Have Schnauzer, Will Travel
Okay, so camping in an RV while Bonnie received medical treatment in Annapolis was a great idea on paper.
The campsite worked out beautifully at first. Bonnie, Windsor, and I enjoyed cookouts, sitting outside in our comfortable chairs and reading, strolling through the beautiful wooded campground, and hosting lots of visitors to our outdoor paradise.
Luckily, Bonnie’s radiation and chemo side effects were minimal—just a little nausea, but then we could not be certain if that was from the treatment or from her being uncharacteristically in the passenger seat while I drove.
And then the rains came. Torrential. Muddy. Mildewy. The camper became a terrarium. Clean towels became scarce. A bored Windsor ate shoes. We all lived in a yellow submarine.
Then, amid the daily deluges, Bonnie got news she needed a surgical procedure. I made an executive decision. Fun and funky as our adventure had been, it was time for a real shower and cable TV.
So we headed to one of those Extended Stay motels near the hospital. We loaded the car with our Keurig coffee maker, Windsor’s bed and toys, and, since we had no luggage in the RV, our belongings in plastic trash bags. Our clothing filled several reusable Safeway bags. American Tourister it was not. Moving into the hotel we looked like the Beverly Hillbillies.
Once ensconced, the Clampitts dried out and got ready for Bonnie’s surgery.
Early morning dog walking irony was not lost on me. After spending thousands of dollars for a fence at my new house so I could stay in my pajamas to let the dog out the back door, here at the hotel I had to get fully dressed and run him down a flight of stairs at 6 a.m. There is no justice.
Surgery day: All went beautifully. My phone rang so often in the waiting room it sounded like a calliope. Bless you all for calls and inquiries.
I’m thrilled to report that the only real discomfort the patient suffered was trying not to laugh at her visitors’ jokes. Pleasantly surprised guests said “You look great!” to the patient, and alluded to the fact that I looked like hell. A couple of people were more blunt.
Okay, now comes the insane part. Like I wasn’t busy enough running to the hospital to see Bonnie and running back to the room at regular intervals to give Windsor potty breaks, I decided to let the maid service have full access to our room one day. I did this by bringing Windsor to the vet for his, um, “little operation.”
As luck would have it, Bonnie was released from the hospital the same day, so I spent hours running from pillar to post, packing belongings and accumulated flowers into the car for Bon, driving her “home” to the hotel, then going to get the dog.
As I lumbered up the hotel stairs, carrying the semi-comatose Schnauzer, I waxed nostalgic for my old 14 hour work days and not life as a retired woman of leisure.
So for most of a week I took care of one woman in bed and one Schnauzer wearing a plastic cone on his head. I told a pal I was going to run back to Rehoboth for the weekend and she said, “To get more clothes and your Smith and Wesson?”
But the good news is that Bon is feeling well, and we are facing only one more month or so here as Annapolis vagabonds. All three of us hope to be in Delaware this weekend, and we will feel less like hobos, and more like homos celebrating Pride month at home. See you on the Boardwalk!
Fay Jacobs is the author of As I Lay Frying—a Rehoboth Beach Memoir; Fried & True—Tales from Rehoboth Beach, For Frying Out Loud—Rehoboth Beach Diaries, and her newest book Time Fries—Aging Gracelessly in Rehoboth Beach.