Tarantula Pippilotta Gasolina Scorpio Mc Junior. A.k.a Tara, was born in a gas station in Lago Agrio, Ecuador, a small town bordering Colombia at the edge of the Amazon forest. She joined the team of Nonurbia when she was only one and a half months old and has been traveling with her humans Sarah and Erdem for a year now. You can follow them @nonurbia on Instagram, Facebook and nonurbia.com on their blog.
1. Tell us a little bit about where you have traveled with your family. Have you traveled internationally? Within the US?
We’ve mostly been traveling south on the Americas. I’ve been to the Amazons in Ecuador. I climbed up the Andes. Then to the deserts of Peru. The salt flats and lagunas of Bolivia… We drove the Ruta 40 in Argentina and the Carretera Austral of Chile. I learned swimming in the lake region. My humans even took me to Turkey for 3 months to eat Turkish kebab and meatballs. It was worth the hours spent in that airline cage. I’ve been on the move ever since I was born.
2. What is your favorite place to travel? Do you like hiking the mountains? Running on the beach?
Tough question! I like running up and down the mountains a lot. But I guess nothing beats the joy of digging out a seal carcass on the beach and rubbing your body all over it. I don’t like to swim in those big Pacific waves but I love the sand and the treasures it holds.
3. When you’re traveling do you camp? Stay at hotels? Rent houses?
I know hotel rooms very well. I stayed in them three times! Once I stayed at a five star hotel too. The Sheraton in Lima. The airline had messed up our ticket so it was on their dime. I liked the smell of high thread count linen and overused carpets. But we usually camp in the truck. In the end it’s better to not have to use an elevator to go peeing. I love camping. You get to meet nice humans that way. More humans means more food and more petting. You know what I mean?
4. Do you have a hard time finding good quality food and water on the road?
I guess that depends on how you define quality. I like finding bone pieces in Argentinian barbecues. My humans once ate almost a full lamb and couldn’t finish it. So I got a good deal with that one. Occasionally I get cooked good homemade food. And I usually eat different kind of dog food they find in stores. Latin America is full of dogs. And humans like taking care of us. You can find dogfood in almost every little roadside shop. No need to worry about that one. Glacier streams are delicious to drink from. But I also sometimes like licking muddy water from roadside potholes or campsite toilet bowls. Most of the time they give me filtered water though. The same bland one they drink.
5. Have you had any problems with other dogs, either playing at dog parks, or street dogs when traveling?
That’s the best part of it all! I get to meet so many dogs on the road. They usually make a big scene when they first see me, but then we get to play together. I’m an attractive female so I have no problem getting all those street boys in line. Very few dogs get to smell as many asses as I do. I’m so lucky. I got very talented in socializing this way. It wasn’t all that easy in the beginning though. I once got my head bitten by a big mama dog when I tried to eat its puppies food. But I deserved that one. After all, there is a line you learn not to cross.
6. What don’t you like about traveling? A different bed? Strange water?
Nothing much really. I sleep on my own bed every night. I have my own space in the back of the truck at night and also in the front when we are driving. Traveling is not uncomfortable when you get used to it and develop road habits. It’s good to have some things remain the same when everything else is changing all the time.
I guess what I hate most is getting all those vaccinations and deparasitization pills at the veterinarians. Some countries don’t care at all, but some of them make a big deal out of my visit.
We sometimes have to find a veterinary to get a Certificate of Health, and then we take that into the agricultural office in the town to get a paper we need to show at the borders. Sometimes we have to plan ahead because small towns don’t always have these offices.
Thanks Tara! We love your story and photos and hope to see you on the road soon!
Happy Tails from the road ~ Aspen & Porter