Saturday, August 2, 2008

Dog Days

The RV Dogs, Halloween 2007

Our dogs have adjusted completely to living in our movable space. The couch has been covered in decorative plastic, been taken over by Grendel and Boomerang and as such, re-named "The Girl's Dorm". They sleep there during the long, lazy summer days and sit there in the evening and watch me cook, gazing intently, in case some crumb slips from my grasp and falls to the floor. On those occasions Grendel leaps into action and sucks it up almost before it settles. I haven't had to clean up a spill in a long, long time. She's a sleek and round piglet masquerading as a Beagle/Chihuahua/Cocker Spaniel mix, always hungry and always searching for the next morsel.

Since we have no slides in our rig and our space is basically like a rolling hotel room, it's good to have two of three dogs out of the way and we've happily given them the couch. Tumbleweed,our hearty and dignified 15 year old, plops down mainly on the floor, wherever he wishes, and we step around him. On occasion he deigns to step around us. When we aren't looking he goes back to the bedroom and gets on the bed. This wholly perplexes John. "Some things are just for humans!" he explains to Tumbleweed who looks up at him and yawns, showing the oh-so-fine 9 teeth he has left.

The dogs are all well-trained. I'm a stickler for that, and it keeps order for John and I to be the pack leaders and they, the furry followers, but that doesn't mean it's always a peaceable kingdom. One time while playing with Grendel, John was throwing her fave toy (nicknamed Fat Phoenix, because, while I'm not sure exactly what the toy is, that's certainly what it looks like) up and down the "hallway" - basically the length of the RV - and she got over-excited and slammed into her brother's head. Tumbleweed was having none of it and bit her on the eye with one of his remaining teeth. This took a few days of my long ago vet-tech training to make right and in the meantime, Grendel was scouting for morsels with her good eye.

John washes them often to keep our space smelling sweet and he wrestles the dog hair down to an acceptable level with the high tech, space-age looking Dyson hand vac we gave him for Father's Day this year.

In case I haven't mentioned - or even if I have - Tumbleweed, Grendel and Boomerang are all rescued dogs, saved from one dire situation or another. At present there aren't enough good homes for all the domestic animals out there that need one, so be aware that if you can safely and happily share your home with an animal, your life will improve in ways you never thought possible. If you can't or won't have a pet, you can still help make the world a better place by helping animals. Know that one of the most important ways you can use your voice is to speak for those who have none. What greater power is there than the power of kindness?

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." -- Ghandi


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Current Gas Prices Are No Joke

Warner Bros "The Dark Knight" 2008

In a vivid scene in the recent mega-hit "The Dark Knight", Heath Ledger as The Joker sets a well-ordered pile of millions of stolen dollars on fire. "I'm a man of simple tastes," he snarls at one of his co-criminals, who, not astonishingly, wanted to keep the money intact, "I like dynamite and gunpowder and gasoline, and they are cheap."

I wanted to stand up and say "Uh, excuse me...Mister Joker? Sir... sorry to interrupt your reign of terror but...gasoline is NOT cheap!" but I didn't dare, because 1.) I'd be talking to a movie screen and 2.) both The Joker and current fuel prices are equally frightening. The truth is that yes, gas is high enough at current prices (mostly $4 per gallon and over, although I noticed some in lower Alabama on the way to Florida --Andalusia, to be exact -- last week at $3.79 per gallon. Who ever thought we'd be grateful to pay that?

Gasoline is one of the big costs of RVing and that's a simple fact. Most RVs do not get great gas mileage and the cost of gas to power your moving adventure was often more than offset by the relatively cheap cost of living or vacationing in an RV, the "all amenities included" costs of many RV resorts, the fact that you can buy your own groceries and eat in, you can take the pets with you (no boarding or kennel fees), heat your RV if needed with propane, which is relatively cheap ( it cost us $65 for an entire winter's worth of central heat in 2007) and tow your car behind your rig if you are in a Class A or C motorhome ( thus saving on regular car mileage/gas costs) until you get to your destination. But even so, current gas prices have slowed John's and my traveling down to a crawl this summer and we have opted to stay in each place longer and get to know that place better. I don't think we are alone in this.

I read today about RV makers going lighter and more gas efficient because of high fuel prices:

And here's some other links to fuel and travel that might make your vacationing easier and less hard on the wallet. After all, you get away to ease your mind and enjoy your time on earth, not to make your life more tense!

Get More MPG From Your RV

RV Life Provides Link With Nature

Jimmy Buffett Fans Swarm Toyota Park