Bubba & Skruffy are great buddies....basically due to the fact that Bubba allows Skruffy to rule the roost, and he is such a gentleman about it.
Bubba is a Cocker Spaniel who was the runt of the liter. Marcia got Bubba around 2005 after her first husband passed away in 2004. When I came into the picture in 2011, Bubba was what I would call "A Runner".....looking for any and every opportunity to get out and run the neighborhood in "full exploration mode". Thank goodness, he is over that stage now... During our first year of marriage in 2011, we lived in a 5th wheel as I worked the last year of employment before retirement at the Library. One morning I did what I always did, hooked Skruffy up to the short red dog leash, put the long black leash through the handle of the red one and connected it to Bubba, and let them out the door since the black leash was connected to the door handle of the 5th wheel. But in my drowsiness, I hooked Bubba up to the red leash, and Skruffy up to the black leash, and let them out...forgetting to put the black leash through the handle of the red leash. After I made coffee and took care of morning business, I opened the door to let them in...and only Skruffy was standing there. I immediately saw what I had done! 90 minutes later, after much searching and chasing, Bubba gave up and let me get him into the car that Marcia was driving. He looked at us like, "That was a fun way to start the morning!" About a month later, Marcia's brother was in town and took the dogs for a walk. Well, he turned one way, Bubba turned another way and yanked the leash right out of his hand.....and about 90 minutes later he was caught again. There were other escapes, but thankfully for shorter time periods, and he always was caught safe and sound.
In 2012 we traveled for nearly 7 months. After traveling nearly 3,000 miles we arrived at my sister's house in California. They have a nice backyard full of grass and squirrels. Within the first hour, as Bubba and Skruffy chased squirrels racing along the fence, Bubba did a quick turn and then there was they yelp, and he was limping. He had hurt his knee (torn ACL). A visit to the vet confirmed this, and our choice was $4k surgery, or allow it to heal on its own, with the knowledge that it would bother him from time to time the rest of his life. We chose the later since the vet could not guarantee that surgery would in fact heal him, keep him from having future troubles, and the price did seem a bit high.
Bubba still runs...but now just in the back yard, or while on a walk. There have been times when I see him "limp up" from a deep sleep on the couch, hop over to the back door, go out on the grass, and within a minute start running at full speed at a squirrel running along the fence, or scrambling up a tree. He rarely yelps, and when he does, it is because he is being picked up, or during one of his grooming sessions with Dave....but this is nothing new, because he did this before his injury. He really is a bit of a "baby" about things. Sometimes Marcia refers to Bubba as our cat...because like a cat, he has a mind of his own. You can call him, and he ignores you. Sometimes he won't even move his head. You would think that he had a hearing problem...but all you have to do is lightly shake the "treat bag" and that noise will wake him up every time as he gets up and hurries over for a treat.
Above Bubba and Skruffy take it easy on the couch inside the house after a full day of squirrel chasing. Below is a classic picture of them looking out the window of the motor home while we were stopped at a rest area in the California Desert....the thought going through their minds was "Where is all the grass? We drove nearly 3,000 miles to this place that has no grass!"
Skruffy is the "little girl", as Marcia calls her. Skruffy was a rescue dog, and she was my, now our little rescue. I got her in October of 2009, rescued by my Assistant Director at the Library from a local construction company's parking yard where she would hide under the dump trucks and heavy equipment in the yard. October was a very raining month in Pine Bluff Arkansas, with many nights full of lightening, thunder and heavy rain. The people at the construction yard named her "Skruffy" because of how she looked. She showed signs of having a liter, and I figure she was around 18 months to 2 years old. There was a Vet's office across the street from where she was found, so chances are that the family who owned her decided to keep a puppy, and left her sitting outside the Vet's office. Below is a picture of her which I took just a day or two after I got her....but after I had given her a nice, lengthy bath.
The first visit to the Vet revealed that she had heart worms. I told them that I wanted her to get the treatment, and also wanted her spayed. So my little free dog cost about $1,000 right off the bat...but she was and is worth every penny of it, and has been worm free ever since. Below is a picture of her on the second day out on our 7 month trip, March 31, 2012. Skruffy and I were in Arkansas, Marcia and Bubba were in Florida where Marcia had her hip replaced. Skruffy and I were headed up to Indiana to have a lift installed on the motor home so that Marcia could get up into it without effort before we headed to Florida to get her and Bubba. I was doing some computer work, and she wanted to be "right by my side", which was typical of her. For the past 2 1/2 years she had gone to work with me just about every day. If I needed to leave my office, she would be fine for about 10 minutes, then she would give out a short little bark to see if I would come back to her. She followed this bark about every minute or so with another, and another....needless to say, she turned many an eye inside the Library by new Library patrons wondering where the dog was...the veteran users already knew, and many of them would stop by the office just to say hello to her. Until Bubba arrive in our lives, she just would not stay alone without me there, or who ever was lucky enough to be watching her in my absence.
She is definitely a "daddy Dave" dog, but she quickly took to Marcia. However, for the first year or so of our marriage, when Marcia got up in the middle of the night, she would slightly growl at her when she returned. I think it was because Skruffy had taken over Marcia's pillow in her absence and did not want to give it up...but Marcia thinks it was just her way of saying, "Remember, I was with him first!"
Above, Skruffy looks out at the yard at the house for that elusive squirrel. She loves to look out the window of the motor home, the house, and to look over the landscape if she is outside....always on the look out for another dog to bark at, or a squirrel to chase and yap at.
Skruffy has been the star of many of the travel pictures. It is not that I don't like to photograph Bubba, but he just would not stay in place like she does for the shot, some of which were taken with her sitting on a ledge of a wall, up in tree, inside a hollowed out tree, or on top of the car. You can view a select few of these, along with hearing about Bubba and Skruffy's memories of our first 7 months of travel, by viewing this blog page. And of course, you have to visit the fearless hunters page titled "one dead squirrel"....as they put a stuffed toy squirrel out of its misery.
We hope that you enjoy the inclusion of Bubba and Skruffy in our travel adventures.
Editor's Note: Not two days after I posted this and Bubba was on the run again. Skruffy and Bubba were out back as Marcia and I continued to work on getting the house ready to sell. A medium to large size dog was "wandering" the neighborhood and both dogs were barking and barking. I went out front to look over the situation, and the dog had moved on to our next door neighbor....while our dogs were happy barking from the fence gate. Not five minutes later and we hear Skruffy barking out front! Bubba is no where in site, and Skruffy is sitting there wagging her tail as happy as a lark.
Above you can see the temporary fence along the side of the house. When we put in our lawn back in November, they removed the permanent chain-link fence to get a small tractor into the backyard. That fence was not in good enough shape to replace, and we decided to let the new owners, whoever they are, to put up the type of fence that they want. We know that the fences around the property are old, and we are going to let the new owners decide if they wish to upgrade them or not. Anyway, along the right side you can see how there is a slight gap, and that is where they escaped from. It is now much more secure....
So it has been 4-5 minutes since we last saw Bubba....I walk next door looking for him, since that is where the other dog had gone, but to no avail. I get in the car....and I search and search and search. Marcia sat out front for a good half of an hour, and we talked from time to time on the phone. She called and said that she gave up and was headed back inside (due to MS she can only stand for so long....) I kept up the vigil. After 45 minutes or so I decided that I would go home and try the immediate area on foot again just to be sure he had not gotten into a neighbor's backyard.
As I drove up...there was Bubba standing right next to the motor home, tongue hanging way out, and he looked like he was still trying to catch his breath. He looks at me like, "WOW, that was fun!" He does not want to know what was on my mind....
Sometimes when we stop, be it for gas, lunch, or even at a new RV Park, the dogs seem to take over the front for just a bit.
Bubba loves to sit in the driver seat, and Skruffy wants to get to where she can look out the windows.
Here they are awaiting me to finish the outside setup because they know that a walk around the new neighbor is in store very soon.
I have been grooming the dogs for about 15 months now...and getting much better at it. The picture above was taken shortly after a hair day for Skruffy. Usually I cut them both on the same day, but this time I cut Bubba, and two days later I cut Skruffy.
Above are shots another time the day after a hair cut as they played in my sister's backyard.
Of course one thing one must do after a good haircut and bath is....to roll around and get dirty again, as Bubba shows above.
But if you asked Bubba, he would just say that he was laughing at the thought of Skruffy ever getting a hold of one of those Squirrels.
As Autumn came and the leaves started to fall, Skruffy got a bit smarter and hid herself under the front of the motorhome right by the tree, looking left and right for any signs of a squirrel on the ground. What she does not know is that the squirrels like to come down the tree right above her head and stare at her....
They love their morning "Arny Treats" and morning love that he gives them. Bubba has become Arny's Shop Dog, follows him around during the day, and can't wait until Aunt Sandy gets home from work to pick up another round of treats. Skruffy, on the other hand, loves her treats, but wants back in to where her daddy is until later in the morning when she goes on squirrel watch.
When she gives you that "wink", you know something is up!
(Eighteen months later from "where is the grass" picture above) “Bubba, I don’t like this…..remember those trees way over there? That was the only “green” we saw over there…. there’s still no #*%*@&* grass here! Look, I’ll distract dad, you get on his cell phone and call Uncle Arny, he’ll come and rescue us.”
Here there are after a “hard days travel”, as if they had to do anything but sleep during the drive anyway. Beyond Skruffy, between the two seats, you can see Bubba lying there, with a close up of that below.
Bubba sure enjoys rolling in the grass...rolling on leaves....anything to get his back scratched.
Skruffy having some much needed "daddy time" while we are at the Condo for a few months. Dogs are not allowed at the Condo, so they stay at Uncle Mike and Sandy's house with their two dogs, two cats, grown adult child and two grandkids. (Dave's sister is named Sandy and Marcia's brother married a Sandy, kinda hard to follow along....)