Bringing your dog with you on a year-long road trip is, in our opinion, a brilliant idea. Carson equated it to bringing a piece of home with you everywhere you go. Plus, in an El Nino year, you need his/her body warmth and snuggles from time to time just to stay warm.
Sure, we had a handful of people question the decision. So let us be clear: Costello is in NO WAY abused on this trip. If anything, his quality of life has greatly increased. He hikes more regularly. He’s with us all the time, which is really what he wants anyway. He’s a weirdo and doesn’t eat regularly unless we are both present / watching him, so it's safe to say he’s gaining a few lbs because we’re together in that tiny trailer. A lot. Oh, and did we mention he gets loved, petted and gawked at regularly by fellow campers and park officials and strangers? Yea, he’s doing a-okay.
Still, if your goldendoodle is anything like ours, there will be times where you’ll second guess the decision to tote them along. Costello is a clown through and through and a prankster. He’ll be really good...until he’s bad. And he seemingly has the whole comical timing thing down. Like he really knows the worst time to pull a joke on you. I’m sure he’s laughing inside. But we are much, much less amused.
1. Surprising you with a #2.
We almost always bring a bag along on our walks, but the one time you don’t – well, you can guarantee Costello is going to poop on that walk. And it will be right in front of someone’s campsite. And it will be embarrassing.
2. Peeing on that plant / bush / Statue.
You’ll be walking along enjoying those flowers / cacti / statue of William Faulkner in downtown Oxford, MS and then the next thing you know, he’s peeing right on it.
3. Ripping out a cactus, rolling in it, and eating it.
While you’re Facetiming. Yea, this happened. It’s real. Why any dog would want to chew on and roll on a cactus is beyond me.
4. Viciously barking at another dog right at the moment you’ve ensured their owners “he’s friendly.”
There are a LOT of dog people out camping. We have yet to pull into a campground where fellow campers don’t have at least a few dogs. And because Costello is a big fluff ball, they naturally want our dogs to meet. Normally that’s not a problem because Costello is super friendly. But travel and age has made him a bit grouchy. And so every time I’m about to say, “sure they can play” is right when Costello will let out the scariest bark ever. And that’s about the time the other campers retreat…
5. sleeping on your pillows.
I've never met a dog that actually uses pillows so regularly. We just wish they weren't our pillows, especially when he's dirty or worse yet, wet from a bath/shower.
6. Chewing your guests stuff.
Or at least trying to. You’ll bring him over to the picnic bench for some social time, a beer or coffee. And that’s about the time he’ll start chewing on his leash, biting your pant leg, or worse yet, spot something that's not yours and start chewing.
7. going from calm to crazy in 1.5 seconds.
You'll be having a perfectly normal walk and stop to look at something or go to the restroom. The pause is what will inevitably set him off. Immediately he's biting, pulling and fighting his leash in an attempt to show off that yes, he is in fact a crazy wild beast.
8. Pulling his leash (and you) everywhere he goes.
He follows his nose wherever it goes. Literally. So far I've had one tumble with him on concrete steps in San Antonio (yes, ouch). Carson had a tumble with him the other day when he wanted to bark at the dam in Fort Yargo State Park.
9. Red Rocket.
Yea. I think this pic says it all.
10. Rolling over for a belly rub when no one wants to pet him.
It’s raining and you’ve stopped to ask for directions. You see it as a chance to get some help. Costello sees it as an opportunity to ask a new friend for a belly rub while also getting sopping wet.
11. Barking like an idiot at other dogs.
If he’s in / near the trailer and another dog walks by, you best believe he’s barking.
12. Barking like an idiot while you’re in the rest room.
Oh, you thought you could have some alone time? Think again.
13. Finding any body of water and romping through it.
Stream, lake, still / gross pond, puddle – it doesn’t matter, he’s going to be in it.
14. Getting stuff in his fur that forces you to give him embarrassing haircuts.
You mean I can’t walk through sandburs with my long coat of fur?
I’ve never met a dog that burps louder and more often than male humans. But he does.
16. Performing poorly for treats.
Costello knows about half a dozen commands. But when you want to show them off, the only one he can remember is sit.
A lot. He’s a very expressive sigh-er. When he’s bored, he’ll let you and your guests know.
18. Not snuggling when you really want him to.
The one time you actually want him in bed is the time he lays there limply, refusing to move. What a jerk hole.