Q&A With Traveling Bambi
You know how every travel blogger interviews every other travel blogger? We’re no exception. We interviewed our traveling dog, Bambi (just don’t call her a dog).
Here is the third member of Southwest Compass, travel professional extraordinaire, Bambi the Chiweiner. Juliet met Bambi when she got a job at a no-kill shelter. Due to a slight miscommunication, the Chiweiner believed her role was to scare off all potential adopters by barking and spitting from the back of a crate. She doesn’t believe in men or small children (she understands that they exist, but wishes that were not the case) and had an extensive list of demands for a potential adopter. ‘Childless’ and ‘lesbian’ were among her main keywords. Juliet wasn’t allowed dogs in her apartment, so her boss allowed her to put Bambi on layaway until she could move to dog-friendly digs. Bambi’s first trip was to Pismo Beach, California, where she dug a large hole and hid from Spring Breakers. Then Lane came into the picture and many, many more trips ensued.
My preferred destination
So, Bambi… Where are you based?
I’m an LA dog at heart. I was an unwilling transplant to the Arctic tundra of Santa Fe, where there is snow, coyotes and snakes. The vet also informed me that I am ‘borderline hawk bait’ so you can imagine how relaxing I find life here.
Sun worshipping. Bring me a Pina Colada!
What inspired you to start traveling?
Inspiration never factored into it. And I don’t call it traveling. The experience has more in common with kidnapping. Typically, I am woken from my beauty sleep at o’dark thirty, stuffed into a crate (which FYI has bars) and deposited in a car. Then we gun it out of the driveway. I can only conclude that I am a hostage or we’re skipping out on the rent.
Hiding on a San Diego beach
Favored mode of transport?
Car. There are two main ways that I travel: in the front seat or in my crate. The problem with the front seat is that those in other vehicles (especially truck drivers) can see me and this magnifies my chances of dying. The advantage is that I am usually able to monopolize said seat, forcing the human riding with me to balance on one butt cheek and squash the other one against the door. I accomplish this by squeaking pathetically when attempts are made to shift me – my bum hips come in handy.
As for my crate – a glorified cage – I’ll concede that there is a Tempurpedic dog bed inside but I have high standards. If Mariah Carey or J Lo wouldn’t travel in this prison, why should I?
The humans *finally* got a clue in San Francisco
Budget or luxury travel?
*snort* Luxury all the way. Unfortunately Mother and Lane disagree. Whenever I make a pit stop on the road I scamper toward the nearest BMW or Lexus, but they fail to take the hint. From my days in LA, I heard rumors that the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills and the Hotel Bel Air are pooch-friendly. My vacations are usually spent in rustic cabins with carpet from the 1970s (they expect me to sit on that?) so I wouldn’t know.
Another “dog” cabin — in Colorado
What kind of destinations appeal to you?
My list of phobias rivals that of Adrian Monk, so places without other people appeal. I favor sandy or rocky locales. One of my ancestors must have been a Billy goat and I find it hilarious to scale vertical rock faces then expect Mother to retrieve me.
Ew! Lake water! It’s on my fur!
Favorite place you’ve been?
Point Reyes National Seashore. I later learned that those accursed hawks were stalking me during my visit, but I was oblivious at the time.
Freezing my tail off in Yosemite
Best meal on the road?
I only dine when I am in an abode with four solid walls, a roof, and electricity. I have turned down food at a range of restaurants, included designated doggie cafes. I broke this rule on only one occasion, in Austin, Texas. Lane purchased something called a padre taco from the food truck Mellizoz Tacos. I was wedged between the gear stick and the edge of the seat, waiting to be deported (I’m half Mexican) when the smell of braised pork wafted towards me. I’m not proud of it, but I begged. Lane was so shocked at my willingness to eat in public that she gave me most of the taco. Best. Meal. Ever.
Not the steak I ordered because it’s Thanksgiving
Worst travel moment?
I was in the San Francisco area and we were driving across a bridge. I was riding in the passenger seat when we pulled up at a tollbooth. Later, I was informed that these usually appear on the driver’s side. Not so in this case. The window next to me was lowered. A hairy arm invaded our vehicle, with the outstretched palm hovering over me.
“Oh, what a cute dog,” a male voice said. His hand flipped over and started to lower toward my head. This was it. I was going to go paws up, bite the dog biscuit, cash in my chips.
“Noooooo.” All the humans in the car yelled. Money was shoved into the offending hand, which had barely been removed when the window was rolled back up. The cooing began in earnest, but this was unforgiveable. I hurled myself into the back and, from there, into the footwell, where I rolled myself out like a Chiweiner pancake. I slithered all the way under the passenger seat.
“Surely she can’t squeeze under there,” one of my humans commented.
Watch me b*tches.
Desecrated at Halloween
Tips for other canine travelers?
Did you just call me a dog? I’m 90% diva and 10% royal and don’t you forget it.
Here’s a tip for scoring the best eats on the road. Once in your beaten up cabin, refuse to move from the back of your crate (this is the most sanitary location anyways) and force the humans to leave you in residence. This frees your people up to go to one of the fancy restaurant that frowns upon those of a furry persuasion. The guilt you have inspired translates into gourmet takeout for you. Reward their good behavior with dancing and happy squeals to ensure they repeat the process throughout the trip. Training them is time-consuming but worthwhile.
In the middle of nowhere again. They are lost!
What have you learned since you became a travel blogger?
That I am being shamelessly pimped out. Without pay.
The ‘help’ is good for something
Lane & Juliet
The writing and photography team behind Southwest Compass, the travel blog for the American Southwest.