Winter holiday 2014: Part I

IMG_0219

The morning of our last day in Ottawa before heading south…the blowing snow should have been a portend of things to come…

IMG_0233

My biggest anxiety about crossing the border was our unusual doggie paperwork.  You see, Skye, our 11 1/2 year old border collie who accompanies us everywhere, continues to be in remission from lymphoma.  As such, she has not been vaccinated since before her diagnosis.  For anything.  Not even rabies.  This is apparently a problem if you want to cross the border.

There is something called the Rabies Challenge Fund and the website has a list of states that accept medical exemptions for rabies vaccinations.  New York is one of those states and the state into which we were crossing.  Your vet can fill out a form which indicates that although your dog is otherwise healthy, she is not healthy enough to receive vaccinations — cancer and other chronic illnesses compromise the immune system so much that this could spell disaster.

We did not have this form.  However, we did have certification from our vet that Skye had a rabies ‘titer’, which indicated that her immune system had high enough levels of antibodies against rabies for her to be protected.  Ever skeptical of bureaucracy, I also came armed with a million pieces of paper and websites in my brain.  What good they were in my brain, I don’t know.

As we approached the border, the sun shone as we clutched our passports and Skye’s paperwork.  Passing them out through the window to the sullen and scary customs agent, he was more concerned about whether we were bringing fruit across the border than a rabid dog.

And with that, we drove through.  The sun that had shone brightly suddenly turned to this.

IMG_0235

And then this –

IMG_0237

And then, when I thought it couldn’t get any worse –

IMG_0243

GAAK!

This was the worst whiteout I had ever driven through.  Well, maybe not.  Once I was driving somewhere in Ontario and had to pull over on the shoulder because I COULDN’T SEE AT ALL.  When the whiteout subsided, the shoulder was filled with cars that had lined up like soldiers — one after the other — and no one had crashed into the one ahead.  It was a miracle.  As was this very slow drive along Highway I-81 S in upstate New York.

IMG_0246

Fahrenheit and miles seem so strange to me now that I have to translate Celsius and kilometers first.  About minus 8-9 degrees Celsius = 15-16 degrees Fahrenheit.  That’s not much different from where I left.  But I know it will get better….

IMG_0258

The moment when I kicked the last piece of cr*ppy ice from the car’s wheel well was a cause for celebration.  Yes, I am petty.

IMG_0259

I had forgotten that anywhere south of Virginia is land of the very small white fuzzy dog.  Skye was appearing increasingly out of place.

IMG_0261

Hotels requiring dogs less than 10 pounds.  Rules requiring dogs to be on a leash no longer than six feet.  Heck, the distance a small white fuzzy dog can run between the end of that leash and your feet is enough to exhaust them.  But not Skye-dog.  She needs space to run.

IMG_0264

Finally reaching Florida, we see evidence of the standard American grasp of the obvious.  Not to mention insistence on politeness.

IMG_0265

Aaahh.  Sun and heat at last.

IMG_0269

2 thoughts on “Winter holiday 2014: Part I

  1. Hi Skye

    Trust your enjoying your walks now that your here in Florida. Tell your mom to check out Laquinta Inns when you head back home, They welcome good lookin’ dogs like you, Rooms are reasonable,reliable, comfy, and come with free internet and free breakfast. You can book online . . . or cancel, if you get delayed in another terrible snow storm.

    Brian

  2. What a wonderful journey. Now the R&R begins; detoxing your body of the chills and cold and absorbing that much needed natural vitamin C as you sip Sangria, soaking in the sun and dangling your toes off the end of the dock…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s