Someone explain to me why I have rat terriers?

The Perfect Tow Vehicle has squatters!

I don't think this is use Mick intended when he designed the panel's tilt mechanism.

I don’t think this is the use Mick intended when he designed the panel’s tilt mechanism.

In a streak of laziness I neglect to put the trash inside a sealed container in the PTV.  Aw, what the heck.  I’ll just throw this bag of trash in the back and be done with it. 

Yesterday afternoon I open up the back of the PTV to get another can of coffee.

“Oh no! RODENTS!”

The evidence is clear.  Holes gnawed into the trash bag.  Mice droppings all around.

Rusty happens to walk over at this point.

“Rusty.  I’ve got mice.  Could you find a place up high to hang this bag of trash?”

So, dear readers, learn from my mistake and keep your trash sealed up in a bin or hang it up high.

The time has come to move to our next camp.

1-P1030562 - CopyWhen planning to leave Camp Drake, three conditions have to occur.

One, Rusty and Timber have to be in a good, solid position for securing their new home.

Two, the weather has to be acceptable north of here.  In other words, not too cold, a possibility because the area around Flagstaff is much higher elevation.

Three, the forecast for weather in Monument Valley has to be good a week or so from now.  By good, I mean no crazy wind or dust storms poised to maraud the flat, sandy desert.

Tomorrow the weather is unsettled to the north.

Possible rain and wind.  Hey, I’m retired.  I don’t have to drive in that.  Friday looks much better.  So Friday it is.  I have tasks to take care of before leaving anyway.

1-P1030563 - Copy

Oh give me a home, where the dust bunnies roam . . .

Wednesday, April 24

I try to avoid rain, but you never know.  Guess I shouldn’t drive around with windshield wipers falling off due to sun rot.  Which I’ve been doing for months now.  I call up AutoZone in Chino Valley.  They have the right blades.

I load up the PTV with tons of laundry. 

The insidious, powdery dust crawls into everything and sticks.  I feel like I’m living in a dust bin.  My clothes and the quilts are brown.

I pull the trash bag down and throw it in the back.  Again, I’m too lazy to rearrange everything so I can get my hands on a container to put it in.  Well, resident rodents, it’s your lucky day.  You get to chow down while we drive to Chino Valley.  I’ll just put these two RAT terriers inside with you.  Don’t worry.  You’ll be fine.  They won’t bother you. Just don’t run under my feet while I’m driving. 

First stop is the laundromat. 

1-P1030589Nothing to report there.  Next is the water vending machine where I fill up ten gallons.

A quick stop at Safeway for a few groceries.  I pause in aisle 5 and stare at rat traps until I lose my nerve.

Out in the parking lot, I throw away some trash, but the big bag of trash is too big.

Clever, these stores.  Make the aperture tiny to foil cheap people who don’t want to pay for trash removal.  It’s just as well.   There’s probably a family of six living in that bag by now.

Next I drive over to AutoZone. 

The Zone Guy helps me decide which blades to buy.  Gee, so many choices for 22-inch wiper blades?  They’re all the same size and color.  What’s the dif?   Playing it safe, I pick blades in the mid-range, price-wise — Bosch somethingoruther — and he slaps those babies on for me.  One last stop to top off the gas tank ($3.55 a gallon) and soon we’re bumping down the dirt-gravel road toward Camp Drake.  The BLT’s antenna peeks above the junipers, welcoming us home.

Now to answer a few questions that appeared in the comments following yesterday’s post about Rusty and Timber.

1-P1030574 - Copy

Rusty will be able to keep his truck at his new home.

Will Rusty have a PayPal account for money gifts?

I asked Rusty about PayPal and he says, no, he doesn’t want to have a PayPal account.  He also doesn’t want checks.  He’s concerned they will affect his pension.  I suggest gift cards or cash that’s concealed in a card or thick paper.

What is the address where we can send money and gift cards to Rusty?

There isn’t an address yet.  Rusty will, of course, have a street address once he knows where he will live.  He hasn’t rented a post office or UPS box yet because he isn’t sure what facility will be closest to his house.  As soon as an address is available, you’ll see it here.

Why don’t you post a wish list so we can buy gifts?

A wish list will be posted.  I hesitate to post one now as I don’t want to start keeping track of who’s bought what this far in advance.  Prior to a wish list, I’ll need to compile a list of items that are promised from the homes of readers who live in the area.  I’ll address that soon.

How do I keep the crew so white?

Bridget and Spike are self-cleaning.  In other words, I do nothing.  All by themselves, they collect dirt which they deposit inside the BLT using several methods, such as rubbing on the walls, shaking vigorously in the aisle, and rolling around on the bed.


Canine Corner: A Pictorial Essay — “What Dust Bunnies Think” by Bridget and Spike

Ooh, that sun feels so good!

Ooh, that sun feels so good!

I think I'll go inside and roll around on the bed.

I feel like going inside to shake my hiney.

Nothing like a little snooze in the DIRT.

Why snooze on a mat when you can lie in the DIRT?

Let's see . . . What excuse can I come up with to go inside?

Let’s see . . . What excuse can I come up with to go inside?


Ah yes, a drink is just what I need before I shake all this dust off me.

Ah yes, a drink is just what I need before I roll around on the bed.


About rvsueandcrew

Fulltime nomad
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42 Responses to Someone explain to me why I have rat terriers?

  1. diaryqueen/Mirta says:

    Sue, it will be a real honor to help out a vet. Too often they can’t find jobs or homes even after having served their country. This will be one way that your readers can help someone who has given so much. Take care – tell the Mickey Mice to take a hike! 🙂

  2. Karen says:

    It’s been one of those day’s, huh? But you would miss the critters so if they weren’t there to deposit all that wonderful red stuff! Funny post tonight!!
    I’m getting ever so close to becoming a road warrior. House closes next week and then I’m off (guess it is time to figure out where.)
    I remember when you first met Rusty. He has come a long way and your paths crossed in miraculous ways since then. I just love a happy ending!

  3. Gayle says:

    Thanks for directing me to your income post for Amazon. Nice piece of change, and YOU EARNED IT. Blogging daily, making it interesting, funny, serene. Building a readership. Glad you didn’t get arrested for BWG — Blogging While Grumpy!

  4. pat scrabeck says:

    Oh sue,too funny. Loved those pics of the dirt bags. At least they have little feet but I sure share your dilemma regarding the dirt. Even my Chihuahua would rather shake her dirt in the bed instead of outdoors.

  5. Mark Watson says:

    ” How do I keep the crew so white?……………Bridget and Spike are self cleaning….. rubbing on the walls, shaking vigorously in the aisle, and rolling around on the bed “.
    I don’t care what you say…. now that’s funny !
    Mark Watson

  6. tkfortner says:

    Hi Sue! Don’t know if this work. I have been trying to figure out how to contact you for a couple months now. I live in the Prescott area by myself with my Beagle Dakota. I would love to get together and visit with you before you leave our area. Any chance of me visiting you, or you meeting me in Chino for lunch or walk the dogs at the park in Chino? I know this is short notice if you are leaving this Friday, but I just now got the idea of trying this way to contact. You are welcome to visit at my house with your crew also. Would put in my phone number but I don’t know if this email will end up on the blog. My email is

    Stay safe!


  7. Kay says:

    FRESH CAB…. you can get it on Amazon. Sue, this Fresh Cab is what we use. We have 8 bags spread out in our old Pace Arrow parked out in the Country. Not one mice sign!!! Been there almost a year now. We check it every couple of months and replace them about every 4 months. You may want to check it out, they have a website with all the details. I can say that I know many Farmers who are using Fresh Cab and the stuff is great. It sends the mice packing for the hills. All natural and pet friendly.

    Just think… soon you’ll find Spikey a few water holes.


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Interesting. I wish I knew about it sooner and had some on hand. I’ll look it up. Thanks, Kay.

    • Bee says:

      I agree, it works great! For some reason the mice wanted to nest in the Honda that was parked in the garage. One bag in the trunk and one in what use to be the ash tray, no more mice.
      And for the Dustbags…Belle is the same. If she can find some way to be filthy, she is happy. Well until the bath starts, then…not so much. 😉

  8. Rita from Phoenix says:

    My two dogs are white terriers also…Chowder 4 yrs & Ralphie going on two yrs. Every time we take them walking (off leash) they roll in dirt or something that smells awful. So I put dog wipes, shampoo (if needed), brush, & towel next to flower bed so upon our return I can wipe them off or bathe them if they roll in stinky stuff. Micro fiber rags are excellent for dry wipes…I shake them out after use and reuse it again. Hope Rusty & Timber find a home soon…it’ll soon be very hot. I looked on the web to see if I was making too much money for SS but apparently not…I can make up to $38,000 a year at full retirement age and not lose my income from SS…I only make $24,000 working part time.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I prefer white dogs . . . One reason is they’re easier to spot when they wander. Usually the crew stays clean. I don’t know why, but they love to lie in this powdery dirt.

      Chowder and Ralphie… quite a combo!

  9. Caroline, Seattle area says:

    Glad to hear that Rusty and Timber will soon be settled. I’m sure he’ll pick up a lot of stuff at garage sales, estate sales, craigslist, etc. It’s amazing what people dispose of when they redecorate, remodel, downsize. The gift cards can be used for all the incidentals he’ll need for the kitchen, or linens for the bedroom, etc. It will all come together. And i’m glad that you’re able to continue with your next adventure.
    I was surprised to read that mice got into your car .. I thought the scent of the dogs would keep them away. It hasn’t been that long since you had the car out, has it? Have they gotten into any drawers or cupboards in the trailer? The other night I read the blog “Me and My Dog’ and she was woken up by mice building a nest in her Class C. Yuk!
    Happy travels as you move north! I look forward to the next installment.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Caroline,

      No, I don’t hear or see any sign of mice in the BLT. I’m hoping the cables going into the fiberglass shell are well-sealed. Yes, I read about the mice getting into RVs this spring. I have to empty out the PTV, quite a job!

  10. Donna (stickhouse in CT) says:

    A heads up for the people thinking of buying gift cards for Rusty, be sure and read exactly what the cards “do.” In the past year I’ve been given two cards. One called vanilla visa was fine, no problem. Another I was given, which I don’t remember if it was a type of visa or a master card type, I saved for awhile before I used it and it turned out that the company automatically took a monthly fee out of it! So even though it was supposed to be for $50 by the time I used it, it was worth less. Read the fine print to be sure of what you are giving.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Glad you brought that up, Donna. Before I leave tomorrow, I’ll sit down with Rusty and iron out some details like what stores he would like gift cards, in addition to Wal-Mart and, of course, the gift cards available through Amazon. 🙂

  11. Vicki says:

    “First stop is the laundromat. Nothing to report there.” I’m sorry but that one made me laugh! That laundromat has been there for close to 35 years…I’m sure it’s quite tired by now. The good news (a bit late now) is there’s a new laundromat in the Safeway parking lot on the right side at the very back. As to the trash, you can always pop it in our trash bin here or there is a new (small) transfer station on the right at the railroad underpass on 89 in Paulden. It sits back (on the north side) against the tracks behind the new building off Big Chino road and 89.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Well, Vicki, the old laundromat is getting a face lift… lots of new machines!

      I can “always pop it in our trash bin here” — Where is “here?”

      Gee, I wish I knew about the place in Paulden, drove right by it. Today I’ll find a bin in the PTV to seal up the trash until I find a place to leave it tomorrow when we move to a new camp.

      • Vicki says:

        Sorry Sue. Went into Prescott today, couldn’t find your email to give you our address. Looks like it’s to late…you are moving up to Flag tomorrow.

  12. BadKat says:

    So happy about Rusty and Timber. About the little visitors..we have been on the road two months and they have stopped by. Wheeling It has had them recently. Cab Fresh or Peppermint Oil gets them packing. Plus now the trailer smells good. Happy Adventures!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      In all the years I researched living full-time on the road, all the forums I frequented, all the websites…… I never read anything about keeping rodents out. Never gave it a thought. I would’ve prepared an arsenal against the little rats!

      Thanks for the suggestions. I’ll stock up and be prepared from now on.

  13. Ladybug says:

    You have rat terriers for comic relief, of course! What, you expected them to chase rats?? I’ve noticed several rv bloggers having trouble with the mice this year. Maybe they’re trying to stay warm?

    Oh, and about the wiper blades….seems I remember you meeting up with someone with a Class A (Denise, maybe??) and they had the foam pipe insulators cut to size, and a slit down the length of them, to keep the blades covered when the vehicle was parked. Might give that a try.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      The crew does give me a lot of laughs. They keep me warm at night. They remind me to take walks. They make every day better. I do love them, even when Spike turns into a renegade or Bridget puts her snotty face on or when they roll in the dirt and bring it inside.

      I was thinking about those foam things as I went to bed last night. I bought them for the pipes at my house in Georgia. I’ll try to remember to buy it when I’m next near a hardware or home supply store.

  14. mockturtle says:

    You may have mice, Sue, and it’s beneath the dignity of a rat terrier to deal with mice. 😉

  15. Rattlesnake Joe says:

    You have rat terriers because you love dogs and need some company and protection. Your Spirit Guide set up circumstances so you can have them. They fit your needs. Say Sue what is the tape on your door sill for? The plexiglass is a good idea it strengthens the door as well as protecting the screen.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Joe… I was wondering when someone would notice the tape. It’s another sign that says to the world, “A lazy person lives here.” A strip of black rubber?vinyl? whatever it is… came off. The holes where the screws go through it are too big for the screws to hold. I tried gluing it back but the glue didn’t hold. I need to pick up some gorilla glue and try that. However, I always forget to get it. So in the meantime I rely on the fail-proof solution — duct tape! It’s been there so long I don’t notice it anymore. (Those last words give evidence that I am now a full-fledged member of the trailer-trash community.)

  16. cinandjules (NY) says:

    Oh dear! Rodents in the PTV isn’t a nice way to start your day!

    Be careful cleaning up the mice poop… the future of course…Hantavirus is deadly. (Recent news of it was at Yosemite NP) I thought you could just sweep up or vacuum it up. Apparently you can’t or shouldn’t. The proper way is to take a wet paper towel and pick them up. Use gloves and a mask.

    As for the crew….oh my god…I laughed so loud! Spike looks the same color as the ground..not lying on the mat was hilarious…but when he went in for drink of water…I completely lost it! I can clearly see that Spike is teaching ole ms Bridget how to test your patience with the dirt.

    Do you use a windshield cover to stop the sun from beating down on the interior dashboard? Even something so simple as a towel draped on the outside on TOP of the windshield wipers will stop the UV rays from cracking the wipers and beating on the dashboard. The same goes for the tires that face the sun..just cover don’t have to attach the bungee. It only takes a minute….an ounce of prevention prevents future costs down the road.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’ve neglected protection from the sun for a long time. I’m doing better these days. I’ve been using the dash cover and I had the wheel covers on until one night the wind blew them off. Next time I’ll secure them better! Everything is covered with so much dust I doubt the sun’s rays can get through anyway.

      I appreciate your concern about that rat virus. I’m careful. I probably have Black Lung from the dust brought inside.

  17. Mary Ann says:

    Sue, those sack rats are so adorable, even dirty! My two don’t work much either–I stumbled out of bed and headed to the coffeepot one morning and almost stepped on a live possum mine brought in through the doggy door. I started to reach for it, thinking it was one of their toys, and saw its teeth! Happy trails as you find a new campsite & we will be waiting for the happy news from Rusty!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re kidding me! A live possum? Gee whiz, Mary Ann… I’d get nightmares from that. Well, I guess that puts my dirt devils in perspective.

  18. Marilu says:

    Hi Sue,
    We, one husband, two golden retrievers and a cat, are currently at Capitol Reef National Park. It is such beautiful country I hope you make it up this way. You said you were going to Moab. I know the campground in the park will be too crowded for you but there are some great sites on National Forest or BLM land very close by. The night’s are near freezing but the days are nice and not too windy. We camped in Monument Valley a year ago. Those winds can get crazy! I guess that’s what carved all those amazing monuments. Let me know if you want any more info about Capitol Reef or Moab. That’s where we’re headed next.
    Bailey and Rosie say “woof” to Spike and Bridget.
    Happy travels,

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Marilu! I’m happy to hear you are enjoying Capitol Reef. From looking at my Benchmark atlas, I see there are plenty of BLM and NFS camps available. I’m seeing some along the Colorado River which may be very nice.

      I’m a bit leery of the notorious winds of Monument Valley. Hope they aren’t too crazy when we get there! Have a great time in Utah!

  19. rvsueandcrew says:

    The money figures for the month of March are posted! Click on “Money” in the header to read a summary of our March boondocks, the money we spent and the money we saved, plus the first payment from Amazon.

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