We have been going to a beach in South Carolina almost all my life (to either my grandparents condo, our old house and now our new house). When we go down (as a family), some of us drive and some fly. The dogs (Max, Melvin, or Jake – and my sister’s dogs) have never gone. Melvin’s allergies were too severe to spend a week with kids (who adorably drop food and should be allowed to have Oreos smashed around their fingers and mouth). While I always miss the boys when I’m there, I’m also so happy to be around the family that it all balances out.
Of course when I leave for any trip I must leave 45 pages of detailed instructions for every thing that
will never happen might come up. Prepping to leave the dogs is emotionally difficult but also, the planning part alone can make me need a vacation.
This weekend, as I was preparing to take Jake with me, I realized that packing for him is WAY harder than leaving him. WAY, WAY, WAY harder. Jake has more stuff than I do. Diapers, diaper rash ointment, baby powder, bath supplies, food, medicine, medicine that he might need, medicine that he will never need but I need to have peace of mind so it’s coming, his GIANT stroller, leashes, mattress pads (plural!), puppy pads for under the mattress pads, beds, natures miracle, his life vest, his cooling jacket, treats, Kongs, toys, pumpkin, car seat…the list goes on. I now realize that had I ever decided to take the dogs, there would have been no room in the car for both of them and their stuff.
Taking Jake brings on a whole new set of challenges. The longest I have been in the car with him is 3 hours. This trip is about 7-8 hours. I’m driving down on my own and meeting folks down there so I had to come up with a plan of how to take bathroom breaks with Jake. I can leave my car running and take the key with me so he will be comfortable at 70 degrees with the AC but I have visions of people seeing Jake in the car and either wanting to steal him (don’t forget all his stuff when you grab him!) or breaking the window to save him (not realizing the car is running) (something I would totally do). There is also getting to the beach house, a house he has never been to and having to leave him to run to the grocery store. And keeping him cool. And keeping the house pee and meatball free. I’m exhausted already!
But all this stuff aside, the full car, the fact that I probably won’t get to pee for 8 hours, the fact that he will 100% go into meatball production when it’s impossible to pull over… I’m so excited to be going on this adventure with him. I planned this trip as we were losing Melvin. I knew that we needed some time in our house to mourn our guy. If we left right after we lost him, we’d both be so heartbroken to return home to not find him here. So we stayed and we worked through the pain of him not being here anymore and now we are going on at trip that signifies our new journey. We are going on a trip for me and Jake and while Melvin won’t be there visually, he is with us always. Woven into the fabric of who we are.
Our first big step forward. It’s going to be good. Stay tuned for highlights… some of the people we are bringing along, well you probably know some (or all) of them!