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Traveling with Fiji

Fiji relaxes after a long day.

Fiji relaxes after a long day.

Everyday, I grow closer to Fiji. She’s such a sweet and loyal companion for the road. Needless to say, I take her safety and comfort seriously. She needs constant checking in. I don’t just throw her in the trailer and ride for hours without looking back. We stop constantly. On hot days, she uses water up faster than me. I also can’t go into stores and I have to get past the “pitbull stigma” with almost everyone I meet. Although, I will say, we’ve been very fortunate to people gladly welcome her into their homes.

Fiji obeys. She’s eager to please. When we first started, Fiji barked and growled in every new territory: host families homes, campgrounds, motels and so on. Her behaviors made me nervous because I knew people would not put up with it. But after a while, Fiji adapted. I think she’s more used to our lifestyle than I am at this point. When I say, “NO,” this girl listens. She comes to me with her tail between the legs and buries her head between my knees, asking for forgiveness. If I ever get it on tape, I’ll post it.

I didn’t think I could love my dog any more than I did before.  So, all that to say, that it saddens me when people show a fear of dogs. When Fiji’s in the trailer or running alongside the bike, she gets a lot of positive attention! But when I’m walking her or resting, people show unsure expressions.

Dogs are so beautiful, and Fiji has shown me that. I respect her and she respects me. For example, she doesn’t like her back paw to be touched. So, unless necessary, I don’t disrespect that. She also doesn’t like raspberries. Yes, I used to kiss on and play with her belly all the time! Dogs have different personalities and they have likes and dislikes. If you don’t get that, then you will get growled at, or sometimes bit. That’s the reality. Fiji has never growled at or bit me because I try to read her likes and dislikes, and I respect her as a living thing.

I am sorry for all the people who’ve had bad experiences with animals, but they are animals. They will bite, scratch, growl, vocalize and so on. That’s what they do. We don’t force them to meet our expectations as humans, but we work within their limitations and instincts as animals.

I hope the people who’ve met Fiji now have a different view of pit bulls, and will rescue a dog someday.

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6 thoughts on “Traveling with Fiji

  1. Jasmine, I am is impressed with your journey so far. Traveling with a dog must be both difficult and rewarding but your attitude is so positive and you have a good understanding of how Fiji both limits what you can doing is also a wonderful support. if you are ever in Boston come and stay with me! My trip from Yorktown to San Francisco ended when I flew home two days ago and I already miss being on the bike. Keep going!

  2. So many valuable lessons and education on this amazing jouney. It saddens me so to think that in this day and age there still so many people with very narrow minds. Jasmine, you are very brave! A black women with a brindle pit bull traveling across country, staying at host families…..I am in awe. Be safe and continue educating on things such as breed stigmas, and hopefully people will stop judging dogs by their looks as we should not judge people by their skin color. Be safe my friend.

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