A surprise meeting in Mexico and a bad report on the crew

Fortified by a blueberry muffin and feeling no pain, I leave the courtyard to pass some time wandering around Los Algodones.


Colorful blankets in different designs are available from several of the stalls.

I walk along the stalls with no intention of buying anything.  It’s enough to look at the large selection of things for sale.


All the merchandise is clean and fresh-looking.

The crowd of shoppers has dispersed, perhaps to dental chairs and vision examining rooms.  I’m still feeling sluggish from the extraction, so I make my way back to the courtyard.

I settle in a chair at a small table to wait the remaining few minutes for my glasses to be ready.

“Sue?  Is that you, Sue?”

What?  Who could know me here? 

A pretty, silver-haired woman grins at me.

“You’re RVSue, aren’t you?”

“Oh, for heaven’s sakes!  Yes, I’m RVSue.”  I jump up and pick my hat off the table and plop it on my head.  Might as well be in character . . .

“I don’t believe this!” I exclaim as we hug and laugh together. “I never expected anyone to recognize me in Mexico!”

“Well, you’re a star, Sue.”  She tells me her name is Theresa.  Her husband walks up and she introduces him to me.  His name is Bruce.  They’re from Oregon.

Theresa has several scraps of paper in her hands.

“I had a massage this morning.  It was great.  They grind an elbow into you really hard.  I feel so good.  And then over there . . . ”  She points to a small shop in the back corner of the courtyard.  “Over there, I got my hair cut for $8 and I didn’t have to wait or anything.”

Her hair does look very nice.

“Gee, you’re having all this fun, getting things done, and here I am, dragging myself around ever since my extraction.  And look at how organized you are!”  I point to the little map she holds with notations all over it.

“Tomorrow Bruce is having a tooth extracted, too.  We came today to look things over.”

I reassure Bruce that it’s an easy procedure. 

He quietly nods and smiles.  I can’t help but remark on how well-matched they are.

We chat for a while, I thank them for reading my blog, and we prepare to go our separate ways.  Theresa and I spontaneously hug again, happy to have met each other.

Out on the street, I shake my head and chuckle to myself. 

RVSue, internationally famous . . .


I don’t think that’s licorice Jorge’s selling.

At the Ja-Bal clinic, Ricardo makes a phone call.

“Do you have the glasses ready for Susie?”  He sends Fernando to fetch them. A few minutes later Ricardo cleans the lenses before I try them on.  He gives me two eyeglass cases.  Satisfied with the fit and the lenses, I thank Ricardo, Christina, and Fernando and hurry out the door.

It’s 2:45 and I want to get to the gate before a line forms. 

On the way I approach a woman holding a child in a sling.


It’s apparent that the baby is well cared for.

Wordlessly I ask if I may take her picture and she agrees.  I take the shot above and place a dollar in her basket.


I assume this is grandma and grandson. A younger woman stands nearby.

I point to the baby and the lady holds him toward me for another photo.  I take the photo, say, “Gracias,” (the only Spanish I’ve uttered all day), place another dollar in her basket, and hurry on to the gate.

I groan at the sight of it.


This statue is typical of the items hawked to people waiting in line.

The line is three and four people wide and it goes on and on and on.  I walk the gauntlet to the end.

An hour and fifteen minutes later, I walk through the turnstile, and place my driver’s license and receipt for a pass card on the counter.

The man in uniform asks, “What are you bringing out of Mexico?”

“Two pairs of glasses, ” I quickly reply, forgetting to mention the meds.

He says nothing and motions for the next person in line. 

I grab my license and receipt and sprint to the parking lot.  Gosh, I never thought I’d be gone this long.  Bridget and Spike are probably crazy with worry.   I hope they haven’t given Les any problems.

I hurry west on the interstate and motor across the desert.

Immediately I see that the crew did not have a good day.

Bridget is jumping up and down, crying hysterically.  Spike is catatonic.  Oh, gee . . . this is bad.  Chewed up pieces of velcro are scattered inside the pen.  Oh, no.  She chewed her way out of the pen and escaped.  A rod has been pounded into the ground and the pen’s gate wired to it.

Les comes out of his travel trailer.

Les is always cheerful.   I note that he has a smile on his face, but there’s something about his eyes . . . .

“I’m so sorry I’m late, Les.  The glasses took a long time and the line was long and . . . ”

Les proceeds to report on his day.

“Bridget cried and whined and barked all day long.  I took her inside my trailer for a while but it didn’t help.  I took her for a little walk and she went pee-pee.”

He takes a deep breath.

“Then I took the old man here (referring to Spike) out to do his business.  He peed on his leash.  Then he had a terrible time.  He’s constipated real bad.  Then he didn’t want to go back in the pen.  He tried to make it back to your place.”

Quickly I carry the two nut cakes to the PTV, fold up the pen and slide it into the PTV,  and apologize and thank Les profusely . . .  again.

Les says it was okay, even though I’m sure it wasn’t.

“Well, Les, you know what?  If I ever ask you to babysit these two ever again, say no.”

He chuckles.  “I’ll do that.”



Spike refuses to get up.  I carry him far from our camp and set him down in order to force him to walk.  Exercise usually gets results, if you get my meaning.  He stops on the way back and makes a little progress.  By noon the next day, everything has come out all right.

Bridget sleeps in my arms, glued to me the whole night through, as if I might sneak off again.  What a crew!


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127 Responses to A surprise meeting in Mexico and a bad report on the crew

  1. Don in Okla. says:

    Hi Sue
    So glad to see you are up and going again. Another great blog entry!!
    Thank you.

  2. Mark Watson says:

    I think I saw on the internet an ad for Prozac for dogs.

  3. Phyllis says:

    An hour and fifteen minutes in line, yuck! Very colorful pictures.

    You make me wanna go home and hug my dog.

    Did you see that sign for facials for 20 bucks, I have one scheduled for Thursday for mucho dinero than that.

    Phyllis in Oklahoma

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Phyllis,

      Yes, I saw the sign. I liked the contrast between the very different lifestyle of the Mexican woman and those of us to the north as shown in the poster.

      Well, a new and more beautiful you on Thursday!

  4. Terri from Texas says:

    Hi Sue,
    Maybe you should give them giant meat bones whenever you leave them. It works with our little monster-he doesn’t even know we have gone. He just chews and chews…
    Glad everything worked out for you and the crew is happy now.:)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Terri,

      I did leave them with bones. They wouldn’t touch them. Well, it was a bad day for them, but they got over it.

  5. Barb in Washington state says:

    count me in the group waiting for your posts 🙂 Love your pictures. Was a bit concerned for a bit. If you ever needed something, please let one of us know, ok?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Barb,

      If ever I had a serious problem or wasn’t able to post for three days or more, I’d let my readers know. If I were unable to comment here, I’d call or email my sister Pauline and ask her to inform you. No need to worry.

      Sometimes it’s difficult to handle life and keep the blog current, too. I have to do everything myself (which is the way I want it). It’s not like I can say to someone, “Okay, you do this and that and take care of this problem while I post on my blog.”

  6. Cinandjules says:

    Recognized in Mexico? You can run but ya can’t hide! Heh heh. Susie!

    Sounds like quite a place to have the entire shebang done…. Glad your journey turned out well! I remember people selling little packs of gum…chick-lets or something close to that!

    I was concerned when I read the title….uh oh! Poor Bridget missed you! Glad to hear Spike is regular! Phew………

    My pen came with clips to secure the sections together…you can also use small carabiners which are relatively inexpensive at a hardware store or Wally World!

    Your message was thoughtful….thank you! My hair was a mess…smooshed down by my beanie….guess I could go shopping with the bags under my eyes. Eh? Perhaps a trip to Los Algodones !

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cinandjules,

      My pen came with the clips also but after three years, they fell apart. I bought some carabiners. However when I fold up the pens (I have two that I put together to make a bigger pen), the carbiners get hung up when I try to slide the two pens into the narrow space allotted for them in the PTV.

      Velcro strips have been working fine, until now. Maybe they kept Bridget from barking while she was chewing on them. 🙂

  7. Glad you had a successful trip to Mexico. Too bad about the crew. But they were probably totally confused by your absence. You are always together. Bet everyone had a good nights sleep together:)

  8. Gayle says:

    This post was so interesting, RVSue. I hear both good and bad about actually living in Mexico. It is an affordable fall-back plan for so many seniors. I hope the country turns things around. We would ALL win. What do you hear about living there?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Gayle,

      I don’t hear anything more than you do about living in Mexico. Maybe some of my readers who winter in Mexico will share what they’ve heard.

  9. Nancy Klune says:

    I know it’s hard to do but you need to leave them with someone now and then. What if something happens and you have to spend some time in a hospital? Or worse. They would very easily grieve themselfs to death. I have been a biker, Harley’s, for 30 years and would much rather camp and ride by myself but it’s really not good for us or our pets. Thankfully my biker lifestyle introduced my two Yorkies to a lot of people. And made me be more social. People are weird and so are you. Embrace the weirdness. LOL

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Nancy,

      Your advice to leave the crew once in a while is good in theory. How am I going to put that into practice? I travel most of the year. I’m not near people I know. With whom would I leave them? I wouldn’t expose them to dogs in a kennel just to leave them.

      Bridget and Spike are very sociable so it’s not socialization that they need. They’re overly attached to me, always have been, always will be.

  10. Kayaklake says:

    You need to get Spike — both dogs, actually — back on normal dog food. An all meat or human based diet is unhealthy for them and leads to constipation and a host of other ills. As long as you feed them high quality, non-Chinese-based food – preferably wet ot a mix or wet and dry – they will have all the roughage and nutrients they need. That means no junk foods from WalMart or other discount suppliers who sell faulty, out dated, or dishonestly-sourced foreign products with questionable ingredients. Mighty Dog, Pedigree, or other U.S. certified canine foods are best, or you will face a litany of unexplainable illnesses in them linked to a poor albeit well-intentioned natural food or raw food diet.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I appreciate your wish for good health for the crew.

      I believe Spike’s constipation was due to being in a pen all day. He doesn’t normally live that way. If he doesn’t get exercise, he gets bound up. This is predictable, ever since he’s become a mature dog. It occurred when he was on the old diet. He needs exercise to stay regular. That’s why daily walks are so important.

      One of the reasons I switched the crew to a raw meat diet was the healthy food you mentioned isn’t available in many small town groceries. I think you’d agree that constantly switching dog food brands is not good either. In other words, I’m faced with the choice of feeding the crew various brands of crappy dog food or feeding them raw meat and bones. Spike’s health was declining on the mishmash of junk I found in stores as we traveled.

      It’s a different set of rules when one lives on the road. There isn’t always everything you need right around the corner and ordering dog food online isn’t doable either.

      Thanks anyway for your concern. Let’s see how this goes. So far, so good.

      • Linda in TX says:

        I really think constipation is part of life for many aging pets. My 17 year old cat suffers with it, and we have to give her fiber capsules (mixed with food) daily. It is important that she drinks a lot of water while consuming the extra fiber, and she does because she is pre-diabetic. It has been working well.

    • Cinandjules says:

      Sorry I have to chime in her……everyone has their opinion on every subject.

      But if you make a statement ie don’t buy junk brands and then suggest a junk brand as an alternative?

      Pedigree and mighty dog? Can I suggest you look up dog food ratings. Petfoodadvisor is just one of many sites!

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        The crew was on Purina One brand, when we could find it. Otherwise it was stuff worse than that!

        • Cinandjules says:

          Living in the boonies….we have the same problem of having a very limited selection. The closest store with a good selection is 85 miles one way! I’m not keen on having something delivered.

          I have spent countless hours on researching different brands in search of quality food….even for our feral cats. I was shocked at the findings.

          If the raw diet works for the crew..that is great! You know exactly what you are giving them to eat! No by products, eyes beaks hoofs and whathaveyous!

          Speaking of the raw diet….how is ms Bridget doing with her organs?

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Bridget is still finicky about organ meat. She got over her disgust for bones. Now she gnaws happily for hours . . .

            It looks like I’ll have to find a nutritional supplement.

      • Ed says:

        Cinandjules advice to look up dog food ratings at Petfoodadvisor is right on! Pedigree (Dry) get one star with corn or corn products being the first two main ingredients before a low quality meat is added. Mighty Dog (Canned) gets two stars with water as the first main ingredient but then two low quality meats. These are both as bad as the Purina Dog Chow (Dry) one star that I was feeding my dog Patches. First ingredient in it was corn the some low quality meats.
        I now feed her Canidae Pure Elements a 5 Star grain free dry dog food. You can not find it just anywhere but I plan ahead and pick up 1-3 #24 bags at a time depending on where I am traveling. No too long ago I contacted a store and asked them to hold bags for me as I traveled through their town on my way from point A to B. It is more trouble for me than getting Purina at the grocery store but it is far better for Patches!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hi, Ed,

          I think I’ll follow your plan and strategies if the raw diet doesn’t work out for the crew.

  11. Pleinguy says:

    Wow! What a day you had across the border. Like seeing the pix of ordinary folk too. And, you have to go back again for the teeth? Those puppies sure are attached to you; what a pair.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      No, I don’t have to go back. Everything was taken care of … dental and optical… within a few hours. That’s the beauty of having the work done in Mexico.

  12. Darci says:

    Something that has helped me a couple times are dog day-sitters that are connected to vet offices. I very rarely have ever had to leave mine, but even if they are locked in a private room together for a day I feel at least I know they are safe. The staff check on them, and if they ever notice anything odd they would take them to the vet. I can’t afford to do it regularly but it has helped me out a couple times, so I can recommend it to others in a similar situation.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Interesting alternative, Darci. That would be especially good for dogs with medical conditions like seizures. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Mary (MN) says:

    Sue I am so glad that all went so well for you. Yup, you are now internationally famous. 🙂 You gave Les a great story to tell, watching the dogs, at least it will be a great story once the sound of Bridget’s whining fades from his ears. 🙂 All ended well and now you can settle back and enjoy the great weather. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Mary,

      Les was happy to be able to help me.

      All of us have bad days, even some horrible ones . . . Not only people, dogs have them, too.

  14. Val Lakefield On. says:

    Hi Sue..I was looking forward to this post. Great pics as usual. Amazing that you were spotted there…(had to laugh at Cinajules comment about not being able to hide) LOL ….Sorry the crew were not happy campers while you were gone. We have a dog treat in our local pet food store called Head to Tail Calming treats. Chicken-liver flavour,with chamomile & Gogi berries. Advertised as good for stressful situations such as thunderstorms, groomer visits etc. My friend who works there says they have been helpful for her dog. I will try them on Shiloh the first time camping in the Coach as she did not want to stay in the Aliner at all. am also planning on buying her a thunder shirt. Worked wonders on my daughters dachshund.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Val,

      I wish now that I’d given Bridget something to keep her calm. Most dogs settle down after a while, but not her.

      Strange how Shiloh doesn’t like the Aliner. Hope the thundershirt works for her. I’ve been told good things about them.

      • Val R. Lakefield says:

        Well Shilol might never have camped. She was a clients dog from the vet clinic where my daughter was a V Tech. Dog needed surgery for bladder stones & since he had been unemployed for over a yr, he gave her up to save her life. She is on a prescription diet now that keeps her drinking more to prevent further stones.
        The nervous little wiener dog wears his thunder shirt when he gets his nails trimmed…not for storms. Just applying slight pressure with your hands on the dogs sides, calms them. That is probably what led to the design of the shirt.

  15. Angie2B says:

    Whoa, the one time that I got worried was when you had posted about being in bear country and then didn’t post for a few days. We were all like “Do you think she’s OK?” I thought for sure a bear had gotten you.

    • Angie2B says:

      My post was out of place. Should have been part of the above conversation about contacting people. Sorry, on my ipod tonight, must have messed it up. 🙂

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Hi, Angie,

        There’s no such thing as “out of place” on this blog. We jump around topics all the time. It’s one place where it’s okay to interrupt. 🙂

        I remember that time, felt badly about that. I was in Wyoming mountains and had to drive 30 miles for signal.

  16. Roger in SoCal. says:

    Hi Sue,
    If I am ever out your way and you need someone to watch the dogs, I would be more than happy to do it.
    With that said I know you don’t like visitors, but now that I will have my rig back tomorrow and I need to work on the the road you never know…maybe we will run into each other and I will be able to help someday.
    Before I shut down my business, I was a dog sitter and walker here is what my website looks like.
    I invite you to take a quick look, I am red Cross Certified in dog first aid.
    Anyway the offer will remain open.


  17. Rita from Phoenix says:

    No offense Les but I don’t think there wasn’t any chemistry between Les, Spike and Bridget. Dogs are like children, they either like you or don’t. Now Spike and Bridget love Nina. I don’t know if Spike and Bridget would go bananas if they were left with Nina to dog sit but I bet they probably wouldn’t. We have a neighbor who leaves his dog to go to work and after about four or five hours of being gone, the dog starts howling…I mean it’s the kind of howl that is so sad…almost like a grieving sound. It’s very nerve racking cuz I want to do something for the dog but can’t. Thank heavens all the dogs I’ve ever owned could be left at home and my neighbor tells me they never heard a peep except an occasional bark or two. They look through the slit in the fense and bark people passing by sometimes but not all the time. When I tell my dogs ‘stay’ do stay as I go out the door or leave the car. I don’t hear a sound as I leave but I do leave the TV or radio on for them. Makes me wonder why dogs become overly attached. If something were to happen to me and I couldn’t care for my dogs, they’d happily go to my sisters, daughter, son, nieces, nephews or a good home. Maybe Spike and Bridget just need dog training of some sort….I’m not an expert but just a suggestion. Spike and Bridget are awfully sweet dogs for all the virtual traveling I’ve done with them. BTW, glad there was no hitch to tooth extraction and eye glasses 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rita,

      You got to the heart of the matter. I brought Bridget and Spike over to Les’s place the afternoon before my venture into Mexico so they would have a chance to become more comfortable. They had met Les and spent time with him when he visited our camp several times.

      I walked them all around his camp so they could sniff the area. We all sat together for a visit. I asked Les if he’d been around dogs much. He said he had, but not the kind that go in a pen. He was only familiar with ranch dogs that run free all the time (and probably are kept for the work they do herding, not as lovey little pets).

      • Gayle says:

        Reminds me of my son’s first day at preschool. We met the teacher, looked at the snack food and toys, walked around the yard, met the goldfish — and he STILL hung onto the gate and cried all day! Are puppies and toddlers alike? Potty training techniques come immediately to mind…

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Sometimes Spike is as demanding as any two year old. When he finally falls asleep for the night, I am so relieved!

    • Margo (in Ohio) says:

      Rita; I have a 9 year old terri poo named Roxie; she was a rescue at age 2….I swear she is made of Velcro!!!! while she was brought into our lives to be there with my hubby since he could no longer work, when I am home she is attached to ME! nowadays she wakes up at nite to potty and waits to see if I have to go first! She has become my morning alarm clock even on days that I don’t work!

      I have NO CLUE how she became so attached to me.

  18. Lacy says:

    You just can’t go anywhere, can you?

    I’m not discounting all the other details but the ones that mattered were that you were able to get back to the Crew safe and sound – and that the Crew managed to (barely) survive a few hours without you.

    Glad that everything ‘came out’ ok in the “end”…….I hope this finds all 3 of your well rested and comfortable again 🙂


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lacy,

      All is good.

      Bridget, Spike, and Les survived and I have clean teeth, no loose tooth, and two pairs of glasses through which I see splendidly.

  19. stan watkins says:

    This for your more cautious readers.I have a friend in the FBI in Yuma.He says that Algondones is very safe due to some sort of agreement between the drug Cartels and the Mexican Government.Hopefully that will allay any fears.Maybe you can get some doggy anti-anxiety drugs for future trips away from the crew

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I had heard that same thing, Stan. I’m no expert by any means. However, I do walk with “antennae”… in other words, I read faces and body language, notice things like barred windows and doors, police presence, people afraid to walk alone, etc.

      The way I read Los Algodones, I saw people who felt secure. . . no furtiveness, nervous faces, questionable behaviors, groups of men loitering… that sort of thing. A telling barometer of the safety of a town is whether women are out of their homes walking alone and able to enjoy freedom of movement. I saw that in Los Algodones.

      Also, the only person who seemed under the influence was me!

  20. Elizabeth says:

    Our last dog was a space cadet…got crazy in the car. When we had to move from west coast to east coast, driving it…we knew we had to do something. We got some tranquilizers from the vet…I think we used no more than a half dose…just for a few days, then we were able to go the rest of the way without any. But it made her sleep…I think dogs are better off sleeping than going batty, worrying about their owner. You might investigate that for another time…sorry it was a tough day for everyone. Glad you seem ok with the tooth extraction too.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Elizabeth,

      I never would have thought I’d consider tranquilizing a pet. After Bridget’s behavior, I’m thinking tranquilizing her might be the right thing to do.

      • Connie & Mugsy (MN/AZ) says:

        Mugsy was scared to death to ride in the car because to her it meant VET!!!! A severe illness when she was three – where the treatment was difficult and painful – and we weren’t sure that she would pull through being the cause. (I kept saying to the vet – should we let her go – and the vet insisting that my mother needed her… Dementia sufferers need a focus.) So then when a broken hip put Mom into a wheel chair and full care, Mugsy found herself tossed into an RV heading to Arizona in the winter. The vet gave me 3 kinds of tranquilizers. He told me to start with the strongest one. It said to start with a half pill an hour before the trip. Two miles south of the town, she got the other half. But she still was in full screech mode for a solid 5 hours. I thought I might never get my hearing back. I gave up on the tranqs… and each day it lasted for less time and now she’s a trooper. But she still has terrible separation anxiety. For the first two years, she would never sleep when the vehicle was moving because I must be watched at all times just in case I might disappear. Finally this year, she will nap when we are moving. But getting out to put in gas causes a short meltdown that makes sure that everyone with a half mile knows there is a dog in the vehicle.

        My point is… tranquilizers don’t work for all dogs. I suspect that Mugsy and Bridget may be similar in this regard.

  21. John Lamb says:

    I thought getting back across the border was more complicated than just handing them a drivers license……that’s really all there is???

    • Barb in Washington state says:

      she also had a receipt for a pass card….from what I understand, that’s adequate for crossing borders by land.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Yes, the receipt for the pass card was mandatory. I only showed my driver’s license to save him having to ask for it, thinking of all the people waiting behind me . . .

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hello, John… Good to hear from you!

  22. Glenda in OZ! says:

    Glad you are home safe and sound. Wonderful that you could just pop over the border and get the dental and the optics attended so easily. Poor Spike and Bridget………..they love you soooooooooo much!! Mine would be the same, in fact one of them acts up even before I go anywhere. She know the difference between my jeans and my work trousers…….excited when the jeans go on and such a sad face when the work trousers are in place. Also when I put the jodhpurs on the sad face appears as she knows she can’t go with me. I hate having to leave them when we holiday overseas and I know that Coco doesn’t eat and frets terribly………..loses weight, not that it a bad thing for her every now and then. The other girl really doesn’t bat an eye, but Coco wears her heart on her sleeve and I love her to bits for it!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Glenda,

      Isn’t it something the way our pets read every move we make? Bridget knows we’re going to a new camp as soon as I make sure the windows are locked.

      Sounds like you have a loving and devoted crew of your own. Enjoyed reading about them!

  23. Squawking Goose says:

    I have a question not suited right now for airing on your blog. When you have a chance I encourage you to visit http://www.netc.com (Nuclear Emergency Tracking Center).
    Always traveling, and being outdoors alot you should be careful about radiation which
    has been hitting our Country from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear Power Plant event of March 11, 2011. Does anyone you meet ever discuss the subject, or are they just
    oblivious to the threat?

  24. Page says:

    All the comments above pretty much covered any comments I could have made, so I’ll just say that I’m glad the foray into Mexico was a success.

  25. Cheryl Ann says:

    Oh, gosh, Sue! I nearly had a heart attack reading about your dogs! Phew! Glad all is “moving right along” now. Our German Shepherd, Rommel, would REFUSE to eat the dry dog food we would leave out when we went on a weekend trip. Of course, he would eat again once we were home! But, Lady (our current German Shepherd) and Ripley, our black lab, DO eat while we are gone, but you should hear the cries when our car drives up the driveway! I swear Ripley is part coyote (at least she sounds like she is!). Aren’t our dogs all a bunch of characters?
    ~~Cheryl Ann~~

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cheryl Ann,

      I remember my family going on a vacation from New York state to the Maine coast. I think we were gone for a week. When we returned, our dog was skin and bones. She probably hadn’t eaten hardly anything while we were away.

  26. Cheryl Ann says:

    Oh, and by the way, Spike and I are alike…a little walk “gets things moving”! 🙂
    ~Cheryl Ann~ 🙂

  27. Geri Moore says:

    Poor Les! I can sympathize with him from my 2 experiences with Bridget and Spike! When you and Chuck went to Mesa Verde, Bridget was very upset for the first couple of hours and let me know it. I just kept talking to her, going over to coddle her a bit and finally she calmed down and was fine. Spike just pretty much ignored me and was a grump! LOL The second time, just a few days later, when you and Chuck explored Bluff Fort, they were MUCH better… they were used to me and our furkids and you weren’t gone nearly as long. Your crew are so attached to you because you are all they know and it’s you they depend on for their daily needs and they LOVE you in a major way! DoogieBowser is the same way with Chuck! Chuck is HIS human and when Chuck walks out the door withour Doogie, his heart breaks! Radar is such a goofball, he loves everybody especially if they have treats! LOL!
    Glad Mexico was such a success otherwise! Think you will be going back again for a quickie visit?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Geri,

      You did a wonderful job caring for the nut cakes. That’s what Bridget needs… someone other than myself who has the time, patience, and inclination to comfort her and put up with her whining and crying until she wears down. She’s really a sweet little girl.

      As for Spike, he’s not a very affectionate guy on his best days. I get to hug him with sneak attacks. If I catch him off guard, I can love him up some, then he wriggles away. My little tough guy . . .

      You’d better not let me babysit Radar. I wouldn’t give him back! What a love he is. And his soft body melts in your arms like a worn teddy bear. . . Doogie’s a sweetie, too, but he’s a one-man dog, for sure.

      I do want to go back to Mexico when I don’t have appointments. It won’t be any time soon though. You’d go nuts, Geri, looking at all the crafted items. 🙂

      • Rita from Phoenix says:

        Our Rudy (mini pin) is just like Spike…he’s a tough guy and doesn’t like hugs or kisses….he’ll let you once but then it’s enough LOL. I agree with Geri, Bridget just needs affection and reassurance that everything will be alright. Remember the movie ‘As Good As It Gets?’ The guy who hated the little dog but ended up loving the dog. The dog didn’t trust his sitter until he was given something he liked….BACON! Then, they were best pals! In the end the hateful sitter was won over by the little dog….the sitter wound up baby talking and sweet talking to the dog LOL. I think it’s up to us to reassure dogs when dog sitting…after all they have the mind of a three year old…they’re just like kids.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I remember that film… Jack Nicholson did a great job with it, as did the other actor whose character owned the dog.

    • Margo (in Ohio) says:


  28. Bill from NC says:

    Hello Sue, I too believe some vet doggie downers might help them. I use a radio playing 24-7 in the barn to keep the horses company, when weaning a foal I put the radio and a fan on the stall grillwork to distract the foal. The fan blows on them and the radio is blasting hard rock. It works amazingly well. Thry r bad for going crazy and hurting themselves. My though is with the digital age we have now could you get a cheap CD player and make a CD of you reading a couple paragraphs from a bock and set the CD to play over and over all day while you are gone? Glad ya got your teeth n eyes fixed and all was still ok.in the end. However Spike being catatonic…… If my lil Sadie Mae got that way I would just feel so awful so I know it was bad for you

    • Bill from NC says:

      Darn I got locked up again. Anyway I think everybody is missing a big point here. Les is obviously a very good man. Can you imagine how bad he felt there with the crew totally losing it and him trying everything and nothing working! I think we need to give Les some sympathy. That had to worry him to no end, I mean he cares about the crew and probably imagined all kinds of terrible ends to the deal!!! Plus his heart bleeding for the crew and he just couldnt help them! It would tear me up!!! Thank you Les for all you did and tried!!!

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        You’re absolutely right, Bill! Les is a sensitive, warm-hearted person — he couldn’t write the kind of poetry he does if he were otherwise — and I’m sure he suffered throughout the day, not being able to comfort the crew.

        He was very relieved to see me drive up at the end of the day. No way do I mean my post or comments to disparage the job he did for me watching Bridget and Spike. It was a lot to ask of someone I had recently met. He accepted without hesitation.

        • Rita from Phoenix says:

          I agree with Bill from NC. Les did his best. Your heart does ache when you can’t help to ease a dogs anxiety.

          • Bill from NC says:

            Sue I did not mean to imply you were disparaging his job of babysitting. Thats a milestone right there folks……..I have never used the word disparage in writing in my life!!!!! Sue you mat be retired but your career is showing!!! LOL Life is good!!!! Bill n Sadie
            P.S. Sadie makes boo boo poo poo if I leaver her with a friend at their house!!!! Vindictive little rat!!! LOL

  29. Diann in MT says:

    Hi, Sue,
    Well, it’s been a few days since you returned to your scared-to-death babies, where upon you probably suffered huge bouts of guilt and remorse with resolve to never DO THAT AGAIN!!! :>) It’s not funny, and the babies were out of their minds with separation anxiety. I feel for ya (and them). But, what can one say, except that we, as living, breathing sentient creatures depend upon each other to an unimaginable degree. Your puppies love you, Sue! And, so do your readers!
    Maybe, next time you need a tooth pulled, Nina, Paul, and Polly will be close enough to lend a hand. (I hate advice and not too likely to give it often.) Just an idea.
    Enjoy the emerging Springtime of the desert today. Boy, do I envy you, Sue. Two feet of snow here and a blizzard on the way. But, I have a stack of library books to work through.
    Take care.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Diann,

      This has been a warm winter in the Yuma area, while a great portion of the country is suffering with a very cold and miserable season. I saw my first cactus flower of 2014 yesterday. I’ll go back to find it and photograph it. We’re enjoying highs in the 80s this week.

      I may joke about Bridget and Spike’s behavior, although I hate to think of them pining for me. I remind myself that overall they have a wonderful life on the road. We spend almost every day and night together, enjoying each other’s company.

  30. Dawn from MI says:

    Glad it all worked out. Les was a trooper. Sorry the gang of two didn’t have such a good day. They’ll make you pay for it for awhile…but hopefully all is foregiven soon!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Dawn,

      The remarkable thing about a dog’s love, no matter what you do, the dog still loves you and holds no blame.

      The crew didn’t forgive me because in their minds I’m not to be blamed for anything, so there’s nothing to forgive.

      The pain of separation was eclipsed by the joy of reunion!

  31. AZ Jim says:

    Well, what a neat outcome to it all. I saw those wool blankets hanging in a vendors display on your trip. I have three of those, all purchased cheap in Mexico. They all are 40 years old and still look almost like new. Warm. I keep one in the car all the time, a habit I developed in blizzard country. Glad you’re back with your crew. They are so attached to you. When one considers a dogs average life is equivalent to 7 years to our 1, it is an eternity when you go away for a day. When I was a kid our family had a beautiful little Boston bull, very sensitive. One day my Dad was stricken with a ruptured appendix while away from home. He was hospitalized for three days. On the second day of his absence little “mopsy” went into my folks bedroom and retrieved one of my Dads stockings, brought it out to the living room and when we found her there, she was holding it in her mouth, laying on the floor and alligator tears running down her little face. They get very attached just like we do.
    I’m glad you had a successful adventure down South. I guess things have changed on the border crossing. I have been over the border dozens of time and never produced any ID at all. Of course that was years ago. Enjoy the warm spell coming.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jim,

      What a tender story of your father’s terrier! We all could learn from the devotion of dogs.

      Someday, when it’s time to spruce up the BLT again, I might go with Mexican blankets. I have no idea what price they are sold for, but surely they aren’t expensive by U.S. standards.

      Isn’t this warm weather grand? The Relectix is doing its job. We’re comfortable inside and outside, the shady side of the BLT is cool.

      • AZ Jim says:

        This weather is what we who live here full time look forward to during the hot summer. I do enjoy it.

      • Rita from Phoenix says:

        Try also the Pendleton wool blankets…I bought a couple while in Portland, OR. The blankets are colorful. They are a little on the pricey side but I purchased mine from a factory at a lower cost.

  32. barb says:

    I’m still chuckling about you throwing your hat on when someone called your name. You are an international star 🙂 i did look for you that day but there were way too many people lol

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You were in Los Algodones that day? Maybe you told me that and I forgot. I do that a lot. 🙂

      Well, about The Hat. I figure if a person cares enough to greet me because of this blog, the least I can do is play the part! I slip in and out of the RVSue persona with ease . . . 🙂

  33. Pauline from Mississippi says:

    I have loved reading “The Mexican Connection”. Sounds like quite the day and to be recognized!! My Sister, an international star! I felt so sorry for Bridget and Spike, poor puppies. They won’t let you out of their sight for a while. Really glad you got your tooth pulled and got new glasses. Doesn’t sound like you had any of the hassle that we go through here. Sat in the optometrist office and waited 2 1/2 hours waiting for Tawnya to get her exam.

    Stay safe and happy travels
    Love you

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pauline,

      Two and a half hours? Gee, I bet if you’d known it was going to be that long of a wait, you would’ve rescheduled. Maybe that’s the usual wait. In rural areas you don’t have many choices. In Los Algodones, the competition between providers is fierce.

      Love you, too. . .

  34. Cinandjules says:

    Ever think the crew had substitute teacher syndrome? I’m sure Les did his best to comfort them. Thank you Les!

    If the situation arises and you have to leave the crew…the thundershirt may work. I would tend to be REALLY cautious about giving any of my kids a tranquilizer. One because you are gone and can’t monitor them and two I’ve not know any pet to die from being separated from its owner. NOT saying that destructive behavior won’t happen….but that’s more “getting back” at you.

    Vets will prescribe a drug called acepromazine. Acepromazine is very dangerous so be aware! The vets will tell you to give an amount according to their weight. Owners don’t see the results right away and usually give them “a bit more”. This was a common practice while I was assigned to the airport….there is no way to reverse the effects and those who did this …their pets died! Very sad!

    I would rather listen to a pet than a screaming baby on a flight across the country.

    Bridget and Spike know you’re not about to leave them! You’ll be home eventually!

    Thanks for listening

    • Gayle says:

      Yes, Cinandjules. The remark by Dawn also talked about being punished by them for leaving them. I thought immediately to my students when I’m out for a day. When I came back to the classroom, they were unruly the entire day.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Cinandjules . . . Thanks for the insight and warning re tranquilizers. Gosh, it’s a minefield.

  35. CarolNOK says:

    Composure™ I read about this stuff on Nina’s blog (a million thanks Nina). It’s been ages since I read about it, but I believe Nina gives this (or something similar) to calm her cats before traveling. Amazon has this stuff for dogs too. It’s very calming without the nasty effects of tranquilizers. One of my dogs suffers from motion sickness. This stuff works. The other boy is terrified of rain. Composure helps with their separation anxiety as well. I keep a supply of liquid Composure and a bag of Composure chews. I am prepared for all situations. It might prove as beneficial for Bridget as it does for my boys. My heart can’t handle the little guys suffering.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Very interesting, Carol. I know Nina wouldn’t give her cats something without extensive research first. Thanks for sharing the information here.

    • Crystal says:

      Hum. I should try that with my shih tzu. He doesn’t get car sick, and loves to go, but he’s all over the vehicle like he can’t get comfortable. I bought a dog car seat, and that only makes it worse. He hops from seat to seat and drives me nuts. I crate him sometimes, but after awhile he wants out. For a long trip, I don’t want to keep him crated.

  36. Marcia says:

    Hi, Sue,

    One of our dogs is slipping into dementia and becomes very anxious at night. Our vet suggested we give him Chamomile tea (tea bags opened) stirred into cottage cheese just before going to bed. We also purchased (from the vet) a collar that releases pheromones when he gets excited and his body temperature rises. The collar must be snug around the neck and is only good for about four weeks, so it needs to be replaced monthly. I do think the tea and collar have made him a bit more at ease though.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Marcia,

      My readers are a great storehouse of knowledge and experience. I appreciate the information. I will be proactive re Bridget’s anxiety in the future.

  37. Deb from NJ says:

    Oh My….I don’t know who I feel more sorry for……Les or the Crew! I feel for the Crew for missing you, but then again poor Les. He probably had no idea what to do for them. They are really attached to you.

    I am glad that at least one person spotted you. I am sure you made their day and will remember that day forever. They will tell the story about meeting Sue over and over again. You, Sue, made their day! That must make you feel pretty special!

    Again…..great pictures! Have a great day!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Deb,

      I couldn’t apologize to Les enough. I felt so badly about the situation. He was very gracious, but I could see he’d had a trying day.

      It was fun meeting Theresa and Bruce… such a surprise!

  38. LeeJ says:

    Bridget is one smart cookie..she knew the way to get out of that stinking pen was to chew off the Velcro straps holding it together…in her mind, this was a good start! Isn’t it interesting how much of a bond they form? gotta love that devotion.

    I see several suggestions for various chemical calming agents, might I chime in here? I use a natural product called Rescue Remedy. It is plant based and has never harmed one of my animals, I even use it on my horses when they are facing a stressful situation. We had a filly get injured and the RR settled her right down so we could clean her up and apply bandages. It might be good for the crew when you have to leave them in the car when you shop!

    I don’t usually make suggestions like this, everyone has their own ways of dealing with issues, but I was so happy to know about this product, I have even used it on me when I was facing a crisis!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lee,

      I’m intrigued by this Rescue Remedy. I like that it’s plant based. I could do like you suggest, try it on Bridget when I leave the crew to shop. Thanks for sharing your experience with it. I’ll look into it.

  39. Sandi Lierley says:

    Hi Sue, I had a tooth pulled about the same time and just getting used to bifocals, doing the Medicare physical getting ready for the long haul, just wanted to let you know you are not alone, I read your blog but usually in bed on my Kindle, can’t comment most of the time. Thanks for the pix of Yuma and the Mexico spot, have heard about it for years as my parents were snowbirds, and boondockers too. Benedryl works for dogs to calm and sleep, easy to get in most places. hugs girlfriend. oops, now that you’re famous I should be more formal. lol Sandi

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, you can call me girlfriend . . . and hugs are good, too! 🙂

      I’m happy to hear from you, Sandi. Thank you for reading my blog and for stopping in with a comment.

  40. John K - Mobile, AL says:

    Hi Sue,

    Long time, no post. I’m still reading though. I was very interested in your Mexico health care trip. I may have to head over there for a complete overhaul!

    I was reading also about the dog food issue. Does Amazon carry a brand that they would eat?

    We occasionally give the cats raw meat. They love it. I remember the first time. They looked at it, sniffed and then looked up at me with this look…what are we supposed to do with this?

    Glad the fur kids are ok. I hope Les recovers soon.


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, John,

      I bet your cats do love the raw meat. I get a kick out of watching Bridget and Spike attack their plates of raw meat. Spike makes all these slurpy, gobbling, heavy breathing noises . . . He really gets into it! Haha!

      Great to hear from you… I’m happy to know you’re still reading my blog.

  41. Piper says:

    Awww poor babies. They don’t like to be gone from you. I have a Golden Retriever like that. He is a big baby but I love him that way. Dogs are family. 🙂
    Love your blogs. Look forward to them.
    Great pictures!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Piper. Goldens are sweet, loving dogs and I can easily picture one being a big baby . .

  42. suzago says:

    Hi Sue,
    I’ve been reading for a while, and telling my friends about you… (“She’s got this wonderful spirit and a clean writing style…”) but I’ve never written until now. Lousy day at work (education administration) and I’m tempted to move up the retirement date to THIS summer, instead of NEXT summer. I’m really not sure I can do this one more year. And I figure it’s better to quit now than be fired later, right? But that would mean I’d have to really get my act together and get the house ready to sell and quit procrastinating on the awful chores. I’ve read your whole blog, so I am instructed by all the details you managed to take care of before you finally set yourself free. I’m going to sleep tonight, dreaming of my little home on wheels-to-be… and wondering if I can make it happen later this year. Thanks for all you do to show us how it’s done.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Suzago,

      I know exactly where your head is at… trying to stay professional and focused through all the stress and strain… looking at that retirement date with yearning.

      Try not to be overwhelmed by the tasks necessary to set yourself up for a life on the road. If you’re anything like I was that last year of working, my dream for retirement kept me sane. Best wishes to you as you prepare…

      Now start chipping away at what you need to do! 🙂

  43. kgdan says:

    Hi Sue! Been loving your Algodones pics. We love it there and your pics bring back wonderful memories. We have been lazing around here in Laughlin . Were going to leave last week but just couldn’t tear ourselves away. We were given a site we have been wanting for 3 years and now will have it every year–so happy. Meanwhile though your blog got more info for places we want to try in Baja. So while
    we have been lollygagging around here, we have been fine-tuning our plans; now heading south about March 1. Life is good!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m very happy for you both! Sounds like you are having a wonderful time! Keep in touch… I was wondering about you two just the other day.

  44. LaneVids says:

    Pretty darn cool that you met one of your readers in Mexico! Small world. I love when that happens. I remember going into a local restaurant, and the owner was wondering why I looked so familiar, and it was because I made a video one day talking about his restaurant! The power of the Internet!

    Good to hear that the crew is doing better!

    • Crystal says:

      I love “small world” stories. One of my daughters has them often, and sometimes they’re just wild! She now lives in Asia, but we live in a small one-horse town in southern IL. She was married this fall, but just prior one of her bridesmaids was flying from London to Africa and began talking with the man seated next to her. She learned he was a photographer from Illinois, and mentioned she was going there soon to be in a wedding. He asked where, and she told him “southern Illinois” and then gave the town. He was shocked, and told her he lives in that town. He then asked the name of the bride. When she gave him my daughter’s name, he said, “Oh my gosh! I took her senior photos.” I swear, she has one of these wild stories about every 6 months.

  45. DesertGinger says:

    Hi Sue. You might try getting a bottle of lactulose for Spike. I give it to Chloe, who has a funky liver and thus unpredictable bowels, in a mouth syringe, just 1 ml or so per day. You judge the amount by bowel consistency…go for a peanut butter effect. It’s very cheap. If you don’t have or can’t get some, add some cod liver oil to Spikes food, and increase water.

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