Hi, my name is Leah. These are my dogs Zoe and Zack. Welcome to Let’s Go Dog, where we strive for Peace of Mind in Dog Travel.
About Let’s Go Dog
“Peace of Mind” is what I yearn for when planning road trips with dogs. But, since I’m a worry-wart, just remembering to bring enough water, food and maps is not enough. What happens if a dog gets hurt far from home? Or rolls in something rotten? What if there’s a loose dog running around a campground and my reactionary dog, Zack, decides to take it on? The list of worries goes on.
Unfortunately, the worries tend to stop me from traveling as much as I like. So I’m using this blog as a tool to propel myself forward … to work through my worry issues towards more dog tripping.
Since I started blogging, I realized that the search for “Peace of Mind” is all about the journey…not just the destination … preparation for travel is strengthening my dog pack in every day life at home. I am developing stronger and more trusting relationships with my dogs, learning to have healthy eating and exercise habits, remembering how to relax and have fun, building community with other people and their pets, preparing for emergencies, and discovering how to be safe in the first place.
I live in Port Angeles, WA, way up in the upper-left-hand corner of Washington State.
I spent most of my adult career as a computer Database Administrator, with an 18-month sabbatical as an Investigator for Public Defenders. That means I’ve learned to gather data, investigate, report and pay attention to details.
It also means I need to shake off the dust of a couple decades of computer work and venture in the physical world again. So, I decided to take a break from corporate life to figure out if I can balance making a living and traveling with my dogs as much as we want.
Enter the Dogs …
I found Zack and Zoe on Pet Finder.com, an easy-to-use online resource for finding pets in need of homes. I found Zack first, when he was still a spoiled puppy, and Zoe several years later already grown and in need of a rescue.
Zack’s mom was rescued in Eastern Washington when she was pregnant with 10 puppies. Her foster parents guessed the puppies to be part Lab and part German Shepherd. It was hard to choose just one from the delightful puppy pile! I settled on a dog that appeared inquisitive yet neither shy nor aggressive. My Zack.
I was a little apprehensive when I brought Zack home. He was my first dog. Would he hold a grudge because I tore him away from his family? Did I have what it took to offer him a fulfilling, stimulating and safe home? Does he wish he lived on a ranch where he could run wild and free all day long? I still don’t know the answers to these questions.
Some people guess Zack to be a Black Lab / Rottweiller mix. I believe he’s a Beauceron, born with the characteristic double-dew claws and the suspicion of other dogs outside his pack.
To me, Zack is simply perfect.
Zack flashes full-tooth grins when he wakes me up in the morning. What a great way to start the day! He doesn’t like to swim, refuses to fetch, but loves to play keep-away. He’s an energetic road tripper, always alert for the coffee shack drive-thru’s that dispense dog treats.
Zack is a natural guard dog and an excellent Nosework performer. Zack is also a reactive dog, and is no good at recall (my fault). He’s faithful to me and a gentle dog to his “little sister” Zoe.
Zoe was housed at the local Humane Society for several days before I noticed her on PetFinder.com. They thought she was a Bernese Mountain Dog / Rottweiler mix.
I’ve come believe she’s a Gordon Setter mixed with Australian Shepherd. She has stunning blue eyes. She is good at standing her ground like a fireplug, and trotting ahead on walks at a straight steady pace.
We lucked out with Zoe: she’s a sweetheart, a cuddler and a fun playmate. She watches me carefully. And she’s very good at diverting my attention when I’ve been at the computer for too long. She’s a fantastic road trip passenger: she either calmly sits in her seat and gazes out the window, or curls up and takes a nap.
When she first came to our home, she was nervous around most people especially men carrying sticks, wearing beards or sporting hats. Now she’s mostly just cautious around strangers, but still barks nervously at stick-carrying bearded-hat-men.
Zoe has some health concerns (epilepsy, hip dysplasia, bone spurs) but we deal with them the best we can. She loves playing at Nosework but she’s not very good at it. She started off as a reluctant swimmer … until she saw a duck cruising by where we sat spellbound from shore. Then the chase was on and she proved to be a natural dog paddler.
Zoe is a bird dog. While Zack checks the perimeter for uninvited critters, Zoe checks the eaves for harboring swallows. I feel very well protected.
I love my dogs forever.