Marley Becomes a Snowbird: How it all Started

As Marley continued to recuperate, his puppy behavior started to come back. He also started to reveal his innermost desires….number one was to have his own dog house, never having had his “own place.” Since we also wanted a small house for ourselves, on wheels, (after envying friend Linda and her purchase of a trailer so she could visit favorite haunts in Wyoming) so we could visit out of the way places in Wyoming (like the red desert and Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge), we started the search. We had some decisions to make….about style, function, dependability, and so on. The result? It had to have wheels to move Marley around, big enough so we could go too, and above all, comfortable….we found an  Intech Sol Horizon, about 19’ long at Bretz RV in Billings, Montana. Perfect small home for the three of us. Marley was in full approval.

Around the time we picked the trailer up, it was ice cold and snowy in Lander…..January saw 3 feet of snow and many days of sub-zero temps. As well, we’d previously planned a trip to Sedona for a week with a favorite cousin. Another favorite cousin was to be in Benson Arizona, and we had friends to visit at Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Area. Why not take the new trailer south and try it out? All it took to convince us was a small whisper of desire from Marley and more cold and snow….we were on our way.

Because of the intense cold in Lander, we were unable to really outfit “Marley’s Place.” We just threw anything we thought we might need into the back of the pickup or into the trailer, and set off with our collective noses pointed south. We had only spent one night in our new rig, at Bretz RV, plugged in to shore power. No problems. Totally comfortable. We’d paid extra to have a full full solar package installed, including an inverter. 

That first day, we high-tailed it out of Lander, intending to go as far and as fast as we could. We got as far as Mesquite, Nevada, arriving after dark. Thank heavens we had decided to spend the night at the “Eureka” Casino’s parking lot (which they promote people to do) because when we turned on the lights expecting our solar investment to function….nothing! The furnace…nothing. No DC “thing” worked….only AC! We could have made toast or steamed the milk for my coffee but….no heat. And it was cold!! Went for dinner to the casino armed with what manuals we had from the rig to see if we could figure it out. No way that was going to happen after 12 hours of driving. 

Decided to just go back to the trailer and go to sleep. Pulled out the sleeping bags, covered ourselves with a down comforter and were warm from the blankets down but cold from the mattress up….it was still ice cold from the temps in Lander. Eventually we all fell asleep.

The next morning, waking up in Mesquite, it was still cold but a whole lot better than Lander! Started the day with some problem solving with Bretz RV (who were oh-so-helpful) and found the problem….a blown 40 amp fuse. Went for breakfast to Peggy Sue’s Diner, found an Autozone which luckily had 40 amp fuses, put everything back together again and set off for the next leg of the journey.

One minute I was happily ensconced at home in Lander, watching training videos with my leaders, snuggling with the bald leader when he tries to do his back exercises, and lounging beside the wood stove with the occasional foray out to see what I could see….and smell with my head down deep into the snow drifts….the next…i was in the truck ALL DAY LONG!!!! What the *****?

I love the truck… but, i didn’t at first. The pack LEADERS had to pick me up and lift me into the backseat and i really didn’t like that. Then they would drive around stopping  here and there … leaving me in the backseat … sometimes they would get me out to explore … some nice places and some scary places. tried to get me to cross a bridge… held out as long as i could but their calls across were too much to resist – it wasn’t that bad, i decided it was OK to start trusting them just a little… they would leave me in the truck by myself for a while but, always returned & was i happy to see them…. they were happy to see me too! 

“Since those first days the truck has become my safe place. Once in the backseat I lapse into a coma… only awakening for a pee or snack. They installed some step/running boards to help me get in and out. But, i quickly showed them I could jump right in with out the silly steps… but, I still occasionally use the step to get out… unless the bald leader decides to play ‘flying dog’ with me- using my vest handle to “fly” me out to the ground. I really hated that at first too… but then i realized he seems to worry about the impact of my weight on my only front leg… and it has hurt a few times.  So, i humor him… and he seems genuinely pleased each time I wait to be ‘flown’. It will be good to have him trained so well when I get old and arthritic.”

3 thoughts

  1. Coming right past your door and was thinking about you but …. Will you be there mid March?

    Sent from my iPad


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