His wound is still healing but the big dawg is doing well.
Fall is settling in here with night time temps in the low 30’s and high 40’s. After over three months of living happily in a tent we may just have to find a place with a roof.
So here we are. At the beginning. I have come to the decision not to continue the canoe trip down the Missouri river this paddling season.
The decision was easy.
Any type of long distance journey has inherent risks. Illness, injury, or disability that can conclude in death of a team member. I use risk evaluation constantly to minimize the potential of these things occuring.
You see this has been a two member team of one dog and one man. Has been that way for ten years. We have gone all over the USA. 99% Of the time it is to someplace remote, mountains, deserts but we really love going to places they call “Wilderness”
The large open wound that Zeusy is carrying in his chest will take time to heal. He is also showing signs of being easily fatigued from his injury.
It is not worth the risk.
A quick risk evalution shows he is at risk for further complications if the wound becomes infected. His fatigue shows that he is probably not capable of self rescue if we wind up in the water. The Missouri’s is wide with quick currents.
It is not worth the risk.
He is an important part of this human-dog team. He has been vital in his role. When going up river, stuck on large sandbars and hauling the canoe distances overland to the river he has been incredible. I hook his leash to my belt, I grab the canoe or it’s ropes and yell “Go! ” He is a powerful one hundred pound German Shepherd and pulls me easily as we both pull the canoe and gear.
His role as security, tent warmer, comedic relief and protector has been invaluable as well.
He has also been friend maker too! Charming Kendar and Marshal at James Kipp. Melissa on the Turnbull ranch was enthused by him. Shyanne, Josh and others produced huge smiles when the formal introductions were made and he raises his paw to shake their hands when the greeting of “Nice to meet you,” was spoken to a dog who likes meeting new people.
One of the funniest things said to me as he took off at lightning speed down river to chase waves was ” I think your dog is going to beat you back to St. Louis.”
So here we are. At the beginning. The last two months has been one of the most incredible experiences for both of us.
It has never been about point A to point B. It is everything in between those two points that make a journey. The points are just the start and the end.
“This is the end” your mind is saying. No not hardly, this is a travel blog. That is what we do. Travel and share it with you.
There is next paddle season to try and complete the Missouri. Plus the fact that we are still in North Dakota and I scored a job at Bayside Resort in Linton, ND for a few months. At least until we head to St. Louis and then the East Coast. Still many places, animals, people and things to experience.
Besides there is still a ton to share from the last few months.
I only will paddle two hours before he gets a break. If he has to go sooner he will look at the river bank and whine just enough to let me know. He then runs and dives in the water. He then finds me a stick to throw. Game on until it is time to go again.
He has loved the rivers since I first took him many moons ago.
So the big boy went and visited his Veterinarian Dr. Stacey Schaeffer of the St. Louis Veterinary Clinic located in South St.Louis City. As the weeks now have turned into days before our departure it was prudent that I have my partner as ready as I am.
I first met Dr. Stacey at the World Bird Sanctuary where she volunteers her time to care for sick and injured Birds of Prey in the wildlife hospital. I soon learned to pay close attention because I was going to learn faster performing as a wildlife rehabilitator by listening during her exams of the birds. I then put what she wanted for the birds into my brain as well as practice. Taking Zeusy to her veterinary practice in South St. Louis I knew I wouldn’t be let down .
Once in the clinic the exam began with the super amazing Page being the Vet. Tech who would handle Zeusy as Dr. Stacey performed her exam. I was concerned because I knew he was not going to tolerate being pushed, poked and prodded. He never does.
Before I or Zeusy knew what was happening super amazing Page had him muzzled and restrained in a hold worthy of any MMA victory. Zeusy would have tapped out if he could have. In 9+ years I have never seen the thrasher so held in one spot so safely. I am still impressed !
This allowed Dr. Stacey to perform her always thorough exam, while giving me the best advice for this upcoming trip. Everything from explosive diarrhea to snake bites was covered. Zeusy is my best pal so watching him get the best of care just swells my heart and makes me happy.
Have an animal and want to go to the best veterinary practice ? Call St. Louis Hills Veterinary Clinic and make an appointment. Everyone there are great animal people and your pet will be well taken care of !
And thanks Catamaran for making it happen.