Boat Project Cruising with a Dog

Sum It Up Sunday: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Sunday, March 30, 2014S.V. CAMBRIA

It’s been an interesting two weeks around here.  And by ‘interesting’ I mean productive at times and completely terrifying at others.  But since it’s Sunday, what’s supposed to be a day of relaxation, I’ll start with the positive and work my way up . . . or is it down?

First the good.  The headliner project is moving along nicely and David finished the salon area (blog to follow later this week).  Like with just about every other boat job we’ve tackled in the past 13 years, it had its share of false starts and there were a few days along the way where David was ready to pull out what’s left of his hair.  But we’re both really happy with how it turned out and excited that we finally have red lighting (among other colours) throughout the salon for night passages.  Next up – the galley!

The starboard headliner before and after.

And now the bad.  One of the things I’ve wanted to do for a while now is replace the sink faucets in the heads and galley, and I recently found what I was looking for at Costco – a sleek, modern tap with a motion sensor for under $100.  So I bought two of them and brought them home.  Now.  In a normal world, changing them out wouldn’t be a problem and something I could do myself.  But we live aboard a boat, and not just any boat, a boat built in England where absolutely nothing works with US fittings – at least not without some modification.  So David spent several days online, at Home Depot and talking to a plumber at Fisheries Supply to source what he needed to install the new faucets.  Meanwhile I hid myself in the bilges cleaning mildew pretending I had no idea how difficult it would all be.  In my defense, I didn’t.  Well . . . I knew he’d have to source new fittings to connect the original plumbing to the new, but I honestly didn’t expect it to be such a big deal (Sorry, honey!  But the new taps look GREAT!).  Fortunately, the installation went more smoothly and the biggest issue we had was keeping a cranky dog out of the head.  It went so well, in fact, that David installed a soap dispenser while he was at it.    

Before, during and after.

And now the ugly.  Sally’s been doing really well lately and showing signs of improvement:  She’s been sleeping better, more alert and her posture was better.  But something still wasn’t quite right.  By accident, we stumbled upon the answer.  Literally.  David took her with him to run errands one afternoon and brought her to Poulsbo where we used to winter the boat (she likes the sense of familiarity).  They were walking along the dock when she stepped off and straight into the water.  He said after that, she seemed more alert and even had a little pep in her step.  We put two and two together and concluded her pain medication was making her a little lethargic and loopy.

Feeling a little worse for wear, Sally dries off in the cockpit.

To take her off the Tramadol (a narcotic available only by prescription), we have to wean her from it (yes, it’s that dangerous and addictive), so we started the process and saw an immediate result – she was more and more like herself every day.  Long story short, despite the fact that I slowly cut her dosage down, it wasn’t enough and Sally had a seizure around 3 o’clock Friday morning.  She’s never had one before and to say it was terrifying is an understatement.  

Sally was a little restless that night, but David was still awake when she got up so he kept an eye on her until she settled back down and then came to bed himself.  It wasn’t long afterwards that I heard a horrible noise.  Sally had fallen again, so I jumped out of bed to help her.  When I found her, she was lying on her back with her paws flaying in the air like a june bug.  I didn’t realize what was happening so I helped her to her feet, but she fell again when I was trying to get my arms around her, this time in her water bowl.  And then she peed on me.  I yelled for David, but he must have been halfway out of bed already because he was by my side before I knew it.  I had no idea what to do, so I just kept holding her saying that everything was alright and momma was here.  Turns out, it was right thing to do. 

From that point on, it was a long day.  I stayed up with Sally through the night, comforting her and helping her reorient herself.  She was confused and couldn’t see very well, but finally laid down and went back to sleep around 6:00 am – more than three hours later.  My brain was running the gamut and I was afraid of what this meant until I found the answer online – one of the symptoms of withdrawal from Tramadol in dogs is seizures.  FML . . . or Sally’s, rather.  If that poor dog survives me, it’s going to be a miracle! 

Now back to the good!  After a difficult day where she was completely wiped out, Sally’s doing much better and it looks like there won’t be a lasting impact from the seizure.

And that’s us for now.  We have another busy week ahead of us, but let’s hope it’s uneventful and boring.

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