Friday, November 14, 2008

We're getting closer to leaving for Arizona (the latest date is this Wednesday). And while I'm excited as hell (warm toes all winter long, cycling every day (in short-sleeved jerseys!), swimming... a chance to actually get back in the shape I was in 2 years ago); I confess that I'm a little nervous. Most of the nerves will go away in the first 2 days; I'll find the grocery store, we'll get the motorhome settled in (we don't know much about the place we are staying, other than that it has come recommended from Gary's aunt, and there is always a little angst, but this place is a favorite with snowbirds, so I hope we'll be okay), and I'll know the lay of the land.

I'm also worried about the vet situation. There is a 'traveling' vet who is available on a daily basis, but for a full animal hospital, we have to drive 40 miles north. The driving part isn't THAT big a deal. I'm just more worried about getting a new vet who doesn't know the family history.

Ben, the standard poodle, was diagnosed with bladder cancer this summer, and as it blocked one of his kidneys, he got an experimental procedure to stent his kidney to allow it to move fluids. Good thing, as his other kidney shut down, and he would have died without the stent. However, his last blood test showed things going not so well; could be a point-in-time thing, or could be that his one kidney is failing. The only good thing (if you can call it that), is that we'll know quickly, and if he's going, we can make sure that he doesn't suffer. A tough time to change vets, but it is what it is.

On the other hand, Fiona, our 16 week old goldendoodle puppy (father is a red golden retriever, the mother is an apricot poodle), is healthy as a horse, a wild child (but within reason), and possibly the best puppy ever; exciteable but not crazy, and very tolerant of Ben being cranky with her (she SO wants to play with him - or with TaiChi, the 17 year old miniature, who shows signs of wanting to play, until she gets knocked down by the twice-her-size puppy). She's very smart, she's mellow, and she's just a fantastic dog. We couldn't be happier with her.

So, despite worries, I am REALLY looking forward to spending a winter in the sun. I moved to Utah 20 years ago, and have done the winter thing every year since. This will be the first year since I was a child that I will spend the winter in warm weather. And I am THRILLED beyond words. We'll take the dogs, the cat (Mr. 18-Year-Old Maine Coon travels well - he loves the bedroom when we drive, because the engine is right behind the bedroom, and the 525hp diesel engine makes the room really warm - and perfect for the kitty (yes, he's got access to food, water, and his litter box - for an 18 year old guy, he's very agile in getting on and off the bed while driving)), the golf clubs, the road bikes, the mountain bikes, and we'll meet the Corvette to race in December (we'll keep it after December). It's almost like re-making the summer we missed.

And yeah, I'm thrilled for that!

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