By Gloria Bryson Pyszka
I will always have special
memories of when I first met Bailey, our Bichon, on a sunny
afternoon in June 2004. At eight weeks, he and his brother, both
little balls of fluffy white, were romping around the sun room of
the breederís home, located out on the sage brush prairie of
I had just detoured south from the Grand Tetons, a summer trip
from our San Francisco Bay area home that Iíd been planning for
several months. The detour was for the specific purpose of picking
up Bailey from the family who breeds Bichons.
The RV and I had just found the familyís rural acreage after a
couple of wrong turns.
Beyond their house stretched 450,000 acres of BLM land. I felt
pretty much out of my element, coming from the San Francisco Bay
area. (However, having been raised in eastern Washington state, I
do remember many drives through sage brush country,
Letís go back a few months prior to my first meeting with
Bailey. A future "Bailey" had to be male, smart, and less than a
year old. He also had to be hypo-allergenic, for other family
I had been put in touch with the family earlier in the year.
Iíd done my "new pet" homework and had made arrangements to pick
Two hours after first meeting the family Ė and watching Ann, a
nurse, give Bailey a bath and vaccination shots - Bailey and I
climbed into the RV. I put him in the small, portable carrier
along with a Toys R Us "Bailey" stuffed animal to keep him
Off we drove. Bailey cried for the first half hour. I stopped
and cuddled him. Drove some more. Stopped and cuddled.
Annís husband suggested that I stay in the parking lot of the
Flying J Truck Stop some 50 miles north. He said that he knew the
manager and it was safe.
So, I was doing another first Ė sleeping overnight in a truck
stop parking lot. Just to be on the safe side, I parked under a
big light, did not remove my clothes (to be "doggie" ready) and
went to sleep.
Bailey cried. Since I like my sleep, I put him in my couch bed,
and that was the beginning of sleeping with Bailey. (Be careful of
how you train; itís very hard to break habits sometimes.)
The cuddly, fluff ball and I spent the next 10 days bonding
while driving to Sun Valley, over Tioga Pass to Yosemite, and back
to the Bay area.
Heís been a great traveler ever since and loves to look over my
shoulder (harnessed, of course) as we drive the highways of our
Bailey is a fine example of his breed and draws comments
wherever we go. I could certainly do without the visits to the pet
parlor (bath and hair) several times each year. But, I have
learned to wash and groom him between visits.
Bailey always draws friends wherever we go. He is an ideal
companion for RVing.