Tuesday, April 19, 2011

All Is Well That Ends Well.

Well, vacation is officially over and it was back to work today.  There is something comforting to walk back into your old routine, use the same swipe badge you have for the last two years, know exactly what is expected of you, and have hope that the day will just be familiar…

As a quick side note this post may be a bit long so you may want to grab a cup of coffee and a bagel.  It was quite the week for us.

We left for the lake Friday as soon as Brian was finished with conference.  We were all loaded and ready to pull out of the driveway...which is a miracle.  Looking back I remember thinking to myself as we drove, “Ya know… I should really write a country song.”  Brian was in the truck ahead of me pulling the boat, the beautiful sun was setting, it was a perfect 78 degrees, and I was in the Acadia with our beautiful Great Dane who was snoring so loud that I could barely hear the radio.  It was such a great start to vacation.  It was two great hours of peace to just listen to the radio and decompress.

Most of you probably already know that our week was less than perfect.  You all also know that ninety eight percent of the time I try to be positive about things and "look on the bright side”.  This week may have been part of my two percent when I was willing to admit that things just aren't always going to be great… and that is ok!
Made herself right at home.

Our porch.
We got to the cabin Friday night after dark and unloaded.  At night it appeared that the cabin was on a cliff.  We were worried that we brought our thirteen-week old Great Dane to a dangerous lake house but we tried not to jump to conclusions.  After about twenty trips back and forth to the cars we finally got to set up shop.  Brian was in charge of the outside and I was in charge of the inside (our usual routine).  Within about an hour everything was set up for the week and we were ready to go!  Matt, Kelly, and Evie came down for the weekend and met us at the cabin later Friday night.  It is always so great to see them and it blows me away how every time I see Evie she is like a new little girl… always doing something new!  Her new trick this time was to pull herself up onto Whit’s kennel and torment her.  Whit is so patient with kids that it made it pretty hilarious to watch.  You could just see the urge in Whit’s eyes to just jump up and lick her entire face and nibble on her fingers.  However, like a good girl she refrained! 
I just had to get her this bow.
What do I do with these legs?

Beautiful family.
So very typical of us.
In my very first blog post I mentioned that the purpose of the blog was to keep in touch with family and friends and make sure we did a better job keeping people up to date.  One of my pet peeves in life is negativity and I hesitated to bore everyone with our challenges we experienced this week but I really feel that it is important to know the whole story.  We had a pretty trying week but we did manage to have some fun along the way… and some of our challenges ended up just being the type that you just have to laugh about!  So here we go…

We decided to take the boat in for maintenance a few weeks before our trip.  We were trying to be proactive to avoid any unnecessary surprises during our vacation.  The trolling motor was acting a little funny and the company assured us that it was an easy fix and it was taken care of.  We headed out on Sunday for our first boat ride of the trip and Whit’s first boat ride EVER.  Have no fear she was well equipped with her very own life jacket… which ended up being very helpful since she decided to take a leap into the water getting all four paws and a nose submerged before mean old me grabbed her by the handle and pulled her back in the boat.  

So where are all these bass you speak of?
Straight chillin'.

"The wind really messed up my ears!"

She of course decided to do this at the exact time Brian realized the trolling motor wasn’t working and his engine alarm was going off.  Long story short the boat was out of commission.  We called the company that serviced it the week before and their solution was for us to drive the boat back to the tri-cities and they would “see what they could do” and they may or may not be able to get to it that week.  We ended up getting in touch with Bass Pro Shop who saved the day and squeezed us in.  At that point in the vacation we were so bummed.  We thought our whole trip was in jeopardy because the fishing boat was broken.  Little did we know this was the easy obstacle. 
Our dock and boat.

We had a pretty big scare with Whitley over the week.  When we arrived at the cabin we decided to keep her on her leash for a while since it was dark and we weren’t familiar with our surroundings.  The next morning when we woke up we realized the cliff we were so concerned about was more of a steep hill. As soon as we let Whitley off of her leash she ran full speed down the hill without an ounce of hesitation.  She was a free pup for the next few days.  Of course we never let her out without watching her and we always made sure she was in our sight... but there is just no way to know exactly what they’re doing or eating the entire time. 

We woke up Monday morning and noticed immediately that Whit wouldn’t get out of her kennel.  She is normally sitting straight up ready to head out to potty, get her treat, and then her breakfast. She was lifeless.  She looked at us with those big round eyes and just looked pitiful.  We took her to the vet and we were assured she most likely just got into something in the woods and had a bit of a tummy ache.  With no improvement by the next day and a trip to the emergency vet the next night we were both feeling a bit defeated a needless to say very worried.  Our thirteen-week old puppy that we have grown to love so much was so sick and we could do nothing for her.    Her x-rays and blood work came back normal but at this point she had had nothing to eat or drink in over 72 hours.  We were both sick and feeling completely helpless.  After our trip to the emergency vet we were told to take her back in the next day if she wasn’t interested in breakfast…. But we had hope.  We just knew she would wake up her bouncy self and run over to her bowl acting like she was just starved to death.  Unfortunately, this was not the case.  We woke up Wednesday morning to the same lifeless and much skinnier puppy.  Without any discussion we swept her up and headed to the vet.  We requested to see the same vet we saw the first day.  Then we met Dr. Dinny Ryan… I call him the Dr. House of dogs.  He instantly put our hearts and minds at ease when he looked at Whit and said  “that doggie ain’t normal” in his Australian accent, white Reebok tennis shoes, scrub shirt, and bermuda shorts.  He has been a practicing vet for over twenty five years and explained his differential diagnosis for Whit in great detail.  He thought of everything… obstruction, viral infections, bacterial infection, long bone infections, fungal infections.  He called Whit’s original vet from Arkansas to get the latest information on viruses going around there.  He made Whitley “in-patient” and after a barium swallow, IV fluids, IV antibiotics, two days in the “hospital”, and stylish collar we got our puppy back!  There is no better feeling that to see those floppy ears running towards you full speed.  At that point we just knew she felt better.  We were never really given an actual “diagnosis” but honestly we didn’t care! 
Whitley's first sick day.

Day 2.

Day 3.
"What did I ever do to deserve this?"

"Please take it off..."

Back to the vet.
"Fine... I'll wear it."

We decided to take our new, full of life puppy to downtown Gatlinburg to walk around and socialize.  She was more of a celeb than ever!  However, on our drive between Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg the outrageous wind blew over a huge tree (you know... the ones that look like they’re a thousand feet tall) that landed ten feet in front of the truck.  Mind you we were going 45 MPH so that gave us very little time to react.  Needless to say the female came out in me and I squealed and the male came out in Brian and he just drove right on over it!  At this point we just had to laugh about it…

This week sure didn’t turn out the way we expected!   We were a little disappointed and felt like things just weren’t fair.  Why couldn’t it have just been one thing that went wrong?  Of all things why did it have to be Whit?  But then we realized that we really don’t have a lot of room to complain.  Yes, we had sort of a cruddy week.  But we sure do have a lot to be thankful for! 

After a few good cries I got to the point that I had to just make a choice.  I could either walk around with my tail between my legs (but that role was already taken by Whit) or I could just pull it together and deal with it… because it’s real life! 

We have realized that even though our vacation didn’t work out as planned it ended perfectly.  We are so very blessed and so thankful!  My solution in times such as last week is to sit myself down and have a little bit of a talk.  I like to remind myself of all the reasons I’m blessed and all the things I have to be thankful for… and that’s exactly what we did.  

We are so blessed to have such amazing parents to call in times like this.  They are always there to give advice and listen!  They always show their concern for us and our troubles.  

In this economy, we are blessed to have jobs.  Let alone jobs that give us vacation time.  On top of that we are blessed to have the means to go away for our vacation. 

We are blessed to have a boat to break!  If the worst thing we need to worry about is the boat breaking then I have a funny feeling that everything is going to be ok.

We are so blessed to have that special pup!  It may sound silly but we are so attached to her!  We both admitted to each other (after Dr. Dinny saved the day of course) that we thought we were going to lose her.  I never realized how much I need her… she really makes me smile everyday.  We are blessed to have the means to take her to the vet … though it certainly hurt a little bit!  Some things in life are just priceless…

We were blessed to be off work when all of these terrible things went wrong.  Things always seem to work out and happen for a reason.   What would we have done if Whit had gotten so sick while we both had obligations at work?  God sure does work in mysterious ways!

And we are so blessed to have each other.  This week was a true test for us but we got through it… together!  There is something very comforting when you get a big hug from someone and they tell you that everything is going to be alright. It’s pretty powerful when you believe them not because you think they can predict the future but because they are the person you rely on to get you through those tough times.  I always knew at some point in our relationship we were going to be tested and I sure do think we passed! Though I know there are many more tests to come…

Here a few of the fun times we managed to squeeze into the week.

We went to the Forbidden Caverns for a tour.
My buddy.
Underground river.

We went to McClarens Pub... featured in How I Met Your Mother.  A little surprising to see one in Tennessee...
Such a great show.
Pizza... our main food group.
We celebrated the OFFICIAL end to the interview trail which Brian finished up in Knoxville on Friday.
Whit met a full size merle Great Dane named Zeus... the name is certainly appropriate.  She quickly realized she is not so big after all!
"What's goin' on up there?'

"Hello, friend!"


Still have some growing to do.

She also played full force with her new toys!
Back to normal.

The new chicken!

And learned a new party trick...
A Dane that hasn't eaten in 72 hours!

Oh and I forgot to mention that I caught my first bass this week.  I'm usually a catfish kind of girl but Brian convinced me to step out of my comfort zone... another reason I love him!
Catch of the day.

We also managed to end our week with a much deserved fish fry!!
Not quite the Catfish Hole... but close!
So good!

So today is a new day and a start to a new week!  We have had our time to feel sorry for ourselves and have moved on.  There are too many things to look forward too…  Match day is in less than one month, both of our parents are coming to visit very soon, we have two very special weddings coming up, a trip to the beach with friends, and getting ready for the next vacation!  I can tell you that I plan on brining four things: my carry on, sunscreen, sunhat, and Brian (if he can fit in the carry on)!!

Don’t forget to remind yourself everyday that God has a plan and His plan always works out perfectly!
So stylish.

Looking forward to an uneventful week of normal life...

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