View of Berat, Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Berat, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? South towards Greece.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Lots to talk about

Some days we have to think of things to talk about, but not today. Nope, still no baby yet, although Lindsey thinks this evening that she may be getting some contractions, so maybe tomorrow will be the day!

First of all, we did take Whiskey to the vet this morning. Her breathing was not right when we went to bed last night, and she couldn’t seem to get comfortable. At one point, the raspy noise did stop, but both Ruth and I wondered if she had taken her last breath! But neither one of us wanted to get up and check because maybe she had finally fallen asleep. Eventually, we heard her move and that put our minds to rest enough that we fell asleep as well.

But this morning she wasn’t interested in food of any kind, and she almost didn’t have enough energy to get up the stairs to Lindsey and Justin’s apartment. So we called the vet that Lindsey uses for her cats, and she agreed to see us right away.

Whiskey has a heart murmur (leaking of one of the valves in the heart), and we have known about that for quite a while. Apparently what has happened now is that the medication that she has been taking for her incontinence has caused increased blood pressure which in turn has aggravated the heart murmur. The heart is now enlarged, and is causing fluid build up in her lungs. This is a similar condition to congestive heart failure.

Whiskey, resting comfortably with her doggy diaper on.

So, the vet confirmed her diagnosis with chest xrays and blood tests. We have to take her off the incontinence medication for now, so she is wearing doggy diapers. She has to take a diuretic to remove the fluid from her lungs and another pill that strengthens the heart muscle and reduces the blood pressure. She also has a minor urinary infection, so has an antibiotic for that. Poor Whiskey! Hard to believe she went on a five mile walk with us just a couple of weeks ago.

We have to return to the vet on Friday afternoon to see if things have improved, and if they have, we will put her on an estrogen treatment that is supposed to help with the incontinence problem without affecting the heart or blood pressure.

All this for only $495 (so far!)…that puts a dent in the March budget miscellaneous column. Oh well, we do what we need to do.

On to other things. We drove over to the spot Justin’s uncle said we could park at. It’s essentially at the edge of a farmers field at the end of a private dirt road. It’s actually a great spot for Sherman, nobody around and a nice view out one side. The other side faces a pile of scrap farm machinery, so not so nice. Unless we come across something better, we will be moving Sherman there when I return from Ottawa around April 14.

The view from our possible parking spot at Justin's uncle's farm.

Another option for parts of the summer, we found out that Nova Scotia provincial parks have a camp host program. We won’t stay at the provincial parks because they want $24.48 in Nova Scotia for an unserviced site. This is too rich for us, especially when there are so many boondocking opportunities here. The vast majority of these parks do not have hookups. There is only one of their provincial park that has electric and water hookups and it is $32.64 per night.

But the camp host program allows you to stay with full hookups in the host site in exchange for 4 hours per day of “hosting” activities, 5 days per week. We think that would be kind of fun. You have to commit to a minimum two week period.

But here’s the problem…as with just about everything in Canada, the government involvement is ridiculous. You have to apply to be a camp host, which  then includes a criminal record check, a child abuse registry check, an interview, and be available for training prior to the start of the season. It says “We are always looking for new campground host volunteers”. No wonder!

Then, they say that the application deadline is March 17th, even though the season doesn’t start until May 20th. In fact, some parks don’t open until June 17th!

How can they possibly get enough people willing to go through all of that to fill all those positions? I don’t get it. Anyhow, we have sent an email asking if there is any way to get on for this season. I guess we’ll see what happens.

(Note, as I post this Thursday morning, Whiskey has had a better nights sleep. Her breathing is pretty much back to normal. Oh, and Lindsey thinks her labour has started. Maybe today will be the day…!)


  1. The camp host program has appealed to us as well, maybe check it out again. Glad to hear Whiskey is doing better. And the baby is soon on the way. Good luck with all.

  2. That's better news about Whiskey.

    Come on baby!!! I want pictures of that healthy little baby!

    Hope she has a good easy labour!

    Sucks about the camphost program. I wonder if they are all like that. I know when I ran into a couple a few years back who were camp hosts at Miquelon Lake, they said they had to apply the year before to get the job.
    And they lived close to the lake so it was an extended holiday for them (they are retired).


  3. We to would like to camp host one day, but I think they are going way overboard in all the checks, who pays for them, a fingerprint check alone is about $60, your local Sheriff can do a record check, how many old fogey retired terrorist could there be.Be safe out there. Sam & Donna..

  4. Here's the reply I got from Nova Scotia Parks...

    Thank you for your interest in the Nova Scotia Campground Host program. We have already begun the interview process and scheduling of hosts into our parks. New hosts are required to pass a police background check. In order to initiate a police background check, you would need to report to your local home town police agency to complete the necessary documentation. It is unfortunate that you missed the application deadline. I trust that you will enjoy your stay in Nova Scotia and I hope that you will consider applying to the Campground Host Program upon your next visit to the province.

    You know, the illogical thing about these record checks is that they want them for the host, but don't do them for campers. Anyway, once again the people lose because of stupid government involvement.

  5. I'm so glad Whiskey is doing better and her breathing is back to normal. Poor thing. Doggie diapers are better than heart problems. You guys are good "parents" to her and she is a lucky dog. I know what you mean about the vet bill. We've had a few whoppers lately ourselves.

    The new boondocking spot will be very nice once things green up.

    Can't wait to see some pictures of that new baby when it arrives!

  6. So glad Whiskey is better and you got her in when you did. We lost a dog to congestive heart failure. He was on meds and then over New years got worse again and we though we could wait a day until the holiday was over but he didn't make it. If I had to do it again I would have found a pet ER. We didn't realize how fast it could change. Hope she is feeling better soon.

  7. Glad Whiskey has improved. The area at the farm sounds great. Not to sure about the volunteer job, but sometimes they work out pretty well. Hope the baby comes quickly for her.

  8. George and Suzie...The camphost program sounded like fun, but too many hoops to jump through, so I don't think we will be doing it.

    WBY...Whiskey was definitely a happier puppy yesterday. Hopefully we will have some news on the baby front real soon.

    Sam and Donna...I guess they have lots of terroists lining up for these positions.

    Karen and Al...We agree with you, I would rather the diapers than the alternative. Her leaking has been good since taking her off that medication, hope it continues then we wouldn't need the diapers. The vet bill hurts but we do what we have to for her, she is part of the family.

    Janie and John...So sorry about your loss. We are not looking forward to that time and will try hard to have her as long as we can.

    pidge...We are happy Whiskey is doing better too. I think the camphost program would have been fun, but not worth all the effort to register. We hope the baby comes soon too!

    Kevin, Ruth and Whiskey


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