So it has officially been 1 year that my dogs and I have been travelling. Well I can tell you that it definitely didn’t go the way we planned but if has been perfect, we have had the most amazing times, met the most amazing people and seen the most amazing places. I am thankful for the people who have helped us with our travel and with our necessities. We are not done yet. Unfortunately travelling will still be done on an extremely low budget, but will be following the road that the wind guides us along. I stand here 12 months from the person I was, I can’t believe that that was me. Who I have become and what I have had to do has left me in a state of disbelief. From here we go forward.
So we all know the saying “travel makes you wise.”
Well why is this?
I feel it is for a few reasons. The first is that it exposes you to many different cultures and many different traditions and mindsets. This is great for the main reason, you can select what you like and work to avoid what you don’t like. You colour in your likes and dislikes.
For instance i love Germany for its care and interest in its people, they look after their people. I don’t like it as the people don’t interact with each other easily, they are scared and cold. I love italy as they are passionate and full of life, But the government and the church is killing the people and the earth that they live on. Now before i experienced either, i loved italy and hated germany. Now i have a colourful reasoning to it.
The second is your knowledge grows hugely. You meet people that know all sorts of strange things. Travel makes you interested and in return makes you interesting. I have learnt secrets of Sheppards and the ways of the mountains. I also learnt a lot about who i am and who i wish to be.
The third and final thing i will talk about is the confidence it gives you. There is no possibility to fear life when you travel. You need to work through all situations no matter how great your fear is.
I will add that to do this all alone is key to the effectiveness but any travel is good travel.
I recently wrote that without travel there is no purpose in life. I will stand by this till someone can give me a better reason.
Today as usual I stick my nose in business I don’t need to. But I found a post on Facebook that was about a dog looking for a new home. This is what I think about this.
We have rescue centers, they are flooded with dogs, they have dogs from all sorts of backgrounds. But most of them are because no one wants them and they get dropped off at the centers. This is not what a rescue center is there for. These places are for dogs that need rescuing and not an easy way out for a fed up owner.
Here is my view on this giving dogs up.
And please feel free to disagree with me and you can even publicly shame me to all like minded people out there. If you can’t see the logic in my point then I don’t want you or like minded people to be following us.
So let’s start.
Before you get a animal. Research the type of animal, what does it need to survive and be happy. Then research the specific breed and their unique behaviors and requirements. After that please realize that they are with you for (x) amount of years and they are your responsibility till the day they die. And no killing them is not an option
Next there are rescue centers for all types of animals. Animals that have needed to be rescued from there past(Not give up). If this is not an option then please there are regulations on breeding of all animals and by supporting a registered breeder you are supporting the rules that are set by a governing body.
So you found your breeder, great(this point doesn’t really apply to rescue centers)
First important thing to look at.
Time with mom. How long are the puppies kept with the mom and dad? A minimum of 8 weeks is necessary for basic discipline and manners that the parents teach. I recommend 12weeks old as the best time to get that puppy.
Second thing that is a huge no no. Don’t get 2 puppies from the same litter. You asking for trouble and this is why.
They were born together, they were raised together and they were taken away from their family together. This creates a bond that you won’t split easily. They will look to each other to play and for entertainment. “Great, I want them to play with each other” no you don’t. They will be difficult to train.
This leads to the next thing. Something that many people get wrong and I get asked often. “When do we start training our puppy?”
Training starts with the mom and dad and as soon as puppy comes home with you, training begins.
Sit, down, learning to go to the toilet on command, not being protective over food, and crate training(posted on how to crate train earlier) but the most important training is to play, you want your dog to play with you like there is nothing better in the world.
Then discipline is important. They cute and small and they don’t cause damage but keep in mind that cute face might get to 40kgs. Rule of thumb, accept anything you want out of a big dog.
Now. Dogs grow a bond to their new family. One that they will die for. If you not willing to do the same then don’t get the dog.
A dog is a child that you didn’t give birth to. The difference is the dog will love you unconditionally till the very end. They will be by your side every step of the difficulties in life and you better be there for them the same.
If you don’t leave you children behind then you don’t leave your dog.
This results in a huge difference in the connection between man and animal. From here we put everything in balance slowly. We see animals and more then objects, we act in ways that is best for them.
We establish peace on earth with one simple action. If you not ready for this then you need to put the idea of having an animal on hold.
This goes for all animals that we make reliant on us for their survival.
Treat this world and everything on it like it’s the only one we have.
So on our travels we have experienced a lot of difficulties. The main being the emotional stress on the dogs, but the second being the cost of moving with dogs. We have taken plains, trains, busses, boats and cars. And this is what we went through.
Firstly planes, this is the hardest part of the travelling process. It causes stress on all parties and holds the most complex systems and well the possibilities of something going wrong is higher then I am comfortable with. Although we were told everything would be smooth and problem free. That it was but my heart stopped for the 20hrs that we were not together.
It cost us $1500.00 for the tickets and well that was only half of the expense. You still have vet bills and crates to pay for.
Trains. A method I thought would be problem free. Afraid not. Although working much better then this airline business. You keep your dogs with you, huge plus. They do need to be muzzled in most trains, not so bad. You pay 50% of a normal ticket per dog. So this is all looking pretty good. The problem comes when you get on the train.
Where do I sit? It isn’t easy to find place on trains in peek time, so I suggest you book for when it is not full. Then moving to connecting trains, this becomes difficult. Manipulating your way around full trains, stations you don’t know, in a language you don’t understand, with 2 dogs. Problems. I suggest looking for trips with at least 10-15 minutes layover. We missed trains a lot.
Busses. For sort distances they are great,
Usually free for dogs, but muzzles may be needed. Also tend to be quite cramped at times so keep this in mind.
Boats. Easy, till motion sickness kicks in. We did only take ferries so didn’t encounter many problems and also free for dogs.
The easiest and simplest way to move though is to rent a car. Long distance it is the cheapest and the dogs are free(don’t tell them you going with dogs).
P.s. Non of this applies for Switzerland. If on budget, avoid at all costs.
Oh ya and don’t buy a 30 year old camper, also a bad idea.
So with the recent vomiting for no apparent reason episode in altair(my dog) we did some more in depth research on TBE(tick borne encephalitis).
What I have learnt.
TBE is not found/ rarely found above 1500m and likes humid and warm climates.
We are looking at a disease that is transmitted immediately on bit. So a lot of your prevention methods will not work as they kill the ticks after they have bitten.
With your Lyme disease it needs abit more time and this give you a greater chance of prevention.
We are not worried about this just yet. We are worried about TBE. But should we be?
Well further studies(on the net) have said that Italy has a very low count of infections and non in the area that we are in.
Below is a link to a great sight, it is based on human infection and not animal but I feel it is relative to one another.
We are righting this vomiting off as a bug that was picked up at a show. 24 hrs after the vomiting started it ended and all is looking better, still reluctant to eat but I don’t blame him.
So this weekend was a crazy emotional roller coaster. Saturday was terrible weather here in Turin. Let the show begin, we were supposed to run 2 rounds with each dog and only did one. We were all wet by this time and called it a day. Went home and got warm and comfortable, not a bad day, the results of the competition; Altair 4th with a bar down. And Ksora was a rocket and missed her poles. I hurt my back and was freezing. Sunday morning, ready to rock the show today. Until, Altair started vomiting all his food up. Oh god!!! This is it, sick and dying dog, no show, and 80€ down the drain, the worst is the health of my dog, I couldn’t care less for the rest.
So we walk and wait to see how he looks, by lunch we decided to go do the show and if he doesn’t get better then have a vet look at him. He vomited right before his class but thankfully vet was on scene and told us exactly what the problem is and that there is no need to worry.
If your dog is vomiting and you are worried go to a vet, if you feel it isn’t a danger then this is what we were told to do, no food and water for 24hrs, after that give them a anti nausea dose(for dogs) and then carry on as usual, let’s hope this works.
So we ran had fun and it ended in a great result, Altair unfortunately had another bar down and got disqualified in agility but ran amazingly. Ksora rocked it and took 2nd place in agility, shocking the crowd.
This weekend(5th march) is the first big show my dogs and I will be taking part in since we left South Africa in April last year.
We will be doing agility and hopefully don’t make a fool of myself. When training dogs. If there is ever a mistake it is the trainer/owner and never the dog. Either you were not clear in giving the command or you didn’t do enough training.
Dogs do only as much as you teach them. Being a trainer and competitor as well as a behaviorist I get many questions about why people’s dogs are so badly behaved. My first question is “what do you do with your dog?” 90% of the time the response is the same “nothing, there is no reason for the bad behavior” this is when I upset most people, “well you see that is the cause of the problem, you got a dog, you taught it nothing, now it acts like it knows how, and you don’t like it.” So how do we fix this problem, well work with the dog, walk with the dog, give the dog attention, “but this takes time and we don’t have time” well next time don’t get a dog.
I work my dogs 2hrs per week on agility, I walk my dogs 4-10km per day, I never leave my dogs side. It my be obsessive but when I ask something they do it. Why do they do it? Well me being there every second of the day means when there is a danger I keep them safe, when one gets hurt I relieve the pain as fast as possible, when they are thirsty I give them water. All this builds a trust, they now work with me to keep me happy, they know that I work with them to keep them happy. You don’t do this give and take relationship you don’t get that relationship. Giving food and water is not a treat or reason for them to respect you, it’s a necessity for their survival.