Apr 212009

The Affinity rally ended yesterday, and while we had a good time visiting with old friends and meeting some new ones, it was a break even event for us financially.

While we’d have loved to come away with buckets full of cash, going in we said that if we could cover our costs and introduce some new readers to the Gypsy Journal, we’d be happy with that, and we accomplished that goal.

So what’s with people and their dogs?

Though we choose not to own a pet while we travel, I love dogs. I love big floppy eared mixed breed mutts. I love AKC dogs with pedigrees that make my own family tree look pretty shabby by comparison. My preference is big dogs, but I’m quite content with the medium size breeds too.

My good friend Ann Pruitt has an adorable medium size service dog named Curlie Sue whom I have a special relationship with. My pal Mike Howard in Kingman, Arizona lives next door to a massive mutt named Skeeter who is taller than me when he stands on his hind legs. They’re both on my Favorite Dog list.

In a pinch I’ll even cozy up to a small dog, unless it’s a yappy little mutt with a big mouth and a bad attitude.

I don’t like French poodles, probably because the only things French I like are toast, fries, and kisses, though not necessarily in that order. Don’t tell Chris and Jim Guld from Geeks on Tour, but I even sneaked a surreptitious scratch behind the ears of their yappy little poodle Odie once when nobody was looking. When you need a dog fix bad enough, I guess any old mutt will do.

My favorite dogs are German shepherds, and I’ll walk a block out of my way to meet and pet every one I see. I don’t trust pit bulls, most of whom deserve their bad reputation, no matter what their fans will tell you. In my many years in the newspaper business, I never covered a story about a collie mauling a kid, but I did have to report on too many sad stories involving pit bull attacks.

So, overall, I’m a dyed in the wool dog lover.

What I don’t like are irresponsible dog owners, and people who think the rules do not apply to their dogs. People who allow their dogs to bark endlessly, or who go off and leave their noisy dogs back in the RV to annoy everybody in the campground in their absence.

I get really ticked off by people at public events where dogs are specifically prohibited, but who insist on bringing their canine companions in anyway. We saw dozens of people doing this at the Affinity rally in Albuquerque. One person after another came wandering through the vendor area with their dogs. One lady even had two little mutts in a twin baby carriage, forcing shoppers to find a way around her as she blocked the aisles.

Besides being against the rules, some people, like Miss Terry, are allergic to dogs, and some are afraid of them. But these inconsiderate pet owners could care less. After all, it’s all about them.

We welcome dog owners to bring their critters to our Gypsy Gathering rallies, but we make it very clear that their pets are not allowed in the buildings or in the vendor area, as mandated by our insurance company and the fairgrounds who rent us the space, and I don’t hesitate to enforce the rule.

Yet we have had people show up at seminars and in the vendor area with their dogs. A couple of years ago at our rally in Casa Grande, Arizona, we even had a woman carrying her dog in to get donuts in the morning, leaning over the open box of pastries with the dog in her arms!

Invariably when I tell someone they are breaking the rules, I get the same reply “But this is my baby!”

No, it’s not your baby. You may consider it your fur kid, but it’s still an animal. I wasn’t a memorable student in high school, but even I learned that much in biology class! Human babies have two legs, and if that thing has four legs and is your baby, you need to sell that freak to a sideshow!

Thought For The Day – The treasure you find is rarely what you thought you were looking for.

Register Now For Our Ohio Gypsy Gathering Rally

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  9 Responses to “It’s Not A Baby, It’s A Dog!”

  1. Please, Nick. . . you couldn’t have been referring to my precious, sainted, dearly departed Poodle, Shalom, could you? Say it ain’t so, Nick. This said tongue in cheek. . . I indeed agree with you regarding inconsiderate pet owners. At one time we had a neighbor who had a hound that howled day and night, yet she did nothing. . . except to eventually get rid of the pup. Although I’ve occasionally bent the rules in taking my pooch where he shouldn’t have been, I believe that I’ve seen the light, and understand that rules are for everybody. . . even ME! thanks for your gentle rebuke to inconsiderate dog lovers. As always, oRV

  2. Any time some one tells me that it’s their little baby, I look at them, then back at the dog , then back at them and say” Well now that I look closer I do see the resemblance, it looks just like you”. normally they just walk away and leave me alone.

  3. I couldn’t have written this article any better than you have!!! My husband has owned dogs all his life but we have chosen not to have any while fulltiming. All the examples you have cited have happened to us and we feel the same as you do. I had a business in my home and because I knew some folk had allergies or fears, I chose not to have pets. It all comes down to being respectful of others, something most of us learned as children.

  4. Hey Nick,
    You know me…dyed-in-the-wool animal lover! BUT 2 things I hate….animals dressed up as people and the adage “Pets are people, too.” Because they’re not. And I’ll bet they don’t want to be!
    Recently I attended an adult family gathering where it expressedly stated “No children.” Well one cousin figured they couldn’t mean “her” children and brought them anyway. I’ll never understand what goes through the minds of folks like this who disregard the stated rules. Guess they just can’t think of WHY someone could possibly object to their little angels (K-9) in public places.

  5. Once again, Nick, you’ve said it so well! We, too, love and enjoy most folks doggies…it’s the inconsiderate owners that create the objections, and ruin things for the many good pet owners out there. Kudos and hugs to you! M&B

  6. We watched the local (Tucson) news last night – a show of bulldogs. Some of them were dressed in tutus, pinafores, even a prom dress. We’ve seen dogs carrfied in wicker baskets with little ribbons tied aroud their necks and bows in their hair. Hey, if it’s your dog, do what you want. But do it in the privacy of your home!

    We had a Malamute when we lived in the mountains of Montana – he was a nut – even took a bite out of a porcupine and danced with a moose!

  7. Well, I am French (from Québec) and you could like me if you took the chance to get to know me! I hear constantly how Americans are this and that… believe me, you don’t want to read what I hear all the times about you, folks. It frustrates me because I know there are good and bad people everywhere. So, please! don’t judge us on something as futile as language!

  8. Gotta take issue with you on this one Nick. That wasn’t two dogs in the baby stroller – it was actually three. There was two up top in the seat and another one down below in the basement.

  9. Hi, This is my 1st visit to this site ..We are thinking about going full tIme and I have been cruising the various RV websites lately.

    I sooo agree with you on this article. I too LOVE dogs, but have decided not to have another one until we are ready to settle down into a non rolling home. I miss having my favorite ,the sheppard, but NO WAY in a motorhome, is my thinking. There is barely enough room for myself and hubby in our 34ft Sportscoach, and yet I’ve seen people with TWO big dogs.. I don’t know how they do it !!!
    Have bookmarked this site ..

    Sally, http://snowbirdwanderings.com/

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