borderlands zeno 2 1

Zeno, despite losing weight, is game, Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo, TXZeno’s mission in life (2005-2022) was to bring comfort, a smile, and joy to the lives of all he met.  The reason he survived so long – as most Labradors live only 10-12 years – was, I suspect, to give encouragement to the crazy human race during the greatly mishandled crisis of the past two years.

Here are some images from his heroic last roadtrips in the U.S., when he was on both bug & border patrol.

His spirits never lagged – until the last weeks of his body’s rapid decline – and even rallied for a 4,000 mile roadtrip only a month and a half prior to his death.  Dogs, like all of us, need purpose in life, and he loved being put to work while on the road.

His last major adventure took us out west, to visit the same New Mexican ranch where his first U.S. roadtrip took us 11 years prior, to smell the dry grasses and sense the wide open space once more before dying.

When we patrolled the border between El Paso and Del Rio, Texas, I picked up a bug.  During the two following days with fever, Zeno saw me through long drives without mishap.

He always did his job well and gladly.  [please hover over images for captions]

About Ben

Ben Batchelder has traveled some of the world's most remote roads. Nothing in his background, from a degree in Visual & Environmental Studies at Harvard to an MBA from Wharton, adequately prepared him for the experiences. Yet he persists, for through such journeys life unfolds. Having published four books that map the inner and exterior geographies of meaningful travel, he is a mountain man in Minas Gerais, Brazil who comes down to the sea at Miami Beach, Florida. His second travel yarn, To Belém & Back, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. For more, visit

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

One thought on “borderlands zeno 2