MEMORIAM: MARVIN THE ROAD DOG
"Should I take my dog?"
It's a frequent question on the Great
America RoadTrip Forum. Our answer? If you're able
to, by all means, yes! Animals are often far more able
to adapt to both the delights and rigors of road trips
than people are, and roadtrips with a canine companion
are among the most rewarding.
We speak from experience. We traveled
with our best friend for fifteen years. Marvin
the Road Dog joined us in 1989. We are sad to report
that his earthly journey ended on August 5, 2004, but
we're grateful for all the years and adventures he shared
Some of the fondest memories we have
of Marvin are of his response to the somewhat darker human
moods that sometimes arise during stressful periods on
the road. He was fond of jumping up on the sofa in our
motorhome, leaning against us, and placing a foreleg over
one of our legs. We like to think that he was aware of
the comfort he provided by that simple act.
Like many dogs, Marvin was fearless
and bold in situations that give even the bravest humans
pause. He could never appreciate the inherent danger of
approaching bears, coyotes, deer, and
the other hand, he was afraid of lightning, and thunder
was a sure sign to him that the sky was falling.
During his years as spokesdog for
RoadTrip America, Marvin developed remarkable skill in
handling the media. Whether in a newsroom, on a television
set, or at a special event, he had a knack for currying
favor with reporters, photographers, producers, and station
managers. Not only did he gain access to some of the most
restricted newsrooms in the country, he got his picture
taken far more often than either of us.
Over the years, Marvin made many discoveries,
and we enjoyed them as much as he did. We remember the
first time he tasted salt water on a beach in Oregon and
his amazement the first time he played in snow. We remember
the huge grin on his face when he ran into the wind, his
ears flying out behind him. We remember watching him touch
noses with a cow.
Marvin was an excellent teacher, too,
training us early on to be his valets. On walks, he would
stop suddenly and lift a paw, his signal for us to check
for stones or thorns. No amount of verbal urging from
us would get him walking again until we performed the
inspection, whether one was needed or not.
Marvin was a master at communicating
without words. In October, 1993, he was the first among
us to realize that it was time
to leave our soon-to-be-incinerated house in the Pasadena
hills. But Marvin wasn't about to leave on foot, not when
there were two perfectly good cars in the driveway. It
wasn't long before he was riding shotgun to safety.
"Should I take my dog?"
If it's possible, go for it! You will never cease to be
awed by the places your best friend will take you.
Farewell, Marvin! We love you.
We miss you. We'll always remember you.
Mark Sedenquist & Megan Edwards