On these long journeys with my dogs, the value that they add to my life is magnified significantly, and the bond I have with them strengthens in ways I never imagined.  Because of that unbreakable bond, I suffer their loss more deeply, just as everyone who loses a pet suffers for reasons of their own.  It is for this reason that I dedicate my trips to the pets of friends who have recently lost their dogs and other pets.

A few days ago,  I learned of my friend Jayne Olderman's loss of her magnificent rescued German shepherd dog Lakota at the end of August.  When I read that sad news, I wrote to Jayne that she of all people knows how to deal with the loss of her beloved companion. I told her to listen to her own song, Let Your Heart Be Broken, which she wrote when she was inspired by the photo of me in the National Geographic letting Sonntag go back in 2000.  You can listen to that wonderful song on YouTube here. Each time I hear it, it brings tears to my eyes.  I never met Lakota, but by the number of posts of him that appeared on Jayne's Facebook page over the last seven years, I feel his loss, too, and my heart also is broken. So, for this reason I am dedicating this journey to Lakota, who just finished a long incredible journey himself with Jayne.

Lakota (his photo, actually) will ride along with us on this trip in the guest of honor's seat, i.e., attached to the visor in front of Donner's seat in the Defender.

Understandably, I am also dedicating this blog to my own departed beloved German shepherds, Montag, Sonntag, Kessie, Leben and Erde. Were it not for them and their love of rides in the car, these trips would not have been made.
I am also dedicating this blog to my dear younger sister Ellyn, who died unexpectedly the day after my last journey ended.  Ellyn followed my blogs religiously and was not at all hesitant to email me suggestions on how to get out of the many difficult situations I found myself in. Once, when I had not posted on by blog for days (because of lack on internet), she contacted the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and a Missing Adults organization to help locate me. Thanks, Ellyn.