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Memorial Day weekend is upon us and if you’re going on a trip, you don’t have to leave Fido behind.
It may seem like an extra challenge to have a dog with you in the car, but according to Will and Kristin Watson, it’s worth it.
The Watsons, along with their 3-year-old daughter Roam and their 10-year-old pit bull Rush, have been traveling in a refurbished bus since April 2019.
“I wouldn’t want to do this without Rush,” Kristin told Fox News Digital. “I know some people don’t take their dog, because they don’t think their dog would be able to handle it, but I would say just try and see before you don’t give it to your dog. the occasion.”
“Most dogs really want to be with their owners in any way they can, so they adapt,” Kristin added. “And they are simply the best companions to have on these kinds of trips.”
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When the family moved to the bus three years ago, Kristin said Rush took a little while to adjust to the change in lifestyle, although he was a bit anxious at first.
“I think he made the transition really well,” Kristin said. “One thing he did a lot early on is…while we were driving he would run to the front of the bus, then run back, then run forward and run back .”
Will explained: “He had a hard time protecting us when we were driving down the road.”
Now the Watsons give Rush CBD for the dogs before they hit the road.
“It really, really helped him calm down and be able to relax while we were driving,” Kristin said. “It also helps him a lot with his hips, as he gets older. So getting on and off the bus, he can do it so much better since we started giving him that.”
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Although the Watsons don’t crate Rush on the bus, he does have two places where he spends most of his time.
Giving your dog a seat in the car — or the bus — helps your pet feel calmer and more comfortable on the road, according to Outside magazine.
On the Watsons’ bus, Rush either spends his time in the front with Will as he drives, or in the back on the bed.
“He loves sticking his head out the back window and smelling new smells,” Will said.
The Watsons also leave all the essentials with Rush, so he has access to them while they’re on the road.
“He eats outdoors and everything, so he has food and water available to him and his toys are available at all times,” Kristin 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 biggest benefits of having Rush with the Watsons on the road are safety and companionship.
“If Will has to leave me and Roam to go on a work trip, I feel super safe because I have my dog,” Kristin said. “He’s one of those dogs that, he’s only going to bark if there’s someone sniffing around the bus or something. So it’s an alarm system.”
“He’s very friendly, but it looks like he’s going to bite your head off if you go around the bus,” Kristin added.
In addition, Rush likes to go on adventures.
“He likes that we go to different places all the time because he can smell new smells and pee on different things,” Will said.
“If we want to go out and just walk a trail or go do something, obviously Rush is always going to come and he loves it,” he added.
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One of the biggest challenges of having Rush for family getaways is that some areas aren’t pet-friendly, Kristin said.
“If you’re going to national parks, most national park trails aren’t dog friendly,” Kristin explained. “So you have to really pay attention to the weather, because if you leave your dog or any other animal behind in the summer, you have to do things very early in the morning or in the evening when it’s cooler.”
The Watsons have a pet monitor, which measures temperature and humidity levels on their bus and sends them alerts to their phones in case their AC power goes out.
They also have a security system for the bus, so they can watch and talk to Rush while they’re away.
An added challenge for the Watsons is that Rush is a pit bull, so he’s not allowed in some campgrounds.
“They consider him 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 traveling.
Kristin added that public lands are also among the best places to take your dog.
“These are the places where there are the fewest rules,” she said. “You’ll find nice open spaces there for your dog to run around and stuff. So we always try to find public places.”
Despite the few challenges, the Watsons have no regrets about taking Rush on their travels.
“Bring the dog,” Kristin said. “Never leave the dog behind.”
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