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Wow…I haven’t written in…awhile. Sorry about that!

We’ve been really busy lately, between the holidays, visiting friends and family, working, etc. I’ve been trying to get back to a regular schedule but what with Christmas and the New Year falling on a Wednesday it’s been tough. And now that I am finally back to the routine I’m feeling like I need another break. Vacation time!

Joe and I haven’t been on a real vacation since we first moved in together, which was four years ago now. We went camping in Kentucky with friends for five days. At that time, we only had Smokey, and he stayed with Joe’s dad while we were away. But we have a different kind of dog now, so there’s been a serious vacation lull.

Now, to be fair, some of the reason we haven’t been on vacation is because Joe switched jobs, so his vacation time is a bit on the thin side, and we’re trying to save up for an eventual wedding, and we just don’t have a lot of money lying around to go anywhere.

Enter my dad, who wants us to go to Nova Scotia with my stepmom and him for a long weekend over the summer. Ding ding! Relatively low-cost, get to hang out with my dad and stepmom for a long weekend, and my photography instinct is just screaming – yes, yes, please! When, when, when?

But Joe reminded me of a little problem we have with this whole idea.

P and Shelby snow fighting

Oh right…these guys – don’t know too many people chomping at the bit to take these guys for a long weekend.

What a buzzkill. Epic sad face. I very rarely have a moment where I regret anything about my dogs. But this is one of those moments, I’ll admit. I miss VACATION. I miss travel. While I also miss things like having friends over, being able to take my canine companion anywhere, not having to walk my dogs at 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. to avoid the neighbors, and various other fearful dog complications, those things have become part of our routine, but this bummed me out.

I remember talking once with another woman who lived with a fearfully aggressive dog who told me that as much as she loved her dog, she didn’t let her dog inhibit her life, because she didn’t want to grow to resent her dog and have the bond fail. She warned me not to do the same. I never really felt that I was doing that, but while we were lying in bed last night talking about how nice it would have been to be able to go on the vacation, I felt genuinely angry with them.

Why don’t they get it? It’s not scary! People are not so bad, in fact, they would probably have more fun with grandpa than they do at our house! When grandpa took care of Smokey he got bacon and fried eggs every morning for breakfast, and grandpa works at home so he wasn’t alone for a minute. He got to go outside and run around and stare at the horses and romp and eat hamburger for dinner only to go do it all over again. Why can’t they just be normal? We have worked and worked and worked with them, and while they do get better, a little at a time, they’re never going to be 100%. They’re never going to be social butterflies. And while we’re working with them we’re terrified to do anything to set their training back. I kept trying to think of ways around it – could we take them? No, not really, one, because we’ll likely fly and two, because my parents will be there, and it wouldn’t be a vacation having to constantly manage every little interaction. Could we board them? Well, they’d have to get the stupid bordatella vaccine, exposing them to possible reactions, not to mention they’d be completely flooded in a kennel situation and who knows what kind of harm that could do to the work that we’ve put in. Who could take them? No one.

Deflated, tears sprung to my eyes, and Panzer tucked his head into my side, but I could barely feel him.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my dogs, love them dearly, I would never give them up or trade them for anything in the world, but the sacrifices you make for dogs with special needs are huge and sometimes, they hurt. But I’m also not one to give in when I have an idea in my head, so I’m going to put it out there to all my readers – what would YOU do and do you have any ideas to help me with my vacation dilemma? This mama needs a break!