How a Shelter Dog Became an RVholic

You have heard a lot about Grant and me, however, we haven't told you Willie's story. I find that rude since he is such an important part of our life. Yes, I just called myself rude.

Willie is the first dog that Grant and I adopted together. It was (kind of) a unanimous decision to adopt a dog and Willie quickly took to our RV lifestyle.

Sometimes I think Willie loves RV life more than us two-leggers do because he loves exploring all the different places we take him. So many new smells and holes to investigate! Yes, Willie loves sticking his entire head into random holes. It's a whole thing...

The Backstory

If you've read The Weirdest Love Story, you know about our dog, Abbie. To give you the cliff notes version, Abbie was my dog who we had to help her cross the rainbow bridge in November of 2019.

She played a big part in our life and Grant changed everything about his proposal when she told us it was time. Grant knew she needed to be apart of one last big life event.

A few weeks after losing Abbie I broke down because not having a dog in your home (especially when you're alone a lot) is weird. It’s too quiet and I couldn't stand it. I have always been a big advocate of adopting dogs, especially after Abbie who was a puppy-mill breeding dog.

Of course, I convinced Grant to go to the shelter, Austin Pets Alive!, to "look" for a dog that would be a good fit for our RV lifestyle. That's when we saw this sad-looking brown dog...

The Willie Dog

Out of all the great dogs in the shelter, Grant liked this brown dog the best because he was the only dog that wasn't barking at the shelter. If you've never been to an animal shelter before, they are very loud. The dogs are stressed out and it shows in their barking.

But you can't blame them, you would be screaming too if you were kicked out of your home and then locked in a cage with all these people staring at you all day.

Anyway, back to Willie...

I was shocked and slightly excited that Grant showed interest in a dog since his stance was, “we didn't need a dog right now.” I know what you’re thinking and YES he was crazy for thinking that.

After he voiced an interest, we HAD to meet his brown dog and learn his story.

Willie was picked up in a common dog dumping area and hadn't been in the shelter for more than a month. The shelter didn't know much about him, but we decided to meet him anyway.

As soon as we showed Willie a ball, he opened up and wanted to play. That's when Grant got excited (and when I knew we would be getting a dog).

Abbie was too much of a princess to chase a ball. She left that for the peasants. Willie, on the other hand, had no problem running after a ball. It was his favorite thing in the world besides a good stick. This got Grant singing my dog-wanting tune.

You'll be shocked to know that we didn't leave the shelter with Willie that day. I know. What were we thinking?! Blame Grant for that one.

The Next Day

Depressed that my dreams were ripped away from me yesterday after we left the shelter empty-handed, I got up and went to work like normal. I did not bother saying anything to Grant because I know he is the kind of guy that you have to ease into changes.

I very much remember it being the longest day at work because I had shared our excitement that we were going to look for a dog to adopt the day before. After the very depressing day of not talking to Grant about dogs, I decided to drive 20 miles out of my way going home from work for a Chick-fil-a pick-me-up. Because what does Chick-fil-a not fix?


So I sit in traffic (because we lived in Austin) for a while and finally made it home, opening the door with my defeated head down knowing that I would have to wait a while to talk to Grant about adopting again and then this happened…

I was greeted by a very curious, no longer sad brown dog at the door!

Yes, get up and do a dance! Grant isn’t crazy after all!

I was so happy to see this beautiful, semi-skinny, curious, loving dog wanting to smell me and my food and give me loves! Willie was ours!!!!

Grant left an hour after I did to return to the shelter and wanted to surprise me. I told him it was the best surprise he had ever given me… which is when he picked up my left hand with a puzzled look on his face to remind me of my new shiny engagement ring.

Yep, a dog distracted me from the fact that we were newly engaged. I had to amend my statement to Willie being the SECOND best surprise!

Adjusting to RV Life

It didn’t take long for Willie to get used to RV living at all. He adjusted better than I did and I asked for this life! Of course, he went through the stages of settling into his new home; getting comfortable with us, knowing his place, not waking up every morning at 6 am…

Yes. 6 am on the dot… ever… morning… for a week!

But the fact of living in an RV did not bother him at all! He loved car rides, going to play on the greenbelt trails in Austin, and the 10 acres we lived on.

If you’ve ever adopted, you’ll know that it typically takes 3 months for them to truly feel at home and be comfortable which Willie went through. I think it was easier for him since the first month and a half we were in the same location. He had time to know his humans and his home and we got to know him!

Something I think that is so funny about Willie is that he could have 200 acres to explore off-leash, like our first place in Austin or our families land, but if he sees you pick up a leash he comes running and wants to be put on it. Thinking about it, my theory is that he worked so hard to have humans that love him and a home that he wants to put us on a leash, so he never lose us.

Since having Willie join our family, he has absolutely loved RV life!

The first time we moved, however, he was a bit confused when he went out for his morning walk and did a double-take. Think about it from a dog’s perspective. You go in the box in one location, then wake up and come out of the box in a completely new place. So many new smells and things to pee on!

Willie has absolutely been the best dog for us. He loves travelling and exploring new places, loves hiking with us (when it’s not too hot, of course), camping, but also loves to chill and watch Netflix on our rest day. Yes, he watches TV! He is a very smart boy and has learned so many tricks since we adopted him a few months ago.

I could never not have a dog in my life. To me a house is not a home without a dog and Willie has been the greatest completion to our little RV family.

We are huge advocates of adopting and we encourage you to do the same! You can find the perfect dog that fits your lifestyle and you get to skip the potty training, teething phase! I don’t know about you, but that’s a win for me! Especially when you live in an RV.

Willie continues to be the perfect dog for us and is always so gung-ho every time we ask him if he wants to go on an adventure. He is an RV dog at heart!


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