Libbys on the Loose:2 Humans. 2 Great Danes. 1 RV.: Things we have learned in the past week..."It ain't all sunshine and rainbows"

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Things we have learned in the past week..."It ain't all sunshine and rainbows"

Living and traveling full-time sounds like permanent vacation right?  For some it might be....  For us, we still work full time and deal with problems (different kinds) like everyone who lives in a stick and bricks home.

Our challenges have certainly become more unique living in a home on wheels, but the challenges and problem-solving have been fun in their own way.  It's all in how you approach life and deal with the lemons it sometimes gives you...do you bite in and make a sour face, or do you make lemonade?

Apparently, this is our dogs' reaction to mice!
In the past week, we have had some interesting ones!  Our first was the discovery of a mouse (later to be determined that he was not working solo)  We have dealt with rats before, so these little guys were no problem for us.  In Florida, we once had rats chew through our water pipes in our attic while we were on vacation.  When we came home, imagine our surprise when we discovered several places where our ceiling was showing the telltale signs of water damage!  We were confused at first since we had a relatively new roof.  At the time, we didn't know that we were dealing with a family of rats.  In the end, the pest control company caught 4 GIANT (at least in my opinion) rats that had done enough damage to our pipes that we had to turn off the water to our house and end up having to re-pipe the entire house; not to mention all the ceilings that had to be repaired from the water damage.  We know exactly how much damage these guys can do in a short amount of time.

When we were purchasing items for our RV earlier this year, one of those "just in case" things was a set of mouse traps.  Boy, are we glad we had those!  We heard that mice find it easy to enter into our cozy tiny homes and, in even a short time, can do catastrophic damage.  We have read that this is especially the case when the weather starts to turn cold.  We first suspected a mouse after a small hole was found at the bottom of Jeanine's daypack.  In the exact place where some peanuts were held.  Thinking it was a just a tear in the bottom of the pack, the nuts were moved to a different spot just to have another "tear" again, in the place where the nuts were!  Just to be safe, the traps went out.  
Well - our concerns were confirmed that night.  But, being novices in actually using the mouse traps (we had used pest control companies in the past), we were not crafty enough in the setup.  Our mouse had eaten the peanut butter right off the trap without setting it off!  A quick call to my Dad (who has A LOT of experience using these traps) gave us the advice of putting the peanut butter or cheese under the metal arm rather than on top of it so that the mouse would have to work harder to get it.  I know that there are many options when it comes to catching and getting rid of mice, but for us, the snap traps seemed the best way to go.  We certainly didn't want to poison them so they would die somewhere it would be impossible for us to get to and we didn't want to get near a live mouse.  We also had to consider the amount of space we have so keeping anything large for our "just in case" wasn't logical either.  In the long run, we ended up getting two mice.  I think we will keep the traps out a few more days, just in case.

Our second challenge of this week was discovered when we moved from Glacier National Park into Whitefish RV Park.  Once we are set up in a park, we have these great portable outdoor dog pen fences that we purchased on Amazon.  We use them to fence off a portion of our area so that when we sit outside our dogs can play.  Every park we have stayed in requires that your dogs be on a 6ft leash at all times which for our big guys, isn't really conducive to play time!  It is for not only the safely of everyone in the park, but also for the safety of our dogs.  We completely understand and agree with these rules.  However, finding an RV park that also has an off leash dog park is challenging.  Our solution with the gates, has so far been a success.  While technically we are not following the 6ft leash rule, no one has had any issues with our setup and many people come by to say hello to the dogs and are amazed that they don't simply step over or push over the fences.  We use constant and consistent training so both Nyx and Moose are good with boundaries.
 Another added benefit to having the fences - middle of the night bathroom breaks. While they are infrequent, they do happen.  And we're pretty sure that nobody looks forward to those times and rarely gets enough advance notice so they have time to get dressed (especially now that it's in the 30's at night!).  So, we let them out - they do their business, and come right back in.  While in Glacier, we were set up in an area that was gravel so the next morning, cleanup was easy!  Our new spot - under the cover of deciduous trees... not so much.

Our final lesson for this week was about Bear Spray.  Having lived the previous few years in Cocoa Beach, where you hear about shark attacks, we know that most of the time incidents can be prevented with proper behavior and respect for the area.  We have read up and talked to several people about the fact that we are currently living in bear country.  Not only are there Black Bears, but also Grizzly bears!  In our research, we have found that bear spray is the best defense against not only bears, but predators in general.  If you are planning on doing any kind of hiking like we have, it's best to be prepared.  And, pro tip, don't go for the 8.1 oz cans.  Go with the larger 10.2 oz - you get a full 2 oz more which equals a longer distance and a longer duration.  Most would agree, with bears, the farther this thing shoots, and the longer it shoots, for, the better!  Our motto has long been "Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it".  This has been our motto for nearly the entire 14+ years we have been together.  Yes, we do get teased about it sometimes - but when it's you who needs something, chances are, we've got it.  Since both of us grew up in rural areas, our motto has been passed down from our parents.  There are many stories we could share with you about times this has come in handy!  In this lesson, we learned that while yes, it is important to have your bear spray with you everywhere - to never leave it unattended...  We had run into the store and left the dogs in the truck.  This is something we do often since they go pretty much everywhere we go.  They will usually stick their heads out the window to say hi or just lay down for a nap.  They are excellent truck dogs - most of the time!  In this instance, they found the can of bear spray.  Being the big, powerful dogs they are, they ended up opening up the bear spray.  UGH!  Now, while we are fans of spicy foods, neither of us noticed any smells when we got back and the dogs were acting normally.
 Then we saw that Moose was orange.  And their bed was orange.  I'm sure Nyx was orange as well - but with her dark colored coat, we didn't see it.  Luckily, we didn't have far to go to get home, so we wiped down the surfaces of the truck that we could see and rode home with the windows open.  Both dogs got a shower and we took the sheets and mattress pad (fortunately we use a waterproof one) off the bed in the truck.  We have now discovered that bear spray is an oil based product which we still haven't gotten out of the mattress pad and sheets (they will probably have to be replaced).  We were also unsuccessful in getting it fully off the dogs so they went for a spa day (their first!).  We still have not gotten it all out of the truck.  We are now waiting for the next nice day (rain storms for the past few days that will last a few more) so that we can pull everything out of the truck and give it a thorough cleaning.

We hope these lessons have brought you some laughs!!

Did we get it right? Do you have experience or knowledge about this post? Please make yourself heard! Comment below and we will respond as soon as possible. As always, thanks for following us! Disclaimer: We are not paid writers. We write for enjoyment and to share information about our travels with our families, friends, and our followers. The information that we provide is based on our experiences with the products, services, etc, that we write about. It is 100% non-biased!

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