This past week I took Emily and Eli on a road trip down to Florida. We had weather, delayed leaving time and fatigue to contend with on the way down, but we made it. There was a massive snow storm coming across the midwest and I did my best to beat the storm, but we ran into the arc of wall as we were heading south in Wisconsin toward Illinois. We also brought Maya along, who had just received a very good update form the vet that previous morning, and her energy and enthusiasm has continued to improve. She loves being around them so I saw it as a win/win to bring her along. We made it to Wisconsin the fist night, Birmingham, AL the second night and finally to Destin the next day. I was shocked at how pretty Alabama was. We enjoyed our AirBnB and visited Destin and Miramar beaches. There was a great drink spot called “The Whale Tail” that I had a delicious Pina Colada at, and we swam and body surfed all day. Fort Walton has these fighter jets flying overhead every morning, so that was interesting to see… We then drove south to St. Petersburg and I absolutely loved this town. I had purchased razor scooters for Emily and Eli ahead of time and they were the perfect toy to bring along so that I was able to get my 7 mile walk in and sight see, while they were able to have fun and not notice or feel the miles. We stopped at a brewery, I had a key lime beer that was very tart but refreshing. We went all the way down to the waterfront and then ate at a Mexican food restaurant on the way home. There’s a neighborhood called “Historic Kenwood” that has the most adorable bunaglows with huge front porches and decorative, colorful woodwork all throughout. The yards were all lush and made the sidewalks really fun to walk. Our AirBnB was adorable and we had our own fenced yard on surrounding the second story of our garage apartment. Overall I feel like they enjoyed themselves and then we made our long trek home, stopped to sleep at hotels along the way. Long term I’d like to travel abroad with them, but our next trip is a camping trip in Glacier National Park. I want to show the world to them so they stay curious and open. I think sitting outside was therapeutic for all of us, including Maya who was able to dig holes and just take her time off lease outside and sleep under ferns. Next time we’ll fly, for sure.
Maya is my dog. She has a tumor on her back stemming from the site of an injury from almost 2-3 years ago, and a tiny tumor on her “right pinky.” She heads in for surgery this upcoming Thursday, three days from now, and I keep realizing she’s all I care about and identify as home. She’s my constant through the last decade. She’s reacted to bad boyfriends, sunbathed with good ones while they lasted. She’s my companion beyond place and time. Her diagnosis will be a little more clear after her surgery but it’s sounding like kidneys are being impacted. Anyone whose owned a dog knows they see into your soul. They’re not there to judge you, but react. She’s kicked my phone out of my hands, she’s raced up to bullies. She’s shown me my mom’s love is the equivalent of unfiltered sunlight. Pure joy. I love her to the end of the earth and I know she loves me. I adopted her at 6 years old from the humane society in Austin,TX after visiting three times, leaving twice because my crying was becoming audible. She’s had her heart broken, she’s been abandoned, but I will never leave her side. I don’t understand people who leave their dogs or who punish dogs instead of communicate with their people. We will push through this but I know someday she’ll tell me it’s time. Maya papaya in the sky. She’s my most pure love I’ve ever known.