June 28, 2014

A Great RV eBook & An Experiment

Click here: for a great RV book.

I am putting that link at the top for all to see. This is NOT an affiliate link, just a link to send you to the book on Amazon. Why am I "advertising" this?  It's because I just read it tonight, it's a fast read and loaded with good RV information. I bought it, downloaded it to my Kindle, synchronized all of my devices and read it on one setting on my iPad.

For those of you that have emailed me about my blog, telling me that you are still deciding on what to do ... this book is definitely for you as well as me. It explains a lot in the different phases we have gone through ... or maybe in your case ... currently going through, in our thought process.

It also covers those mental phases for the people that have bought their rig and have hit the road, whether just in your first month, first year or many years.

Every phase is covered and is very informative.

Now for a little update on nothing in particular, no new dramatic news either in the RV or my hounds. Still some things to write about each and kind of a follow up to my last post.

For the past few weeks I had an idea for walking my two basset's, Winston and Heidi with a splitter and one leash. Maybe a possibility for future camping or traveling. They are the same height which is a plus, same speed when not on the leash but a slight error in judgement. Daily as we walk through the field in back of the house I have Sadie (bloodhound) on a 25' retractable and one of the bassets on a 20' retractable and one lucky basset on their own pace. That pace is indescribable. The meaning of Slooooowwwwww would be faster than the pace of either basset hound walking off their leash.

Of course due to the heat and humidity we try to walk after 7 or 8pm. With Winston (10yr), it's a combination of the heat, his bad lower basset back or maybe just that he is getting older but when he is off the leash he will drop pretty far behind us walking one step at a time. Picture that on basset hound length legs ... LOL. He will always cut off his walk short and head to the return path to meet us on the way back. It's all open field so I can see where he is.

When Heidi is off leash (6yr), she is off on her own and hard to control because she will ignore you just like the AKC description says about the basset hounds breed (stubborn) and will get away if I am not keeping tabs on her. At times she starts going in different directions to where I have to walk the other dogs over to her and take the leash off of Winston and attach her.

So last week I found my old leather splitter hanging inside a door with all past leashes, different sized and different kinds of dog collars that have collected over the years. I remember in 1997 when I moved to this house Harry and Maggie walked using that splitter like two dancers...almost in step. They were both bassets. I thought if they could do it, then Winston and Heidi could also. I was wrong.

In the experiment this week, the combo of Heidi and Winston never worked that way and as of tonight, June 28, the experiment has been shelved. Some of what I described earlier about each basset off of the leash, is a factor on why this experiment didn't work.

Whether Winston is on or off a leash .... his pace is the same ... slowwwwwww. When Heidi is on the leash she will do anything to stay in the lead and is always ahead of the bloodhound. Then at times with her great nose, she is off on a scent that will pull me if I let her, but the stop on the retractable leash stops her tendency to bolt.

So with one basset hound wanting to be in the lead of the pack, that is connected by a collar splitter to a basset that is on a constant laid back stroll through the country ... it was not going to work. Each night this week I stopped them soon after to unhook the splitter and only putting Heidi on the leash, otherwise Winston would be strangled with Heidi pulling him through the field.

How does this information tie into the last blog post? For the past few weeks I had thought seriously of taking the hounds and I tent camping. The plan was to head to locations with low temps and at least lower humidity. I was thinking Yellowstone, maybe Glacier or even the coast of the PNW. Yes ... all of us in a tent, a large PaHa Que with plenty of floor space and I could stand up if needed.

The concerns were:

1.  My hounds barking in a SP on the way out when they saw new people and new dogs.
2.  The hound ability to take off when they lock onto a scent and either getting lost or killed by a predator.

On the first concern, here at home when someone shows up to visit, UPS/FedEx delivery or like the installer this week ... if I don't let them outside to meet and greet the people, one hound will start their "hound howling" and the other two follow. It's loud and I could see us getting kicked out of campgrounds because of that. Also, if I were to take off to either bike or hike, I would have had to leave them in the back of the FJ Cruiser and that's never a good thing in hot weather, even with the windows cracked. Would they be barking then? They bark here at home when they can't go out when I mow the yard. I can only assume they would bark if I were to leave them in the car.

The second concern is a big one. Sure, it doesn't happen often or at least you don't read about dogs being killed by predators. My friend asked at dinner the other night "are you really going to tent camp with three dogs in bear country"? I jokingly replied that my bloodhound would probably be lunch for a bear and then I would. Not a good answer I know, but it just kind of came out that way.

One the drive home I thought more about that. Around here in the country about all I hear are coyotes. Unless they are really hungry in the winter, you don't see them. You will see their tracks in the snow.

The safety of my hounds have always been a concern. Tent camping would change the safety parameters. It would be much different than sleeping inside a hard shell trailer, or staying in one during the day.

I thought of how hard it is to walk all three hounds on a leash. I thought of our trip last September 2013. I thought if they were an excuse or a justifiable concern. I don't deal in excuses nor do I make decisions feeding my brain positive thoughts over and over, never have. I make decisions based on facts, tendencies and thoughts of safety  if the hounds were traveling as well for myself. That is they way I've always been ... analysis then decision. Maybe when I was younger I made some of those "I'll do it now and figure it out on the way" but being older I don't have time to correct major mistakes in thinking, financially or otherwise.

So, long story short, I decided tent camping off the grid with three hounds was not possible. These are not dogs in the working breed that stay around, they are hounds and their noses dictate what they do in an outside environment. The stronger the scent, the more unconscious they become ... that's their DNA. It's not a training issue.

Like I stated in September 2013 post after our 586 mile trip, any full-time or majority of the time traveling will have to take place after the number of hounds I have decreases to one.

I have had bassets or bloodhounds or both, since 1987. Depending on circumstances, determined the quantity at the time. When I purchased Heidi in July 2011 from Basset Hound Rescue, RVing and retiring was not even a thought....even a passing thought. I did not see Glenn's interview with Yahoo until October 2011, then started my blog, with the subtext "finding out if I can travel with three hounds".

I'm good with the decision. We will try to get away for short trips, maybe see what happens and then go from there.

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