Type of pet: Dog
Breed: Australian shepherd
Pet’s name: Dixie
Pet’s age: 7 years
Owners: Joanne Sommer and Bob Potts, Doylestown, Pa.
FMCA membership number: F349450 (we joined in 2004)
How often does your pet accompany you on motorhome trips?
Dixie always travels with us. As soon as we head toward the motorhome, even if it's just to run the generator over the winter, she runs over to it. I think she is afraid she will be left behind.
Dixie is well trained, generally obedient, terrific company and incredibly loving.
What type of motorhome do you own:
A 2004 40-foot Newmar Dutch Star.
Was it easy for your pet to adapt to motorhome travel?
Yes, although it took Dixie awhile to get used to the diesel engine noise.
What is your favorite activity to do with your pet while traveling?
I, Joanne, am a runner, so having Dixie forces me to get out there every day while we are traveling and get the exercise we both need. We call her the "trailblazer" because as we hike various trails, she is always ahead of us (even on a leash) scouting the area.
My job is to keep her exercised, and my husband’s job is to keep her groomed.
Does your pet have a favorite spot in the motorhome?
While we're driving, Dixie likes to lie on a pillow that Bob and I place between us. If Bob and I are not in the motorhome, Dixie wants to be on our king-size bed, which is a no-no if we’re there.
You pet's favorite toys:
A stuffed puffin and a stuffed seal.
In summer 2006 we took a leave of absence from our jobs to take a three-month trip to Alaska. Needless to say, Dixie went with us. We call her our little “savior” because she warned us of a bear coming up behind my husband as he was washing the windshield after we stopped along the road for the night near the Byron Glacier in Portage, Alaska. Bob managed to get off the ladder and slide carefully into the coach with Dixie. The bear (black) approached, gave the pick-up truck we were towing a sniff, and sauntered off into the woods. Needless to say, we didn’t hike up that particular trail that night — which had been our original plan.