To Go, Or Not To Go

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Stuart loves the beach. The sand between his toes. The ocean rolling up and away. The lighthouses. Boardwalks to stroll along. Looking into shop windows. Gazing into the water and wondering what it’s all about.

This is the time of year when we drive from Richmond to Nags Head, North Carolina, to spend some time away from the humdrum. We’re childfree with no close relatives nearby, so it’s the three of us. Our family. And we love it that way.

So the question arises: Do we go? Or stay home? Is Stuart well enough to travel? What if something happens? Where are the vets? Is there a 24-hour emergency hospital if his heart-based hemangiosarcoma rears its evil head again?

As usual, Dr. Elliott had some sage advice: Does he enjoy it? Then, take him. If HE enjoys it, go.

During our phone with her call last night, we discussed what might happen if we went on our trip. At the very least, she said, when the pericardial effusion happened four weeks ago – THAT’S RIGHT 4 WEEKS AGO! – it was hours before he was admitted to the emergency hospital. He wasn’t himself all day, we took him in to see her that afternoon, then we admitted him that night. You can always drive back here to Richmond, she said.

If he passed in his sleep on the way home, that wouldn’t be such a bad thing, she said, and apologized for being blunt.

No apologies necessary Dr. Elliott. We’re in a much better place to discuss that these days. The initial shock is still with us, but we’re more composed to deal with it.

He’ll be in no pain. That’s the key. The other key is that during the four weeks since we almost lost him, he’s never been alone more than 10 or 20 minutes. We take shifts and between us and Auntie Meredith, bless her, he’s constantly under a watchful eye. Because there’s no warning for another cardiac event.

We’ll just take our drive, enjoy our walks, cook Stuart’s salmon, and be a family.

Or maybe not. We haven’t decided.




About The Scottie Chronicles

Winston welcomes you to The Scottie Chronicles - a blog that began in 2009 as a voice for Stuart, a more than memorable black, brindle and white Scottish Terrier who captured hearts around the world. Stuart passed suddenly in December 2015 from cardiac hemangiosarcoma, a nasty cancer that took him far too early. If you love Scotties, please follow along. Arroooo!
This entry was posted in Scottie health, Scotties, Scottish Terriers, The Scottie Chronicles, traveling dogs, traveling with a dog and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

67 Responses to To Go, Or Not To Go

  1. It would be great if you could go…. we dogs love our routine :o) and if you will stay at home, I’m sure Stuart will enjoy it too… it’s to be together what counts and to share the love with the most important peeps and pets around us…

  2. rjkeyedup says:

    I say go for it! It is something else Stuart loves to do …. and the ocean is very calming for you tooooo. Dr. Elliot had wise words; follow the wiseman’s advice to get to the star – the sea!
    Ozzy & Callie’s Mom

  3. It might be a nice way to make some happy memories and focus on something other than Staurt being sick, even if only briefly! Either way, your little family continues to be in our thoughts and prayers.

  4. corkscot says:

    I would go. Stuart has done very well in all of your activities since his illness. He is a lot livelier than my three. He has indicated to you when he is feeling ill. Have fun and enjoy each other. I’m looking forward to seeing your great pictures.

  5. Leah and Mac ;) says:

    My Seeet Mac has splenic hemangiosarcoma. My heart breaks every day I have to come to work! It’s in many, many broken pieces right now. Totally understand your thinking either way. Will continue to pray for Sweet Stuart and for you!!! 💙

    • OOOOHHHHH NOOOOOOOO! Please stay as strong as you can. Of course your heart is shattered. You love him so, and he loves you. Stay strong for him and we’ll hold you close in our hearts.

      Let us know how he’s doing. We care very much.

      Stu and Peeps

  6. nordhuesn says:

    We will say prayers for you either way. We know how difficult it is to make any decision when faced with these tough issues. But you are all 3 in God’s hands. Bless you for taking such great care of him. Also, be good to yourselves. We are in the same boat with no kids and just our furiends. Enjoy what you can.

  7. Gail and Kipper says:

    I say go for it! Let Stuart enjoy his time at the beach. It will probably perk him up! Years ago, we took MacDuff to the beach and he had the time of his life chasing crabs! He loved to get in the ocean too. He was sick at the time but acted like a puppy! Several weeks afterwards, he passed over the rainbow bridge. But we had that wonderful beach trip!

  8. Roxanne, Truman, Callie & Mandy says:

    Our Scottie Angels will be watching over you. Traveling Mercies for your trip. Truman, Callie & Mandy

  9. Gavin says:

    No matter what your decision, you will have a special time-cause yer together. The important thing is yer able to talk about it, which shows yer processing the diagnosis. Not that anyone is ever ready, butt time does help to emotionally prepare a little. Prayers always to the three of you. By the way, Ma has feared my demise almost Daily, since I was a bitty puppy! Livin’ in tha moment is all we’ve Ever done ’round here. Most every morning, she holds me for awhile as she has her coffee and…..listens to me Breathe!! I allow this cause I know she is NUTS when it comes ta me.

  10. Susie and Malcolm says:

    If Stuart could talk human, he would say he wants to go. He doesn’t want to define his remaining days with you “being the sick dog”. He wants to live it to the max!

  11. Kismet says:

    Exactly a week from today, it will be a year since we helped Kyla pass. Kyla looooved her food and she went out Kyla-style, being hand fed treats until the very end. Go on the trip since Stuart loves it. If he goes, it will be Stuart-style. Take a computer and keep us informed. We couldn’t save Kyla. It’s not in our power to even save ourselves. Let Stu have his fun in the sun, but do find out the availability of medical help where you’re going.

    • My Kyla friend. Sigh. I can’t believe it’s almost been a year. My sweet girlfriend. We’re getting ready for our trip. (Yes, we’re going!) And next week I’m having an ultrasound to check things out. Got the 24-hour vet number in the phone. Whew. Thanks to you all. You’re special friends. Here’s sending you hugs during this poignant time. Stu

  12. KK says:

    Go. Just go.

  13. Ultimately you have to decide what you are comfortable with – but we agree with the rest. If you go and it becomes Stuart’s time to say goodbye – he would be somewhere he loves, doing things he loves, with the peeps he loves.
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

  14. I think you’ll know in your gut what is right. If it were me, I would want a margarita in my paw and cookies in my mouth…or visa-versa! BOL I say go for it! Live life…
    Ruby ♥

  15. I think it would be a wonderful “family gift” if you three went to the beach just like you normally would this time of year. Especially because Stuart loves it so. If Stuart chooses that time to say goodbye he will be WITH you, and have been to his favorite spot for a last time. There will be special memories and moments I’m sure…..

    Hugs, Sammy

  16. bentley2 says:

    I can only say that I would take Stuart to the beach. Family fun and good times is what everyone needs. If it is his time at least he had fun with you at the beach.

  17. Anonymous says:

    You must go and have fun with Stuart…do all the things he loves and create memories to cherish a lifetime.

    Audrey & Izzy & Mom, too

  18. Sir Jamie of the Highlands says:

    Go, Go, Go, and wave hi to us when you pass by Norfolk!

  19. lauramarec says:

    We understand your hesitancy, (Is that a word?), to leave home, but you 3 will be together and since you all enjoy it so much to go to Nags Head Beach, then you should go for it so Stu can savor the sand between his toesies and be in the breeze putting his ears back and sniffing the air!! There are more memories to be made and pictures of The Adorable Stu to be taken, so we say go for it. But if you have a real premonition about something, then you should stay home where he is familiar with everything. Either way, he’ll be with Mum and Dad, his loving Family!! That is FAMILIAR enough.
    Stu is strong and has a lot of living to do, so we think he’ll be fine, but you are his parents, so you know best! Either way is a good decision.
    We love you and you are in our hearts and prayers ALWAYS!
    Mum is tearing up cuz she says she loves you, so we have to go give her some licks to make her stop.
    Whatever you decide, have a lot of FUN!!
    Riley-Puppy and Tessie-Girl

  20. vera ersilia says:

    You are doing right in giving him a normal life – and for now it is very normal, no? maybe a little slower, but he does not mind. He is happy with you and doing the things that he loves. Hugs to Stuart, a lucky dog, and to you also who do right by him.

  21. We agree with Kismet. And we’ve also been thinking of Kyla too. Go, have as much fun as you are all able to under the circumstances. You’ll have checked out all the emergency numbers you’ll need. Luv ya’ll xxxx

  22. sue ellen says:

    Stuart would enjoy the trip. Fear is a terrible emotion. Do not let it run your life, it is not running sweet Stuarts life. What ever you decide is the right thing…♥

  23. theguster says:

    We can certainly understand the apprehension you are faced with trying to make this difficult decision. Assuming beforehand you would have all the information you might need in case Stuart needed emergent care, and maybe your trip will last only 3 days instead of 5, or whatever you normally do, we would take him on this trip and savor every second with him. Each day is another victory for Stuart, and to have him be able to feel the sand between his toes, to stroll the boardwalk as the the breeze ruffles through his fur with his devoted peeps at this side makes the most sense to us. While the change of scenery for all of you would surely be helpful, we realize the waters are uncharted, but with faith, prayer and courage you can celebrate Stuart the magnificent Scottie we have all grown to love.

    Love & hugs, 💓
    McDuff & Mom

  24. Stu, it sounds like you will be going afterall… Have fun and remember to give those peeps lots of ❌⭕️❌⭕️

  25. Two French Bulldogs says:

    Keep enjoying the sand between your toes
    Love & Peas,
    Lily & Edward

  26. Donna says:

    Please give Stuart a hug for me. Go and enjoy Stuart doing fun things he likes to do.

  27. gentlestitches says:

    I think you should go. Perhaps employ a pet stroller if he gets tired.Pet strollers are great for when a pet is tired, unwell or a senior dog. Our Jack has one and thinks it is great. He can conserve his energy until the park, run around, then ride home again.

  28. speedyrabbit says:

    Take him,enjoy the time together and the pet stroller is a good idea for if he feels tired,I have one for Speedy and he loves it sitting in there enjoying the view while we take a stroll,then I let him out for a romp about would do you all good to create more fun happy memories,xx Rachel Speedy’s Mum

  29. Piglove says:

    Oh pal – I think you should go. Ya’ll all love it and it’s your family ‘tradition’. Go and have fun, enjoy each others company and make memories. 🙂 XOXO – Bacon

  30. That’s it then. WE’RE GOING!!!!! Thank you pals!!

  31. Pingback: Where In The World? | The Scottie Chronicles

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