Grooming a Dog while Living in an RV

One of the challenges we’ve faced while living in an RV – with a dog – is keeping up with Frodo’s massive grooming needs. He’s part poodle, which means, his hair grows by the minute. Which is of course, one of the reasons he’s named after a Hobbit… But anyway, I digress.

Frodo could really use a full haircut every 2 weeks, but we tend to stretch it out to once a month. When we lived in a house, we groomed him while we sat on the floor of our bathroom. It wasn’t comfortable for us, but it worked out well enough. While living in the RV, we groom him in the hallway and vacuum the hair as we go. By the time we are finished (almost 45 minutes later), we both have a lot of body aches and have trouble walking any other way than hunched over. It’s definitely a challenging experience.

Today, we had the pleasure of grooming Frodo while standing up! Meaning, Dave and I were able to stand the whole time! It was… leaps and bounds easier!

Here’s a quick “Before” glance as the grooming was just getting started.

Before

The trimming has already been underway here, but he’s still quite the furry beast.

Before Continued

Almost an hour later, our Puppy is reappearing!

During

What a difference an hour makes!

After

Seriously, what an amazing experience. I wish every RV Park would provide a dog grooming station! It’s a little thing that is actually an enormous thing. Not only does this RV Park have a grooming station, they put thought into how they arranged it. It’s outside, but shaded, off to the side, and gated. Because it’s off to the side, we were not able to see foot traffic of people walking round. It’s really it’s own secluded area, which is GREAT when trying to avoid distractions while grooming. There’s a table, electric outlet for clippers, and a wash basin. I see a real bath in Frodo’s near future!

Special thanks to J&H RV Park for being such an awesome place for dog owners! We really appreciate it!

Current location: Flagstaff, Arizona

What – Don’t You Vacuum Your Dog?

When it comes to living in a Tiny House, it’s both super easy to keep it clean, and, it can take only a few minutes to get dirty. Thankfully, Frodo doesn’t mind his role the process. Whether it’s helping to keep our home clean – or get it dirty! He likes that part… but I digress…

Usually when we get back inside after being out, we simply wipe Frodo’s paws with a dry towel, leave our shoes at the door, and we’re good to go. Sometimes we have to use some water on Frodo’s paws if the dry towel isn’t enough. However, the last few days we’ve been at the Flagstaff KOA (in Arizona) which has made things extra challenging from the “traveling with a dog” perspective.

Frodo at the Flagstaff KOA

This park is just… dirty. Yes, it’s a park, but, it’s a very dirty park. It’s mostly dry sand – everywhere. And sand loves to hide in paws and fur.

Since we vacuum Frodo during his haircuts, he’s used to the vacuum and doesn’t mind. It just seemed natural to simply vacuum him off before going back inside. I can’t imagine what our neighbors were thinking…

Current Location: Flagstaff, Arizona – Elevation 6,910 feet.

Just One Reason Why I LOVE My RV

This is just one of the many reasons I love living in a RV. All of these photos were taken less than a mile from where we are currently sleeping.

This photo is from yesterday, taken from my cell phone (Kudos to Samsung! The Note 5 takes amazing photos)!

1 Arizona Landscape

Today, for the first time since we’ve been in Kingman – my real camera came out to play (all the photos below are from my camera).

The scenery we experience while we walk our dog is gorgeous.

2 Arizona Landscape

There was just something about this tree that caught my attention.

3 Arizona Tree

This photo below is similar to the one above from my phone, but this one was taken with my camera. I was comparing… Again, this is just a few steps away from our home on wheels…

4 Arizona Landscape

I wanted the Mesas in the background for this shot, but that didn’t quite happen. Oh well.

5 Sharon and Dave

Another try for a selfie with a cool background. Nope, didn’t work. That’s okay.

6 Another Selfie

Home Sweet Home. And back to my point at the start of this post. No matter how lousy I am feeling, by living in a RV I get to see a little something different – even with just the simple task of walking our dog. Home is always close, and so is adventure, even a mild one if that’s all I’m up for (which sadly, thanks to Gastroparesis, is usually the case). But by living the way we do now, I’m never house-bound, even when I am!

I love our home. It’s the best one we’ve ever had!

7 Home Sweet Home

Impulse Shopping in Bakersfield, California

It’s not what you think, I promise. We were less than 5 miles from our designated stop for the night when the signs on the side of the road started taunting us. It wasn’t even out of our way, we were going to have to pass right BY it.

And it, is the California Fruit Depot. It’s really hard to pass up signs for fresh, locally grown Oranges and Medjool Dates! So of course, we stopped to check it out. We bought as much as we had space for in our kitchenette, and since we just got groceries yesterday, that wasn’t much. But we can always find room for more oranges and dates. And dried fruit. And nuts. Really, it’s awesome, you have to check it out.

California Fruit Depot

For any fellow travelers out there, they had signs declaring RVs & Trucks welcome, so be sure to add this place to your stop if you’re passing through Bakersfield, California!

Tonight we’re hanging our hats at the Desert Palms Mobile Home Park & RV Park, which like I mentioned, is just a few miles away from the California Fruit Depot. It’s a Passport America site which gives 50% off on weekdays (tonight is only $15 – for full hookups – sweet!), and, they sell propane onsite if you need a refill.

When we arrived and checked in I saw they mentioned on the site map they have a dog park. I laughed. Dog Runs or Dog Parks in RV Parks are usually a screened in fence that tends to be somewhere along the size of 6 feet by 6 feet. Well, this place DOES actually have a fenced in area, with grass, big enough where your dog can actually run!

Dog Park

See? I was standing so far away I have to show you a cropped view to see Frodo!

Frodo Close Up

And because we’re in California, this photo seemed appropriate!

Palm Trees

We’ve only been here for a few hours and we’ve gone through half the stash of oranges we just picked up. I wonder if we have time to go back tomorrow…

Just Passing Through: Barstow, California

We’ve been in Pahrump, Nevada for the last few days, mostly just as a resting point and time to plan. Before we left Lake Havasu City, Arizona, the temperatures were sky rocketing above 90 degrees, which was a bit difficult for us to handle. The AC in our coach definitely gets our van cooled off fast, but at those temperatures as soon as it turns off – it turns right back on again, so it basically has to run non-stop during the heat of the day.

I had a brief moment of panic after my camera wouldn’t turn on (which is stored in a heat sensitive place). Thankfully, all is well with my camera, it had just over heated. And with that, we knew it was time to leave. However, we still didn’t know where we were going! If you haven’t read the last post, it explains why our plans were still up in the air.

Today was a typical travel day for us. We got up before dawn, worked for several hours, walked the dog, disconnected from our spot in an RV Park, got fuel, got groceries, had lunch – and THEN hit the road to travel for several hours (and will work more once we get settled). I often fall asleep at some point during our travel time (obviously, Dave is driving) and I feel bad about it when this happens. For one thing, I feel like I’m abandoning Dave, and for another, I miss out on half the fun! But, with the way our travel days go, I can’t help it sometimes.

I’m starting to accept the idea that our method of travel doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s. If I fall asleep, it’s okay. Well, mostly. Anyway, moving on…

We arrived at our overnight stop in Barstow, California and I took a few snapshots while we walked Frodo. I was so tired I didn’t think I’d take photos, so these were all taken with my iPhone. Note to self: ALWAYS bring camera. Always!

I love wide, open blue skies. I always have to stop and stare (and take photos).

Blue Sky

For some reason, I really dig overnight stops. Everyone is simply, “passing through,” and the owners we’ve encountered have always been really friendly. It almost feels like a step back in time to when people were always courteous and friendly, and stops like this just have a really good vibe to them. Small towns are awesome.

Shady Lane RV Park

This is the craziest tree I have ever seen…

Crazy Tree

All right, we’re all tucked in for the night, with another travel day ahead of us tomorrow.

Van Tucked In

G’night!

Our Bathroom is So Small…

Our 25 pound dog doesn’t fit fully (head-to-tail) when standing sideways! Seriously, take a look:

Frodo in the Shower

No, we STILL haven’t made a video tour of our van, but this is a glimpse of what it’s like to live in a comically small living environment.

Our bathroom is indeed, comically small. Yes, that is the shower, and behind the curtain is the toilet.  During a shower, the curtain is pulled across the doorway (where Frodo’s head is in the photo) to keep the water inside the shower. This means the toilet lid and base are in the shower, and not protected from the water like the photo shows. We did that today to make Frodo’s bath less work by skipping some of the post-bath/shower squeegee time.

Our bathroom is what is known as a Wet Bath – when everything you need is in one space – and it all gets wet. On the PRO side, the area around the toilet gets a bath every day preventing those super scary dust bunnies that would otherwise grow there. On the CON side, you have to learn to be careful in the shower or you’ll bruise your knees!

Today was a very long overdue bath for Frodo. Er, shower. He kind of had a shower. Frodo doesn’t mind the micro-bathroom, and the end result is the same – he is now clean again – yay!

Yes I know, we owe our friends and family a video-tour. Some day that will happen, some day…

Fun with Photography

Lately my camera has been resting much too often. It was time to take it out to play…

Because we chose to live in a 22′ van, we simply can’t have everything with us we want – like a tripod. This adds complexity to the fact that I really want more photos with BOTH of us in the actual photo. Challenge accepted.

I told Dave I could take a selfie with my 35mm lens, no problem at all. He had the nerve to doubt me.

Selfie of Sharon and Dave

Yes, I really did take this photo holding the camera backwards, composing it blindly.

Because I can’t just let things go, I wanted to further prove to Dave that I can focus where I want, such as in the foreground here:

Selfie Focus in Foreground

Or in the background here:

Selfie Focus in Background

For anyone curious, here is a behind the scenes photo taken by Dave (the boring way, with the camera facing frontwards).

Backwards Photography

And no photography outing is ever complete without a photo of Frodo. Though I think I prefer Arizona over California (so far), Frodo just can’t seem to hold still if there’s grass under his feet. He is really digging California for that reason. He must run and play!

Frodo likes to play like no one is watching… as he should!

Playtime

In all seriousness, it was great to get out today and play. I have my ups and downs with Gastroparesis and the last few days have been pretty rough and a bit painful. But today, today was a good day. And that makes me happy.

Today we are in San Dimas, California.

Catching up in Cali

Sometimes when you travel, you just never know what you’re going to see. For example, you could just happen to look to your side and see a Dinosaur. True Story. Photo location: Cabazon, California

Roadside America Dinosaur

We’ve been in Chino, California for about a week now. The day we arrived I had planned to blog about our trip, knowing if I don’t write immediately – it won’t happen. Well, obviously, it didn’t happen. I took photos the moment we arrived, but the park where we were staying was, well… horrible. Sure, it looks pretty, but looks aren’t everything.

This is where we’ve been for the last few days, Prado Regional Park in Chino.

Prado Regional Park

What you can’t see in the photo is the experience, photos don’t tell you the whole story. The park is about a mile away from an outdoor olympic shooting range, and gunshots are heard from just prior to sunrise and continue past sunset every day. Three days a week the range is open for 12 hours and we were treated to gunfire sounds for more than 12 hours during those days. It was lovely. Frodo was usually able to be outside just long enough to do his business but he was quite the unhappy dog while we were there. Walks barely happened, he would get too freaked out (understandably so)!

In addition to the sounds, there was the smell. Have you ever been near a dairy farm? There are several in Chino, quite a few right near the Prado Regional Park. For most of the day the smell was so bad we were unable to use our fan or open our windows. In fact, you can smell cow manure as you drive around Chino. Feel free to knock this city right off your to-visit list.

Oh, but of course, we weren’t in Chino to sightsee, we were there to have our hot water heater system replaced – which we did. We have working hot water now! It’s a miracle! I have another RV Repair shop to recommend, thoughts to share about our experience of going a full month without any hot water, and tips about how to go about having your hot water system replaced – all… coming soon.

For a few more days we are kicking around near the shop where had our hot water system replaced, just to continue testing and make sure all is well before we depart. Currently we are in San Dimas, California and though the current place is well above our budget, it is well worth the change in venue. Even Frodo approves!

Frodo Living it Up

Hopefully the lack of gunshot sounds throughout the day will get me back into a writing mood so I can write more about the last week, and month.

San Dimas California

Until next time…