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Bird Man Walking & Truckin’ III


A birder named Bradford Storey is walking across the country  with his Siberian Husky, Xena.  His trip is partially an effort to raise money for the Audubon Society’s “Important Bird Areas” program.  The blog has lists of birds he’s seen, people who have helped him along the way, and many updates on XENA, the dog.



I found the Bird Man when I tried to research John James Audubon’s dogs.  Audubon led a wild and remarkable life, and made long and extensive travels throughout the USA.  In his portraits he is usually posing with a dog, and he often traveled with at least one dog, sometimes many.  It will take more time than just a quick internet search to find out more about Audubon’s dogs.  Here he is with one of them.  Looks like a Brittany Spaniel.


In my search for historical Traveling dogs, I found a bit of information about Lewis Meriwether’s Newfoundland, Seaman.


He’s considered one of ‘our country’s greatest canine explorers’,  and – with a quick search – here are a few things I found out about him:   he was an excellent guard dog.  One night he awoke everybody at  the Lewis and Clark camp  when a bison bull stopped by for a visit,  he enjoyed eating dog meat (which Lewis apparently enjoyed too, but Clark wouldn’t touch), he almost died when a beaver bit his hind leg, and cut an artery, and his collar was exhibited in a Virginia museum at one point.  Below is an excerpt from Lewis’s  journals:

Navigating down the Ohio River, Lewis, wrote on September 11, “[T]he squirrell appears in great abundance on either side of the river. I made my dog take as many each day as I had occasion for, they wer fat and I thought them when fryed a pleasent food.” On November 16, near the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, Lewis mentioned that an encampment of Shawnee and Delaware Indians were encountered. “[O]ne of the Shawnees a respectable looking Indian offered me three beaverskins for my dog with which he appeared much pleased…I prised much for his docility and qualifications generally for my journey and of course there was no bargain.”


Meriwether Lewis


And finally, to wrap up this short preview of traveling dogs – here is a picture of Dr Horatio Nelson Jackson’s pit bulldog, Bud, who, in the spring of 1903, traveled with Dr. Horatio Nelson Jackson and Sewall K. Crocker in a 20 horsepower Winton Touring car on the first automobile trip across the United States.  The car was christened, The Vermont, in honor of Nelson’s home state.  Bud wore goggles, as did the men, to protect his eyes from the dust.  Ken Burns made a documentary about the journey, called Horatio’s Trip.  This is Some famous travelin’ mutt!

AND, now back to the not so famous traveling mutts.

Last day on the road.  These pine forests in Georgia are ideal for dog walks.  But at this particular spot, two things happened.  First, we noticed that the main dog backpack that had carried the originally lost dog leashes, a sizeable stash of special rawhide sticks purchased at great expense, Pepper’s special ear cleaning medicine, and two well used and beloved ‘kongs’, as well as a spool of radio fence wire had been stolen from the back of the truck.  Most likely happened that night when Pepper barked when we were in that room at the bad B.Western in Gastonia, NC.  And just after this sad discovery, at the exact second  I was backing up into a side road that led to the highway (and I DID look in the rear view mirror) some clown decided to make a U-ey, and backed his truck and farm trailer onto the wrong side of the road.  The side two passenger doors on the Tundra were badly scraped. Nobody hurt, dogs didn’t even notice.

Wounded truck, happy travelers, relieved dogs – all arrived fairly safely.  This is the causeway from Eastpoint to St George Island.

Next time:  Boss Oyster, Worm Gruntin in Sopchoppy, and other local thrills.

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In Anna Dibble's studio: Kimberly Wang of Eardog Productions
Studio shots, & Pepper, Radar and Theo

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Dogs, cats, and other animals as metaphors for our nonsensical human condition.
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