Coloring the Void

living nomadically

Archive for the tag “dogs”

Letting the Days go by

We made the quick jump from south of Boston to north of Boston with no problems and little traffic, landing in Salisbury Beach State Reservation. The campground was the opposite in every way from Wompatuck State Park. The sites were wide open, close together, and had electric and power. While it wasn’t as close together as a typical tourist area private RV Park, they were really close together for a state park. Looking back at our pictures, neither Mike nor I stopped to snap a few of the campground. Probably too excited to be back at the beach!sal61sal62

We did quite a bit of touring in the area, and not much hanging at the beach, though. There are so many wonderful towns to check out!

We went as far north as Cape Porpoise, a village just past Kennebunkport, a town we loved when we had visited about 15 years ago. It is still a beautiful town, though it is getting kind of crowded. On the way back, we drove Shore Road, where the Bush compound is located and stopped to admire the view.

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Pier 77/Chowder House restaurant entrances. Too bad it was 10AM, too early for chowder.

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Views along the Maine coast

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more views from Maine

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and yet another. Can you blame me? The coast is beautiful!

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St. Ann’s Episcopal Church – right on the coast with a beautiful ocean view.

Our favorite town to visit in that area of Massachusetts is Rockport. It is a beautiful little town right on the coast with some of the best lobster rolls outside Maine.

For me, this is the perfect New England coastal town to set down roots – too far from a city to commute but close enough to a city to visit, plenty of things to do and places to eat, and an unhurried attitude in the people who live there. If only it wasn’t so far North! Though the weather is somewhat tempered by the sea, the winters still get a little too cold.

We also passed through Gloucester, a town that used to be my favorite New England town. Over the years, it has gotten so big and so crowded, it is hard to even find one’s way around, let alone find a place to park. We did manage a spot down at the waterfront where we waited out some of the traffic before heading back to camp.

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We didn’t spend much time in Surfside, a beach town right next to Salisbury Beach. Our initial first impression was that it was a miniature version of Ocean City, MD and we just weren’t in the mood for crowds and boardwalk fries. We did run around Newburyport though most of our time there was checking out the boats. We were still debating the merits of different traveling styles and whether or not being live aboards was a viable option.

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We even managed a stop in Salem for a day. Unfortunately, we picked the one day a week the Peabody is closed. We did manage lunch and a beer at Beer Works. We weren’t thrilled with the fruit beers (a little perfumy) but the pale ale and the witch city red were good.

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One of the historic wharves of Salem.

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The Burying Point cemetery, right next to the Witches’ Memorial.

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The “Friendship of Salem” just before the haul out.

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Stickworks, art by Patrick Dougherty

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Because buried deep inside my brain somewhere is Beavis. Or Butthead.

Most of the time we were in Salem, our thoughts were on getting to the local ASPCA. We had finally decided we didn’t want to live without a dog or two in our lives any longer and we wanted to find a dog that needed a family. We struck out in Salem. There were only five dogs in their shelter, all pit bulls. The wonderful volunteer did tell us that they would be receiving a ‘shipment’ by the end of the week, but we would be gone by then. As we would find all over New England, there aren’t as many dogs needing families up here as there are down south so the shelters here rescue them and get them shipped north. We decided we would continue to look as we headed north anyway.

We had a great time in Salisbury Beach. The weather was perfect, fellow campers are friendly, and there is a lot to do in the area (maybe too much). Some day we may return and will definitely include this campground in our list of places to stay.

 

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Fairbanks?

Belle was sick. Some time between the Arctic Circle and 60 Mile Camp, she started throwing up. When we stopped at 60 Mile Camp, she ran around frantically trying to find grass to eat. All that was there was dusty weeds. In the morning, she didn’t seem any better. Listless, feverish, and craving water, we decided to move as quickly as possible south.

Since we already knew there was grass and a decent campsite at River’s Edge, we called them; they had space available for three nights. We made a beeline for the campground. Some time between the Yukon River and the end of the Elliott, Belle started sneezing. It wasn’t her usual lady like snuff but a body shaking, spastic ACHOO! followed by two or three more. He nose started running. She looked totally miserable.

We set up in the campground and managed to get a benadryl in her. She was doing her business regularly but she didn’t eat much. We also fed her baby aspirin in hopes of bringing down the fever. By the second night at the campground, she was looking much better. The vomiting had stopped and the sneezing was much more rare. She still snarfed occasionally, but nothing out of the ordinary.

We woke the morning after the third night – set to pull out with a much improved and rested companion. But Belle was having problems walking – her back legs wouldn’t cooperate. He head tilted and she would completely loose focus of everything around her. We called a vet. Aurora Animal Clinic was right up the road and could see us at 3PM. Mike went to the campground office to arrange another night.

In October last year, while we were in Hunting Island South Carolina, Belle had a stroke. Or vestibular disease, which looks like a stroke. The vet we saw at time, Jim Holden of Veterinary Wellness Care, was pretty wonderful. He told us that chances are it was one or the other and that he could perform a dozen tests but after spending $1000 the prognosis would be the same: she would recover or she wouldn’t; an accurate diagnosis would not make a difference. He stated that she would either improve over the next few weeks or she wouldn’t and that only time would tell how much the event effected her. Lucky for us, Belle got better and better every day, improving to almost completely normal in a few short months.

Because we knew what the first attack/stroke looked like, and because we knew the likelihood of a second attack/stroke were very high, we have been watching her for any changes. They came that morning at the RV Park. We were really worried this time as she was now 17 years old – older than most Jack Russells live and about the end of a Chihuahua’s life span. We had considered every day with her for the last eight months bonus time. She is incredibly spoiled, but a very happy dog.

At 20 minutes before 3PM, Belle made a miraculous recovery. She was bouncing around (though her back legs gave out a few times) and begging for a treat. She knew we had called the vet! At the vet’s office, our suspicions were confirmed. Chances are, her allergy attack and sneezing caused a stroke or a return of the vestibular symptoms. The vet gave us antibiotics, anti-nausea pills, and doggy prednisone. And wished us the best. She stated she had never seen a dog survive a second attack but Belle seemed to be doing fine.

We returned to camp and drugged our dog. The one with the most immediate effect was the anti-biotic. She must have picked up an infection somewhere on the Dalton. During the four nights in Fairbanks, at least one of us was with her at all times. I went to the grocery while Mike stayed home. He went to wash the Jeep, I stayed home. We didn’t see any of Fairbanks except the road to the Vet’s office, about five miles away. But, we aren’t really city/shopping people so I don’t think we missed much.

(It is now a couple of weeks later and Belle is doing wonderfully. She is still demanding treats and people food and has a sluggish lazy day once in a while. But for the most part, she is close to being back to her old self. She loses her back legs once in a while and when tired, has a head tilt. We have started leaving her alone again, for up to two or three hours at a time, but try to stay pretty close the short bus when we can’t bring her with us.)

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