My dog inspired me to buy an RV!!
My dogs are an integral part of my family and when one of my dogs, Sky, developed a debilitating disease referred to as degenerative mylopathy I had learn to be creative to continue care for her. When the disease reached the point where she could no longer stand or walk on her own her fear of being separated from me was evidenced in perpetual heart-wrenching cries. I could tell these weren’t cries of pain but initially I really had no idea what the solution could be. It finally dawned on me that she needed to be with me as much as possible.
When the dogs were younger and I was working the overnight shift I used to bring them to work with me in the back of my covered pickup truck which I had decked out to be a luxurious dog apartment. This solution was fine for the overnight shift since our overnight temperature in the SFBay area averages 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit. I’ve been working the second shift for the past several years and the weather can get pretty warm in the summer so not suitable in the back of a pickup.
As soon as I started bringing the dogs to work with me in the back of the truck in Sky’s semi-incapacitated state everything just started to work out terrifically. I rigged up a camera in the back of the truck so I could check on her status at any given time. Both dogs were quite at home in the truck because it was familiar. Sky had no separation issues now that she knew I was close by. The only thing is, as cool as the Bay Area stays for the most part it is not cool enough to use this solution on a long term basis.
I needed a means to have air-conditioning during the hotter months and I started having the idea of buying an RV. I have never had a desire to have an RV or travel in this way but since it is a big investment when I started considering this idea I started wondering what would I do after Sky? Would I still want it? Was I only buying it to have it at work for her? I needed something that was 21ft or shorter to legally fit in a work parking lot space, and I decided that if I was to make this investment then we were going to take trips in it too!
I found the perfect fit for our lifestyle. A 1998 Coachmen Starflyte with only 56,000 miles on it. I modded it to fit our life by removing the fron passenger seat and putting in a dash level bed for Sky so she could see out in spite of being confined to her bed. We have gone on several trips now almost once a month we hit the road for at least 4-5 days! I have discovered a love for Oregon and Zulu and I have a favourite spot where he can chase squirrels to his hearts content.
The benefits of this RV have been in exploring new places but also in having a place to rest between shifts at work. I frequently work double shifts so driving home and back is less time resting between shifts. Having the RV at work has made it possible to keep a routine with Sky and I am able to check on her regularly between assignments at work.
We count our blessings for the new avenues discovered in the midst of an unfortunate scenario.