I often mention how I’m not a good juggler, but lemme take this rare hour on my own to explain what exactly is so difficult to coordinate. We’ve taken this traveling circus to five different locations in the last few weeks. Because we are not just vacationing, but also moving house, we’ve brought a vast assortment of stuff along. We’ve driven our two vehicles in tandem, carrying inside them important files, valuables, various irreplaceables, bicycles, kitchen ware, bedding, bathroom necessities, as well as assorted pantry items that could not be put into storage.
I say all this without complaint. I have always adored traveling and experiencing new places. Having the ability to entirely remake my life every couple of years is a blessing beyond words. The boys aren’t babies anymore, and we all love a new adventure.
Except the dog.
Remember Trauma Dog?
“Trauma Dog” is not just the title of that post. It’s one of Sussie’s actual nicknames. She’s a sweet girl, and one can certainly understand why she worries. At age three, the critter was taken to the Norfolk SPCA, where she spent the next year of her life languishing with a funky, milky eye condition that initially made my younger son recoil.
I saw past that funky, milky eyeball. This dog exhibited signs of house training and absolutely no signs of hyperactivity. She’s a low-maintenance breed, as far as grooming goes, and well past the puppy stages. She wasn’t too big for me, and wasn’t too small for my husband. (“No yippy dogs!” was his mantra.) She was just right.
The boys were instantly in love. My heart eventually softened as well. (Learn how she won me over here.) Unfortunately, her eye condition required many trips to a specialist, where she often stayed all day and sometimes overnight. Probably as a result of all this turmoil, she took several months to settle and relax in her new home.
Then, we promptly moved to Kansas.
We had never taken Sussie on a long distance trip. She was wild-eyed with fear. On the road, she refused to eat, drink, or do business. She held her bladder from the time we left Norfolk until we arrived at our aunt’s house the following day. Thirty-two hours later.
After a week in Tennessee, we moved straight into base housing in Kansas. It took about three months for her to relax this time. While in Kansas, we brought Sussie with us on long trips. She grew used to them. (Just let her hop in while you pack the van, and don’t worry about securing her with a leash. She ain’t goin’ nowhere.)
I was pretty confident that she would handle this next move better, and I was right.
We stayed with the aunt in Tennessee to start. No problem. Shoot, Aunt Clara spoils the tar outta Sussie. Then we took Sussie somewhere new, in Pensacola. She did okay there, too, notwithstanding the cheeky house cat that kept stalking and ambushing her. She began to exhibit distress at separation, but we didn’t need to leave her often.
Then we arrived in Tampa. We knew we’d have to leave her for several hours every day while we house hunted. So we kenneled her.
Ten days later, we picked up a wild-eyed Trauma Dog.
Then the real fun began.
. . . This heart-stopping thriller continues in Part 2 . . . if you can handle the suspense of Trauma Dog’s story . . .