American Nomad Blog
About this blog
American Nomad covers the best of U.S. travel—from vacation deals to festivals, weekend getaways, travel tips, and more. A seasoned traveler and Moon author, Laura is the perfect guide to help discover new gems when traveling domestically.
- A Southern Girl's Wintertime Adventure in Yellowstone
- One Novelist's Odyssey Across America
- Gearing up for a Family Camping Trip
- Mint Juleps and More at Oak Alley Plantation
- Avoiding Identity Theft While on Vacation
- Money-Saving Travel Tips from Nomadic Matt
- Fashion, Fun, and Convenience for the Modern Traveler
- In Search of Irish Museums Across America
- The Inspiring Journey of a Solo Kayaker
- Getting Fit for Treks in Yosemite and Elsewhere, Part 2
- Getting Fit for Treks in Yosemite and Elsewhere, Part 1
- Experiencing Yosemite with YExplore
- Two Travel Contests Worth Mentioning
- A Word About the TSA's No-No List
- A Reader's Advice About Airport Security
Gratitude for Our Furry Traveling Companions
Over the weekend, I was feeling pretty blue – and no, it wasn't because it was the ninth anniversary of 9/11. Though the memory of that tragedy was certainly on my mind, so was the fact that, on Friday afternoon, my in-laws had to put their faithful, 12-year-old dog, Gypsy, to sleep. A German wirehaired pointing griffon, Gypsy had been trained to accompany my father-in-law on bird-hunting expeditions, and according to him, she had done her job admirably over the years. Gypsy, however, was more than just a skilled retriever. As with most pets, she was also a beloved member of the family. Truly the sweetest, most intuitive canine I've ever known, Gypsy had been in my life just about as long as my husband has, so even though she was technically my in-laws' dog, I feel her loss keenly, and so does he.
For them, though, the loss will be even harder to bear as they make their seasonal trek from northern Michigan to southern Florida in a few weeks. I can only imagine how hard it will be for them to pack up their RV and make the lengthy journey south without her. After all, she was, along with everything else, a wonderful traveling companion, eager to see where the road would take them next.
I can't help but think about her as I glance over at Ruby Azazel, my beloved two-year-old cat and my own precious traveling companion. As with her predecessor, a small calico named Pawws, Ruby is a remarkably well-behaved traveler, who seems to relish gazing out the windows of our van, marveling at the fascinating world around her. Adopted in New Orleans, Ruby has already logged thousands of miles in her short lifetime, experiencing places as far afield as Los Angeles, the French Quarter, and Port Charlotte, Florida. Honestly, there's nothing quite like watching her stand on her hind paws and lean against the glass, awed by the people, cars, and landscapes passing by. I was especially tickled the day we stopped at a highway rest area and inadvertently parked beside a flock of scrounging sparrows. How comical Ruby looked, flitting about the van, trying to follow the birds' sporadic movements.
Such a life-affirming moment can definitely make one appreciate the little things, so despite the fact that it's not always easy to find a pet-friendly hotel on the road, I certainly wouldn't trade traveling with Ruby for the world. No doubt my in-laws would have said the same about Gypsy.
So, what about you? Do you have a favorite traveling companion of the furry variety? Any funny stories you care to share?
As always, I’m open to ideas for future posts. If you have any suggestions, burning questions, or destinations that you’d like me to explore in greater detail, please comment below or contact me via laura [at] wanderingsoles [dot] com.
Disclosure: While I occasionally accept free or discounted travel assistance when it coincides with my editorial goals, my opinion is never for sale, which means that everything written in my American Nomad blog and my Moon travel guides is my unbiased reflection of the things that I see, do, and experience while traveling across the United States.
Photo of Ruby Azazel / Text © 2010 Laura Martone