Living in a van with a dog is its own adventure. That’s right, we now have a dog. Rewind to April 19, 2014, the day I turned thirty years old and also the day that Corey took me to the animal shelter in Cottonwood, AZ. Just to look. Yeah, right.

Her name is Penny Rose. Penny because she is the color of copper. Copper is one of the oldest metals and is known in many cultures to be a protector against evil and attractor of love. This is exactly what Penny Rose does. Rose because roses are beautiful and so is she. Plus, she has a great sense of smell and enjoys sniffing plants and flowers.

So, how has Penny Rose changed my life?

Penny Rose needs much exercise. I’m in way better shape than I was prior to rescuing her. Walking, running, hiking, biking, and frolicking are part of daily life now.

Penny Rose needs a calm assertive leader. There’s simply no space for any sort of drama or emotional instability.

Penny Rose is often a reflection of my own energy. When I exhale deeply and take a moment to relax, so does she.

Penny Rose lives in the moment. I find myself meeting her here. Here, now, is a wonderland.

Penny Rose is a free spirit. Joyous and free this dog is meant to be. Chasing butterflies, watching ants, frolicking along shorelines and eating poop. It’s the little things.

Thank you Penny Rose for somehow choosing us.

Do you have a dog? How does your dog inspire you?

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  • Woody Smith January 19, 2016  

    Hey Guys. Your journeys are so inspirational!

    My girlfriend and I are going on a National Parks tour in my ’89 Westy and we want to take our dog as well. I know many parks don’t allow dogs on hikes so I was curious as to what you do with Penny rose when you feel like adventuring in the NPs?

    Any and all info you guys have would be super helpful.

    Thanks again!

    • Emily king January 20, 2016  

      Hey Woody! Awesome to hear you are hitting the road in your Westy! What time of year are you traveling? This matters because the National Parks have very strict dog regulations. In some of the lesser populated ones you may be able to just wander with your dog unleash, but from what we’ve seen, it’s all very regulated. They seem to only be allowed on paved surfaces. So. If your dog enjoys hanging in the van, you could exercise him/her early morning then put him/her in the van while you hike. But if it’s hot DON’T do this. That’s why I ask what time of year you’re traveling. Heat changes everything (so does freezing cold). It’s definitely doable, but if you’re looking to go deep into the parks and explore, perhaps see if you can have a friend dog sit. Honestly, while the National Parks are gorgeous, we often search for beauty in National Forest and BLM land, places where camping is free, Penny can be free too and roads aren’t paved. 🙂

  • Talamhgirl June 17, 2016  

    Come to the UK. National Parks have people in them – actually living and working in the NP. Dogs are welcome so long as they are on the lead near farm animals. In my opinion NPs are not natural if they are conserved in a false state of being. I am actually an American, living in Scotland but frequently back in the USA to travel. I can honestly say the regimental treatment of people in the great outdoors is quite unbelievable in the USA. I find it odd that there is no accommodation in the NPs. Agree they should ideally retain perception of wildness – but some eco lodges and occasional camping areas/tepees etc. is not going to be too invasive for such large scale landscapes. The Land of the Free?