Tag: Four paws and six wheels across America

Pay it Forward

One of my mother’s favorite movies was “Pay it Forward.”

She lived her life in a fashion where giving back and paying it forward were at the forefront of everything she did.  Whether it was when she was volunteering at ground zero after 9/11, or in Florida with the Salvation Army and its Hurricane Relief efforts, helping a friend stay sober, volunteering with the Florida Attorney General’s Rape crisis network, or just helping a friend put shingles on his roof, she always had time to lend a hand.

It was her influence that instilled a drive in me to always want to help others.

So, it’s with that spirit of giving that I am excited to introduce the “Pay it Forward Book and Literacy” program.

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Dan and Sandy – Louisiana, Texas Beaches, and Mardi Gras

We’ll be in Galveston for just over a month, staying at the Galveston Island KOA as well as Galveston Island State Park.  During the month, I have a total of nine book signing and speaking events between Kroger and the KOA.

Between the activities at the campground and Mardi Gars, Sandy and I have been really active since we have arrived at the KOA.  It’s a great campground with an amazing staff, and tons of activities for all ages.

We love coming to Galveston.  It’s is such a cool little city.  It’s an island town with a charming little downtown area.  Sandy has even mentioned that this may be the spot that we settle down at after if we decide to trade in the nomad lifestyle for something less mobile.

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I’ve Been So Busy!

I really liked getting to meet so many new people in Lake Charles.  I met Janet and Amy and Dave and Stan and Eric and Marty and Barrett and Cody and Brittany.  Barrett and Cody and Brittany even came to visit me in the house on wheels.  They all said that they were there to do a podcast with daddy, but I know that they just used that as an excuse to hang out with me for a little while, but I’ll let daddy think that they were there for his podcast.  I even got to talk a little bit on the podcast that daddy did with Barrett.  Daddy didn’t seem really happy about that, but I just wanted to make sure that everybody knew that I was there too.

I also loved getting to see people that I already knew again!  I got to see Phil and Shar and Mike and Terri and John and Karen and Orien and Jeff and Susan again.  Phil and Shar and Mike and Terri all came to visit me in the house on wheels too.  I made sure that I really rubbed up on Phil and Shar so that Domino knew that his mommy and daddy were with me.  I had more visitors in the house on wheels during this project than ever before!

I also got to see Lori a couple of times again when we were in Lake Charles, she even came to the park to visit me in the house on wheels.

It was the greatest thing ever!  I love getting visitors in the house on wheels because they all pet me really good.

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We’ve had a couple of Lazy Days Lately!

We were wondering what we were going to do on Wednesday.  Daddy said that we had an extra day before we were scheduled to visit with Lori and TP in Louisiana.  We were going to get gas and then head to the opposite Mississippi Welcome Center for the night.

While we were at the Pilot, mommy and daddy got a text from Shar from A Year to Volunteer.  She told them that she heard that we were in the area and we needed to get our butts over to their project.  Now we knew what we’d be doing on our extra day!

Mommy and daddy were thinking about asking Shar if they needed help because we found out that we were close by, but they didn’t want to be a bother.  Well, Shar made it very clear that they should never feel like that again!

When we got to the project, Shar met us at the end of the road.  We picked her up and she sat next to me in the house on wheels.  I rubbed all up on her so that Domino would know that I was with his mommy!  I’ve had to smell him on my mommy and daddy enough before, now it was his turn to smell me on his mommy!

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I Loved CAP Kid Camp!

Sure enough, as soon as I went out on Saturday morning to do my business, I went right to work making people smile!  First it was a CAP Kid dad, then a CAP Kid Mom and sister and then after breakfast, it was off to the races!  Daddy and I went down the trail to the archery range first and all of the CAP Kids in that group and even some of their parents came over to pet me.  I was making all of them smile!

Then we went to the high ropes course to see the other group of CAP Kids and bingo!  I was at it again!  Letting people pet me and handing out smiles like it was my job!  Well, actually, it is my job and I’m really good at it.

Alice and Zelda might have loved me the most, but it was really too close to call.  All of the CAP Kids loved me a lot.  I loved all of the CAP Kids equally, I didn’t have any favorites at all.  They were all tremendous!

Now I knew why mommy and daddy were so excited about this CAP Kid Camp.  It’s because these CAP Kids and their families are super-duper special!  You see I found out that alopecia is an auto-immune disorder that causes people’s hair to fall out and I don’t mean shedding like I do.  It really falls out.  Depending on what type of alopecia they have, it can be anywhere from small spots to losing all of their hair.  But you know what, these kids were awesome with or without hair.

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It was a House on Wheels Festival!

Every time that mommy and daddy would come back from being inside the second fence, they would smell like some delicious food.  Like funnel cakes, French fries, crepes, pizza, ice cream and all kinds of other stuff.  But they never seemed to bring anything back for me!  What was that all about?  On the rainy day, they did bring some food back to the house on wheels, but they still didn’t share any with me.  They brought back Italian sandwiches with onions and I can’t have onions!  Why would they do such a thing?

Mommy and daddy really enjoyed themselves at the House on Wheels Festival.  Every time that they came back to our house on wheels, they’d talk about how much fun they had and all of the friends that they got to see.  Everyone that they saw at the House on Wheels Festival were people who volunteered with them on one of their A Year to Volunteer projects.

They got to see Phil and Shar every day except for on the rainy day.  I knew when they’d see Phil and Shar because I could smell that Domino character on them when they’d get back.

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Living My Best Life in Largo

Once the weekend came around, I was really in heaven!  There were so many people that came over to Cousin Carole’s house just to see me that I could hardly keep track of everyone.

It actually started on Thursday already when Tim came up to the house on wheels to see me.  I love Tim.  He’s always so happy.  Tim is a really good petter too.  Later Thursday evening, Cousin Carole’s neighbor, Ed came over to see me.  I must say that he was quite a good petter too.  He brought over some fudge, which smelled amazing, but I can’t have any.  No matter how much of a sad puppy dog face I put on, mommy and daddy won’t ever let me have any fudge.

Friday was like Grand Central Station at Cousin Carole’s house.  It started right away on Friday morning when Cousin Carole’s friends Brian and Lisa arrived.  Of course, they both fell in love with me right away.  Later on in the day, more friends showed up.  Lisa made some chicken for dinner, but I didn’t get any.  They all used the, “it’s too spicy for you” line on me, but it smelled so good.

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Louisiana to Largo, White Sand, Friends, and Family

Mommy and daddy were sad to leave their friends, but they were all also excited to be headed to Cousin Carole’s house in Largo.  I was really excited to get to Cousin Carole’s house too.  I get to go into her house and she has a fenced in backyard, so I can roam around her backyard and pee and poop wherever I want to when we visit her.

We stopped at a roadside produce stand on the way to Cousin Carole’s house and mommy bought all kinds of tasty fresh fruit.  I can’t wait to help mommy and daddy eat it!  I love fruit and mommy and daddy always share their fruit with me.  The nice lady at the produce stand gave us all samples of a yummy clementine.  It was delicious!

We also stopped at Aldi and Publix so that mommy could get food so that her and daddy wouldn’t starve while we were at Cousin Carole’s house.

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A New Year, a Time to Reflect, a Time to Look Forward

First, I’d like to reflect a little bit on 2021.

It started off in our new hometown of Melbourne, Florida at my Aunt Sally and Uncle Randy’s house.  It was a quiet celebration that had us sitting around the fire at the house.  Many of the neighbors made up for our quaint little celebration as the fireworks nearby started as the sun went down and didn’t stop until well after midnight.

Nine days into the year, we started our trek further south on our way to Key West.  We stopped on the way down to see friends and family along the way.  For the next several weeks, we zig zagged up and down and across the state of Florida.  Making sure to connect and spend time with more friends and family.

In early March, we made an unexpected trip to Pennsylvania due to a dear friend of ours passing away.  We Spent the next few months there.  We were able to celebrate Easter with our family and headed back to Florida on the Monday after Mother’s Day.

We again took our time and stopped to see new friends, surprise an old friend and meet another new friend for the first time in person.

We got back to Melbourne on May 17 and stayed in Florida long enough to celebrate milestone birthdays with three of my cousins before leaving to head back to Pennsylvania on June 12.  We took the long way to Pennsylvania, via the Florida panhandle to Buccaneer State Park in Mississippi to Selma and Montgomery, Alabama before getting to my sister-in-law’s house in Pennsylvania the Saturday before Father’s Day.

While in Pennsylvania, we stayed with family, reconnected with old friends again and scattered in a few stays in an amusement park and some other campgrounds.

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