I wrote a book for vacation.
Not a novel. Nope, nothing but nonfiction for me. You see, I left a Great Dane (with a tricky infection) and an old Labrador (on meds four times each day) behind while I scampered to the middle of nowhere and saw Wyoming from atop a horse.
It was probably the most stressful pre-vacation ever.
I had contemplated taking the dogs to my parent’s place on Lake Anna, but Tango’s osteoarthritis made that a tough choice because they have stairs and slippery floors. So that meant finding someone to stay at our house with the dogs. If not for the kindness of friends, the vacation would have been a bust. I simply wouldn’t have traveled if I couldn’t leave the dogs at their own house.
The preparation was monumental.
Not only did the house have to be clean (a gargantuan task by itself), but I had to have nine days of medication separated by dose and by day and had to create an instruction manual that covered All The Things that could possibly happen while we were gone. Prescriptions had to be filled in order to get nine days worth of pills ready. I had to count and recount to be sure I had each dose of medication correct and then labeled correctly.
In the weeks before vacation, I made sure to pay attention to all the things I do for and with the dogs during the course of a regular day. For instance, at mealtime, I am able to put some of the pills right into the bowl, while other pills need to be incorporated into a canned food meatball. Tango really appreciates it when I put some canned dog food into the frozen Kong as I’m giving it to him. Schooner will paw the freezer; that means he wants ice.
The more I took notice of these little things, the more little things I found! Was it possible to put all those things into a comprehensive list that made sense?
I couldn’t settle on a way to organize all the information.
That stressed me out until I decided to begin writing it all down to make sure I captured it all, then figured I’d think about how to organize it later. Eventually, three weeks later, the day before we were to leave, I began to put everything on paper. I tried to be brief; I tried to pare the information down to just the bare essentials. But still, I wound up with a three-page missive. And wondered if it was too sparse. Hence, I wrote a book for vacation.
I was worried about Tango. What if his pain returned? I needed to be back home with him if I had to make difficult decisions. I wanted to be back home with him if his time was limited. My veterinarian reassured me that if Tango’s pain wasn’t controlled with his current medications, that he could make sure Tango stayed pain-free until we returned. We were fairly certain Schooner’s foot infection was under control, if not 99% healed, but that worried me, too. What if Schooner and Tango didn’t behave for my friends? What if the dogs were difficult to pill? The what-ifs drove me batty.
In the end, the time came to leave (or miss the plane).
So off we went on our nine-day vacation (torturously long because of non-direct flights into Wyoming).
Wyoming was beautiful.
The horses were gorgeous.
The weather was spectacular.
We rested. We let off some steam. We spent 53 glorious hours in the saddle.
I got to visit with another yellow Labrador. A ranch dog who is an old girl like my Tango.
I checked in with the dog sitters. They reassured me all was well. I worried anyway.
All dogs were alive. All dogs were in good health. And the only thing we had to do was return to our regularly scheduled lives. Easier said than done, as you know, of course, because vacationing is so much easier than real-lifeing.
Anyway, we managed to fit in a vacation this summer.
And it was great. But mostly because no dogs died and because we had great friends helping us out.