We went on a road trip to Joshua Tree with our Doberman, Atlas. This is his first time experiencing the desert and desert heat.
This past weekend, Atlas completed his second road trip with us. The destination of choice was Joshua Tree, specifically in the desert town of Twentynine Palms. It is a short 150 mile drive from our residence. We’ve been coming here annually for the past 12 years without a skip. We picked up Atlas from Dogtopia before going on our road trip to Joshua Tree with our Doberman.
The Harmony Motel in Joshua Tree
As usual, we stayed at the Harmony Motel, specifically in the Jack Kerouac Cabin. The cabin has a fully equipped kitchenette, which allows us to cook our own meals. Our tradition for the past decade was to pack our own ingredients whenever we plan a trip to Harmony Motel. We’ve been using the cabin’s mini charcoal grill for a good 7 years, up until 2 years ago. The little grill disappeared one day without a trace. While it has brought us many memories and we’ll miss it, we started bringing our own little grill.
Not surprising, Atlas was exceptional during the drive to the desert. We left on a Friday evening. What is usually a 2 and a half hour drive took us nearly 4 hours! Despite the stop and go traffic at times, Atlas simply napped during the entire trip. We loaded our cooler and Atlas’ 42″ crate on a roof basket strapped to the top of our Tucson.
Atlas Turns 30-Weeks Old
On our trip, Atlas turned 30 weeks old and reached 70 lbs, right on track for 10 lb. per month. This makes Atlas 7 months old and has become as stubborn as stubborn gets. He is entering adolescent and is challenging our authority. He is also relentlessly leg humping just the staff at his doggy daycare. We have to work extra hard to exert our authority and remind him that we are the Alphas. It will be some time before we have Atlas neutered due to various factors.
One is getting his blood work prep work done lasts several weeks. And another is we received different opinions from different vets we’ve talked with. Some say it is perfectly okay to neuter Atlas at 6 months old. Others recommend waiting until a year due to Atlas being a large breed. Their reasoning is that large breed dogs do not max out their growth potential until about a year. Neutering a large breed dog can cause undesirable health side effect.
Fortunately, Atlas is permitted to be boarded at the end of June. We’ll be over in Las Vegas for a weekend. Atlas will need to stay behind on this trip. However, we do plan to take him with us in future trips to Las Vegas.
Atlas, the Discerning Pooper
It is no secret that Atlas is very discerning in the area in where he poops. When presented with a new place, Atlas is almost always hesitant to do his business. That is, unless the unfamiliar place has familiar texture. For Atlas, the desertscape is a whole new world. And while he had no issues peeing on the desert sands, he absolutely refused to poop. In fact, he did not poop for the entirety of our trip except at the very last minute.
When we brought Atlas to meet our friend and the motel owner, he stepped on concrete. This is a texture he is familiar with due to walking on sidewalks during his daily walks. So the the moment we checked out and ready to return, he unloaded two days worth of memories. And while the sand was just a few feet away, he decided to spare the concrete no mercy instead. Suffice to say, I spent about 20 minutes cleaning up after Atlas in the 88° desert heat.
Second Road Trip in the Book
Our road trip to Joshua Tree with our Doberman is in the book. Our next planned road trip with Atlas will be in August. We will be celebrating 12 years together and our 5th year anniversary. Planned destination includes half a week in Guerneville, CA and if time permits, half a week in Humboldt county California. We also have a longer road trip planned for the winter, but that will be revealed in a future entry.