I am so sad to say that we had to cut our month long roadtrip short. Well technically we only got 3 days into it, so it almost never really began.
After leaving Vegas and arriving in Evergreen, CO we quickly encountered 2 issues. One was with my husband. Before we left town he had some major dental work done. He was trying to get it all taken care of so he would be good to go for this long trip. A few days before we left he had another issue and quickly went back to the dentist. They told him he was going to be fine and that it would heal. Well... instead it got about 10 times worse. In fact so bad, that he couldn't lay his head down, which meant he didn't sleep. Which meant there was a new bear in the cabin. And deservingly so.
The second issue was our elderly dog Averi. I knew that this wasn't going to be super easy on her, but thought that I did everything possible to make it comfortable for her and that she would settle in and relax. She always loved exploring new places and the scents that went along with it. Well, I was completely wrong. I really believe this trip was a mistake for her. I tried so hard to accommodate all her special physical needs but didn't take into account for her mental ones.
As soon as we arrived you could tell the drive was a bit of a drain on her. I thought she would just relax and go to sleep and be better in the morning. Unfortunately, it just went down hill from there. The poor girl just could not relax. The first night while my husband struggled to sleep because of his new throbbing jaw pain, I slept next to my best friend of almost 14 years on the floor in the closet to try and calm her nerves.
While I spent so much time looking for the perfect places for her and talking with all the cabin owners, you just can't express how the smallest things just are difficult for her. The cabin had 3 steps to get into it. Which for her is more like 50. I thought it had only one. The ground around the entire cabin was uneven. Again not a big deal for anyone else, but for her a complete struggle. She ended up hurting her back leg and limping on and off the entire time we were there. And to top it all off, she just couldn't relax. She just kept circling the cabin in pure misery. Both my husband and I knew it wasn't looking good for her. Then he said, "...she just doesn't seem happy". That is when it really hit me. This isn't fair to her!
Around 5 am the next morning my husband woke me up. He hadn't slept in 2 days and was in so much pain he just couldn't take it anymore. He wanted to go home. To say I was upset is an understatement. I was upset, sad, disappointed, heart broken, confused and a bit overwhelmed. My sister and her family were on their way up to meet us. I hadn't seen them in about a year and a half and had an entire weekend planned. They were about an hour from leaving their home to come up, so I knew we had to make a decision fast. Of course there was the other big reason we planned this trip. Our families in Michigan. This was going to be the first time since we left 4 years ago that my husband and I would be back in Michigan together. All of us were really looking forward to it.
While we talked about lots of options on what to do for me it came down to 1 question. What was best for everyone? While my husband was in a ton of pain there was a chance we could get him into a dentist in town, but Averi was another story. We came to the conclusion that this trip was going to be just to hard on her. We were only at our first stop and had 8 more to go. Even if we got to the next cabin where it would physically be easier on her, or we hoped, it still didn't stop the fact that mentally she was just to uncomfortable. Something I didn't account for. Sometimes I look at my furry friend and choose to remember her as she once was. I forget that all the things she once loved so much just are not the things she loves today. I feel so guilty for even attempting to put her through that. I forget that her age is equivalent to a 96 year old woman.
So we made the decision to go home, all of us. I called my sister and broke the news. She was completely understanding. I am very thankful that our families and friends understand our love for our animals. We still had the cabin rented for 2 more nights, so I encouraged my sister to come up and enjoy it. She has two young boys that just love the wilderness and I knew they would absolutely love it. There was no need for this cabin and great surrounding to go to waste. They accepted and made a nice quick getaway out of it, which made us all very happy. Unfortunately, we didn't get to see them. We were on our way home while they were on their way up. I am working on planning something to get back together with them.
Back to the van and the road we went. We definitely didn't mess around getting back, in fact we shaved an entire hour off the trip without getting a speeding ticket. I think we both felt the uncontrollable need to hurry up and get Averi home. I am not sure what we thought was going to happen, but it was like we were racing against some unknown clock.
We made it back into Vegas 3 days after we left. Two days on the road and one actual day of "vacation". But the good news was we were home and everyone was happy. You could immediately see a sign of relief on Averi's face as she walked through the house. After cruising around a bit she went right over to her bed and laid down. She was relieved. And we all knew we made the right decision. Unfortunately the change in altitude wasn't the cure for my husbands pain, so he continued to struggle.
After we were home and visibly saw a difference in our friend, we were thankful she was back to her current "normal" self. While I wouldn't wish the pain my husband went through on anyone we both did agree it was a blessing in disguise. If he would not have been in so much pain and discomfort we wouldn't have went home. Which means we sadly may have pushed Averi harder than we should have, hoping that she would feel better at the next place. Who knows what may have happened. But that wasn't a risk either one of us wanted to take. I think the only exploring Averi and I will be doing is around the neighborhood. Which as long as my friend is happy, I am ok with that.
Oh... and about the human. My husband is fine. We got him home and all fixed up on Monday. As far as our other great explorer Kati, she is just as content running and chasing the rabbits in the canyon behind our house. For her, that is still heaven. And for me? How can I complain? I will spend the next week rotating between my bathing suit and my pjs before I head out to see my family. I might sprinkle in regular clothes and a shower to run those pesky errands that always pile up. While it is not the trip or the plan I had in mind, it will still do just fine.