Sunday, August 19, 2012

Ready To Be On The Road Again

We got the jacks fixed, Shadow had surgery and gets his stitches removed tomorrow and then Lee the Groomer will work her magic on him, and my thumb/wrist problem is better. So, after 5 weeks at Hart Ranch, we’ll be ready to head east on Tuesday!

To fill in a little background: Shadow had surgery on Monday Aug 6 in Sturgis, the third day of the famous Bike Week when hundreds of thousands of motorcycle riders descend on the Black Hills, centered in Sturgis. We had to deal with hundreds of those motorcycles streaming in and out on the main entrance to the town of Sturgis, a steady flow that was hard to break across to turn left into the Vet’s facility, then to blend into to get back to the freeway. Twice, dropping him off and picking him up the next day. No, Don actually took Shadow for his first exam the day before Bike Week started, so he had to do it 3 times.

The vet surgeon was very experienced and skillful, and surgery to remove the salivary gland that’s been causing Shadow’s problems since early March went well. When we picked him up, he was still a little groggy, but doing well.

We were almost home (about 50 miles) when I discovered an item on the bill, “Buster Collar $15.00.” I called and asked whether they were supposed to send us home with this. The gal who checked us out admitted sheepishly that she forgot. I asked her to call the vet we use in Rapid City and see if we could get one from them. Yes, that worked out as they had a similar “Comfy Collar.” Dr. Maz met us at the door with it and took us back to an examining room to put it on. She also removed the tape and wrap from his IV, simple for her but would have been really difficult for us as Shadow was trying to bite all of us as part of his leg fur came off with the tape!

Later in the day, Shadow was starting to look more like a normal, happy puppy!


This collar was a lot more comfortable than the previous oversized clear plastic one that he wore in California.


Still, he was happy to get this cone off and the surgical drain out about 4 days later. Even though it wasn’t as bad as the last cone, he still didn’t like it much. He’s been really good about not bothering with the stitches, so we didn’t have to put the cone back on.


Meanwhile, the problem with my De Quervain’s syndrome has improved through therapy. I don’t think the cortizone shot had any effect except maybe to increase the pain for the first couple of days, but the therapist recommended ice, massage and gradually weaning myself off of the brace. I’ll continue to do that until we get back to our winter home base in Benson, probably in November. Then I can pursue the surgery that will solve the problem permanently, maybe in Sierra Vista. In the meantime, Don’s still doing all the cooking and most of the dishwashing. Such a deal!

If dealing with health problems wasn’t enough, we had to address another problem, this time with our motorhome. We had to move from one site to another in order to comply with park policies (only 21 days on the same site). When I pressed the button to bring up the leveling jacks, the front ones came up but the back two only retracted partway. Since we were only going a very short distance at under 10 mph, I drove with the alarm sounding. But we needed to get the problem fixed before hitting the road.

Long story short, we reached a tech at HWH who was very helpful, diagnosed the problem quickly and sent two new cylinders to a nearby dealer (in Blackhawk). Don made the appointment for Friday 8/17,  the parts arrived in time, and installation was done in about 2 hours.

So, with all that done, Don and I spent some time yesterday cleaning and polishing the outside of the motorhome, and I’m getting the laundry caught up before our departure. We’re having dinner tonight with some new friends we met recently, Rollie and Janet Newman, who are parked next to us, and some long-time friends, Duane Peyton and Betty Anderson, who spend their summers here.

We normally don’t stay in one place for this long, so it will be great to be back on the road again!


  1. Sure glad to hear Shadow is doing well. Also, it's nice that the cone is off - I hate it when we've had to put one of those on our dogs, I feel so sorry for them as they must wonder why they're being punished for something!

    Glad to hear your medical problems are getting a little better too.

    Safe travels on the road.

  2. So glad to hear things are going better. I imagine you are ready to head down the road!! Sorry you still face surgery on wrist/arm. Thinking of both of you and hoping it will be smooth sailing for a while! Hugs,


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