwing up.
  4. They interfere with your travel plans: you can’t go where it is too cold, too hot, National Parks or where you have to fly.
  5. They are probably going to die before you, breaking your heart.

When you look at those things as negatives, I can certainly understand why some people don’t want to have dogs! But I don’t see any of them as negatives, I see them as making me a more fulfilled, complete human being.

Like many hunting dogs, Cody likes to roll in cow dung to mask his smell. It worked, all I could smell was the stench of cow dung! So I used a couple of gallons of water to bathe him!  I will forever own him for the privilege of letting me serve him.

Like many hunting dogs, Cody likes to roll in cow dung to mask his smell. It worked, all I could smell was the stench of cow dung! So I used a couple of gallons of water to bathe him! I will forever be indebted to him for the privilege of letting me serve him.

I believe that the need to sacrifice and care for others is just as basic a human need as air, water, food and shelter. Without them, we wither and die; sometimes slowly and sometimes quickly, but we still suffer, shrivel up and die.  When we fail to love and sacrifice for another person, we may not die physically but we will die on the inside in our heart and spirits.  Because I’m not good with people one-on-one,  I express my caring and sacrifice to people on this website where it is mostly confined to the cyber world and usually doesn’t become physical. During those times I get to spend with readers and it becomes physical interaction, I’m able to do it short-term as long as I can always get enough “alone” or “me”  time.  Like I said, I’m broken.

My van stands taller than most, but he really is a pretty small dog.

My van stands taller than most, but he really is a pretty small dog.

But just like humans need to nurture others, we also need the physical act of touch and interaction with others. Because I’m not good with doing that with people, my dog becomes my substitute.  I pet him and in return he craves my touch and depends on me. I have always found that the act of caring for my dog was every bit as much an act of caring for myself; as he thrived, I thrived. As I’ve said so often, by determining to make Homer’s life the very best it could be, I also made my life the very best it could be.

And that just wasn’t on the physical level. Every time I petted him, sacrificed for him and sent love to him, I got it fully in return in both a tangible and intangible way. Loving and caring for him was very much like loving and caring for myself. I got more out of it than he did!  So I longed to have another dog as soon as possible. However, I still had a busy fall planned and getting another dog would complicate those plans.

So when we got back to Jackson, Wyoming and I moved back into my van, I had mixed feelings; on one hand I really wanted another dog but on the other it was a little bit impractical.  I decided I would simply let go of it and if the right dog came along I’d gladly take him, but I wasn’t going to force it to happen. If it was meant to be, it would occur organically and naturally.  And of course it did!

Like Homer, Cody makes a beeline for every body of water.

Like Homer, Cody makes a beeline for every body of water.

Unlike Homer who would only wade and hated swimming, Cody loves to swim.

Unlike Homer, who would only wade and hated swimming, Cody loves to swim.

The day before we were moving on and leaving Jackson we made one last trip into Jackson. We were driving around a part of town  we didn’t normally go to and it just happened to catch my eye that there was a Dog Rescue holding an adoption event in the backyard of a home. Taking that as a sign I asked Judy to pull over and I would jump out and go look at the dogs; she would park and come join me. I’ve been to adoption events before and I hadn’t had much success looking for a dog because the Dog Rescue organization has such strict standards that  being a Full-timer and living in a RV wasn’t acceptable to them. So the first thing I did was find the person in charge and told her my story;  I lived in a small RV and was leaving soon so they couldn’t inspect my home or follow up with future inspections. But that the dog would spend nearly every day of his life living free in a National Forest or BLM desert land. Fortunately the lady in charge had the good sense to see that while it was unconventional, it was the best possible life for a dog so she relaxed the rules for me.

cocy-close

Right away they showed me a dog I would have been very happy with. I have to tell you, that is very unusual. I’ve been halfheartedly looking for a dog for the last few years so Homer would have a friend in his old age and I had never found a dog I thought would work really well, but this one would. But then the lady in charge said that they had even a better dog for me and to take a look at Rowdy. She explained that Rowdy was just the opposite of his name, that he was the most mellow dog she had ever seen and got along with everyone and other dogs very well. So I went to look at Rowdy. He was much smaller than the first dog I looked which is a good thing when you live in a van! I’m guessing he is around 25-30 pounds and he is the perfect size! So I knelt down to get to know him.   He was so loving and affectionate and extremely mellow that my heart went out to him instantly and I had a deep knowing that this was the dog for me! So I took him! I didn’t like the name Rowdy so I changed it to Cody, a name I’ve always loved for dogs.

We’ve been together for a little over two weeks now and he has not disappointed me in any way.  He is very loving and affectionate, fits perfectly in the van and has a very strong desire to be close to me and to please me. That’s about all you can hope for out of a dog. In many ways he reminds me of a smaller Homer. He has all of Homers many good qualities but he also has Homers one bad quality; he has an extreme hunting and chase instinct. Just like Homer, when he sees or smells any kind of game he is off like a flash chasing it. It’s frightening to have him that out of my control, but I adapted to it with Homer so it is easier for me with Cody. I want both Cody and I to live as close as we possibly can to a wild state and this is just part of him being a wild thing.

He is only two years old and he is a smaller dog so we are going to be together for many years to come. I can’t wait to see what kind of things they bring us!

Cody running free and wild like we all should.

Cody running free and wild like we all should.

 

Bob
About

I've been a full-time VanDweller for 12 years and I love it. I hope to never live in a house again!

127 comments on “Why I Love Dogs: Introducing Cody My New Best Furry Friend
  1. Myddy says:

    I am so happy that you’ve found a new companion, and he is very handsome too! You two are lucky to have found each other. I believe a bond between an animal and it’s human companion is real and amazing. I am not a cat person but have bonded immensely with my kitty, now 8 years old, because I found her abandoned and felt sorry for her. She thinks she’s a dog anyway though. But my two dogs are the loves of my life, and no human can ever take a place as close to my heart as they have. Companionship is so integral to our development, and dogs provide the perfect kind-unconditional love!
    Myddy recently posted…Tips and tricks to save moneyMy Profile

    • Bob Bob says:

      Myddy, you and I are exactly alike in that!
      Bob

      • hikinsolo says:

        You are not broken Bob…..there are more people like you than you maybe imagine….I am one. I think what it is, is there are very few people in the world that can accept or give love, friendship, etc…..unconditionally.

        • Bob Bob says:

          I don’t know hikensolo, I think if you asked my ex-wives and old girlfriends there would be unanimous agreement that I’m pretty broken!

          But, at least I’ve come to the point in my life where I know it!
          Bob

        • Terri Clark says:

          I have to agree with you. I think a lot of people somehow feel unworthy so they can neither give nor receive love comfortably. With a dog, no problem!

          • Bob Bob says:

            Terri, we have such weird ideas about love and relationships that most of us are pretty messed up about it. But we can all understand the love and loyalty of a dog.

            I don’t know how to love or be loved by others, but I know how to love a dog!
            Bob

  2. Brian says:

    this is great 🙂

  3. Jo L says:

    I am so very happy that you found a new friend. Cody looks like a great dog and I know that you will have many adventures together. I love my dog Bela the same way you love Cody. And I believe that dogs do love their humans. I just finished a good book about dogs called, “The Genius of Dogs” by Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods. It is all about research done to test dogs intelligence. If you get a chance to read it, it is worth the time.

    Happy trails to you and Cody!

  4. jim says:

    Thinks for the pictures of cody i fell the same way you do about a dog being a only child when i was growing up i always had a dog and at 56 years old i have always had some kind of dog i fully understand where you are coming from you love them and there will love you please keep up the good work and keep us up dated on cody your website is the high light of my day,week and month i hope you ms judy and cody have a great weekend THINK YOU SO SO MUCH

  5. Jan Cook says:

    Lucky Bob. Lucky Cody. What a beautiful new furry friend. Hope to meet you both at the RTR. Jan

  6. Old Fat Man says:

    Good for you and Cody. On thing though, since Cody is a lot smaller than Homer be more careful about coyotes until you are sure Cody realizes the danger from those wild “dogs”. Congratulations on a wonderful new companion.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Old Fat Man, that is my one concern with his size. Homer was so big that one coyote would never go after him, but two or more could. Cody isn’t tiny, but he is smaller than a big coyote so it is a concern to me. Fortunately, if i am in for the evening he wants to be too since that is the biggest danger time, I think he will be fine.
      Bob

      • Canine says:

        I have a 45 pound dog and live in Eastern Montana. We get out lots and lots and see all sorts of wildlife. From Grizzly Bears down to shrews. She has yet to see a Wolverine, but has seen lots of coyotes. I’ve never, ever had even the remotest of problems with any wildlife. (Feral dogs? Yes!) But my dog is trained for zone defense only and does not chase livestock or any kind of wildlife whatsoever. Not even a chipmunk. I used to let her catch and kill squirrels and gophers, but there is no point in that, so we stopped.

        However, my friend told me his dog went after a coyote. I believe it was a Rottweiler, but I can’t quite remember now. The coyote teased the dog and got the ill-trained dog to chase him. The Rotty would’ve killed him easily, but the coyote was far too fast to allow that to happen. The chase went into the brush where another coyote was waiting. They killed the dog.

        I can’t say for sure if this happened as I wasn’t there, but the guy has some credibility and all coyotes are capable of that. I’m sure every once in a while a coyote is bold enough to actually carry out such an act. Interesting story, at the least.

        Despite their normally skittish behavior, they are smart and very strong. We recently had a 50 pound pit bull (another ill-trained dog) fight a 35-40 pound coyote. It was an even fight. If the owner hadn’t bopped the coyote on the head with a rock, who knows how it would’ve turned out?

        • Naomi says:

          You fight animals???

          • Canine says:

            Sometimes. I got charged by a couple cows today. My dog went up against the first one that charged us and they smashed together. That cow ran away and my dog got hurt a little. Fortunately, I was babysitting another dog. Another cow decided to get in on the action, and charged us, too. My dog is old and had had enough, so I sent the other dog after the cow and had him chase the herd away. He saved the day! Thank goodness this dog was a powerful dog that also had the sense to keep them at a distance rather than chase the herd up the entire mountain.

            After that, I found some Huckleberries. That made up for the ordeal. Lol.

            Exciting day! More than enough for this dude.

        • Bob Bob says:

          Canine, I do have any doubt that story is true. There is a reason coyotes have thrived even though we have tried hard to exterminate them: they are very, very smart and adaptable. With Homer I was very lucky, he not only was bigger than they were, but he was faster, he could outrun them.

          Cody wouldn’t stand a chance though, so I will be much more careful with him.

          Like you, other dogs are my biggest concern, both feral and domesticated. I carry a knife just so I won’t have to depend on a rock.
          Bob

  7. jonthebru says:

    All right Cody, you lucky dog , you!

  8. Canine says:

    I have a couple questions. They are personal ones that you don’t need to answer. I apologize ahead of time if I come off wrong, but I don’t mean to be. Am simply curious.

    You seem to have accepted, for the most part anyway, you’re ability, or lack thereof, to interact with people. Do others accept that part of you? Does anyone truly understand your limitations of intimate relationships with people?

    Some people are missing an arm or a leg, but I haven’t heard people like that refer to themselves as broken. Crippled sometimes. Disabled most of the time. Rarely do they refer to themselves as different- not better or worse than average, but simply different than average or different than they used to be. Being the way you are must give you some advantages that most others don’t have. Perhaps those advantages are impractical or are unable to be fulfilled because of the limitations that society places on all of us.

    In any case, you are who you are. I imagine lots and lots and lots of people have a problem with the way you are. Should we ever meet, I sure hope I respect who you are- like I do on the Internet. Being a keyboard acquaintance is easy; real life, not so much sometimes. 🙂

    • Bob Bob says:

      Canine, it depends on where we meet. If we meet at the RTR, which is where I meet most people, then I am so busy that even if i were the healthiest human alive I wouldn’t have time to make a connection with a hundred or more folks and run the event. So you will be disappointed there.

      If you come to my camp I will be polite, friendly and cordial, but I have a limited amount of time and I can only give you so much. I had a guy come to my camp and later I found out he was kind of angry that I was so aloof. But I probably get a 100 people a year dropping by my camp and I just literally don’t have enough hours in the day to give them all the time they want. And I have even less of “me” to give away to so many people.

      The longer I’ve done this, the more protective I have become of myself, there just isn’t enough of me to go around.

      Here is a constant problem I have. I have always been a good listener, probably because I am so reclusive. So when people come to my camp, they start talking and won’t shut up. I had a gal once drive a few hundreds mile to spend a couple hours with me and I bet I didn’t get to say a dozen words. If I tried to say something she cut me off. If I got an idea out she blew it off and rejected it. I was polite and friendly and she went away thinking we had a good time, but I hope i never see her again!

      Part of me setting boundaries is if you won’t let me talk, we’re done. I’ll avoid you and excuse myself.

      Like everyone else, I have a few very close friends that I feel very connected to and always look forward to seeing. Who knows, maybe you will be one of them! I’m in a hurry to get back to Arizona to camp with two of my best friends, Steve and Bryce. But even with them, I only have so much time. The reasons they are my best friends is that we have a great time together, but they don’t want more than I can give and they need a lot of alone time just like I do.
      Bob
      Bob

  9. Rob says:

    I’m gad the dog found you!
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  10. tom says:

    I’ve been wanting to thank you for the great advice I’ve gotten on your blog for the last couple years. After my nine year relationship failed, I bought a 1988 class c rv with 49000 miles on it for $3800 and was able to land a camp host job in the Tahoe National Forest at Meadow Lake last year. After that, I worked at Amazon for the 2013 Christmas season in their Workcamper program and found house remodeling work in Oregon while living in my Camper. I’m in my second year at Meadow Lake as camp host and have been able to save a considerable amount on money living this way. Just me and my two year old pit bull, Jingles. I hope to meet you someday.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Tom, I a always delighted to hear success stories of people who have followed their dreams and changed their lives.

      Maybe you can try to make it down to the RTR in January in Quartzsite, AZ. Of course I’ll be there along with MANY other mobile folks and I think you will have a grand time!

      I wish you the very best!
      Bob

  11. Dan says:

    I’m happy for you Bob. It sounds like you got an excellent dog. I hope that you’re happy with Cody.

    regards,
    Dan

  12. ILDan says:

    I’m glad you have a “happy home” again.

  13. PamP says:

    Bob; So happy for you and Cody – which one is the lucky dog? Both of you! I do appreciate what you said about yourself – that you’re not a people person. Neither am I. That goes against the norm – especially for mother of 3. Its taken a lifetime (I’m 74) to accept who I am. Like you, I do want to see my kids, but other friendships tend to fade away as I travel around. Maybe because I just don’t nurture them?

    Thank you for allowing me to see I’m not the only loner out there who loves their dog. Sophie is my companion who is always glad to see me, snuggle with me, loves me with no ulterior motive.

    Last, I have learned so much from your posts on making my RV lifestyle possible and comfortable. Even a Granny can do it!! Thanks for all your teachings.

    • Bob Bob says:

      PamP, you are not alone! I think people like you and me are the norm and the media just makes fun of us and makes gregarious people look normal. We should both very proudly wear the label of “dog-people!”

      I’m so glad I may have helped you in some way to follow your dreams and be an RVer, good for you!
      Bob

  14. Shawna says:

    Lucky Cody!!!! He’s going to have a great life.

  15. Pondputz says:

    That’s pretty cool Bob,

    I guess at the RTR when I call for “Cody” I may have 2 dogs a comin’

    I am sure my Cody will love to meet your Cody

    Congrats
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    • Bob Bob says:

      Pondputz, whenever I look at my Cody I think of your Cody. They have almost exactly the same body, very long legs and long thin body. Otherwise they don’t look much alike but they do have some of the same personality.

      I need to have you tell me how to train him. His chase/hunting instinct is so strong I can’t keep him with me if there is any small game around.

      Hopefully I will see you at the RTR!?
      Bob

  16. Calvin R says:

    I find your self-description interesting, and I relate to it in large degree. In fact, I have a label for the central reason I relate poorly to most people. There’s no treatment for it but it helps with (a) self-acceptance and (b) planning around my advantages and limitations. Having met you, I wondered how you were able to cope with the RTRs. I’m glad you can do it, but I understand better than most what a sacrifice you make for it.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Calvin, I read a book once and it described people like me as having never “formed a true partnership with another human being.” I instantly related to that and it made things a great deal more clear to me. That book totally, completely changed my life. Maybe you have read that book?

      The first two RTRs were a living Hell for me! On the third I started to take better care of myself and so it was much better and last year I did a much better job of taking care of me and it was by far the best one yet. It helped that it was the best weather and best location!

      You gotta make it out here for one!
      Bob

      • Calvin R says:

        Bob, I think I have read that book, and studied it. On top of that, I have some of those “grave emotional and mental disorders” it mentions. Acceptance is the key.

        • Bob Bob says:

          Calvin, now that you mention it I think I remember that too! For me, they are very, very grave emotional and mental disorders. I’m glad I found help. So is everyone around me!
          Bob

  17. Foster and parents says:

    Hi Bob, we have enjoyed traveling with you and are happy that you have a new traveling buddy.

    This is the first time we have commented on one of your postings, but just had to.

    From Cody’s pics, he appears to have Australian Cattle dog in him. You may want to look up Australian Cattle Dogs and get a little background on them. We love all animals and dogs in particular. But, we are very partial to ACD’s. They are almost human and make the best traveling companions. They pick you, you don’t pick them. Our boy, Foster (like the beer), makes traveling a joy. He can carry on a conversation, count and tell time, plus any trick we want to teach him. Also, he loves to chase anything that moves and the water. We both grew up with various breeds of dogs, but, have found the ACD’s are most compatible with our personalities and life. Cody resembles the first ACD we had, 20 years ago. She personally selected our current boy.

    Here’s to a long and happy life for both of you. Someday, maybe our paths will cross in Arizona. We knew the managers of the storage facility you used in Flagstaff.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Foster and Parents, what a nice comment! He doesn’t fit any particular breed, he doesn’t have the pointed ears of ACD and he has very long legs and long thin body. To me, he looks mostly like a tri-color Australian Shepherd. I’ve had Ausies before so I was delighted to have another one.

      How do you know where I am storing the Trailer? I don’t think I’ve ever posted it, but I should. Quite a coincidence that you know the manager! He is a really good guy. Their prices are good but they were so nice that I have gone back there twice. I was having a hard time getting it backed into my very tight slot and so I asked hi to do it for me and he gladly did it (although it was kinda hard for him too!). They don’t normally take motorcycles but they made an exception for mine because it was covered and behind the trailer and cabled to it. I fully expect to leave it there every trip.
      Bob

  18. David Carter says:

    Bob,
    While reading your post I realized that most of my best friends are very similar in attitude as you. They take care of their responsibilities, are cordial to others, respect animals, are good communicators including listening, and are protective of their
    personal time. I don’t consider them to be broken and I suspect you will not seem broken to me if we ever meet. ‘Broken’ is a powerful word with a lot of negative connotations. Different from the norm might be more accurate, but then aren’t we all.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Thanks for the encouraging words David. I’ve found he key to my happiness is self-acceptance, and that begins with an honest and searching self-appraisal. Then I can say, “This is who I am and these are my weaknesses ad these are my strengths.” And at the same time make adjustments to emphasis my strengths and minimize my weaknesses. For example, by setting boundaries and being sure I get my alone time I am much better with people.

      I honestly do care about people and want to help them, but I’m not good one-to-one. So I arranged a way to help the most possible from a distance.
      Bob

      • Walt says:

        My wife has used the same “broken” term to describe each of us. In our case, it fits much better than the “different from the norm” that some have suggested as more appropriate. One can be different and not broken, but others who are different are also broken. In my case, it means hurt badly and never fully healed. In my case, that a”break” began at age five when my father left, never to be seen again. When I was 17 or 18, my mother said my father left because he could not handle having a family. As the oldest of those responsible for creating the “family” (as opposed to couple), I shouldered the blame for his leaving. It was not until almost 50 years later that I learned he may have been banished because of a predilection for younger, under-aged girls. Because my mother wanted to “spare” me from this, my healing process did not begin until my mid-50s, about three years ago. Sometimes parents mean well, but they can do more damage trying to “protect” their children than would be done by getting the truth out there so it can be faced, dealt with, and moved past.
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        • Bob Bob says:

          Yes, I agree Walt, broken is not the same as different. In my case I have no idea why I am broken, I’ve concluded it’s genetic because I can’t point to any traumatic moment in my life.

          I’m very glad for you that you found healing for your break, that’s wonderful!
          Bob

  19. katelyn says:

    So glad you found a new friend 🙂
    I lost my dog in March due to arthritis and hip dysplasia. Had him for 9yrs. I was so sad I didn’t want another dog. But like you, I missed having a dog to take care of and the companionship, kinda felt lost. So…I adopted a little terrier and she has brought unexpected joy and love back into my life!

    Amazing how these dogs can bring so much happiness into our lives. They are truly a blessing 🙂

  20. Lynn says:

    Congratulations on your new fur baby. He is cute. I wanted a dog for years but I traveled so much for work, I just couldn’t do it. So now that I am working from home, the first thing I did was get a dog. I can’t imagine my life without her now. Pets add so much to one’s life. To be honest, I don’t trust people that don’t like dogs and cats. I think they are deficient in some way. My uncle who is a very none broken person use to say “the more I get to know people, the more I like my dog.”. People are very flawed with a dark side, animals are innocent. I think animals bring you closer to nature whereas people don’t. Iam sure many of your feelings about people and dogs arenot that unusual. I hope you and Cody have a wonderful life together.
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  21. Camilla says:

    Yay for you and Yay for Cody! I love him!

  22. Congratulations on Cody, your new family member! He’s really beautiful! Can’t wait for he and Rochelle to meet!

  23. Bryce says:

    Hi Bob, Cody looks like a great companion. Zeke needs a playmate. Cody will be perfect. I know Homers passing has been rough. I miss Homer too. Hope to see you in Williams, Az. Soon

    • Bob Bob says:

      Bryce, I expect to be there next week. I got both you and Steve house-warming gifts for your new man-caves! I’m looking forward to giving them to you!
      Bob

  24. Openspaceman says:

    Bob_

    What a lucky break for Cody…he gets to live the way he’s suppose to, outside running around getting that fresh air and exercise. I had a girlfriend in Chicago who had a giant Labrador couped up in a condo all day…my GF was too small to even take it for a walk so I did and that dog was so excited to see me every time.

    *Good for you Bob…smaller is better for us vandwellers. Is he about done growing?

    • Bob Bob says:

      Openspaceman, he is 2 years old so he is full frown. But often dogs fill out a bit in their 3rd year. He is naturally skinny and I’m trying to fatten him up a bit.
      Bob

  25. Naomi says:

    Congratulations! Cody looks a lot like my Rosie dog. She’s a little over weight at 25lbs, but we’re working on that. I protect her from thunder monsters and she protects me from everything else.

    I hope you are comfortable with who you are – it sounds like it. I like to spend time with people, but only so much. Then it becomes draining.

    Take care,
    ~Naomi

  26. Mike says:

    Good for you Bob, may the years together be many.

  27. Fred Wishnie says:

    You’re not alone in your preference for dogs. I don’t dislike people, just don’t have much need for them. a loving dog is SO much better and easier. 🙂
    Really enjoy your writing,
    Fred

    • Bob Bob says:

      Fred, I think there are many, many people just like you and me! In fact, I suspect we are the “normal” ones and people who love being with other people are the oddballs!
      Bob

  28. Linda Sand says:

    I’m broken in the same way you are. I can be friendly and appear outgoing but I can only be with people just so long and I need to retreat. One of the reasons I like the RV community is that they respect closed window coverings as a “do not knock” sign. Except one woman I know who will get me out of bed by knocking until I get up. She must be awfully lonely; I try hard to be patient with her.

  29. Douglas says:

    You aren’t the only one who feels broken around people, I find a lot of people frustrating and irritating at times, as I find myself being sometimes as well. I guess that’s why I like my alone time, to center myself.
    Douglas recently posted…GearMy Profile

  30. Cody looks fantastic, loves water and is a van dog, but does he herd cattle out of camp… I got a lil cow problem, Zeke has it under control but could use a lil back up, not to mention a doggy buddy, so when ya showing up…???

    Steve & Zeke…

    • Bob Bob says:

      Steve, I don’t know how he will do with cows, but I do know he loves cow dung just like ZEKE!

      I’m on my way! I expect to be there sometime next week. I’ve had enough travel for one summer!
      Bob

  31. Andy says:

    Hi Bob
    There was a survey done recently. People were asked if a person and a dog were in danger, which one would they save. 72% of the people asked said they would save the dog and leave the person. I find that to be a sign of our times. I work with over 800 people in a huge 9 story building. I might say 20 words the whole day. People walk around and say nothing to each other. No greetings nothing. At first I thought this was really weird. After a while I just got used to it. If you try and engage them in conversation they start looking at you funny and try to escape. So in our society, people walk around in crowds and are as lonely as anything. If you do happen to befriend one of these people, its not very long before all the baggage comes out. Ugly divorces, struggling kids torn between parents, cheating spouses, total hatred for where they work and their lives, drug problems, internet dating horror stories, all in one conversation.
    I don’t blame you for not wanting to deal with something as complex and soul sucking as other people and quite frankly most of them are not sane. Really. Give me a dog any day. Just because one sees people in crowds and cities means nothing. Most of them are very lonely and they are all dealing with a problem. That problem is other people! Where I am, people will not even honk at some person playing with their phone instead going on a green light. Why? because its not safe to honk. You could just tip that person over the edge and have the daily televised road rage on your hands.

  32. Linda Barton says:

    Broken That is a word I often used to describe myself. I suspect many of this tribe identify with that label. I have come to accept that I will never be hole.I am ok with that. I have had a few days now and then where the wounds don’t bled as much. This tribe helps some with that.Congrats on you new best friend.Dogs are a great band-aid for what ails us. Hope to get acquainted with him in Jan.

  33. Foster and parents says:

    You asked how we knew where the storage facility was. We recognized it from a photo you had posted of your trailer and motorcycle after they were settled for your trip to Alaska. Having lived in Flagstaff, we stored our cargo trailer and 1957 vintage Aljo trailer for a number of years with them, in spots very near where you were parked. Glad the managers treated you well. They are kind and generous people. It’s refreshing to meet people like them. They are few and far between.

  34. Steve Gullett says:

    Sounds like a great fit for you and Cody! Things happen the way they are supposed to if we let it. Sounds like you have a loyal friend and so does Cody! 🙂

  35. Peggy says:

    Hey Bob, congratulations on the new doggie! He’s very handsome and looks right at home sitting in your van.

    I have to say I’m not crazy about the idea of dogs chasing wildlife. I have to keep one of my dogs leashed because of her doing that. (She was a stray in Costa Rica and she probably survived partially because of her hunting skills.) I can control my other dog and she’s slowed down a lot so she gets to run free. If there’s any way you can figure out how to train Cody not to give chase, it’d do a whole lot for your peace of mind and maybe for his safety too. I’ve also heard several stories of coyotes luring dogs into a group of them waiting. Aside from that, there are a lot of ways he could hurt himself running loose out of your control. Anyway, it’s just a suggestion of course. To each his or her own.

    Regarding your relating to other people…I hear you! I’m pretty much the same. I think I kind of lucked out as far as my partner goes though because he’s kind of the same as me. I think of us as two loners who happened to get together. I don’t think of myself as broken but I don’t make friends easily. Dogs are much easier!

    Anyway, enjoy your new dog, I’m happy for you!
    Peggy recently posted…19th Annual Sleepy Hollow Show ‘n ShineMy Profile

    • Bob Bob says:

      Peggy, with Homer I was concerned enough about it to buy a shock collar to use when he ran off chasing other creatures. But I couldn’t make myself use it.

      Neither can I make myself put him on a leash when we live in the National Forest. He’d be on a leash 24/7 and I’d much rather worry about him and let him die early than do that.

      He and I are both going to die. I’d rather have us live totally free and wild and die early than be leashed and live longer. My favorite Jack London quote guides much of my life:

      I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.

      • I am so looking forward to meeting Cody at RTR! Maybe I’ll have my own pooch by then. But the whole ‘running wild’ thing has me worried, for the exact reasons others have mentioned. I expect to find my friend at a shelter or rescue rather than getting a puppy. How do you make sure it will come back when you let it run off-leash for the first time? I plan to work with it on obedience training, but that first time is the one that scares me… probably because I had a dog years ago that ran off when I let her run in a field, and never came back. Luckily, my phone number was on her license tag and someone found her and called me several weeks later.
        LaVonne Ellis recently posted…Robin Williams, Rest in PeaceMy Profile

        • Bob Bob says:

          LaVonne, I’m afraid there is no answer, you just never know! Like you said, the dog has to come off the leash sometime and what he will do is anyone’s guess.

          I know that isn’t helpful, but it really is true.
          Bob

        • Canine says:

          Hi LaVonne. I’m gonna jump in here and say most dogs will easily and happily stay by your side even if a herd of squirrels runs by! To answer your question how that is done is beyond the scope of a reply on this forum. Timing, consistency, teaching the dog to pay attention to you, and others all need to be addressed individually. Most people tend to use a negative consequence on an undesired behavior while ignoring the desired behavior to get a positive result. I promote using a positive consequence on desired behavior while ignoring (when possible) undesired behavior to get a positive result.

          To be frank, you are responsible for the dog and in order to train it, you have to actually DO it. Doesn’t matter if it is raining or if you have your hands full of groceries, or if your tired.

          You also have to work on yourself. Seldom can one teach a trait, but not possess that trait themselves. If you are inconsistent, then it is very hard to be consistent in your training to develop a consistent dog. Change, even for the positive, is hard. No excuses. It can be done, but the excuses have to go.

          I believe that is the hardest part about training. Not so much about the reading and learning, but the actual doing. Once you get it, the training becomes easy. Then when looking forward to the next dog, it is easy-peasy.

      • Peggy says:

        Sure, I get that, Bob. I’m definitely no expert because I haven’t managed it myself (or even tried) but all I’m saying is maybe Cody could be trained to return when called. I’ve heard good things about the clicking method of dog training.

        The last time I let my dog Osa go for a hike off leash, she took off after something she smelled and was missing for 7-1/2 hours. We walked and drove all over that area the whole time, calling for her. When I finally found her, one of her eyes was injured and she could barely walk. Her paw pads were really messed up. It took three visits to the vet (eye infection) before she got better. Never again!

        Also, I couldn’t bare the thought of her harming or killing another animal. Right now we have a mother deer and two fawns in the area and a few neighborhood dogs running loose that love to give chase. It makes me sick to think of a fawn being attacked by a dog when the owners could prevent such a thing. Neighborhood dogs have also been stomped to death by elk here.
        Peggy recently posted…Deer and Twin Fawns Magic MomentMy Profile

        • Bob Bob says:

          Peggy, I do work with Cody on coming, and he does it pretty well. But like most hunting dogs once he has a scent nothing else exists in the world except that scent. He gets tunnel vision and he literally cannot hear anything else. That’s why I was going to get a schock collar because it would snap him out of the trance.

          I fully understand your point of view and fully respect it. But we live in the National Forest or desert BLM land year-around and my only choice is to put him on a leash 24/7. I’m afraid I’m weak and I just can’t make myself do that.
          Bob

          • Peggy says:

            I understand. You know, I might not be able to do it either. I think having my two dogs and the fear of what could happen is a very large part of why I’m not on the road right now.

            Oh, and my dog Osa gets that tunnel vision you’re talking about. Totally. Nothing else exists but what she’s chasing and I’ve seen her do serious damage to her body because of it. When I came across her in Costa Rica, she was lame from running. It took about a year of leash walking before she was o.k. again.
            Peggy recently posted…Deer and Twin Fawns Magic MomentMy Profile

          • Bob Bob says:

            Peggy, I also totally understand where you are coming from. The first few times Homer disappeared on me I was overwhelmed with worry.

            I know this will sound bizarre, but I have embraced death and I’m reconciled to it. It has lost most of it’s power over me. That doesn’t change the fact that after the death of a loved-one I’m devastated by the loss. But it does mean that I live my life without fear of death for me or for Homer and now Cody.

            I am going to die!! Maybe tomorrow.
            Cody is going to die!!

            That means nothing, what has meaning is how we live until that day.
            Bob

  36. Ming says:

    congratulations on finding yourself such a lovely new companion! I think that you did it the right way, waiting until the right one came along.

    I have the same problem with my new dog running off. He is smaller than Cody (a major downsize for me too) and was a street dog, so he has a feral dog mode that takes over if he gets in a wide open area or picnic area where he gets into major mooch mode.

    I once talked to a woman who trained her dog to no longer run after prey. It took her lots and lots of time and intense training with a long line. I know that’s what it would take with my pooch, but finding the time and energy to do that is a challenge. Good luck with your project, and let us know if you figure it out!

  37. Brian says:

    Great looking dog Bob! Lots of great years of true freedom ahead of him. Any talk of winter RTR yet?
    -Brian

  38. Linda says:

    Dogs are absolutely fabulous companions. I drove truck for a couple of years and had two female dachshunds that rode with me. As a woman driving truck alone, they were great for protection, companionship and to force me to get out of the truck and exercise. I have a male and female dachshunds now, both rescues. That is the only that keeps me from moving out of the relationship I’m in now and into my van, my dogs. If I moved, I’d stealth camp at work. I work at a university and the university doesn’t allow animals on campus. So, to have my dogs, I stay where I am. Maybe after I finish paying off my van, October 2015, I can afford a campsite with electricity for an a/c for the dogs.

    I suffer from depression and dogs are wonderful therapy! They don’t let you down like humans do and they love you unconditionally!

    • Bob Bob says:

      Linda, I agree totally! A few years back I as severely depressed and pondered suicide. The one absolute in my life was that I couldn’t do that to Homer. He may have saved my life!
      Bob

  39. tom says:

    Hey Bob, I was at last years RTR. Up until last summer I spent 23 years in Alaska. We me, I went went you and part of the group to Blythe. You met my dog Teka, the wolf hybrid. Both of us met Homer and he was a good dog. Sorry for your loss,…….I have had to put down some of my “best friends” also. I am glad to hear you got another friend. I also have a hard time believing I could live without a ‘Best Friend”, to ‘take care of / to take care of me’.
    You may not think of yourself as a ‘people person’,……but your leadership of the RTR group is a valuable contribution to these like-minded people. Maybe this is your therapy,…..and if you get back, (and a I suspect you do), as much as you give,……how wonderful is that. Take care, …..you and Cody, hope to see you this coming winter. Tom in Montana, by way of Alaska

    • Bob Bob says:

      Hi Tom, sure I remember you and Teka. In fact I think there is a picture of Homer and Teka playing in one of my tribute posts to him. He really loved Teka!

      It’s going to be warmer in Quartzsite than in Montana, I think I’d head south if I were you! Hope to see you both this winter.
      Bob

  40. Hunter Hollingsworth says:

    Dogs are great. Broken things need fixin’. Problems are for solving. Apart from Christ, we’re all broken; merged with Him we are freed.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Hunter, I haven’t found that to be true for me. Been there, done that. When it failed I had to find another way that worked for me. Fortunately, I did!
      Bob

  41. Sameer says:

    Mr. Pico and I are so happy for your new companion…Congratulations to you both! Sorry for the late greeting. Colorado needs more cell towers!
    See you in the Great Desert!
    Sameer recently posted…Why I Love Dogs: Introducing Cody My New Best Furry FriendMy Profile

  42. mcbe says:

    Congratulations on the new addition to your family!
    There’s nothing much cuter than a pup who loves water.

    My neighbor dog (looks like a Brittany Spaniel) loves the sprinkler. He lays on the ground with his paws on top of the sprinkler head and his face in the spray just lapping it up.

    His owner will say, “Buddy, let go of the sprinkler it has to go around!” Well, he’ll comply for about one second and then he’s back at it again.

    He also has a kiddie pool, and gets all worked up when his owner fills it up with the hose. Nothing much better than a good summer soak!

    • Bob Bob says:

      mcbe, it’s true there is something beautiful about dogs in water! I’m glad Cody likes it. Fortunately he isn’t fanatical so I don’t have to worry about him.

      Your lucky to have Buddy for a neighbor, he sounds wonderful!
      Bob

  43. Tom says:

    Cody loos extremly happy

  44. Tina says:

    I’m very happy for you Bob. Cody is a great name and that dog is very lucky to be living out in nature with you.

    Tina

  45. Man On Run says:

    Bob,
    Since watching my own long-time relationship go to the dogs 2 years ago I am now declaring myself a dunce on the whole subject. Thanks for allowing me to learn a bit from your experiences. So heartwarming to see how Cody has entered your life!

    • Bob Bob says:

      Man on the Run, just don’t look to me as a model on relationships. You will be in deep do-do if you do!

      Seriously, that is the first step in figuring it out is to admit you have no clue!
      Bob

  46. Lois says:

    Cody looks to be one very happy dog! As do you, Bob… I’m happy you found each other. I don’t think there’s anything like a dog for keeping companionship. Good on ya!

  47. Donald Ambrose says:

    Bob,

    I’ve just retired. Functioned as a businessman, educator and mathematician. I prefer dogs to people in general. I don’t consider that I am broken, just picky choosing my friends. I wish you the best the world has to provide. I am enjoying your website immensely. Looking forward to checking back from time to time. Thank you very much.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Donald, it’s hard to see how anyone could prefer people to dogs! While it’s true, there are lot’s of great people, to me none are better than dogs and most aren’t nearly as good.
      Bob

  48. Silvianne says:

    I just opened up your blog, saw the picture of Cody, and burst into tears. He is so right! And such a love… I can’t wait to meet him. Happy travels to you both.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Thanks Silvianne! I generally have all the sensitivity of a rock but even I knew Cody was the dog for me when I met him! Within 10 minutes I was signing the papers!

      Bad news though, just like Homer his chase instinct is extreme so you’ll have to keep your kitty inside. Sorry about that.

      I have another project for you for this winter!
      Bob

  49. I’ve been meaning to catch up on your blog and was hoping to see a picture of Cody. Looks like a mini Australian Shepard in my opinion. Very smart and very active dogs, I’ve always loved the breed. As far as the shock collar is concerned, there should be a setting on it to just vibrate not shock. The vibration alone caused my Standard Poodle to stop in his tracks but he is a very sensitive kind of dog. Even a scolding by voice will have him cowering at my side begging for forgiveness. Might be worth a try for Cody though, the vibration could be enough to change his mind about taking off. Constantly calling him to you for no reason and rewarding by playing with a tug toy or a favorite treat (hot dogs almost never fail) is the best way to train him. Never, ever, call him to you for something unpleasant, go to him in that case. I wear a whistle for my own safety and though my three dogs may ignore a call, they always pay attention to the whistle. That worth a try as well. I look forward to meeting Cody (and you) at the RTR but don’t worry, I won’t talk your ear off. I like my alone time too.

  50. Mimi says:

    Hi Bob, I recently found your web site and I am loving all the info you provide. I plan to start rv living in the Spring of 2015 and I am gathering as much info as I can.
    I noticed that you said that one of the draw backs of travelling with a dog is that you can’t go to National Parks. Does this mean places like Mt. Rushmore, etc? I am hoping to find another fur-baby to travel with and am curious about why no NP?
    Hope that made sense.
    Thanks
    Mimi

    • Bob Bob says:

      Mimi, good for you for planning for a new dream and setting a date for it. I think you are headed toward the best times of your life!

      I should have qualified that sentence some more. You can take your dog into the National Park and they can even camp in the campground with you. But they aren’t allowed on nearly all the trails or into the backcountry. So if you want to go for a hike or a walk they can’t go. But if you aren’t a hiker then that won’t be a problem. With some of the Parks you have to take a shuttle to even go into them and dogs aren’t allowed on the shuttles. But that isn’t true of many Parks.

      Your dog can go into the Park, it just faces restrictions.
      Bob

  51. nancy says:

    I just lost my beloved miss her very much I am like you I live in my van to and don’t like people much they are mean rude and selfish! I now have a new dog love him dearly. safe roads you nancy

    • Bob Bob says:

      Nancy while I am not very social, I have a better view of people than you do. But, we are very much alike in our preference for fur-people. My dog never acts like he hates me and wishes I would go away and he is never mean to me. Even when I am far from perfect, he just seems to love me all the more!

      So like you, I prefer the company of dogs!
      Bob

      • nancy says:

        me to bob we depend on each other its just the more people I meet the more I like my dog. I have never had much luck with people I am nice to them but they don’t like me?! so me and my new friend will be just fine.

  52. Daniel Burejsza says:

    I get along well with others, but do not feel a bond like I do with my pets. Three marriages failed, and when they ended, I don’t think I took it as hard as losing a pet. I get real depressed but then I figure I can just feel sorry for myself, or I have an opportunity to give another animal a great life and move on.
    I wonder if I wasn’t somewhat autistic as a child because I never really felt like I fit in. Back then there was no therapy for kids, only a belt. Even in school they used a paddle, (some even with holes drilled in them so they could travel faster and hurt more). I have many more bad memories from interacting with people than I do with animals.
    I could always talk to our family dogs. They seemed to understand. At least to me they could. I have had cats and dogs both. When my last cat died, I knew that I would be retiring in a few years and might travel in an RV. Cats generally do not like to travel,(at least mine didn’t), and I do not want to put stress on an animal. This time I got a dog. She is a mix breed from an animal shelter. To me she is priceless. People ask what kind of dog she is because of her wonderful personality. I tell them a miniature pound dog. I got her as a 3 month old pup and have raised her with love and tolerance. I never beat her to try to get her to learn something immediately. I hear a lot of if anything ever happens to you I will be happy to take care of Nikki,(my dog). Actually that is nice to know.
    I guess my rambling is just to say that you are not alone.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Daniel, I relate totally to what you’ve written. I’ve often thought I had some sort of mental illness that wouldn’t let me fit in with normal society. As I’ve gotten older I’ve become convinced that normal society is the sick one, and the fact I couldn’t fit in made me the normal one.

      I think there are many people, especially men, that relate much better to their pets than to people. As science learns more about dogs, they are finding reasons for that, they really do love us unconditionally, which no other person I’ve known has been able to do–except my mom, but shes my mom, she has to!
      Bob

  53. Sonya says:

    I just discovered your site. I am a 50 year old single woman, who decided – after an illness in 2013, followed by a short-lived engagement – to get an old VW and do a little exploring. I don’t have a lot of money, and ordinarily would be hard pressed to take time off work for such a trip. I just had shoulder surgery….making me unable to work for about 6 months (I am a massage therapist. I think this injury was the Universe giving me permission to go). I also met an incredible dog about 5 months ago – an Austrailian Cattle Dog – who will be accompanying me.

    I came looking for information about how to prepare for this trip, and instead got an education on your incredible journey…a real life lesson. Thank you!

    • Bob Bob says:

      Sonya, I really admire your courage to grab an opportunity when the Universe gave it to you. It would have been easy to ignore it but you are very brave and jumped in!! I’m really glad I could be here to help you a little bit along the way.

      I wish you the very best on your incredible journey!
      Bob

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