Vacation Time...

As I sit at my computer in the middle of the ocean on a ship headed south; I can share my thoughts and feelings with the world, something I couldn’t do several years ago because of the lack of technology.  We have taken cruises for the last 20 years, and it is one of the best forms of vacations I like for several reasons.  The first is the beauty of the scenery all around us and many wonders of the ocean and foreign countries, but some things never change.  Secretly it’s a place where I can relax and do things that I can't do at home.  The first day and only being on the ship for a few hours I took a nap, and it was splendid.  You see, I have one of those minds that can’t and won’t shut off, but here I can because you make your itinerary and are forced to relax, which I like.

There is a curse to having nine dogs, and that is “what do you do with them when you leave?”  When we had a couple of dogs, it was a breeze to find loving homes for them to stay at but who would love to keep nine dogs with Dutchess entertaining everyone with her counter suffering and barking to play Frisbee.  She would change the dramatics of any home.

Abbie and Clancy on vacation in Michigan
We have taken Clancy and Abbie and even Meggie and Abbie with us at times, and it was pretty cool, but nine, we need a converted school bus.  The hard part is to get ready for a trip when we leave the country.  There are so many things to do, scheduling arrivals, getting food in for the dogs, ordering medication for Abbie and even ordering a case of pill pockets, from Amazon of course.   Two of our dogs went with our neighbor because of their activities, and their dogs love Frisbee too, Dutchess and Abbie will have a ball.  Dutchess has already presented her suffering skills, and this is the first time for Abbie.  Hopefully, they will do great, playing lots of Frisbee, and they will love it. 
Dash and Zena
We are blessed to have a couple from northern Indiana who has been coming to help us for the last five years.  They are Border Collie enthusiast and have two of their own which is very talented and loving.  The couple will do things to take care of the farm and dogs treating everything as their own.  I ask nothing but the care of the dogs, but the husband (Roy) is like me and can’t stay still and will fix everything in sight, including my tractor, rototiller and yesterday; I saw where he ordered parts to repair the compressor from an order he placed on my Amazon account.  This was something I ask if he knew anything about before I left and it looks like he will fix it before we get home.  Quite the couple and such great people and dog lovers.    
But everything stays the same with the dogs, you miss them and worry about them and miss them like crazy.  Our first-night last night, in the middle of the night, I wondered where Gabby was.  She sleeps on my bed on the pillow next to me and many times during the night, I will rub her head, and she will lick my ear.  She wasn't there.  We do miss them and wonder what they are doing.  Maybe we need to look at the big used school bus and convert it into a vacation vehicle for all of us…  Can you imagine us traveling across the USA?  I do wish I could take them.  Ken

PS    Thanks Roy and Taney and Doug and Sharon, you made it work...

The dogs would love it
From a Blog post over five years ago.   Some things change, some do not…

Well, here we are going on vacation, without the dogs.  When we go, It's a real dilemma to find someone that is reliable that we can trust with the dogs.  If you think it's hard to find a kennel or someone with one or two dogs, try it with all of ours.  Some people will run when you mention it, and if you board them at a kennel, then they are stuck in a small pin for two weeks while we're gone.  I have had a few success stories, and it has worked out great, but I have had some disasters too.  I once found women's clothing in my bed and a young man was staying here, and I don't want to even think about it.  Once when we got home, there was a phone message from a neighbor asking "Did you know your dogs are running in the road” I ran to the kennel just to check, they were all there, Whew...but it seemed that the dog's had a lot of free time in our absence.

As we were pulling away today, I turned to Elaine and said, "wonder what the dogs are doing."  We always look at each other, and a sign of panic comes across our faces, and then we snicker and say, "Oh, they're all right."  If you have ever left your dog or dogs, you do worry about them, because no one can watch or love them as much as you can.  Trust me; I feel your pain, I have been there.  Many times we have been on a cruise, and we were sitting on the fantail of the ship with a glass of wine, and one of us will look at the other and say "wonder what the dogs are doing” and then we will try to guess, and I'm sure we're never right.  There are so many things that will go through your mind.  You worry if they will eat, get hurt, get cranky with each other or "run in the road"  just don't let Dutchess see the women's clothing...she'll have them on...