Memorial Day weekend is upon us, and if you’re headed out on a road trip, there’s no reason to leave Fido behind.
Having a dog with you in the car may seem like an extra challenge, but according to Will and Kristin Watson, it’s all worth it.
The Watsons, with their 3-year-old daughter, Rome, and their 10-year-old bull, Rush, have been traveling in a refurbished bus since April 2019.
“I don’t want to do it without Rush,” Christine told Fox News Digital. “I know some people don’t bring their dogs with them, because they don’t think their dog will be able to handle it, but I say just try and see before you don’t give your dog a chance.”
“Most dogs really want to be with their owners in any way they can, so they adapt,” Christine added. “And they are the best companions on these kinds of trips.”
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When the family moved to the bus Three years ago, Christine said it took Rush some time to adjust to the lifestyle change, though he was a little anxious early on.
“I think it turned out really well,” Christine said. “One thing he did a lot in the beginning was… as we were driving on the bus, he’d run to the front of the bus and then run to the back and then run to the front and run back.”
“He was having a hard time protecting us while driving on the road,” Weil explained.
Now, Watsons Rush has been giving some CBD to dogs before they hit the road.
“It really helped put him at ease and be able to relax while driving,” Christine said. “It also helps a lot with his hips, as he’s getting older. So jumping on and off the bus, he can do it better since we started giving him that.”
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Although the Watsons don’t put a crate for Rush on the bus, he does have a couple of places where he spends most of his time.
Giving your dog a place in the car — or bus — helps your pet feel calm and at home while on the road, according to Outside magazine.
On the Watsons bus, Rush spends his time either up front with Will as he drives, or in the back on the bed.
“He just loves to stick his head out the back window and smell the new scent,” Will said.
Watsons also leaves all of the essentials for Rush, so he can access them while he’s on the road.
“He eats everything and everything, so he has food and water available and his toys available anytime he wants them,” Kristen said.
The Watsons also make sure to walk Rush every time they stop – which they do every few hours to stretch their legs and take bathroom breaks.
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Two of the greatest benefits of having Rush with the Watsons on the road are security and companionship.
“If Will has to leave me and me behind to go on a business trip, I feel completely safe because I have my dog,” Kristen said. “It’s one of those dogs that won’t bark unless there’s someone sniffing around the bus or something. So it’s an alarm system.”
“He’s very friendly, but he looks like he’ll bite your head off if you come around on the bus,” Christine added.
In addition, Rush loves to go on adventures.
“He likes that we go to different places all the time because he smells new things and pees on different things,” Will said.
He added, “If we want to go out and go on a trail or do something, obviously Rush always comes along and he loves that.”
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Kristen said that one of the biggest challenges of having Rush for family vacations is that some areas are not pet-friendly.
“If you’re going to the National Parks, most of the trails in the National Parks are not dog-friendly,” Christine explained. “So you really have to watch the weather, because if you’re going to leave your dog or any animal behind in the summer, you have to do things very early in the morning or in the evening when it’s cold.”
The Watsons have a pet monitor, which measures the temperatures and humidity on their bus and sends them alerts to their phones if the air conditioner is turned off.
They also have a security system for the bus, so they can watch and talk to Rush while they’re away.
An additional challenge for the Watsons is that Rush is a pit bull, so he is not allowed at some camps.
“They consider it an aggressive breed, unfortunately,” Will said.
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The Watsons said they rely on a website called BringFido, which helps them find dog-friendly restaurants, activities, and accommodations while they’re traveling.
Kristen added that public lands are also some of the best places to take your dog.
“It’s the places that have the fewest rules,” she said. “You’ll find nice, wide open spaces there for your dog to run around and stuff. So we always try to find public places on the grounds.”
Despite a few challenges, the Watsons never regretted bringing Rush on their travels.
“Bring the dog,” Christine said. “Don’t leave the dog behind.”
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