We begin our year of adventure with an interview with Karm, the Wonderdog, who travels with her parents, Bryan and Jen, at http://thedangerz.com.
1. Please offer up a short blurb about who you are? Age? Who else is in your family?
My name is karma (as in good karma). My parents tried to make the name “Karma the wonderdog” stick…but its a mouthful. I guess I’m nine but i like to think of myself as a spring chick since I’ll likely outlive my folks. My parents are Bryan and Jen. Known in some circles as the dangerz, but nobody really knows why as it doesn’t fit their personalities- they’re pushovers!
I’m a libra, i shed more then you might think is possible, I love belly rubs and honestly…(not to brag or anything) but I’m like the best behaved dog on the planet, seriously. Do you know any other dog that doesn’t own a leash and will just lay outside of a bar for hours on end while their family goes inside to watch a game? They’re so spoiled.
2.Tell us a little bit about where you have traveled with your family. Have you traveled internationally? Within the US?
Where haven’t I? They seem to be obsessed with taking me everywhere they go. And seriously, I’d be just as happy taking the occasional trip off (especially if there is a plane involved), staying with one of my furry peeps and greeting them when they get back.
For a few years we just took the occasional trip, but then in 2012 things got crazy. My parents built this campervan and seemed to think it’d a comfortable place for us to live. That thing is so small it should be a doghouse…but as long as I’m with them i guess it’s cool. We moved into the van and left home…drove through 8 states and 9 countries over the course of a year before flying home again. By the end i was all “um, guys…i think I’m just gonna stay on this beach because it feels nice to me. Lets take a vote…I clearly have the most paws” but they kept making me go with them. What is it with this nomadic thing anyway?
We did go home for a little while which was pretty awesome, except our house was a construction zone for half the time while my parents built “home-base”. But after that we lived like kings for a few months and entertained a lot and had a lot of people come over to see our space (more belly rubs). Now we’re out on the road again heading north. In their defense…there are lots of days we spend playing in the waves, there’s almost always a coconut for me to chase, I get TONS of belly rubs and the occasional carne aside taco so I guess its working out okay.
3.What is your favorite place to travel? Do you like hiking the mountains? Running on the beach?
Yes Please! When we’re at home we get to backpack and hike in the mountains and swim in alpine lakes (so fun), some cold beach/surf time and even get to play in the snow a couple times a year (I love chasing snowballs). On the road we spend most of our time on the beach and in the ocean. I love the ocean…seriously, sticks, coconuts, waves…whats not to like!!
4. When you’re traveling do you camp? Stay at hotels? Rent houses?
We spend most nights on the road in the van. My parents are on some kind of a savings plan. I don’t know what it’s all about, but since they started it they get to spend all their time with me (and my dad doesn’t put that ugly tie on and my parents don’t leave me alone all day) anymore, which is kind awesome!
We sometimes splurge for a hostel or hotel with a nice shower and bed (once there was even this room with a bed of my very own…that place rocked!), but really we prefer to be more remote, off the beaten path and hanging out with the locals. At home we have been traveling a lot recently too. We didn’t have the van there so we sleep in this funky bamboo teardrop
trailer my parents made, and we rented other people’s places a lot. My parents are WAY into small homes and they use these trips as research/inspiration before getting back to the drafting table.
5. Do you have a hard time finding good quality food and water on the road?
Not really. My parents started off cooking my food and feeding me taco meat (YUM) because I had food allergies when I was young, but i think they got lazy somewhere along the way. Funny thing is, even when i eat the cheap local food in foreign countries my belly likes it just as well as the expensive (special diet) food back home. Weird.
5. Have you had any problems with other dogs, either playing at dog parks, or street dogs when traveling?
Some of these local dogs are really agro. It’s like their parents don’t consider them a family member or even a pet. I think they should chill out a bit, but they’ve got it pretty rough and aren’t treated very well…and i guess it makes them pretty grumpy. Luckily, I’m a lover not a fighter, so i usually just roll right over and show them my belly and they kinda get bored. Sometimes for the really grumpy ones my parents bend over to act like they’re picking up a rock and the dog runs away (i know they’re softies and would never throw a rock at a dog..but they learned that little trick from the locals).
6. What don’t you like about traveling? A different bed? Strange water?
I pretty much love it. I pretty much love everything (especially belly rubs). But… since you brought it up, i’m not a huge fan of planes. I mean, i get it. We get to go a long way real fast and all… but they don’t seem to understand that i’m a person and need a seat. That little box sucks and hello…do i look like luggage to you? I also sometimes wish my parents would stay in one spot for a longer period of time. Just when i’m getting used to all the smells of a place they start packing up again. It’s like they think we’re home wherever we happen to be that night. My parents are so weird. Also..i’m not huge fan of the heat. My parents usually turn the only fan we have in the bus my way so i wont pant on their heads all night, but man- sometimes it gets HOT in that tin can.
Anyway, thats a little bit about me. I see someone walk ing over there that might give me a belly rub (did you know i love those), so i’m gonna go roll over right in their way. Works every time. I hope my parents and i get to meet you along the way, or you’ll come see us in portland (it’s like, the best dog city ever).
Thanks SO much for sharing your travel stories with us, Karma. You have the distinction of being the only interviewee that our mom and dad have actually met. Hopefully we’ll be able to get together when you get home from your latest road trip!
Aspen & Porter