In my last article, I started to share about the awesome experience of going on a 3,000 plus road trip through Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, and then back to Colorado. I ran out of print space and so am completing the article here.
The first campsite we stayed at was Bear Creek Campsite in Denver. We left Kersey at the campsite for several hours while we ate dinner and spent time with our daughter, Shannon. Since it was the first time leaving Kersey and not knowing if she’d bark, I asked our campsite neighbor to call me if she did. No call, no barking and a big Whew for the rest of the trip when we’d leave her in the travel trailer for several hours. The next morning Kersey accompanied us to watch the Bear Creek Triathlon.
Our one puzzling and fretful experience with Kersey was when we arrived at Custer State Park in South Dakota. Kersey was alert and active but when I put down her food bowl, she didn’t eat. Instead she used her nose to ‘bury’ it! I am talking about Kersey, the lab who seems to live for food, exercise and attention. Kersey, the lab who intuitively knows when meal time is and then retrieves her food bowl. Kersey, who greets us at the door with a bowl in her mouth, even after she has been fed, with the hopes she can get an extra meal. Some canned I/D, from a local veterinarian, resolved the issue and it wasn’t long before she was eating her regular dry dog food again.
Some very ‘warming’ experiences we had included spending special time with my dad, stepmom, cousin and his wife. We all met up and then explored Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse and other sights around Custer State Park together. At night, Kersey, Terry and I warmly cuddled up with sleeping bags on the platform, in the back of the truck with a topper, so that my dad, Morgan, and stepmom, Linda, could have the bed in the trailer.
Our most frightful experience happened at Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota. Normally when we exited the travel trailer, we’d have Kersey wait at the doorway while we stepped down the stairs and then recall her. On this one fine morning, I let Kersey proceed me out of the trailer. At the bottom of the stairs, she started barking assertively. As I struggled to recall her back into the trailer, a fellow camper informed me that a (3,000 lb) bison was grazing at our campsite around the corner of the trailer. Yikes, no wonder she barked! Maybe she’d read all the signs posted about the dangers of getting too close to a bison?
Because most of the campsites we used were in National Parks, walks with Kersey were mostly limited to around the campsite. However, Kersey demonstrated no qualms about us leaving her in the travel trailer as Terry and I did further exploring on our own.
This trip was our first extended trip in the travel trailer with Kersey and was sort of a trial. She passed with flying colors and we’ll do it again in a heart-beat. We all had a wonderful trip. Terry and I got to do a lot of sight-seeing, etc. and Kersey got to do a lot of smell-sniffing, etc.
Laura Pintane is a local dog trainer that, through nose work practices, realizes how very enjoyable the experience of smell-sniffing is/was for all dogs such as Kersey and Loyal Duke