Tough Decisions – By Erin

My Chicky and Buster, with a few Texas Bluebonnets.

Howdy Folks,

It’s been a while since we’ve posted and that’s mainly due to the fact that Kara and I have had our hands full with a ton of projects both at home and on Vela.  Most of the time we’re pretty upbeat on our little blog here, because for the most part this whole process has been pretty fun and exciting.

But as they say, it’s not all rainbows, unicorns and sunny beaches.  Sometimes the decisions and steps required to prep for the lifestyle we so badly want…is really really tough.  This is one of those times and I just thought I’d share.

Today, we dropped our dog Buster off with two of our best friends…to stay.  We’ve begun the process of selling our lake house, a place that both Kara and I love and if we weren’t planning to cruise, would definitely keep for the long term.  But since we’ll be leaving to cruise, it makes sene to sell the house for several reason.  Primarily, because it’s expensive, far from work, further from the boat and worth a good deal more than when we bought it 5 years ago, which means it will feed the cruising kitty and let us completely payoff Vela (and possibly the condo).  But all that’s just $ and not really the important thing here.

We knew when we began our journey towards cruising, that we would eventually have to give up Buster and that’s honestly been one of the hardest parts of the whole “dream”.  We personally know people that have cruised with their dogs and have read several blogs along those lines as well but we knew that for us and Buster that just wasn’t an option.  You see, Buster is a German Shorthaired Pointer (GSP) and is very high energy.  He’s not happy unless he gets an hour (or more) of very high intensity exercise, something we know we can’t provide regularly on the boat.  We also know that we want to go places where his being from the US would cause too many issues due to many countries who are unaffected by rabies requiring serious quarantine time for animals from the US.  Buster’s just not the kind of dog who wants to live on a boat, in fact he hates it on the boat.  So while we completely understand why others would never want to make the decision to give up their trusted friend and choose to take them cruising with them, we knew it wasn’t the right fit for Buster.  He doesn’t even like spending weekends on Vela, much less living there full time.  He needs to run and chase SQUIRRELS and deer and roll in the grass and pee and poop on just about everything.

So yeah, we knew this day was coming.  Of course that doesn’t make it any easier.  The fact that he went to live with our good friends and their two daughters does helps a bit.  He knows them well and loves them and they love him.  In fact, he’s stayed with them many many times in the past when we’ve been traveling.  That and the fact that they recently lost their dog, makes this seem like a natural fit for everyone and we know that Buster will be happy there.  Now we just have to get our heads around it.

So I’m just sitting in the back yard, of a house we both love, staring at the lake and listening to the birds as the sun sets and hoping we’re not crazy to be selling this place…and wondering why it’s so damn quiet.  It’s going to take some time to get used to life without our Buster-dog around.  In my head I know it was the best thing for him, but it still hurts my heart to look down at my feet and not see him curled up there…

Our next major project will be selling the house and moving back into our condo.  We had hoped we could make it work living at the house and while it’s been a great year…the reality is that it’s just too long of a drive for us.  We should be moving things back into the condo at the end of the month one way or the other.  The great news is that we’ll be dogsitting Buster several times over this summer and will see him as often as possible.  Still, this is a tough day.

For me, it’s probably the hardest one I’ve had since we started this whole process.  I’m just completely drained emotionally.

But hey, if it was easy everyone would be doing it. I just have to focus on the fact that it’s the best move for Buster.  Once I can wrap my head around that, it’s back to the never ending list of boat projects.  After all, a year isn’t much time to knock out the rest of the refit list and get ready to start our cruising adventure.  And once you go through something like this as part of that preparation process, it somehow makes you feel more committed to untying those dock lines and going.

So I know we’ll get there eventually but right now all can think is…I miss you Buster Boo.

Me and my buddy

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