It’s no secret that when it comes to critters, I’m prejudiced.
I don’t like cats, I’m a dog person. But I don’t like just any dogs. I abhor yappy little mutts that serve no purpose in life except to make noise and waste precious oxygen. An ill mannered dog of any size is not something I care to be around.
I tolerate well behaved medium sized dogs just fine, and I like big dogs. My preference is for the working breeds, be they spaniels, retrievers, or shepherds. Over the years I have owned a couple of Springer Spaniels that were fine animals, but my favorite dog of all time is the German shepherd. For my money, you cannot find a more intelligent, loyal, or versatile canine companion. I have had several in my life.
However, a German shepherd is probably not the best suited dog for the RV lifestyle, which is why I don’t have one today. In fact, as much as Terry and I both love animals, we don’t have any pets, and have made the decision not to do so for as long as we continue to be fulltime RVers. For our particular lifestyle, vending at RV rallies, doing speaking engagements, and leaving the bus a lot to cover stories for the Gypsy Journal, it just is not fair to have an animal that spends so much time alone.
For many years we traveled with Terry’s cat, Sasquatch, who came as part of a package deal when we got married. But he wasn’t your run of the mill kitty. He was a hybrid with some lynx, Manx, and Himalayan blood, that tipped the scales at well over 20 pounds in his prime, and looked like a bobcat. He also had several extra toes on each foot and could use them like a hand to grasp things. Even though I don’t like cats, he was a good conversation starter because he looked so unique. Sasquatch passed away a few years back, but he wasn’t the only unique pet we have seen in RVs as we have traveled around the country.
Once, in Lake Conroe, Texas, we met a couple who fulltimed with two parrots. They said the birds loved traveling, and were always drawing a crowd wherever they were parked when they brought them outside. Since parrots can live a long time, the owners had already made provisions in their wills for the adoption of the birds if something were to happen to them. Since then, we have met several other RVers who travel with birds.
I also met a couple once who fulltimed with a collection of snakes, which they used to present educational programs to schoolchildren. I hate snakes even more than I do cats and yappy little dogs, so I took their word for it and did not venture inside their motorhome to see for myself.
While I have never seen them myself, I have met RVers who told me they traveled with ferrets, a skunk, and even a monkey. Don’t ask me why, I don’t know.
My friend Henry Gartner, better known as Flakey the Clown, travels with a couple of rabbits that he uses in his act at RV rallies and shows. Does that qualify them as pets or props? I’m not sure. Just as I wasn’t sure if the goldfish one couple kept in their RV to entertain their cat qualified as a pet, or just pet food.
Perhaps the strangest pet we ever saw in an RV was a baby kangaroo, which is more correctly called a joey. It’s owner came to a Life on Wheels session in Bowling Green, Kentucky when we were teaching there several years back, and people were crowded around wanting to pet and hold the little guy, who just wanted to snuggle up to his human daddy and go back to sleep.
Thought For The Day – Don’t believe everything you think.