III: The Walking Dog

There is no doubt about it. The best way to meet people at an RV park or campground, is by putting your dog on a leash and taking a walk.. Over our four years of RV travel, from Florida, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, my husband and I have left our two dogs at home. No getting up at dawn to walk the dog or bagging poop for us. Comfortable and simple, yes, the vacations were very relaxing. Sadly, though the acquaintances we made were nice enough, they were brief encounters I had been assured that when we took our RV on trips, we would meet all sorts of people. What we had not been told was the way to meet all those people was to walk your furry little friend, and carry that poop bag with pride.  

Bridgett is a mild-mannered friendly little dog with glistening black fur, soft curly ears, an unruly beard, and a nubby tail that communicates her happy greeting. Docile and demure, she makes friends with all of the other dog owners. She seems to be as interested in their stories as I am!

Jack and Linda, who have Gracie, a wriggling black Yorkie, live on a boat in Indiana all summer. Tom and Abbie, parents of Mickey, a curly-haired Poodle-Dachsan mix, met during the Viet Nam War where Abbie, tall and graceful with wild grey hair cropped short, was an ER nurse and Tom, the biggest man I’ve known, was her Corpsman on the field.

Bill and Joan, a couple from Ontario who spend most of their winters in Key West, just lost their “Little Fella”, Bill told me tearfully, his leathered hand twithering in the air.  They’d had him for over fifteen years, and the little mix traveled with them wherever they went. Bill’s dad, a Bush Pilot in the “30’s who barn stormed the hills, had taught him how to fly. Bill decided to race cars instead and made a career out of revving up fast cars. Bill and Joan have been married over fifty years, a little too late to find a puppy and “start a family” again, and Bill retired from a life of noise and transmissions. When they are not on the road, Joan tends to her garden and Bill drives a school bus because “… those kids need some positive influence and I’ve got the time to give it to “em.” Bill and Joan are looking for their place and a new purpose in a much quieter, slower life.

Another couple motored with their sheepdog, another one with two huskies; the people next to our motorhome have a great white Samarian with deep almond eyes and a perpetual smile. Our little black Bridgett has quite the crush on this hunk of a dog.

The family who arrived at the RV resort with three rescue bulldogs was told, “Three’s too many in a resort park for Class A’s.” So they took their Best Friends and settled in a friendlier campground where everyone was welcome. Campgrounds are  open to all kinds of folk and pets. In Florence, North Carolina, the bearded man in a bright tropical shirt staying next to our campsite pulled a separate trailer for his seventy seven year old Macaw.

I couldn’t tell you how these friendly folks looked when they were settled and young, and I don’t care. I’m just glad they are my Clan now and my dogs and I have so many more to meet in our future travels! The stories will keep on coming -that bag of RV candy is full!