RVing with our Canine Companion- PART ONE: Preparing for the journey
When our suitcases come out of the closet, our Schnauzer, Kalli, goes into panic mode. She neurotically shakes, scurries and gives us the occasional whimper. There’s no need for conversation. Her pleading brown eyes clearly relay her thoughts: “Do I get to come along or are you leaving me behind?” As we transfer our travelling possessions from the house to RV, she has the answer. And she’s the first one in the driver’s seat.
Over the next few days, while we’re nestled into the grove of pines at Lake Okanagan Provincial Park, our girl will enjoy sniffing out scents, pawing a few paths and cuddling with us by the campfire. But before hitting the open road, there are a few things we need to consider and pack for our fur baby.
Rules and Regs – Prior to booking any campsite, we do an etiquette pet check. Is there a size or breed restriction or a limit to how many four-legged companions can tag along per party? Does the campground have a dog park or off leash area where she can freely tromp and romp. Even though our provincial campgrounds extend courtesies to canines, she has to be leashed and supervised. We’re good with that!
Nix the Ticks – Deer Tick, Brown Dog, Lone Star. Theses parasitic arthropods that hide out in the Okanagan’s wooded areas would love to pounce on our precious pup. And they’d stay latched into her skin folds, around her ears or inside her legs until they’ve finished their blood meal. Prevention is the best protection for tick trouble. Before preparing for departure, we pick up some anti-tick remedy and give her a dose.
Identification Check – Although our girl probably won’t roam from her RV home, her permanent tattoo and dog license will likely assure her safe return. If not, the new personalized ID tag that she now wears on her collar should do the trick. This displays the number of our cell phone (which will be charged and readily available). Camping with our canine is a big part of our life and we want to keep it that way.
Pet Essentials – Dog dishes and food (except when we’re crossing the border to the US, as many pet food products are prohibited), leash and harness, treats and toys, poop bags and immunization papers. And while en route: a good water supply and her favourite lambskin blanket to keep her cozy. All necessities are packed and the three of us are ready to go!
Kalli has added so much joy to every one of our RV journeys. She’s cruised with us to national parks in the Rockies, has been our south-bound snowdog for the past two winters and is now ready and excited to keep us company on this Okanagan adventure.
By Jane Cassie
Published: May 26th, 2014
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