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Shane Kelsey with Dixie

nomads and their dogs – guest writer!

We thought it would be cool to have a guest writer on our blog for a fun change! We instantly thought of Mary. Not only is she extremely funny and witty, she’s a wonderful writer. I hope ya’ll enjoy this little piece that she’s written up as much as we did!

nomads and their dogs

Mary at Tonto
Mama Mary
by Mary Lamb

During my nomad journey of nearly 3 years I have consistently pondered the correlation between nomads and their dogs. At first I thought it a coincidence with a few folks whose paths crossed mine. But, day after day, month after month, and now year upon year, a definite pattern has become clear. The nomad pup exemplifies the traits of its nomad master and it’s quite fascinating to observe.

This phenomenon may seem like a common occurrence in any lifestyle. Sure, your mom‘s dog may resemble her a bit and we’ve all seen the short, stocky, grumpy person walking about who looks just like their French bulldog. Or how about the bouncy, goofy sheep dog that looks and acts like their teenaged boy with excess energy, floppy uncombed hair, and wants to hump everything in sight. With Nomads, things are a bit different. They have to take everything to another level and their relationship with their pups are no exception. The connection between a nomad and their pup is over the top. 

After tons of observation (as a nomad one tends to spend extra time sitting outside watching anything that moves) I can attest to this being more intense than in similar relationships in a sticks and bricks lifestyle.  This shouldn’t be completely surprising when you consider most nomads spend 24/7 with their pups. 

The nomad pup exemplifies the traits of its nomad master and it’s quite fascinating to observe.

Whether you live in a van, bus, RV, car, or tent, your pup companion is always within arms reach. Space is a premium on the road. Dog food is kept by people food. Your pup is in the same room as you when you cook, eat, sleep and use the bathroom. A nomad takes their pup out to poop and usually either bags it or buries it while it is still fresh. The amount of time and physical closeness between a pup and its human in nomad life is far greater than any other lifestyle and this creates a deeper connection than one can imagine. 

Okay, let me share some examples…

bear and zack

Zack Lamb and Bear
Zack running on the beach with Bear

What a pair! Bear most definitely shares Z‘s OCD; not in a cute way like hanging ones clothing in rainbow order, but rather in a life altering manner. For instance, whenever Z hears the number between two and four, it causes him great pain and he 100% must “fix” the number by saying the number four (this is just one tiny example of Z’s OCD). As for Bear, he will follow shadows or light for 5+ hours at a time. He cannot stop himself. Also, they can’t park too close to a cliffs edge because Bear will sincerely follow a butterfly shadow over the cliff to his death. It’s serious shit!

Van and Joe

Prairie dog Van
Van visiting Badlands

Then there is Joe. Mr. Boston, the cool guy who says it like it is, no bullshit. But he is one of the kindest humans on earth. Yep, that’s his pup Van too, in dog form.  If he likes you, you know it. Whenever Joe picks up Van he expresses his dissatisfied emotions clearly and to the point. The sound he makes is like that of a gremlin ready to eat your face off. No exaggeration. Every. Single. Time! But, he can also get you to do absolutely anything for him when he puts on his sincere charm. As for Joe, he simply lets you know how much he loves you with his genuine kindness while Van will sit up like a prairie dog with more sweetness than you can imagine. I’m starting to wonder if Van may have learned this pose watching Joe begging Nikki for a little something-something. I’m just saying…

Dixie, Shane and Kelsey

Dixie is often referred to as an old bitch, but I see her much differently. She has been “around the block“ and doesn’t mind telling everyone. She puts other pups in their place, claiming her alpha status. All the pups love and respect Dixie. She does all this while at the same time she has her humans wrapped firmly around her tiny finger. One day she pooped in her Dads shoe and was immediately forgiven as he proclaimed “I’ve actually been needing new shoes for a while”. Meet Shane; a “retired” mixologist who put great research into the art of patron-bartender relations to bring in the big bucks and is now a guru who makes a living building out nomad rigs. Kelsey is a wise old Texan at barely 30 years old. When I met this little family of three, Kelsey had one peg leg from a horrific accident but she could run circles around anyone with the same vigor as Dixie who is almost a hundred years old! I could hear Dixie’s bark come out of Shane and Kelsey when we encountered an absolute “Karen” with 3 dogs running loose, pooping in our camp area, and proudly claiming she breaks the law by staying in one spot for months. Oh no she didn’t! They schooled her in nomad etiquette with the same excitement as Dixie when someone tries to bother her best friend Bear. Nothing will stop these kids as they drive around the US in their bright yellow, self built tiny home they built onto the back of a pick-up truck. They’re both as quirky as Miss Dixie and just as lovable. Don’t forget to visit the Love Hut’s youtube channel. You’ll be happy you did.

roodle, Dave and Carrie

Dave - Roodle and Carrie
Roodle and and his parents on top of the world

To meet Roodle is to love Roodle. Imagine a human who smiles all the time and will do anything for anyone. A stranger is stuck in the dirt 10 miles away, “let’s go dig, I’ve got the tools too!” Now, picture another human whose heart, work ethics and focus are always at a 10. Yep, that’s Dave and Carrie and Roodle. You have got to meet these three. Roodle is so unique he literally has his own song created just for him; “Roodle the Labradoodle!” (I now understand the term ear-worm.) All three are some of the kindest individuals you will ever meet. Do yourself a favor and visit Dave and Carries YouTube channel. They are doing it right.

freckels and Megs

Megs with her dog Freckles
Megs with Freckles

Freckles and Megs just may share some DNA. I wouldn’t be surprised. Imagine a 70 year old woman who climbs a mountain with a cane in search of shiny rocks and with each rock she finds she exclaims “oh my gosh guys, you’ve got to see this!” Or when she points to the sky around the campfire with starry eyes and insists she sees a vortex. Or when she follows a GPS pin, seven out of ten times she ends up stuck in a sandy wash and needs to be dug out. Now imagine her stature being only 1 foot from her toes to the top of her head with scraggly black and white long hair. As Freckles wanders down some odd road in search of literally God only knows, you can’t unsee the similarities. The loving connection they share is a match made in heaven. Two peas in a pod.

sedona, Bill and Jessie

Sedona is referred to by her humans as “very vocal“ although she seems to be settling her voice the older she gets (but of course, her parents are Bostonians). When her humans take her on a 20 mile hike you can see her parents determination and fortitude. Bill and Jessie are absolutely “non-conformist“ people. They live life to the fullest, not trying to be what others want them to be but rather, following their own hearts and minds. They do things their own way and with more joyous spirit than most. This non-conformity shines brightly when they communicate with Sedona. When letting her know she needs to change her behavior, you will often hear “you wanna karate chop?!” or “you’re going to the clink!” rather than the boring standard “no!” or “stop.”  The playfulness shared clearly represent the joy and love in Bill and Jessie’s hearts and the traits of these humans is reflected in Sedona. Or does it go the other way around? Check out their youtube channel for more of their adventures.

The amount of time and physical closeness between a pup and its human in nomad life is far greater than any other lifestyle and this creates a deeper connection than one can imagine

Thats a wrap, folks

These are just some of the pups I’ve met along my journey and the humans who complete their nomad families. I challenge you to ponder a bit as you observe the beautiful similarities between pups and their people. As nomads, it’s pretty intense. I hope to see you and your pups down the road. Oh, but if we meet, let’s have some initial distance as I am scared to death of dogs!

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