Saturday, October 3, 2009

I Will Never Leave Home Again!

As many of you know, I traveled to Montana for my son's wedding and was then to go on a long anticipated vacation in the Western United States.

This would turn out to be the vacation from Hell, with us returning a week early and the black cloud continuing to follow us even here.

The day after the wedding we left Seeley Lake for Yellowstone, taking my ninety-one year old father-in-law with us on the trip. It was a beautiful day and a lovely ride to Yellowstone. We arrived that evening at the entrance to Yellowstone and were met with "no rooms at the Inn." Not for lack of rooms, but because all the summer help had left for the season and they did not have enough employees to clean the hotel.

We found a hotel that can only be described as interesting (read OMG!). We got up early to be in the park to see the animals on the morning move. Upon arriving we found Yellowstone on fire. 8,000 acres were ablaze filling the park with smoke and cutting it in half. To be able to see Old Faithful we would have to backtrack, a round trip of 400 miles. We tried to see what we could on our half of the park, but the smoke was very thick and it was difficult to breathe even when a distance from the fire.

Several problems arose that led us to believe it would be best to head back to Missoula and go east from there.

Arriving in Missoula both dogs became very ill. Some terrible explosive symptoms emerged. Hunter, the baby, was unable to lift his head or stand. We rushed them to the vet to find that they were infected with what is commonly known in Montana as, "Beaver Fever." It is possible they drank from the river at the wedding. (We carry bottled water for them, but it still happened. There are also many other places and ways they could have contracted the virus.)

You know the old question, "Does a bear sh*t in the woods?" The answer is yes, and there's "Beaver Poop" in the rivers as well. The proper name for this infection is Giardia and can be contracted by humans as well.

Hunter and Zoe were hospitalized, placed on I.V.s and given a course of antibiotics. Mr. Maven and I had to wash and disinfect our clothing, our vehicle and ourselves. We stayed in Missoula until the vet released the pups for travel.

We are very fortunate that Mr. Maven's cousin is a highly respected vet in Missoula and was there immediately when the pups became ill.

We are home and the dogs are still very very ill and will probably be so for another seven days. Mr. Maven and I show no signs that we have the infection.

At one point Mr. Maven turned to me and asked, "Do you still have your sense of humor." Yes, I do, but it is fading rapidly.

This morning I received a call from my son that his father-in-law of eight days was in an airplane crash in Belgrade, Montana. He was the pilot. He lost the engine at 800 ft. and was able to avoid hitting houses in a housing development, clipped a tree and made a hard landing in a field just behind a house. He was helped out of the plane by bystanders and was walking and talking as he was taken to the hospital. We hope to hear from them that all is well.

I need a week to recover from my "vacation." I will never leave home again!


Anonymous Anonymous said...


All I can say is "Wow!" You made my vacation misfortune actually seem humorous in comparison. I hope the pooches, and especially your daughter-in-law's father, get better soon.

I'm glad you're back though! Missed you!


October 3, 2009 at 3:45 PM  
Blogger Miriam Robbins said...

Oh, fM, I'm so sorry to hear about all your troubles. :-( Sending happy thoughts your way and the way of all your family members.

October 3, 2009 at 5:04 PM  
Blogger Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...

Oh dear! I hope the pups recover quickly. I'm glad your son's FIL doesn't seem to need to recover. I especially hope that you recover your sense of humor but I can see where that could take a few days. If you're determined to never leave home again I guess we'll all just have to come to you!

October 3, 2009 at 5:48 PM  
Blogger Bill West said...

Good Lord! I don't blame you!
I hope everyone two legged and four-legged will soon be well.


October 3, 2009 at 6:32 PM  
Blogger Debbie Blanton McCoy said...

I'm so sorry to hear about all of your troubles. I sure hope your dogs get well soon and that your son's father-in-law will be okay.

October 3, 2009 at 7:06 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

Oh my! You did have a time of it... but try again another year! Old Faithful will still be there and hopefully the dogs won't get giardia and neither will you. Give the pups a pet from me and I'm sending you and your family best wishes! Sue Edminster

October 3, 2009 at 7:18 PM  
Blogger footnoteMaven said...

Thank you everyone for your well wishes for my family!

I just received a call from my son. His FIL was in shock by the time he reached the hospital and has a broken or crushed vertebrae (my son is still getting information). He is flat on his back and will be for some time.

Makes everything that happen to us seem so insignificant compared . . .


P.S. Apple, I'm keeping the light on for you. I'd wait though until my luck changes.

October 3, 2009 at 7:21 PM  
Blogger Sheri Fenley said...

Jeeeze Loueeeze! Are we going to have to ground you fM? I for one could not possibly do without you! I am glad you and Mr. Maven are safe and apparently sound. The canine Mavens will come through fine I am sure, the cat wouldn't stand for anything less.

October 3, 2009 at 8:11 PM  
Blogger footnoteMaven said...

Hey Ugly!

Remember never to travel with me.


October 3, 2009 at 9:33 PM  
Blogger Thomas MacEntee said...

fM I will be keeping good thoughts and prayers for you and the pets and everyone - this was a vacation for the memory book, no?

October 4, 2009 at 10:50 AM  
Blogger Dorene from Ohio said...

Your experience sounds like a movie!! Glad you are home safely!
How are the dogs doing now?

October 4, 2009 at 2:06 PM  
Blogger footnoteMaven said...


Thanks for the good thoughts. This is one for a memory book with a black border I'm afraid.


October 4, 2009 at 3:07 PM  
Blogger footnoteMaven said...

Hey Dorene:

Zoe is up a bit and does not have to be carried. Hunter is so seriously ill we are not certain he will make it.

I have spent most of the day holding him wrapped in a blanket. We are feeding him water with an eye dropper.

I just had no idea! Damn those beavers!


October 4, 2009 at 3:10 PM  
Blogger Greta Koehl said...

I will never complain about a vacation again.... will be praying for Hunter and for your son's father-in-law.

October 4, 2009 at 5:22 PM  
Blogger Lee said...

This is why I am a hermit. It is not a lifestyle for everyone mind you but it works for me. I end this by thanking god you and your family survived.

October 7, 2009 at 1:27 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Such a bummer vacation, so sorry to hear all of this has happened on yours. You are home safe and sound though, so that is good. Now just to heal the dogs and FIL. Will be praying for them.

October 13, 2009 at 1:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can say WOW the Memories you made. Mom's always said when I gripe like that, and I guess I do it to often "look on the bright side your making Memories."
I hope by now that the pups are better and your recovered from the ordeal, experience, memory maker. I read about that plane crash cause MMinear lives near she sent me clipping of incident. I am sure you remember Maria.. She lost husband a year ago.
So much to be thankful for : You or hubby didn't seem to get the condition, the in law made a safe landing and survived and you made it home in one piece.
I feel for the American Canyon Falls students who experienced a death returning from Pocatello, ID to their home after competition. They too were blessed there was not more, more serious injuries. Love you lots. Blessings Susi

October 13, 2009 at 2:00 PM  

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