Sunday, October 10, 2010

Back to the Homeland

Well, the project at work is dragging on and we needed a break. So Ray and I headed to South Carolina for a week to stay with mom while dad traveled to Wisconsin to go fishing and visit his sister. My sister, Kathy (from Colorado) was going to stay with mom for the first week that dad was gone and I was going for the second week. I had wanted to leave on Thursday so that I had a day of overlap to visit with my sister before she returned home but a couple of things got in the way.
On Wednesday night it started raining. Buckets. At the same time, Ray got diarrhea. (Lord only knows what he got into.)
Three times during the night, Ray had to go outside to go. I felt horrible for the poor guy. I couldn't even imagine how bad it must feel to have to go outside during a torrential downpour and stand unprotected in the pouring down rain to go to the bathroom. Not once or twice but THREE times.
The biblical amounts of rain continued all day Thursday and I was considering an Ark as a mode of transportation for my trip south. Ray's problem continued throughout the day as well. On Friday, the rain was gone, but Ray was still having issues. Usually, I use canned pumpkin to clear up similar problems in Ray's digestive tract, but this time he refused to eat it. So I called the vet. She prescribed Ray some pills and after a day of those, Ray seemed to be back to normal, so with a slight bit of trepidation I decided to hit the road.
I know I've said it before but I'll say it again, Ray is a good traveler. I religiously stopped every two hours or so to give Ray a break (I didn't want there to be any need to have the HAZMAT team respond to a panicky call to clean my car) but Ray never did anything more than pee on every tree within his reach.
We were about 10 miles out of Hartsville when Ray started whining. I pulled over as soon as I saw a turnoff. It was a road to a trailer park, one without a tree, a shrub, or any vegetation at all other than grass. The trailers were very widely spaced and scattered around on a huge plot of flat land. I could imagine a gigantic, flashing arrow pointing at the spot with an equally large, attached sign saying "HIT ME" for passing tornados.
I clipped Ray to his travel leash (one of the retractable 18 footers) and let him out of the car. Instead of immediately squatting, like I thought he would, Ray stuck his nose in the air and took a deep breath. He was prancing around sniffing the air, not the ground. We walked a bit but Ray wasn't acting like he had to go to the bathroom, he was pacing and pulling at his leash, first this way, then that, nose still in air. I bundled him back in the car, rolled down the window a bit, and we headed down the road.
Ray pressed his nose out the crack in the window and drew in deep, snorting breaths, his flues flapping in the wind. We drove the last few miles like this, Ray pacing from one window to the other, sniffing and snorting the South Carolina air.
I wondered what he was remembering. Was he thinking of his first trip to Hartsville when I adopted him from the rescue in Columbia? Was he thinking about his foster mother Amber and his Jack Russell friend, Tippy? Was he thinking about all his favorite people: my niece Hannah, sister-in-law Yuko, my mom and dad, brother John?
Or was he thinking of all those bones that he left buried in Yuko and John's back yard???

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