An early inspiration for our van travels was Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley. We were fortunate to adopt Nicky who turned out to be a great traveler: intrepid, incredibly well-behaved, and a magnet for people of all ages to talk with us. The typical opening question is “What breed is she?” (Answer: half Husky, quarter Chesapeake Bay Retriever, quarter Mastiff.) She is such a draw that sometimes in a parking lot we collect a crowd of kids wanting to pet her. (One kid scratched her under the collar and announced proudly he knew the “special spot” for huskies.) We also get to hear many funny stories about husky adventures and behavior. In Jamestown, NY, we happened upon a public market in a section of the city with a large numbers of older people and people with disabilities out on the sidewalks. Many were thrilled to spend time with her (and talk with us). Like Charley, Nicky has been our opening to talk with many people we otherwise would not meet.
This summer, the challenge has been to keep her cool in spite of the heat. Fortunately, Massachusetts, the Maine Coast, Vermont, the Adirondacks, Northwestern New York, and Northern Ohio have been mostly comfortable.
This lucky dog has had good hiking and a little swimming, received lots of attention, and has been a fabulous companion out on the road.