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Travels with Koda

Updated: Apr 25

Koda is doing remarkably well with van life. She is tethered so that she can get only halfway onto either of our laps as we drive, and she has pole position for free petting for hours during the day. We learned on the first day and have reinforced the lesson several times that she does not like it when we roll down the windows to talk to people while we are in the car. As long as I lure her into the back with treats and "find it," she does okay.

Koda likes boondocking because there are no strangers around to stress her out.

She was mesmerized by cows but wasn't sure what to think about them.

Her favorite day so far was yesterday, when she got to go off-leash at White Sands National Park in New Mexico. There were people around, but they were well outside her bubble, and she enjoyed a quite a rumpus. She was blissfully unaware that we were at a missile testing site.

Update 4/17/24: we are heading into the home stretch.

Koda did well at Paul's with all the people ... Gail and Paul graciously consented to a slow introduction with some treat-retreat and ignoring and walking. Koda soon was eating out of their hands and even went up to Gail for snuggles. After that, she organically met Bea, David, Eric and Ally with no fanfare and was pretty comfortable with them all.

She was not so comfortable with the dog of the house, Otis. Otis is a big friendly Sheepadoodle whose head is almost as big as all of Koda. They met outside on what was supposed to be a parallel walk and seemed fine with each other, so we moved into the backyard for a proper greeting with Otis on leash and Koda off. Koda cautiously went over to check Otis out, but got spooked and ran for the gate. Bummer.

One night Koda didn't want to sleep in her crate. It was a hot night so I'm guessing she wanted to be on the floor where it was cooler. In the morning I woke up to find her looking at me through the little window in her crate, which is right by my head as I sleep.

She loves exploring places where there are no other people besides us!

We stopped to check out Echo Amphitheater in New Mexico, which was quite impressive. Josh made a beeline to the bowl of the amphitheater so Koda and I walked most of the way listening to calls of "hello!-o-o-o" and "echo!-o-o-o." When we got to the back we were far enough from the parking lot and no one else was around, so I let Koda off-leash and she got to explore. On the way back I heard people coming in, so I quickly leashed her again so I could maintain her bubble and she would feel safe.

After being within nose reach of me for three weeks straight, it took Koda a few days to adjust to being home. When we got back, she stayed under my feet as I did dishes or sat at my computer, and when I went out the first evening back, Josh found her hiding in the bathroom. :( We've been back for six days now and she seems to have reacclimated.


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