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Traveling with mans best friend

Safety is key when you’re on the road, especially when it comes to our pets. This month I experienced a real-life example of why it’s so important to carefully mind your pets while traveling. The same can be said for any scenario involving pets, not just RV traveling.

We were heading home from a trip in the Canadian prairies and stopped overnight at an RV park in the Rocky Mountains. We had stayed at this park on the way east and were looking forward to relaxing a little and walking among the trees, Stellar Jays, and Salmon Berries after an eight-hour drive over the mountains heading back west.



After setting up, we decided to stretch our legs and take our eighteen-month old dog (Pandora) for a walk. As we were walking along one of the gravel lanes, we noticed a Boxer with a pink collar bounce up behind us. Her leash was trailing behind her and a young boy was running behind her calling her name. As the dogs began nicely saying hi and sniffing each other, nothing prepared me, my wife, or our dog for the sudden ferocious behavior the Boxer displayed towards Pandora.

She suddenly attacked Pandora, going directly for her throat. Pandora pushed back against me, seeking protection. Being an extremely passive dog, Pandora had no desire to engage the other dog, and she was certainly fearing for her life at this point. My wife stepped forward to grab the Boxer’s pink collar but was impeded when her ankle was scraped by the dog’s claws.

We then noticed the boy’s mother had appeared and managed to grab hold of her dog and pull it off Pandora. The campers at the site where the incident occurred voiced their amazement and shock to have witnessed this attack. The mother dragged her dog away and asked if we were okay. We, including Pandora, were still in shock but my wife did a preliminary inspection of Pandora for wounds and broken bones. However, our gentle dog was not able to communicate any injuries, as her anxiety level was through the roof at that point. My wife had not yet noticed the scratches on her ankle, as she was focused on Pandora. We told the woman we thought everyone was fine.

We were fortunate that Pandora was not hurt, but this was a stark reminder to keep  dogs under strict control while outside your RV. If you have a strong, large, and/or aggressive dog, remember to think carefully about who should be holding the leash. We should always try our best to take all precautions possible. While there may be a stigma attached to these added precautions, it keeps other dogs safe while your dog enjoys some freedom.

Most pet rules are simple but please do take them seriously, whether traveling or at home.  You can also check out these additional tips for traveling with your furry friend!

About the Author: 

Steve Froese, an avid RV owner, traveler, and Coach-Net member since 2013, is the principal of “A Word to the Wise Technical Communications”, a published RV author, certified RV technician, and licensed Professional Engineer. He frequently collaborates with the “RV Doctor”, Gary Bunzer, and has worked with the RVIA/RVDA as a technical and training writer and consultant. Professionally, he works as a quality engineer and musician. Watch for more of Steve’s work in upcoming Coach-Net publications.

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