RoadTrip America

Routes, Planning, & Inspiration for Your North American Road Trip

RoadTrip Report
August, 2004
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Marvin the Road Dog

Mark & Marvin

Marvin the Road Dog

Megan & Marvin


"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 with us.

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… skunks. On 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


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