Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Jan and Leslie's Abbreviated Vacation

I mentioned previously that Jan and I hadn't been on a 'real' vacation in 7 years. That is true. We have, however, snuck away for a few 3-day weekends on occassion and were scheduled to do just that shortly after putting Bella on the new meds prescribed by Dr. Dodman.

The plan was to drop Bella off with my mom on Friday morning and pick her up again Monday.

My mom and I look very, very, VERY much alike. I'm not sure if this is the reason my mom is the only person besides me and Jan who can reliably pet Bella or not but it doesn't seem an unreasonable assumption. Bella has stayed with Mom before and everything went swimmingly. It never occured to me Bella wouldn't view this visit as her own little vacation stay at "Club Nana's".

But when Bella's not feeling good, it seems she really just wants her mom and dad.

During the first week we had Bella on the new medications, she had ups and downs in her demeanor and appetite. She'd have a good day where she seemed very much like herself but it would be followed by 2 days of begging her to eat her food.

But she seemed fine to me when I brought her down to my mom's - she even wailed in excitement when we pulled in the drive knowing Nana's always means a good time for Bella.

Then something strange happened when I left her in the house for a few minutes to get her stuff out of the car. She started to whine. And pace. And when I came back in, Bella acted like she thought I was never. coming. back. Portents of things to come?


I finally got Bella settled in with mom and Jan and I headed off on our mini vacation.

We spent Friday and most of Saturday in ignorant bliss. We got in too late Friday night and left too early Saturday to call Mom to see how they were making out. But I had left my cell phone # with her and knew if she ran into any trouble, she would call us.

Except I didn't count on the fact that we were up in Sticksville, Vermont and my phone wasn't getting a reliable signal. We had no way of knowing Mom had been trying to reach me since early Saturday morning. Uh oh.

Saturday night I made the phone call and found a frantic mother on the other end of the line. Bella wouldn't eat. She wouldn't settle down. She was whimpering some, pacing a lot. She would sit for a minute and then be up pacing again.

And since she wouldn't eat, Mom couldn't get her to take her medicine. She even tried to entice Bella by putting the meds in a little milk and corn flakes. (Because, you know, what dog doesn't love milk and corn flakes, right? Huh? Yeah, no idea where she came up with that one.)

Mom had tried every trick she could think of plus some I had given her. Nothing. This dog was just not going to take her medicine. Until I asked Mom to put the phone near Bella's ear.

I kid you not, the second this dog heard my voice over the phone, she laid down. Mom offered her the milk and corn flakes again and Bella began sipping it. Mission accomplished.

Until Sunday.

We got another call from Mom on Sunday morning and decided we would pick Bella up Sunday night instead of Monday if only to give my poor dear mother a break.

Bella was overjoyed to see us but on the ride home, even though she was with us now, she just would not settle down. We use a barrier in the car to keep her in the back seat but she kept trying to get up front with us, pacing and whining over the separation. Jan finally got in the back seat with her and held her for the rest of the ride home.

Oh little dog, what have we done?

To be continued....


  1. Wow, that short story explains a lot about your inability to take a real vacation. Seeing Bella so upset would certainly take the fun out of any getaway--no matter how short.

    I bet this makes your recent trip together all the more sweet.

  2. I can totally understand Bella being comforted by hearing your no doubt, soothing voice on the phone.  Thanks for this insight and may you soon have a "real" vacation.  Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet star, passes on her pawsitive wishes :)  

    Thank you, Leslie.


  3. I can sympathize with you, Jan and Bella.  We have not been on a vacation in about 12 years.  Not even over night anywhere because before Fred, was Barney and he used to have seizures so I wouldn't leave him.  I feel so bad for you but also for your sweet girl.  Bella must have been so upset that you were gone.  It gets to be a tough situation for sure.  My big problem now is Gloria, you can hear her all the way down the street when I go away.

  4. There is nothing worse than worry about your baby :( Sorry she is feeling so uncomfortable - the medication must be making her feel out of sorts. Poor baby! (vacations are over-rated . . really!!)

  5. I am very very attached (like with glue!) to Mum. I ADORE Ganny, but the minute Mum goes out I whine & cry for ages until I settle down. Oh yeah.... I can confirm that milk and cornflakes are excellent! Deccy x

  6. Kuster is a big fan of chatting with me on the webcam!  lol  I'm sorry it was such a lousy experience for Bella and Grandma!

  7. Gosh, that's so hard! I am so sorry Bella had such a rough time with your mom. This is my greatest fear with Shiva and why my husband and I have never gone away together without taking her along. We don't even have any family nearby who we can trust/sic her on. The single time we tried taking her to doggy daycare for half a day she spent the whole time crying and standing by the door.

    I am glad you both at least had Friday and Saturday together without stress and hope you enjoyed yourselves regardless. No matter what Bella was safe the whole time, even if she didn't necessarily think so.

  8. Poor Bella; she must have been very worried to not even eat some delicious corn flakes and milk! I hope Bella will be able to enjoy vacations at Club Nana's again soon! I bet her Nana loves her a lot!