Grooming on the Outside

Some people may think it’s crazy what I do, but if you manage properly, it’s not bad. I have a very tiny motor home — 22 ft inside/24 ft outside length. I travel with 6 pets, albeit 2 are very, very small (arachnids). I got the smallest motorhome because I wanted to be able to park in my driveway for 2 years before retirement without paying for storage. In hindsight, it would be nice to have a couch and a little more room but I like that I can pick up and go anywhere any time without too much planning ahead.

However, it’s like a fur-and-feather-nado in here without a lot of management. There is one Congo African Grey who floofs little feathers and fluff around all the time, not to mention the peanut shells and seeds. There’s a large male cat who has long hair and who can’t seem to ever be satisfied in the litter box and is always flinging litter everywhere. There are two tarantulas who live in dirt. They aren’t messy per se, but when I take the water dishes out (which is every time we are driving), all the coconut fiber clings to the bottom of the dishes and then deposits itself elsewhere in the motorhome because coconut fiber is very staticky.

Finally, the two dogs, who can’t help themselves but hair happens. The poodle mix needs to be shaved every month because his hair grows but he doesn’t really shed. The husky/Aussie mix does shed and has the worst hair. It’s the scratchy, itchy kind that clings and makes you feel like you were rolling in a poison ivy patch.

So, in order to keep my environment clean, mostly allergy free, and not embarrassing if I have company, I do have to manage a little. A very thoughtful gift before I left came from my sister. It’s a portable, pop up dog bath, with drain and everything. I have used this outside and it is convenient if you are on grass or otherwise don’t have to worry about dirt and mud. I also have an outside shower on my motorhome which I’ve used in certain emergencies when I didn’t want sandy, muddy pups coming in the house.

I kept my grooming table when I sold all my stuff and use that outside about once a month. Everybody gets up on the table to get their haircuts, even the cat. Sorry no pictures of cat getting groomed because I need about 3 hands to hold him and shave him. My only issue now is that my blades are getting ready to need sharpening again and being on the road makes that difficult. Most places keep them at least a week, so I have to look into this and maybe find a mail order place that can return to general delivery.

I came up with several different bird cage solutions until I was happy. I think I’ll stay now with the current set up. First, Kenya was in a dog kennel style cage, long but not tall. It sat on the dinette bench. I didn’t feel that gave her enough room so I bought a cage that was the same length but twice as tall. It sat behind the passenger seat because I really couldn’t lift it to get it on the dinette bench. But the only problem with that was that it partially blocked the entrance door. I had also ordered a custom made acrylic box ($150.00) to hold the seeds in. I got tired of stepping around this all the time so I spent a lot of money (almost $300) and got a really sturdy cage that is not as long but tall and takes up about half of the bench seat. Also, decided to use the acrylic box for her play area rather than under the cage. So, she’s on her third cage but I think we’ve got it right now. Also, I bought some vinyl from the fabric section of Walmart and have taped it around the cage half way up to keep seeds in their place.

I have a portable hand held vacuum and also a mini shop vac that I travel with, in addition to a broom and pan. The shop vac is the coolest because it just sucks everything up, no prob. You’d be amazed, or maybe you wouldn’t, at how much dust and hair can accumulate in a very short amount of time. Future changes include ordering an outside patio mat, which may help a little. When we are in a particularly sandy or dirty place, I have lots of “dog” towels and I will place one or two of these in the entry way and hall. Be prepared for lots of laundry if you travel with pets.

All done! Until next time.