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Motorhoming | Family Motor Coach Association

By Harry Potter and Sunny Richwald, F314776

We decided to sell our home a couple of years ago and give the full-time RV lifestyle a try. We had never owned an RV before — we'd only tent camped off the back of our motorcycles! The motorhome we selected gives us room to ramble in style.

While motorhoming, we met many RVers who travel with their pups, kitties, ferrets and other wonderful creatures. They had only positive things to say about having their "babies" with them.

As former pet owners for most of our lives, we knew we were ready to have another little companion.

While we were in south Texas in winter 2003, we contacted several canine rescue organizations and were lucky enough to have the Chihuahua Rescue and Transport people offer us a truly needy little fellow.

Scooter is a long-coated Chihuahua that was taken by the Humane Society from a backyard breeder due to severe neglect. He had been confined to a tiny crate for more than three years and starved to keep him as tiny as possible so prospective puppy buyers would feel that they were getting the smallest dog possible.

Scooter was their stud dog and was only out of his crate to breed. He had no socialization. He did not know what toys were for. He was terrified of a collar and leash. He would scream if anyone touched him or tried to hold him.

Well, that poor dog is gone and the new and improved (and neutered) Scooter is a sight to behold. After getting him comfortable with us, we started his education in the real world. During his travels with us he has hiked in the Rockies, waded through cold mountain streams and learned to track wild animals.

He has been well behaved and a welcomed guest in art galleries, shopping centers, motorcycle rallies, public parks and, of course, all the RV parks where we stayed. The only thing we noticed with Scooter was that he was a couch potato unless we initiated some sort of activity for him.

Well, we knew the answer to Scooter's inactivity problem. We went on a search for a companion pup.

While we were staying in a delightful RV park outside of Tallahassee, Fla., we mentioned to a neighbor there that we were looking for another dog. She told us of a friend near there who was aware of a breeder of show Dachshunds and was going to destroy a pup who was less than perfect. The pup's right foot and leg were withered, but functional.

Since we are certainly less than perfect ourselves, we knew this pup would be right at home with us. That is how Diva joined our happy family. She is now 6 months old, spayed, and princess of our rolling palace.

Scooter has the basic love-hate relationship with Diva. He loves her when she is quiet and plays nicely with him. He doesn't seem to like it when she pounces on him and pulls his tail.

Amazingly, Scooter grew in height and length as a result of all the physical activity Diva demands of him. Even his teeth have improved because he eats puppy kibble. Diva has prompted Scooter to be even more congenial with other dogs, cats and people.

There is nothing like the joy of having these little bundles of fur romping around our motorhome. We are constantly entertained by their antics. We feel as though they have truly made it a real home for us.

Do you travel with pets? Send your tips, ideas, memories or stories to

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