Importance of the Third Crewmember

Surprisingly we are still having discussions about the importance of a third crewmember on large cabin aircraft. Perhaps we have been discussing points that are simply too obvious and need to consider some of the benefits of a third crewmember that nobody really wants to think about. The things we are trained to do and keep current on, are often things nobody wants to talk about in everyday conversation. The things we think about during every takeoff and landing would make many passengers a bit nervous. Most would rather focus on our ability to prepare world-class cuisine and make the bedding look really pretty.

These are private jets where no expense has been spared to have the very best provisions for safety and security. Many are equipped with a Tempus unit *, defibrillator, MedAire subscription **, smoke hoods, and life rafts that are top shelf. It seems incongruent that the flight departments or corporations might think a third crewmember would be a luxury or unnecessary expense. When the third crewmember is viewed that way, it may be because the decision makers have become distracted by the “cabin attendant persona” who makes everything beautiful and presents five star cuisines. It’s human nature to focus on that, because nobody wants to think about what we’re really trained to do and how we support the operations of the flight department invisibly, if done correctly.

1. Flight deck support

A well-trained and experienced cabin attendant can ease the workload for the flight deck by completely managing the cabin. This allows the pilots to remain focused on flying and completing associated duties. They never have to divide their attention to maintaining a tidy cabin and lav, preparing and serving food, or checking to make sure everything is operating correctly in the aft section of the aircraft. The cabin attendant can also ensure that the pilots remain properly hydrated and nourished, as well as, provide breaks so they can maintain focus.

2. Medical first responder

Your third crewmember is trained as a medical first responder. Your pilots are trained as well, but you don’t want one of your pilots leaving the flight deck to assist while the other one manages an emergency landing to get a critically ill passenger to a trauma center. Perhaps you feel comfortable because you have a doctor on board as a passenger, but what if the person who becomes ill is the doctor? Having someone on board who is trained in field response for in-flight emergencies and has experience in triage assistance in case of an accident is not only a good idea, but a safe one.

3. Fire fighter

Your crew is trained to fight an in-flight fire. This is something nobody ever wants to encounter and tries very hard not to think about. If there is a fire, discovering it early is essential. Having a highly trained and experienced third crewmember is critical as a fire rarely starts in the cockpit. A third crewmember is trained to detect the first signs of any overheating or a hidden fire. They are trained to detect and fight fires behind the walls and under the floors. You don’t want to think about that. Flight attendants practice staying calm and fighting these types of fires with hands-on training every year. A third crewmember can be fighting the fire while both pilots concentrate on getting the aircraft on the ground safely, which is the first priority in a fire. You will be very glad to have a third crewmember on board in this situation.

4. Security detail

Welcome aboard, the cabin looks beautiful and pleasing every time of course. Your trained third crewmember can make the cabin look beautiful, but also focuses on every item in the cabin, allowing them to detect any new or unidentified items that are present while the pilots focus on flight related items. Security is always a top priority, but what if we were to learn in-flight that we have a bomb on board? Your third crewmember would know the safest location for it and how to build a safe compartment around it, while staying calm because they have practiced this annually. Your pilots know this too, but having a third crewmember allows your pilots to stay focused on flying and communicating with the ground, while the third crewmember deals with the threat. They have also been trained in hostage negotiation and defense tactics.

5. Flight department team member

The third crewmember can ease the load for your entire flight department by restocking the aircraft upon return from a mission. The cabin attendant knows better than anyone exactly what supplies have been depleted during a trip and can easily keep track and re-stock the aircraft upon return. Other duties can include management of linens and china, stocking items onboard , and maintaining passenger and crew profiles. This can free up your flight department for their main duties, such as dispatch and accounting.

6. Privacy

We might as well take a direct look at the elephant in the room and address the issue of privacy. This is the number one issue many private jet owners have with bringing a third crewmember on board. Please realize that a properly trained cabin attendant knows how to be available, but invisible. Discretion and owner privacy are top priorities. If you don’t feel like you can have your own space or your discussions are not secure, you don’t have the right crewmember. It’s that simple. Not every person will be the right fit for your operation, but it is worth it to find the one that will work with your needs and style, allowing your flight department to gain all of the benefits that a third crewmember can bring to your team.

Closing Thoughts

Try thinking about the third crewmember as an extended member of the flight deck crew and an addition to the flight department staff, as well as a fire fighter, emergency first responder, and security specialist who will also fill in as a culinary artist and concierge on the side. Maybe that will help define this role in a way that makes sense. There’s just so much of that role that people really don’t want to think about, but your third crewmember trains every year on many items to make sure they stay in top form. Your third crewmember is just like your fire extinguisher and your life raft. You really hope you’ll never have to use them for their true purpose, but you wouldn’t dream of not having those essential pieces of safety equipment on board for the one time that you do need them. The difference is you can actually use your third crewmember for so much more on every mission.

Resources in this article:

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Living NOW

DSC_7873Hey everypawdy, Maxx here.  Ok, I admit my blog posting has been a bit slow and sporadic.  Truth is, as a young pupper it has been a bit hard to find “my” voice.  Oh I know my Mommers would beg to differ.  She hears my voice plenty and we are working hard on controlling that voice, but I digress.

So here we are in the month of May, which is a big one fur us since it is Pet Cancer Awareness Month and also the month that we lost our namesake Buddy. Kind of reaches out and gobsmacks us efurry year.  Yup, we get gobsmacked too!  Happens to efurrypawdy, don’t think it doesn’t.  Some days Mom will sit with a far away look, and she will just kinda go fur a walk with me but be far away. Dogs know this.  I want to be more like Buddy, but I’m just a pupper… I can’t write much because I get so many words wrong.

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But now?  NOW I am two!  TWO!  It’s like I woke up and have things to say.  Ya know I was looking ofur some of Buddy’s old stuff and he was wise, the force was strong with him it was.  He barked about how dogs only know one time, and that is NOW.  I think it’s a good time to re-visit that concept.  Bud was reminding us that when dogs have a bad day, they work through it and then it is over and the next day it is behind them and they are on to a new day.

FaceMax

 

Same can be said fur having new fur in your life.  It doesn’t mean at all that you have to let go of what was, or that special something.  Heck no!  What ya do have to focus on is NOW. Don’t miss today for yesterday or tomorrow.  So go ahead and hold on to that old love, it was real and true!  Today, though, today is now and worth enjoying NOW.  Making it the best won’t take one bit away from what was and it won’t ruin your chances of a great day tomorrow.  Cool how that works.  Dogs get that, and I just wanted to pass that along.  Just another pearl of wisdom that I like to boil down into the simple phrase: “Be the Dog…”

You’re welcome BOL

 

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The Face of K9 Cancer

Big Mtn Bob.jpg Feb 19, 2012 4-41 AM

Today is a special day in our house.  Many houses have a day like today… It is a day when you pause to remember.  On that day you said goodbye to your special soul mate you promised you would never forget, and that is absolutely true.  You see, eight years ago today we said goodbye to our Forever Dog, Bob.  Bob was short for his full name:  “Bob Marshall Wilderness Dog” since he was adopted in Whitefish, MT where we lived and we wanted to honor the glory of the area.  Bob was nothing if not glorious.

Bob succombed to cancer 2/06

We fell in love first with his sister, Schafer (short for Shafer Meadows, also in the Bob Marshall Wilderness) and knew we had to go get him.  There was a whole litter being given Scanaway because they weren’t pure bred.  Who could turn this down???  He began life running and playing on the shores of the Flathead River in Glacier National Park.

 

Bob grew fast and became quite the river dog, he enjoyed some good hiking too.  He went everywhere with us and fully embraced the glory he lived in.  He would Kayak in the summer and float on the lakes and even visited a few mud bogs…

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mud dog.jpg Feb 19, 2012 4-41 AM

 

 

 

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Bob had thick fur and loved the snow.  He loved to roll in it, and drag us around in it.  At the end of the day we would go out on the ski runs where we lived and he would chase us down on sleds or my snowboard.  That was GREAT fun!  On sunny winter days, my best friend and I would grab some Crazy Creek chairs and a few beverages and snowshoe up to a point overlooking the valley and watch the sun set while the dogs played.  Sadly, cancer has come to call and taken her and Bob home…

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But remember,before Bob left, he was always laughing!

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That is how I will always remember him.  Right up until that last day.  We were simply out on our morning snowshoe and Bob wandered into the woods and did not return.  When we found him, he was collapsed under a tree.  We learned very quickly about K9 cancer.  We learned how randomly and quickly it can hit.  We learned how completely it can have control before you even have a chance to begin to fight.  Bob had very aggressive Hemangiosarcoma: a tumor that had been silently growing on his heart ruptured that morning.  His doctors took heroic measures and stabilized him so we could make decisions and get information.  What we learned is that there was substantial spread of the disease.  We took Bob home, and he just never got his “Bob” back.  Bob deserved more than that.

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A typical “Bob” day was to hang out on the front porch and wait for visitors to stop by and adore him (we lived at a ski resort on the way to a ski run) or possibly share their breakfast burritos with him.  He would then go on a long snowshoe with us and stop at a neighbor house on the way home to help get the kids ready for school and help with their waffles.  He would return home at his leisure, hang with us a bit and then return to the porch to watch for visitors and squirrels.  At lunchtime he knew the lifties down at Chair 6 (just below our house) would often fire up the grill and cook good stuff so he would wander down there.  You could hear them cry “Bob!” from our house.  He was a legend.  Then he would come home and commence napping until his afternoon snowshoe.  He lived a large life.  He deserved to be Bob every day of it.  The next evening we had a great “wake” for Bob that all of his dog friends came to and our friends as well.  We all celebrated a life well lived and gave him a living, loving send off.  Quietly, we slipped out the next morning and made that last trip down the hill and said good bye to our dearest love.  He drifted off quickly as he was so very tired.

Bob, Looking Back...

This, my friends, is the face of K9 cancer.  We thought it was an anomaly because we had not heard of it.  When our next dog, Buddy, got it we began to learn the truth.  There are amazing advances being made since we first began this walk with Bob, and we are grateful to folks who are taking this on every day like the Animal Cancer Foundation.  Today we pause and not only remember some of our favorite things about Bob, but send special thoughts to all of you who have been forced to have days when you remember because of this disease.  When you are remembering, remember to be grateful that you had such a powerful love in your life that you are eternally touched and changed by it.  I gotta say, “I would not miss the dance…”  Bob, I will continue the fight for you and all forever dogs.  Miss ya dude.

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Cancer Treatment Is Not A Competition

DSC_2240-1A lot of folks don’t even know why we started our “Buddy’s Be The Dog Life” Facebook page.  It’s just there, they stop by and well, heck, Buddy isn’t even there any more, so what’s this all about?

Buddy was our big love who got cancer six years into his Golden life.  He was our second dog to get cancer.  Our first dog got Hemangiosarcoma and it was so pervasive and aggressive that by the time we found it, we only had two more days with him.  We thought it was a fluke.  When Buddy got cancer, we knew there was more to it.  Buddy had a slower moving cancer so we had time to learn about this evil and how often it struck our pets.  We learned about the different forms and the treatments.  We did research and studied and asked questions and then decided to make some good come of our bad situation.  We decided to share our journey and what we learned.  We knew there were a lot of other scared families out there with nobody to talk to who knew that it scared you just as much when your pet had cancer as when any other loved one did in your family.  So we shared.  Buddy shared, mostly, and he also shared how he kept right on living and being the dog, because that’s what dogs do.

Chillin'

Chillin’

We pass on a lot of information here and we try to share all of the newest, most cutting edge technology as soon as we learn about it.  We try to post all of the options that are available for each type of cancer that might strike one of our pets.  We always say knowledge is power: power of the paw.  Lately, though, we have had a few messages that make us realize that there is a message we don’t always make clear or maybe we should make clear.  Those are ALL the options.  Each family then makes decisions based on their situation and what they think is best for their family and their pet.  Never forget that YOU are in the driver’s seat when it comes to treatment and options.  You are your pet’s number one advocate and that is your key role during this process.  No article or blog or doctor or study should make you feel that you need to follow a certain path.  With that said, allow me to share some very practical advice we learned the very hard way.

When you notice a bump or lump, there is a very logical and strategic way to examine each one.  If it is small or squishy (technical term there) keep an eye on it and watch to see if it grows and how quickly, changes color or texture or form. Each lump should be addressed.  No doctor can tell, just be feeling one, that it is benign or of a certain type.  The best doctors who are very confident taught me that.  They can be 99% sure, but not certain.  The next step is not surgery to remove the lump to examine it.  The next step will be possibly x-rays or a needle aspirate to determine the composition of the lump.  The aspirate removes some cells for examination with minimal invasion of your pet’s body.  This is important, as many pets develop multiple lumps and you don’t want to keep slicing and dicing on your pet like a science experiment.  If test results show the lump is benign you still watch the lump.  An aspirate only tests a portion of the cells, so you still watch and if it starts changing and acting hinkey (another tech term) you have a pro look at it again.  More watching and evaluating than cutting.

The time does come for treatment when it is cancer and that is when I get a lot of messages from truly distraught pet parents.  This is what I want to remind you all of today.  I am not a doctor, but this does not take a doctor to help you understand.  This takes years of experience with pets with cancer and thousands of pets and their stories shared on this page alone.  The decisions you make are personal and will be right for you and your pet.  When you take that pet into your life you promise to give him or her the very best life possible.  You will be as loyal to that creature (or try to be) as he or she is to you.  This means you will bankrupt yourself emotionally for your pet, but it does not require you to do so financially where you both end up out on the street.  That does not really provide a good quality of life for either one of you.  If you are constantly stressing about the cost of a treatment, that stress will transfer to your pet.

When presented with a diagnosis, it is time to do research because knowledge is power.  It is tempting to go all “deer in the headlights,” but don’t go there.  Learn all of your options.  That does not mean you are going to take advantage of every option.  You have to consider at the very top of the list how treatments will affect the quality of your pet’s life.  You also have to factor in cost in the real world.  A surgeon may sit across the desk and tell you that he CAN get that tumor out of your dog.  That is true.  Then you have to weigh the fact that it will cost $10,000 and your dog will have a lengthy and uncomfortable recovery that will limit his activity.  I use this example because it is a situation we were in with Buddy.  Then we considered that the tumor was on his liver and the cancer had become systemic and we would probably only be buying him six more months of life at most.  The time had come to make a decision in Buddy’s best interest that was right for us and for Buddy.  The option and technology was there to do more.  After many sleepless nights and much research into odds and projected outcomes, we made the difficult decision to stop the assault on his body.  We chose instead to spend our money heating the pool in March and April so it was warm enough so he could do his most favorite thing in the world; swim.  Buddy died in May.  We were left with wonderful memories of joy and he had the best time.  If he had surgery, he may have lived a few miserable months longer and would not have understood why we put him through that pain and suffering.  Instead, he knew only joy and got to be a dog until the end.

Me and my Meanie

So please, always be gentle with yourself as you travel this path.  Learn all you can, and then do the very best you can by your pet.  Feed them the best you can, but if after reading an article you find that the suggested diet is just too expensive for you, don’t worry.  Do the best you can which will be a true gift to your pet.  Learn what treatments are available and get the best care you can for your pet.  We have articles posted in our resource library about places to apply to for financial help, but if all else fails, just do the best you can and then keep your pet comfortable.  We didn’t sign up to be able to keep them alive forever.  Oh that we could, and we feel that is our responsibility.  It is not.  Our responsibility is to love them to death, not prevent it.  We are all capable of that.  It is the ultimate lesson in “Being the Dog…” to just be with what is, and enjoy the ride!

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When Dogs Fly…Part 2: Four Steps Before You Fly

ImageOk, last time we didn’t even get near an airplane.  There is plenty of prep you can do to make travel easier for your pet before you ever get to the aircraft.  After some fun work with lots of rewards, hopefully you now have a pet who is comfortable around strangers and with the restraint system that is going to keep him or her safe on board.  As I mentioned, we work with pets flying in the cabin on private jets, so that is how these tips are written, but you can get some good ideas from these articles.  If you have specific questions about commercial air travel or even car travel or camping, shoot me a note and I’ll try to help you out there too!

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The first thing to keep in mind the day of your trip is to allow plenty of time so you don’t start rushing around.  Getting everything packed up and in the car is stressful enough for your pet, you don’t need to ramp it up with rushing around and getting frustrated when they ask for a little reassurance that their world is ok.  The second thing to keep in mind is that everything will take twice as long as you anticipate, so allow a little extra time.  When you arrive at the FBO, have a walk-about and let your pet have one last relief break and stretch.  We always meet our guests with dogs out on the tarmac.  Some dogs get really excited meeting new people and jump around and show excitement in other ways that might damage the fine interior of a private jet.  It’s best to have that excitement outside…  If you are flying with a less “pet savvy” crew, invite them to meet you outside before entering the aircraft to make sure everything goes smoothly.

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Once you enter the aircraft, have a quick look around to make sure there aren’t any bowls of candy or flowers at grazing level for your pet.  We always “pet proof” our cabins, including using only cleaning products that are pet-safe, but usually when you enter your private jet there are pre-flight goodies set out for your enjoyment on the credenza (perfect for counter surfing!) along with flowers.  It is amazing how fast a dog can zero in on that and make the rest of your flight unpleasant at the very least.

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Next it is time to set up a safe place and home for your pet.  Most cats like to remain in their carriers and may be strapped into a seat with the existing seat belt assembly.  Most dogs prefer to have free reign of the cabin, but for their safety and the safety of the operation this needs some boundaries.  We always set up a dog bed near their seat, or you can bring their favorite if you prefer.  The harnesses we discussed in our last post attach easily to the seat belt while still allowing them to sit up or lay down at their seat.  We also bring a longer tether for smooth in-flight use that allows them to roam a little more, but will prevent them from injury should we hit unexpected turbulence.  This also keeps them from taking to heart the phrase “dog is my co-pilot!”  The added bonus is that you may now relax without holding a leash or constantly watching to see where your dog might be during the entire flight.  Pretty much everybody is happy!  Add a favorite (or new and exciting) toy to the bed, and your dog has a comfy place to relax that feels like home.

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On our flights we introduce pet parents to a Pet Safety Briefing Card which is just like the one you have seen for humans.  It goes over what you are going to do to help your pet in the event of the emergency situations we brief you on at the beginning of each flight.  If you are on a flight with a crew that does not cater to animals that way, think ahead about what you will do if any of the situations occur that they brief you on.  Think through a plan.  You won’t be able to do that suddenly and in a panic, so just give it some thought when there is no emergency.  If you ever need to act, you will have a plan and be a much better guardian for your pet.  Now you can all settle in knowing you are well prepared and enjoy your flight.  We’ll give you tips on just how to do that next time.  Until then… enjoy the ride!

DSC_6259** No dogs have ever stuck their head out the window on one of our flights.  This photo was taken with a professional driver in extraordinary circumstances.  Please do not attempt on your private jet.

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When Dogs Fly… Part 1

ImageAlmost every day the phone rings here at Sit ‘n Stay Global and somebody asks a question starting with “what if?” or “why do?” and we try to describe flying from a pet’s point of view.  We try to bridge that gap between the laws of physics and the rules and regulations to try to come up with a solution that will make air travel as safe and enjoyable as possible for your pet.  For that reason, we draw upon our years of experience of traveling with pets and observing their reactions to different situations to help us figure out what they like and don’t like and what some of their “pet peeves” are, if you will.  We want to share some of this information with you to help you better prepare for your next trip with your pet.  We travel on private jets with pets, but a lot of these considerations will make sense when flying on a commercial aircraft or even by car.

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First things first.  Does your pet like to ride in any vehicle?  If your pet freaks out in the car, then the car ride to the airport is going to send poor Bowser into a tizzy and it’s doubtful that riding on the plane will be much more enjoyable.  Start a few months out and introduce Bowser to the car slowly.  Get him the type of harness or crate you plan to use on the plane and go out to the car and just sit in the car in the driveway talking quietly until you can do so calmly.   Allow your pet to wear the harness walking around the house.  Slowly advance to backing the car out of the drive and then pulling back in.  Move on to a drive around the block.  Increase the length of trips only as your pet will allow.  Reward your pet generously for learning this new skill.  By the time you are ready to fly, your pet will be comfortable with his or her restraint system and traveling in a moving vehicle.  If you are using a crate, have the crate open where you watch TV with a soft blanket and toy inside so it becomes a safe place to hang out with you when you are all together.  Proceed to having your pet travel in the car in the crate which he or she now considers a “safe” place.

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Be sure to bring that much loved blanket or toy with you on your trip that is a smell that your pet recognizes in a new environment.  We always bring along a portable pet bed as well, and spray it with a relaxing pheromone spray that makes an inviting place for each pet to settle.  You can find some great travel dog beds at Gooddogbeds.com, Ruffwear, and Kurgo.  The Pheromone Spray we use is D.A.P. Pheromone Spray.

One other pre-flight stress that you can work on before you ever go to an airport is socializing your pet.  If your pet is flying on a private jet like our clients do, this isn’t much of a problem, but if you will have to transit a large airport and security screenings and your pet is a bit shy, this could start a trip off badly.  Gradually start taking your pet to places where there are more people present.  Perhaps go sit on a park bench where you can watch people at a distance.  Step it up to standing around in front of a store.  Finally go somewhere really busy where people might bump into your pet and interact with him or her.  Getting your pet used to being around people will not only make the trip easier, but will make your life easier and his or her life a lot more pleasant as well.

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Now we have a pet who is ready to go out and get on a plane and travel!  We’ll actually get on the plane next time…

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Dog Camp!

DSC_7873Hey everypawdy, Maxx back at the helm here.  I’m getting ready to head out on one of the most beloved adventures a pupper can head out on.  You all know what that is, right?  It’s the dog camping trip where you bring the humans along to carry the extra food and drive!  I saw the camper arrive in the front yard this morning and I was so excited, I started carrying toys out there right away.  I’ve got my floating frisbee, my floating Kong, 25 or 30 tennis balls, and a few squeeky toys that should wake the entire campground up around 0 dark 30.  Perfect!

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Mom, on the other hand, remembered our last trip where we seemed to run out of the house like it was an emergency and got where we were going without a few key items, so she had a checklist ready this time.  Pfffffft.  I think she overthinks it, but here’s what SHE thinks is a good idea when I come along, just to make sure the trip stays safe AND fun:

  • Dog Tether (long enough so I can be out with the family while they set up camp but still secure):  reads:  long rope BOL
  • Dog Tracking Collar with GPS (in case above malfunctions and you have a dog that is likely to run off)
  • Double check Microchip registration information is correct
  • Pet First Aid Kit  (instructions to make a home-made one may be found online)
  • Travel water bowl and mat (to make feeding area familiar)
  • Dog containment area (screened-in porch area can be much friendlier option when enjoying the outdoors with pets together, also keeps bugs away)
  • Dog life jacket
  • Portable dog bed (ok, I use Mom’s bed in the camper, but this is good for outside)
  • Travel dog bed for bottom of canoe (creates non-slip area where dog knows to go and is stable and comfortable)
  • Leash
  • Snacks
  • Dog food
  • Drinking Water
  • Waste bags (yes, you still pick up in the wilderness if in a camp area folks!)
  • Sunscreen
  • Towels
  • Waterproof blanket (LL Bean or Orvis):  fleece blanket with waterproof backing you can put on your bed so a wet dog does not soak your down comforter or sleeping bag.

Well, so much for the simplicity of camping right?  Actually, Mom just packed a dry-bag once with most of this stuff in it and grabs it when we go camping.  I never notice a thing, hey… I’m a DOG!  What I notice is that I go on long hikes with my peeps, swim in lakes and rivers, sail along in the canoe and bask in the sunshine and then fall asleep on the river bank all smelly and dirty.  At the end of the day I usually score some melted marshymallow and some great camp food.  Is this a dog’s life or what???  I highly recommend it, so get out there, be the dog and get your fur dirty a little folks.  Enjoy the ride along the way, you might see me with my head out the window, so be sure to wave!

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Posted in Being the Dog, Pet Travel | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments