My fiance, Mike, and I have known for a while that he had an upcoming work-related trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina scheduled for this weekend. I was invited to come along, but sat "firmly on the fence" for weeks in indecisive mode for a few reasons. The primary reason was our three canine family members. Our preference has always been to find pet-friendly lodging when we go out of town, so the entire family can stay together. All of our dogs travel well, but finding the right place to stay with them always adds a degree of difficulty. This trip, however, is a short Friday to Sunday event in which Mike has meetings at a specific resort right on the beach.
On Wednesday evening, the subject of my coming along came up again, and Mike's mother had graciously volunteered to babysit the hounds at our house while we were away. The weekend weather forecast looked really nice in S.C., and I decided that a quick trip to the beach would be rejuvenating. I reported to work the next day, and taking Friday off was easily approved. I started getting excited about our little road trip and hurried home from work to start preparing. I was alarmed to find that one of the dogs had a very upset stomach. I will spare you the details, but I immediately took all three of them outside for observations to determine which one had the "accident."
My thoughts immediately focused on the fact that we had changed their diet a few weeks ago. I knew this could be the culprit, but wondered why it would have taken weeks to cause a problem. The diet change was really prompted by Roxie's occasional disinterest in meals. She has always had a hearty appetite, and we used to laugh at how quickly she could "inhale" her dinner. However, with age she had become a bit finicky about her food, and would frequently walk away from freshly prepared meals without one bite. She and Xander had been on a senior diet for a few years, and I speculated that she had grown tired of it, but she appeared to have a real interest in Zoe's non-senior food. I figured the ingredients in the two foods were quite different, but seeing her eat with such enthusiasm made me happy. At any rate, a decision to try all three dogs on Zoe's food was made. I figured at Roxie's and Xander's ages they deserved to enjoy their meals.
Everything seemed fine for 3 weeks, but here we were the day before a planned trip with a sick Xander, and my instinct told me the food change was the culprit. Luckily, I had some Endosorb and Metronidazole on hand, which quickly settled his stomach. He slept well Thursday night, and I decided to have him checked at the vet first thing Friday morning. Better safe than sorry! After an exam, the vet agreed that the diet change had probably caught up to Xander. The senior diet had a higher fiber content to keep things regulated. I recalled that Xander has sensitive stomach issues in his younger days until we found a food that suited him. The vet loaded us up with prescriptions, special intestinal food, and sent us on our way. He felt that Xander would do fine with a sitter, as long as she could dispense his pills. After delaying our trip a few hours to make sure Xander was alright, we finally hit the road.
We've had good reports from Mike's mom this weekend. All the dogs are fine, and we'll be heading home soon. I was able to enjoy our little getaway, and can't wait to get home to see the babies. As for the rejuvenating effects of the beach, the trip was priceless and has definitely ignited my Spring Fever! With the waves crashing, sun shining, and birds chirping, the beach is my favorite place to be, and it's even better with a good hound, or two or three! Hopefully they'll come along next time!!