Patrick's Travels Part 7
I always travel with my companions, Georgia and Michael. They prepare my meals, take me for walks and most importantly, play with me. I am always glad to get to Rest Stops so I can meet new people to play with.
We began our extended travels from Dallas, Texas in late May, 2000. During the following six months, I visited 13 western states and traveled over 15,000 miles. Click here for details of my first season on the road, including my broken foot. For details of my winter of 2000-01 click here. During the 2001 travel season, my objective was to have visited 30 states. Click here to find out how I exceeded my own expectation. During this time I had my first visit to Canada. Then Michael took a series of photos of me watching a jet ski in Michigan that he wanted to share with you in the Focus of an Irishman. During our 3rd year we changed from the Airstream to a Safari Motorhome and revisited a number of the western states visiting locations I had never seen and traveled east to Tennessee. Click here to get more details. 2004 was a mixed bag, with Melissa graduating from St. Edwards University with a Masters Degree, Michael's father passing away and Melissa and Lance getting married. 2005 had trips around Texas, Hurricane Rita, Michael nearly completely severing his finger when the strap for the large awning broke, and the 3rd Annual DataStorm Users Rally. 2006 and 2007 were filled with excitement, two more DataStorm Users Rallies, lots of traveling, and Michael and Georgia were blessed with their first grandchild.
2008 began with a trip from Yuma to Newport Beach. I always enjoy winters in Newport Beach. Having just experienced the joy of a new grandson, 2008 had a long way to go to come close to 2007. February is a very busy month. Two significant events took place, on the 4th we celebrated the second anniversary of owning the Newell and most importantly, on the 14th, I turned 8 years old. We had a party with some of Michael and Georgia's friends on the 4th and, of course, I had several of the neighborhood dogs come by to help me celebrate my birthday on the 14th. Sharing special treats with friends is good. Getting to go to Three Dog Bakery to pick out my birthday goodies is GREAT!!
Well, 2008 is the year of the celebrity. Yelp, ME!! I am now published in The Dog Collection, a British magazine which devotes each issue to a specific breed of dog. Volume 54 is devoted to Irish Wolfhounds and of course they wouldn't dare discuss Irish Wolfhounds without specifically discussing me. Click here to read the two page article they published about ME!! The photos in the article were some that Michael has taken over the years as we traveled the U.S. This article is reproduced here with permission of Eaglemoss Publishing. Did I mention that the article is about ME?
Everything was rocking along well until August 9, 2008. Then WHAM!! I am laying in the floor in the kitchen asleep as usual. I wake up about 1 AM and need to go outside but WAIT, nothing is working here. I try to get up and my legs don't move. This is really bad. I have never had anything like this happen before. I cry for Michael and Georgia to come help me but they can't get me up either. OH NO!!! Michael calls a Pet Ambulance to take me to the Pet Urgent Care. Boy am I scared!! The ambulance attendants put a canvas stretcher under me and put me on a gurney then slides the gurney with me strapped on it into the ambulance. I don't like this at all. My 8-1/2 years of experience have not prepared me for not being able to even sit up by myself. We get to the Pet Urgent Care and the doctor finds that if they put a sling under me and have several people hold me up, that I still can't walk. Three of my legs try to walk but they won't support me and my right rear leg does nothing, nada. Now Michael, Georgia and I are all scared. They make the decision to try to stabilize my condition with fluids (yep, an IV catheter) and take some x-rays to see what is causing the problems. The vet didn't think I was going to be able to stand or walk again but when they put me on that x-ray table and started putting me in positions I didn't like, I thought 'enough of this' and kicked the x-ray tech in the head with my rear legs. The vet was elated that I had strength and coordination in my hind legs to kick so hard but the tech wasn't nearly as impressed.
I spent the weekend at Pet Urgent Care and continued to improve with the IV fluids and some antibiotics and my temperature returned to normal. Of course they couldn't resist taking lots of blood to test. By Monday morning, I was well enough to go home but my walking was still shaky. I continued to improve until Tuesday night when I started vomiting. With help Michael was able to get me into the car and took me to another Pet Emergency Clinic. They gave me another IV, some anti-nausea medication and monitored me overnight. Of course I threw up a couple of more times just to make sure they knew I didn't feel well and again I had a fever. Again, blood tests were necessary. I was again feeling like a pin cushion. Wednesday morning a Neurologist came in to see me. I didn't like him poking about on my spine. He pressed on one place near the base of my spine and I almost came unglued. Talk about one unhappy puppy, you are talking about me.
Michael took me over to my vet and they watched me for a couple of days. My vet started me on Rimadyl and changed me over to Baytril which my digestive system tolerates better than most antibiotics and, of course, took more blood. I think vet take a course on Dracula. My fever went down and they sent me home again on Friday. During this week from hell, I lost 13 pounds. I wasn't very hunger but I was slowly improving. Finally I took the last of the Baytril and my appetite returned. I got better every day until I started having diarrhea so we stopped the Rimadyl. After being off the Rimadyl for a couple of days, the diarrhea went away again.
Now, a month after this tragedy occurred, I have regained 4 of the 13 pounds I lost. My legs still aren't as steady as they were before and I have more trouble getting up than I used to but everyone is VERY pleased with my recovery.
I want to thank all of my dear friends that have called, written and prayed for my recovery. It makes a Wolfie humble to think of all the people that care about them. I am trying to be good and recover. I may still have to have further tests (BOOOO) but at least I can get up by myself and walk although I do tire out faster than before so we go for shorter walks.
Michael and Georgia visited with their grandson in Austin but I wasn't feeling well enough to go. Michael took some darling photos of the little bugger.
By October, I was feeling much better. I was put on a different Non-Steroid Anti-Inflammatory Drug (NSAID) called Deramaxx which doesn't make me sick at my stomach like Rimadyl did. That helps me feel better. I am back to taking my full 1-1/4 mile walks in the evenings. That is much better.
On the way to Tampa, FL for the MotoSAT DataStorm Rally, I met a wonderful Great Pyrenees named Val. She was soooo cute. She and I were both born on Valentines Day although she is only 20 months old.
The MotoSAT DataStorm Rally was great. Odie and Holly came to see me. Lot's of attendees stopped by to play with me and the folks at the LazyDays RallyPark Office LOVED me and gave me doggie cookies. Can't ask for more than that.
After the Rally, we headed south to Fort Meyers Beach. The beach at Sanibel Island was GREAT but I still don't like water chasing me. Then I went through the Florida Keys, all the way down to Key West. I stood on the Southernmost Point in the Continental United States and went to the beach at the end of the runway at the Key West Naval Air Station. How cool is that for an Irish Wolfhound!
2009 started with Michael traveling Route 66 from Barstow, CA to Hackberry, AZ. You can see some of his photos here. On February 14, 2009 I celebrated my 9th birthday. Yep, I am now an elderly wolfie. Other than the arthritis, I don't feel that old. I guess it is the travel that keeps me young.
Patrick's travels ended prematurely at 9 years 2 months after losing a brief battle with bone cancer. He would want to thank all those he had met and those who wrote to him for allowing him to share his adventures. May all of you enjoy life as much as Patrick did and may you bring as much joy into the lives of others as Patrick did for us.
There are so many people that he would want to thank for making his life better that is with trepidation that I mention any specific individuals but I would be remiss for not sending out a special thanks to Hal, Dave and Jeff who had a special relationship with our heart-hound for so many years and a special thanks to Brodie, Judy's Irish Wolfhound for all the emails over the years. He loved you all. - Michael
States I Have Visited - 31
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