Sunday, August 21, 2005

Our vacation, an essay.

Imagine a great vacation.

You're staying at a beach house in a great little Jersey Shore town. The beach is three blocks away, the bay one, the state park very close too. It's a nice house, owned by the parents of one of your best friends, and he's invited you and a bunch of other good friends to spend the week there with his family. You don't know everyone staying there, but it takes only a short time to realize how well you all get along. There are a bundle of kids the same ages as yours and they hit it off immediately too. The TVs "break" on the first day and no one misses them. You stay up almost every night until 2 or 4 or later, playing games and drinking and talking and mostly laughing. The parents all take turns getting up early to watch the kids play. The weather is pretty good and there are some great beach days. You get to the boardwalk a couple of times and your kids have a blast on the rides. Everyone makes delicious food to share most every day. A few people get away for solo trips but most things are done as a group. You love this and it's a great, great vacation.

Imagine something goes wrong.

Very late one night you get a phone call telling you that your younger dog broke her leg. You spend hours in the emergency vet in Red Bank getting X-rays and starting her treatment. The X-rays are suspicious so more are taken in the morning; you get the phone call early the next morning that she has bone cancer. Her leg is amputated the next day, while your kids are on the boardwalk rides. The dog is only six. Based on the X-rays they decide her prognosis with treatment is 12-18 months.

Imagine adding one more thing.

While your kids are at the boardwalk that day, the eldest suddenly sprouts a high fever. The wonder drug of Children's Motrin brings it down and you hope for the best, but one of the other kids already has antibiotics for strep throat. You get the pediatrician appointment at home and have to rush off on the last day of vacation to get there on time, only to wait over an hour to discover an ear infection and probably strep. You go to the Coldest CVS In The Universe (why does it have to be 60 degrees in every public place this time of year?) to get the prescription, with a sick child who is freezing. The next day the doctor calls to confirm strep, and a few hours later the vet calls to say that you can bring the greyhound home.

Remember those good friends from the beginning?

You realize that if you are having a wonderful time, it's great to have your best friends around you. You realize that if you have to have an emergency, it's great to have your best friends around you. Even when something goes wrong and then there's one more thing, you can still have a great vacation- one I imagine no one will forget anytime soon.


Tata said...

That's some vacation! How did you survive?

PapaGoose said...

Sorry to hear about Summer. She has been (and still is) in the best of homes.

Janet said...

Certainly makes for a surprising "What I Did Over My Summer Vacation" essay.:)

Sharon GR said...

How did we survive? Scotch. :)

Seriously, our friends were great about supporting us. Being surrounded by happy kids is always a good thing. And we did do a lot of laughing- that helps so much.

To follow up: My oldest feels much better, maybe only a litte more tired than usual. Summer is back at the vetrinary hospital. Her kidneys are having difficulty processing through all the blood and muscle damage by-products so she is being agressively flushed with IV fluids. Hopefully she will be home tomorrow. We have been surprized by how easily she started walking and even going up some stairs on her own; we are more and more confident that this was the right decision and she will maintain quality of life.

Rob S. said...

I'm so glad to hear that. Summer's a good doggie and I know you guys will do everything you can to help her recover. And I'm glad daughter # 1 feels better too.