by Joanne Hill
Magazine editors asked, "How did the antics of a family pet make for an unforgettable vacation experience?"
When friends heard I bought a motor home and was traveling alone, they asked, "Aren't you afraid?" "No I've got protection," I told them. Then, I'd point to my Yorkshire terrier, Bubbles. They'd look at the three pounds of black fluff and shake their heads. Except for stealing the driver's seat when we parked, Bubbles wasn't much for tomfoolery. But she was a psychic. On the road and in campgrounds Bubbles rarely barked. When she did speak, I listened, especially when a growl was attached. Twice she refused to get out at a rest area, so me and Bubbles moved on. Our road routine was about two hours of driving, then a rest stop. We'd walk, maybe catch a bite to eat and check the RV. However, one day, I was in a hurry and our stop was brief. We barely got going again when Bubbles began barking. I was trying to make some mileage and was full speed ahead in the passing lane. I carefully reached down to stick my fingers through the bars of her carrier. She licked them, then began making a fuss again. Concerned now, I got back into the right-hand lane and slowed a bit. "What's the problem, girl?" I asked. Just then, I looked at the gas gauge. Empty! Fortunately an off ramp loomed a few feet ahead. As the gas tank filled, I got into the RV and gave Bubbles a big hug and a treat. But when I started to step out again, she took off on another barking spree. As I stopped on the running board, I saw a sign on the gas pump. "Have you checked your oil lately?" The engine was down a quart. Once the RV was filled with the essentials, Bubbles curled up and slept. Joanne Hill South Bend, Ind.
Published in AAA magazine Home and Away. On-line portion - January 2003