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Travels with Tai

| Updated Feb 22, 2014

So far this year, Tai has had his hackles raised by a wolf in northeastern Minnesota, been terrorized by a Chihuahua and yesterday in Alabama, he came snout to snout with a horse. But when we arrived at Pogo's pre Mardi Gras “Smokin' on the Bayou” Roadtrek gathering in Gautier, MS, he seemed rather indifferent to all the excitement of a dozen plus Roadtrekers coming together. Instead, he opted to just hang out on the rug outside his Roadtrek. Alone, if you don't mind.

His breed is known for its independence, the breeeders we have met over the years have told us. Tai is our Third Norwegian Elkhound and I think they use independent as a euphemism for stubborn. Tai definitely saunters to the beat of his own drum. In fact, that's just what he did yesterday when a large group of us, along with four dogs had congregated on Laura Robinson's campsite around the corner from our spot here at Shepard State Park: Tai snubbed them all and sauntered home, choosing to park his double-coated, curly-tailed butt outside our eTrek.

He did stop along the way to visit Ellie and Phil and Kathy and Les, where he was the only dog and got some serious pets. Maybe he just needed a rest.

Tai and his new horse pal outside the Montgomery South RV Park in Alabama

Later, after we all caravanned over to a local restaurant and came back to start a bonfire at Laura's, I tried to take Tai down there. He refused to go, stopping in the middle of the road at the end of his leash. I could have forced him of corse. But why bother. He wanted to go back to his own Roadtrek, where he promptly went inside and to sleep.

Tai at our Shepard State Park site in Gautier, MS

I'd say he was exhausted from the 1,050 mile trip down here from Michigan. But he slept the entire way, so that can't be it. And I know he's healthy. He had his annual checkup at the Vet just this past Monday.

We often wonder how much he enjoys our Roadtreking adventures and debate whether it would be best to leave him with relatives. That is, in fact, what we will do after this weekend. We'll leave him at my son's home in Georgia as Jen and I head down to Florida for a couple of stories. The temperature down towards Naples where we are headed will be in the 80's and Tai is still in full winter coat. That, we think, is too warm for him.

Dog experts I've talked to tell me dogs like routine and familiarity and assure me he'd rather be with us, his own people. Tai seems to have bonded well with the Roadtrek and indeed, perks up his ears when I ask him, “wanna go in the Roadtrek?”

So I guess we should count our blessings that Tai is a low maintenance dog.






Mike Wendland

Published on 2014-02-22

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

10 Responses to “Travels with Tai”

February 25, 2014at9:22 am, Michele Cantor said:

Three years ago my dog and I were chased by huge wild boars while hiking on a trail in a Georgia State Park. I thought we were goners.
Two years ago she had a painful encounter with hundreds of yellow jackets at a gorge in Pennsylvania.
Last year involved a visit to a Stone Mountain vet after she tore off her dewclaw jumping into a lake at our campsite.
Despite it all, she still loves the adventure of travel. We recently returned from a 9 week cross-country trip. She checked out the house and the yard, then climbed back into her bed in the Roadtrek and refused to come out.
Next stop, please!

February 24, 2014at9:08 pm, Sheryl winningham said:

The best dog we ever has was a Norwegian Elkhound growing up. My dad worked worked on roads traveling often state to state and we all followed every 6 months with new schools. Our dog, Nicky, for short, rode on back of truck for miles and loved it. Never wanted to get off and very over protective, like your Roadtrek, we own as well, and take our Chi, everywhere we go, never have it any other way! Love hearing about Tai, thanks!

February 24, 2014at11:08 am, Dean Upson said:

We have always traveled with our dogs (cats, too at one time). We have usually had two Golden Retrievers and there have never been any problems. We lost one of our Goldens a year ago and will be getting a pup to join our 7 year old Golden that has always had another to play with. I cannot imagine leaving my dogs at home. If they could not go, I would not go.

February 24, 2014at10:47 am, Bev Baccelli said:

We bought our RT partially because we didn’t want to leave our dog home when we traveled. Buddy, a cockapoo, is 14 pounds and has been on month long trips with us. No adverse reactions, as long as he gets to leave the RT for rest stops. He gets long daily walks and off-leash time if we can manage that as well. He kayaks with us and has a trailer that attaches to my bike so he never gets left behind!
He enjoys the attention he gets everywhere we go, and we’ve even had offers to “dog-sit” him when we’ve stayed at campgrounds and wanted to visit museums, etc.
I think the dog “experts” are correct: our dogs want to be with us, even if its not home!

February 24, 2014at10:35 am, Dody Dunning said:

Tai is a dog and has his own preferences. He may prefer to simply avoid one or more of the other dogs. I generally encourage dogs to make such decisions for themselves, as long as they are quiet about it. He should be watched around other dogs, especially when they come close to his RT, for he may well protect it. Barking can be a problem or a protective advantage. Teach him to shut up on command if he needs it. Groom out that heavy winter undercoat, for the temps down South will be too hot for him. Keep him in the a/c inside as much as practical while he sheds it out. Meanwhile he’ll need lots of water, for he’ll pant like crazy. The coat will come out in handfuls.

February 24, 2014at7:33 am, Don said:

Mammie (English Bull) loves camping and travel, she does not get left behind often. She loves humans but could do without other dogs. For some reason she does find cats interesting.

February 23, 2014at11:39 pm, Cheryl said:

Tai is so cool and just wants some alone time … just like the rest of us.

February 22, 2014at1:57 pm, Maureen said:

Ahhh…he’s just lovin the RT so much he is staying home to protect his territory. Good on ya RT-Tai.

February 22, 2014at1:52 pm, Bob said:

We are on our second Elkhound. Ours is named Joker and talk about stubborn, (independent). We can’t leave him out when we go away from the RV cause he’ll bark & bark till one of us come within sight. Also he’s not at all friendly to other dogs. He’ll give them one sniff, from there, better stay away or they’ll be a fight.
He got terrorized one time by a Shih tzu, which made him even more intolerant.
But the friendliest guy to other people.
And talk about hair!! Flies everywhere……

February 22, 2014at9:45 am, Dean Upson said:

We have traveled with our dogs for over 40 years and they have all loved it. As soon as I pick up the keys to any of our vehicles, they are ready to go. If they can’t go, I don’t.

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