"The Four Of Us"

We Are The Copilots, We Are Companions!

All About Lady Paws I
Part One

It all started on one cold rainy night in November, a night that changed our lives forever. As Bill and I were leaving our monthly snow ski club meeting we saw a small wet dog wandering around the grounds of the community center. She was cold and scared and would not come to anyone who called her. We did not want to leave the poor wet dog behind and so with the help of our friends we finally caught her and took her back home to our apartment.

At home, we dried her off and saw that she had a large wound on her belly. To us, it looked as though she had gotten caught in a wire fence because the area was partially healed. The following morning we took her to the vet to have them take care of her wound and they said that she was probably 3 years old, and that she had a litter of puppies sometime in her life.


Bill and I have only been married a year and the thought of a pet in our busy lives did not make any sense to us. We knew that the apartment building did not allow any pets, and we thought that the only thing that we could do is to try to find her owners. For several weeks we posted filers at the community center where we found her, and asked the people in the neighborhood if anyone lost a small white and brown dog that looked like a small Brittany Spaniel. Without any I.D. tags, we decided that we would have to give her a name, and the only name that was perfect for her was "Lady," because she looked like Lady in "Lady and the Tramp." As the weeks passed by, we had no response to our ads, and so a decision had to be made. With our busy lifestyle of traveling, camping, snow and water skiing, and many other activities we knew that to keep her would not be fair to her.

During the time that we had her she was so good in the apartment, she never barked and even with newspapers on the floor she would not use them, she would wait until we got home from work for her walk. She had many toys and what a joy to have her greet us when we got home from work.

Since we would not want to board her every time we went somewhere we knew that we would have to find a good home for her. Since Bill and I worked at the same place, we asked around and found a family with two daughters who recently lost their pet. They were thrilled when we said that we found a dog, and it would be best for Lady to be in a good home with a yard, and children for her to play with.

We planned to give them "Lady" a week before Christmas, but as the weeks passed by we knew that we could not give her up, we were hooked, we had the companionship of a true pet, one that would last a lifetime. We told the family that we could not give her up because we had grown attached to her, and that one way or another we would make things work out, and she would be our "Copilot" forever!

A few months passed, and we knew that we would have to find a house for the "Three of us." We found a home and bought a ski boat, and a few years later bought our first RV, a 16 foot Lazy Daze mini-motor home. Since Lady was an older dog, she was not accustomed to riding in the station wagon or the RV, but in time she did settle down and enjoyed traveling with us, either by car, our RV, or on our small motorcycle, or in the boat.

One funny thing that she did was to try to knock off Bill's hat as we were riding in the station wagon. In order to make our station wagon more comfortable for our trips, Bill took out the back seat of the station wagon and he built a platform so that we could have a mattress in the back for our camping trips. I made curtains for the windows and off we would go camping, fishing, water skiing and snow skiing. When Lady was sitting in the back of the station wagon on the mattress, she would pace back and forth from one side to the other, looking out of the window not wanting to miss a thing. As she was going from side to side she would knock off Bill's hat, we would all laugh, then pick up his hat and start all over again. All pets have their traits, and this was hers.

Before we bought our first RV, we would go snow skiing to Mammoth Mountain in California, sleeping in the station wagon to save money on lodging. Lady would always go with us, and we would bundle up in a warm sleeping bag and put on our portable heater and sleep in the station wagon. Then we bought our first RV and that was wonderful, we would go with Lady by our side in our RV and had many adventures. We would spend a week or two in Aspen, Colorado parked at the foot of the ski lifts in downtown Aspen, or at Snowmass, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk mountain. Every morning, we would walk her and then take the ski lift to the top of the mountain and ski the runs. We would come back down the hill for lunch and walk Lady again and spend some time with her and then back up the mountain. We did this for many years sking at Vail, Park City, Snowbird, Alta, Deer Valley, Beaver Mtn., Sun Valley, Jackson Hole, Grand Targhee, Mammoth and June Mountains, but today with the condos and more restrictions on RV parking this is not allowed.

Ah, the good old days! We said that we were glad that we have traveled and seen so many places back in the 60's, 70's, 80's, and 90's. Lady has traveled with us, from the Western States to Mexico and back. She was always a trooper, no matter what we did she always was by our side, whether it was backpacking the High Sierras in California, duck and pheasant hunting in the Sacramento Valley, boating on Lake Powell, or exploring Mexico.



This photo is Lady on a backpacking trip, laying on the lake shore of Little Lake in the High Sierra's. She is waiting for us to catch a fish for dinner, which we did!

As I mentioned before, we had a 16 foot runabout ski boat, which we use to go to many lakes for water skiing and fishing. Lady enjoyed the boat and every time we caught a fish she would eagerly wake up to see what we had caught, and then go back in her bed under the sunshade.


We boated Lake Powell back in 1969 when it first was filled. This was a one week trip in which we drove all night long to get to the lake, we loaded in all our camping gear and extra gas cans and away we went to explore the lake. Since this was a new lake, there were very few people boating on it and you would seldom see another boat especially going up the lake as far as we did. We covered over 400 miles of shoreline exploring every canyon and cove and took many pictures of the area.

On our second day out, we got lost in a back bay that we thought was the main channel, luckily we stopped the only boat that we saw water skiing and asked them is this the main channel and they said, "No," you are in "Last Chance Bay." After we got our bearings, we proceed to "Rainbow Bridge" a large sandstone arch, 50 miles from Wahweep marina. We got to the floating gas dock and only had a couple of gallons of gas left. During the time we boated on the lake in the 60's and 70's, gasoline was only available every 50 miles apart!

After gassing up all of our spare cans, we proceed down the narrow canyon to spend the night at Rainbow Bridge. As Bill was starting up the portable BBQ, I was getting the steaks ready for our first good meal on the lake. Lady was sleeping in her bed on the dock and all was going well until we heard the sound of wind.

As the wind was getting stronger and stronger the sparks were starting to fly from the BBQ into the front of the boat bow where we had stored all of our extra gas cans. The wind picked up speeds approaching 60 miles per hour and as this was happening, Lady, still in her bed on the dock was starting to blow away into the darkness of the night.

Bill threw the BBQ in the water and then jumped on the dock to save Lady from being blown away. He picked her up and gave her to me in the boat, just as her bed blew away, then if that was not enough the rope on the stern of the boat broke due to the force of the wind. As he was laying on his stomach on the dock holding my hand I was screaming to him that I don't think that I can hold on much longer, but if I didn't hold on, the boat with Lady and me in it would drift away into the night.


Just as the fierce wind came up, it suddenly stopped out of no where. What seemed to last for 30 minutes or more only lasted a short time, but during that time we lost our wonderful steak dinner and Lady's bed! After the wind subsided, Bill took the flashlight and went looking for Lady's bed, he walked up the shoreline and found her bed and a warning sign that said, if you're tied up to the dock, be sure to tie up your boat with the bow facing towards the headwaters of the stream bed.

When Bill got back to the boat, he mentioned to me what the sign said, but since the stars were out and the wind had died down, we decided that it was best to face the bow of the boat towards the main channel in the direction of where the wind came from. With our BBQ and steak dinner in the lake, we opened up a can of baked beans, ate some potato chips and had a beer, and called it a night. We folded down our boat seats to make our bed, and snapped our full canvas enclosure around the boat and went to sleep.

Several hours later we heard the sound of pitter patter on the canvas sunshade. We got up and said that we had better turn the boat around towards the mouth of the stream bed because of the flash flood warning sign and so we got up and turned and tied up the boat, and tried to get back to sleep. Of course with the sound of rain on the sunshade, one could only think about the chance of a torrent of water coming down the canyon towards us!

Well that was our second night out on Lake Powell, one we will never forget. Finally, morning arrived and we were getting things put back together when we saw the tour boat arrive with tourists ready to hike up to Rainbow Bridge. We told the skipper of the boat what had happened to us last night, and he said that out on the main channel there were waves over 6 feet high and several boats capsized. He also warned us that the black streaks that we see on the face of the sandstone cliffs are caused by water flowing over the edge and falling several hundred's of feet to the lake. He also said, "don't park your boat close to the edge of the cliffs or in a small cave because the rocks and water can come down anytime when a thunderstorm occurs." He gave us some fried chicken to eat which was very nice, and then we hiked up the canyon to see Rainbow Bridge.

We continued on our way exploring the lake and water skiing along the way, and our trip was very successful despite the first two days. In fact, we went back the following year to do it all over again.

This was our 1969 Lazy Daze, only 16' long. Our first trip to Mexico was a three-week vacation going from Nogales to south of Puerto Vallarta. Another story in itself!

After our accident with our 16' Lazy Daze, we bought a 1973-19' model. We made another trip along the coast of mainland Mexico to Puerto Vallarta. Lady loved to ride in the box that Bill built for her on the back of our motorcycle.

This picture shows Bill and Lady, with our RV camped at Guaymas, Mexico.
 
Lady was our "Copilot" for 10 years and these are only a few stories about the places that we have been too. She passed away and left a void in our lives and although we knew that we could not replace her, a month later we were out looking for another dog.

With some people coping with the loss of their pet is devastating, and they say that they will never go through that again, but with us although this was a very traumatic time for us, we knew that we needed and wanted another pet. We wanted another travel companion another "Copilot."

Now the search begins!


All About Lady Paws II
Part Two
After the loss of our precious Lady, it was time to start searching for another pet. We knew that we wanted a small dog, preferably a puppy so that we could get her use to our lifestyle of traveling. We went to various animal shelters in our area, but it seems that the puppies go first, but we knew if we waited long enough the time would come that the perfect dog for us would be there.

Christmas was soon approaching, and we had hoped to find our new dog before then and then as fate was to be, we stopped by a shelter on our way to work and there she was! A small new puppy had just arrived, she was 6 weeks old, a mix between a poodle and a terrier. She was all white except with black around her face, we took one look at her and said to the man on duty that this is the one we wanted. He told us that she could not be released to us for at least two weeks because this would give her previous owners time to find her since she was a stray.

The two weeks went by very slowly, and then the day after Christmas we called the shelter and they said that she was still there, and she would be available the next morning. We got to the shelter when it opened up, and walked back to where her cage was and told the man that we wanted to adopt her. After filling our the paperwork, I dropped Bill off at work and then drove her home to her new surrounds. I spent the day with her, gave her a bath and then drove back in the afternoon to pick up Bill and the "Three of us" went back home.


We spent several days going back and forth between names for our new puppy, but somehow we kept going back to the name of Lady and so we said Lady II it is.

Her travel adventures started early with many trips in the motor home going with us as we went duck, goose and pheasant hunting. During the winter it was going to Aspen or Park City for snow skiing, and in the summer we would take our boat and fish and water ski areas from Lake Mead, Salton Sea, and Lake Powell.

  
      In 1976, we saved up a month of vacation time and decided to drive the Baja Highway 1 from Tijuana to Cabo San Lucas. This was a wonderful trip sightseeing all the sites as well as fishing, clam digging and skin diving for bay scallops. We chartered a fishing boat at Los Barriles and each one of us caught a large Marlin as well as many Mahi-mahi. When we got back to shore, we gave the fish to the owners of the boat, and had them cut several filets of Marlin and Mahi-mahi so that we could take some fish with us in the motor home.

Two years later, in 1978 we were able to save six weeks of vacation time to go to Alaska. We drove the Alcan Highway when it was 1,000 miles of dirt and gravel roads. We made rock guards for the windshield as well as protective covers for the headlights, and the motor home windows, as well as the gas tank. We took along three spare tires, and many extra parts for this trip.

In 1980, we retired, and sold our house. We bought our truck/camper, our 15' boat, and our 34' Silver Streak Trailer, to read "About Our RV" click here. We first towed it to Salton Sea where we spent the winter outfitting the camper, boat, and trailer for our trip of a lifetime.

Here, we are leaving for our journey; our home on wheels with everything we owned to start our full time travels.

We left Salton Sea in California on June 18, 1981. We drove over 20,000 miles in 8 months covering 33 States, 9 Canadian Province's and 87 campsites. This was our "Grand Tour."

Below you will read a few highlights of our "Grand Tour."

As we drove north, we fished Flaming Gorge Reservoir in Utah, Yellowstone Lake in Yellowstone National Park, and toured the whole park. Then to Glacier/Waterton National Park and proceeded to drive Highway 1 in Canada.

On Highway 1, we stopped at Milk River in Alberta to see the Hoo Doo's, played some golf and then headed East to Regina, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay on Lake Superior, Toronto, and to Niagara Falls where I spent my Birthday at the Falls. This is a spectacular place and one that everybody should see.

From there we drove to Montreal and Quebec City. Before touring Quebec we had to find a trailer park so we could unhook the trailer to spend several days sightseeing the area.

We called a trailer park that we wanted to say at, and the gentleman spoke French with a little-broken English. We said that with our camper and boat on top we needed to find the best route to the park because of our height with the camper and boat on top was 11' 6.  He gave us directions, and we proceeded to drive to "Escargot Trailer Park" (the snail trailer park).

Going on a two lane road we came across a railroad overpass with a sign in metric saying that the clearance is 3.2 meters. We quickly converted it to feet and realized that we could not go under it because of the boat. Bill took out our measuring stick that shows the height that we need for clearance, and it was very tight.

We thought that we would have to back up along the shoulder to find a place to turnaround, but after we looked at the situation and measured with our stick again, we saw that someone had removed enough soil next to the shoulder to create a drop off and that would give us enough clearance to go under the overpass.

We got to the park and unhooked the trailer and told the man what we ran into, and he said to go back a different route to get back to Highway 1 which we did when we left Quebec. We first drove down a one-way cobble stone street and again almost got caught on a low overpass bridge. We got help from a policeman, and he directed us to a parking lot at the police station that we could park our truck/camper. In downtown Quebec it was beautiful, outside restaurants and people speaking French, a great place to visit.

After Quebec we proceeded to head East to the Bay of Fundy, Prince Edward Island, and ferried over to Newfoundland, and then back on the Cabot Trail to Sydney and Halifax. On our loop of the Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia, we stopped at many fishing villages as well as the famous lighthouse in Peggy's Cove.

We planned our trip to be here in September and then as the falls colors approached we would head south to Bar Harbor, Maine.

Back in the U.S. we toured and saw all the famous sites from, Maine to Washington D.C. Some of them being, Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts, a replica of the "Mayflower II," Boston and "Old Ironsides," as well as the city, then onto New York, the Statue of Liberty, World Trade Center, St. John the Divine, then the "Liberty Bell" in Philadelphia and Independence Hall.

Over to the Amish country, Gettysburg and Washington D.C. where we toured every site and the Smithsonian. Then to Maryland and Annapolis. Virginia and the Great Smoky Mountains, Nashville and the Grand Ole Opry, Georgia, and North, and South Carolina. We finally headed south to Florida to spend a month fishing and sightseeing.

We heard that the Columbia Space Craft was going to launch its second flight into space on November 12, 1981. We were the last tour bus to go on the final tour at the Kennedy Space Center to see the craft on the launch pad (39A) the day before the launch. This was a rare opportunity!

We spent the night on the beach at Titusville and at 10:00 AM we saw the launch of STS-2!

This was spectacular and something that we were glad that we saw.




From the East coast of Florida, Walt Disney World, Cypress Gardens, to the Everglades National Park, and to the Keys we covered it all. We took a break and fished the Key Largo area and explored a coral reef. Key West was a lot of fun as we walked around the streets. We saw Sloppy Joe's Bar where Ernest Hemingway frequently visited and his home.

Ernest Hemingway lived in this house from 1932 to 1961. The house was built in 1851 from coral rock quarried on the grounds. He wrote many of his famous stories here including "To Have and Have Not."

Back up the West coast to Tallahassee and now on to Mobile, New Orleans, San Antonio, and Brownsville. We never missed a site to see; we said to ourselves that who knows when we will ever get back to these areas and so we planned to see all the sites the States had to offer.

Touring Big Bend National park to Carlsbad Caverns and places in between we finally arrived at Yuma, Arizona in February of 1982. Lady II saw it all, she adapted to our full time living in the Silver Streak and was always by our side. Back in Arizona, we parked the trailer and loaded up the camper to go snow skiing for a few weeks to Aspen and Park City.

We heard that Columbia would land at Edwards Air Force Base in November and so we planned to drive from Yuma to California to see this. Since we saw the launch of STS-2, we wanted to see the landing of STS-5.

We arrived early on November 15, 1982 at Rogers Dry Lake Bed, and got in the front row, it was over 3 miles long and 10 rows deep with vehicles waiting for Columbia to land the following morning.

At 6:30 AM we saw in the distance the shuttle and the chase plane as it was coming in for a landing. What a spectacular site!

In the summer of 1982, we towed over to Vancouver Island for 3 months to do some salmon fishing.

Lady was with us in our boat as we caught 50 pound salmon in the Georgia Strait off of Vancouver Island.

Here, we are with smoked salmon getting ready to put in cans to pressure cook it.

Lady II toured the inside passage going from Vancouver Island to all the ports in Alaska.

This is only a brief summary of our travels with her. When she was 11 years old, she developed Hyperglycemia, and as her condition got worse, we would carry a small amount of Karo syrup or Glucose to bring her out of a seizer. In 1987 we wanted to see the Central States that we had missed on our Grand Tour. We left in June, 1987, and started out on our trip, it was in Bozeman, Montana that her condition got worse. We took her into the vet, and they ran many tests and it was determined that she had cancer of the Pancreas and that there was nothing we could do. We put our precious Lady II to sleep so that she would not suffer from this disease.

We continued on our trip, spending a month in Florida. We still were looking to get another pet as we traveled back East and then back to Yuma, but the timing was not right. We said that the only State that we had not been to was Hawaii and so we decided to wait until after that trip to get another dog.

All About Daisy Paws
Part Three

We arrived back in Yuma in January, 1988, and had our trip to Hawaii planned for the end of January. We were still looking to find another pet checking the newspapers for a Maltese.  We saw this breed back east and was very impressed with the small size and how friendly this breed was.

We left Yuma with our bags packed ready to flight out the next morning from San Diego to LAX and then to Hawaii. As we were driving from Arizona to California, Nancy bought a local paper, and she saw an ad for a Maltese. She called the person and they said that they had two females and one male, and that they would hold the two females for us until we arrived. We picked out our new traveling companion, and asked them if they could hold her for two weeks until we returned from our Hawaii trip.

They said yes, and we left a deposit and drove back to San Diego to take our flight out the next morning. We had a great trip on the cruise boat and saw all the sights in Hawaii. We arrived back at the San Diego airport and drove back to Los Angeles to pick up our new puppy. She was their waiting for us, and we put her in a new bed between us on the front seat and off we went to visit our relatives.

She loved the camper and as we went from house to house she did great. After our visit, we drove back to our trailer in Yuma, AZ to start our traveling lifestyle with our new puppy Daisy!

If you read "All About Daisy" and "Our Tribute to Daisy", you will see many of the places that she has been with us.


All About Dolly Paws
Part Four

After losing Daisy, we knew that in time our search would begin again to find another "Copilot."  We searched many places and found a breeder in Yucca Valley, California where we found our Dolly.  We drove to California in July during a heat wave with temperatures above 105 degrees.  With the air on in the truck, we put Dolly in her new bed and away we went back to Yuma, Arizona.  Despite the heat, she laid in her bed with new toys and her bowl full of water.


It was a long five-hour drive back, and it was at that time that we decided to call our new dog "Hello Dolly."  As the weeks progressed she started to get use to our way of life and has become a great traveler, our new "Copilot."

 
Our long trips of the past are no more since we sold our trailer several years ago.  We go on shorter trips with the camper to fish the Colorado River and Dolly loves the boat and sleeps in her bed under the sunshade.

This was a large bass that Bill caught on the river.

Dolly like our other pets enjoys riding in her basket on our mountain bikes or in the box on our motorbike and enjoys her walks. During the summer when it is too hot to walk her, she likes to walk on our treadmill to get her exercise.  If you read "All About Dolly" you will know a bit more about her.








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