Dogs are great ambassadors in campgrounds, especially Maggie. Maggie takes her job of greeting people very seriously and takes offense when someone walks by and doesn’t stop to say hello. Walking a dog is a great way to meet neighbors and new friends.
Take Phyllis and Chris in Tucson, we met when Phyllis was walking Molly and I was walking Maggie. We struck up a conversation and learned we also loved to play golf. If not for Maggie and Molly, we may never have met. I look forward to seeing them again this winter in Tucson.
I met Liz because she was walking her dog Roxanne on Capitol Hill. Roxy reminded me of my Mother’s dog Aussie. Both Australian Cattle dogs.
Each time Liz and I met on the street I would stop her and pet Roxanne. It wasn’t until the third or fourth crossing when Liz and I actually engaged in conversation other than admiring Roxanne. I was dog less at that time. Liz told me she had recently moved to the Capitol Hill neighborhood. “Where did you come from”, I asked? “Anchorage”, she said. “Who are you?” I asked. How ironic, we lived within a block of each other and both of us were from Anchorage, Alaska. Liz was reporting for the Anchorage Daily News, and we had many Alaska friends in common, but hadn’t known each other there. We became great friends, and I became Roxanne’s dog sitter when Liz traveled. Liz met and married Tim a few years later and moved to England, Japan and Colorado Springs before returning to Washington, D.C. in 2013 to become the Alaska Public Radio Network reporter. Roxanne died shortly after their return, I was so glad to share Roxanne’s final days with Liz. She was a good girl.
It took me over 15 years to get another dog, after putting my dog Hanna down in 1998. I decided after all these years it was time for another dog. “If you want a friend in Washington, D.C. get a dog”. Four months of searching on PetFinder.com for a non-shedding 50 lb dog, I found Maggie in Ashland, VA. The Bark Dog Rescue a community group found Maggie and two puppies running along a rural road, no tags, collars or microchips.
Dog rescue groups can be a bit neurotic. It is bad enough to be rejected by men on Match.com, but to be rejected as unsuitable to rescue a dog! No back yard, out of state, no kids, needs the companionship of other dogs. Some groups require home visits, and references. Thankfully, the Bark group was sensible and anxious to find homes for abandoned dogs. I was so lucky to find Maggie, and she rescued me.
Liz got Lola shortly after I rescued Maggie and they bonded living together, waiting for Tim to arrive after finishing his Air Force Service in Colorado. Maggie misses Lola during our travels but enjoys meeting new people in campgrounds. She doesn’t care for other dogs like she loves Lola. They are BFFs.
I have been so very lucky adopting rescue dogs. Hanna came to me from the Anchorage Pound. Like Maggie, Hanna loved to travel and was great riding in cars. As an Alaskan dog Hanna also was great riding in float planes to the King Bear Lodge on the Yentna River for summer salmon season. Maggie has swum in the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
As a single woman traveling alone in an Airstream people often ask if I am afraid. Really? First, if was afraid, would I be doing this? Two, Maggie is by no means a guard dog. I consider campgrounds safe places and always introduce myself and Maggie to the neighbors. Walking Maggie two or three times a day offers the opportunity to meet fellow campers, and they get to meet Maggie which makes her very happy.
A couple of years ago friends spent many months traveling in an RV. When I asked them if they met nice people in campgrounds, they both responded NO. It was because they didn’t have a dog, I am certain. They didn’t experience loneliness because they were traveling as a couple. Maggie is a great traveling companion, but not a great conversationalist. She does help me meet people, in her role as dog ambassador.