Do Dogs Remember Their Travels?

Sometimes I feel a bit guilty that Max’s journeys are so limited by our living in town.  It wasn’t always that way. At one time Max was quite the road dog. When he first joined us we were living in the desert southwest of Utah near a town called St. George which is an entry point to some really spectacular scenery and natural wonders including Zion National Park.

Red Rock

Prowling the Red Rock

When folks hear that we lived in Utah their first question, seen in the eyes if not heard on the lips, is “Are you guys Mormons?” Nope. While probably 60% or so of our neighbors and friends were indeed members of the LDS faith, we were drawn to Utah because we wanted an affordable place to use as a home base for a few years while we explored the American West. It was a fling for us and a chance to visit kids without 5-6 hours on a 767.


Trailer named “Katasumori”; it means “The Snail” in Japanese

When we moved to Utah we bought a travel trailer and truck and over the course of 5 years we visited just about every single national park and monument and giant string ball from the Dakotas to the Pacific and from the Canada border to Mexico. Along the way we camped, golfed, explored and, on one memorable evening, fell asleep while watching Doctor Zhivago inside the trailer having forgotten to turn off the powerful exterior speakers. After the extended overture at an ear-stunning level we were awakened by annoyed fellow campers who lacked only pitchforks and torches to recreate the famous storming of the castle scene from  Frankenstein.



But again I digress. The point I was aiming for was that Max was a full partner in these wanderings. We made him a seat between us in the cab of the truck and called him our navigator although he preferred to sleep for long stretches of time.

Max has seen and pee’d on more places in the West than most people.

He rode on the tramways in Telluride and on the train at Cripple Creek. He explored ghost towns and tracked the trails of Butch Cassidy. He sniffed the Summer flowers at 12,000 feet along the Continental Divide and played along Oregon’s Rogue River. That dog has been places!

Tom-Max in Trailer

Me and my buddy in the trailer

These days, Max’s route is pretty tame stuff although he does get to tidal pools from time to time. So I wonder sometimes if he misses all that travel, the adventures, the snuggling under comforters high in the mountains as a chill wind brought snow flurries. Does he have doggie dreams of seeing the buffalo in Yellowstone up close and personal?

Do dogs remember their travels? I wonder…

Categories: Max's Stories

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2 replies

  1. Well one does here in Costa Rica. ;police broke up a dogfighting ring and put up photographs of the dogs on the web to try to find their original owners.
    One dog was so vicious that no one thought he could be rehabilitated…but, guess what?
    His original owner saw the photograph, recognised the markings as that of a pup who had been dognapped when six months old and asked to be reunited.
    The dog was returned…and he and his original owner just held each other, cuddled and wept.
    No more vicious behaviour…just love remembered.

    If you and your friends could do something to stop the vicious trade of dogfighting your Maltese and my five would be very happy.


  2. I think Max is a lucky guy! I bet he does remember his travels and probably dreams about it at night. Surely you have seen him with his paws running and whimpering while sleeping? I bet that is when he was dreaming of his day! Oh Thank goodness for that rescue Helen. That stuff angers me to no end. Where do people get off on making a few bucks at the blood of innocent animals? Sickening! And yet sadly that same dog that they are pitting or using for bait would lay down their life to protect that ignorant human! But at least that one had a happy ending.


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