Rewind to September 2016. Sian was taking Grace The World’s Best Boat Dog to the vet’s for a regular visit. Paul was in Prague on business. The vet dropped the bombshell news on Sian – “Grace is a very poorly dog, she only has a short time to live, probably weeks.”
After the shock had worn off Sian spoke to the veterinary assistant asking if there was anything at all that we could do. She was told to try giving Grace a steroid every other day (along with an anti-acid to prevent stomach issues).
Meanwhile we simply accepted that our three month trip to the Exumas, which Grace was originally coming on, would now just be the two of us.
Well, for those that read our Exumas posts, Grace clearly was not listening to the vet. Not only did she come with us to the Exumas, but she thrived. Maybe not as sprightly off an on the boat and dinghy as she once was, but she had a thoroughly enjoyable time.
However soon after we got back from the Exumas at the end of May Grace started to struggle. She now has severe limps and moves very slowly. Her steroids are now once a day and every four weeks she goes for an Adequan shot to help with her stiffness.
We continue to check for signs of pain and discuss with the vet, and so far Grace still is enjoying life and seems happy. Even though her morning walks around the neighborhood are now more morning staggers to the end of the street!
We do like going up to the local river for weekends and we have a trip to St Augustine coming up. We were debating whether or not Grace was up to these, or was the kennel the best alternative. So we decided to do an afternoon-one night-morning run to Fort George river to see how she coped.
Overall she did fine. She can no longer get herself to the flybridge where we like to run the boat from. So Sian spent more time in the salon keeping her company. However sitting at anchor, as soon as we grab her life jacket (which is used to lift her up and down), she heads for the swim platform. And getting onto the dinghy for evening and morning ablutions, and getting onto the salon couch when we went to bed, was not a problem for her.
See gallery of photos from the overnighter below.
So Grace, The World’s Best Boat Dog, still has a few short trips in her. She will be coming along to St Augustine for the Night of Lights trip, and perhaps a trip downtown Jacksonville while we attend the Symphony, and even another night or two up at Fort George River.
The jury is still out on our longer Abacos and Chesapeake trips next year though. But that is a story for another time.