It’s funny to think that everybody knows a dog is man’s best friend, but when you want to take your best mate camping, it’s not very easy to find places where your dog will be accepted. For a start, no National Park in Australia will allow a dog entry. There’s good reason for that, of course. If you are unaware of the rules, you can read this.
Dogs to me are like the morning cup of coffee – you HAVE to have one! Over the years I have had Rex the German Shepherd (8 years), Rommel the German Shepherd (9 years), Rusty the Red Cloud Kelpie (15 years) and Alfie the Lhasa Apso (10 years). The names aren’t all that original I suppose, but I did have a cat called Archimedes. Anyway, that’s a lot of dog love that has passed through my life, and when I pull out my offroad camper trailer, my dog goes crazy. Why? Because it knows we, not just me, are going somewhere.
For those of you who travel, and I don’t mean just camping, and have a dog, what reaction do you get when you drag out your suitcases and start packing? I remember Rusty would throw himself onto the bed, drop his head over the side and make those idiotic sad eyes. You know that look? However, when I start preparing the camper trailer my dog instinctively knows that wherever master is going, so is he.
It’s only been over the past ten years, that camping grounds and caravan parks have woken up to the fact that some of us have O.D.D. – Obsessive Dog Disorder. That means:
Faced with millions of people that have that doggy disease, selected camping sites, hotels, motels and even cafes now allow you to bring your dog along. When hospitals allow dogs to be with sick patients to help lift their spirits, you know that the experts are onto something. While I was in Europe, I would be tripping over dog leashes as I was being led to my dining table in a restaurant.
It’s a fact that many dog owners would not go on holiday for fear of leaving their beloved pets behind. This isn’t just dogs, I know. Cats, birds, fish, lizards, snakes, rats and mice all have their followers.
There’s something about being with your dog when you are out camping. I used to have a caravan, one with a pop-up roof, then I opted for an Aussie camper trailer but eventually changed to an off road camper trailer. Do you know why? The bloody dog! With an offroad model I could go anywhere I liked and take my dog.
The Best Dog Spots
This one is a no-brainer for me and my dog.
Living in the suburbs you can’t really take your dog to too many beaches, can you? The ‘No Dogs Allowed’ sign is posted everywhere, and it’s a long drive to take your mutt to a secluded, rarely used beach for a run and a swim in the water. With an off road, I just drive along the coastline until I see an almost inaccessible road to the beach and off I go.
Parked up in a forest near a river or creek, or on the beach, campfire throwing a nice glow and warmth into the night, your dog beside you, a glass of red or a cold beer in one hand and your hand other patting your dog. If you know a better feeling than that, don’t hesitate to share it with us here.