If you’re a full-time RVer and especially if you’re a gate guard where you have to be on site 24/7, I recommend a conflict resolution dog. Even big RVs are still close quarters if you can never leave them. Many of you who have stumbled upon Fork, have read the back ground bits on Heidi and me.
The unknown that crops up in the equation from time to time is Henry VIII.
All that I’ve told you about him so far is that he’s afraid of cows.
Henry was named after the rather horrible King Henry VIII by virtue of being my 8th dog, and having a beard. I got him as a reject pup when he was 5 months old. Who knew he would be such a charmer? Upon introduction, complete strangers regularly sing I’m Henry the 8th I am, I am to him!
Henry is a 3 1/2 year old Schoodle (Schnauzer/Poodle mix). I know full-time RV’ers who travel with 2 gigantic Newfoundlands. I’ve also met a couple with 2 St Bernards. I’m not that generous with my personal space.
There are challenges to owning a dog on the road, even a compact one like Henry.
If you’re a full-timer on the move, or if you work with a team that moves every 5-6 weeks, you know that it’s just as hard to find a good groomer as it is to find a good hairstylist.
Today I spent 5 hours driving to a land far, far away to finally get Henry a good Texas-do. He weighed 18lbs this morning. Tonight, he’s down to 17!
After having 7 dogs, each of whom knew I was the Omega, I was determined to be the Alpha with Henry.
Every day we practiced sits and stays and downs. He sailed through Dog Obedience and moved on to the Pet Therapy classes. By 13 months he was a Certified Pet Therapy dog, which means he visits care centers, hospice, hospitals etc…
But what really makes Henry unique is that he’s also a conflict resolution dog. If you have an argument in front of him, he throws up. I know this from first hand experience.
He’s a gentle soul, totally loving without being demanding. Funny and attentive, he’s a skilled interventionist.
If I’m worried, he’s concerned, too.
If someone else is upset, his stomach get upset right along with them. If anyone starts to get angry or raise their voice, well… It’s nothing as drastic as Anne Boleyn, but there’s a good chance there will be consequences.
His therapeutic approach isn’t limited to friends and family. There was the day that we were having awning issues and a neighboring camper came over to try to help. The neighbor become agitated and threw a number of strong words at the awning. Henry looked at me, a silent observer, and threw-up his dinner.
That was outside. You can bet there are zero arguments or flung words in this RV. Henry holds fast to the belief that arguing leaves a mess to clean up. It’s never worth the aftermath.
He doesn’t know many tricks other than sit, stay and down, but he knows how to keep the peace. And that’s quite a feat for an 17-pounder.
Living with Henry is like having canine version of Cesar Millan. I live with The People Whisperer. Henry has taught me to be calm/submissive. And although, initially I trained the dog, Henry rehabilitates people.
So if you’re going to be spending a lot of time in an RV and you don’t already have a dog, you might try tossing a few cross words at someone (not the dog, of course) when you if you’re looking for a canine companion. If he throws up, he may be just the ticket!