Postcard from Maine- 1

16-19 June 2012

Durham, ME

Getting acquainted with Annie

It’s taken a few weeks since we left Benson, AZ, but we have finally made our way to Durham, ME… over 3,800 miles when you include the running around to see things and to shop, eat- whatever.

‘So who do you know in Durham?’ Not a soul! But my son and his family live about 10 miles away in Yarmouth, and a cruising-days friend lives in North Yarmouth. So this will be home base for a week or so as we do some visiting.

We arrived and got set up on Saturday after a short day of driving. And a good thing that it was short as these hills, which are not high at all compared to the Rockies or the Sierras, have very substantial grades to get over them. We’ve been getting terrible mileage (it was less than 9 mpg this time) since we hit Upstate New York.

Our grand-daughters Elin & Ingrid and their mom Stephanie arrived Saturday afternoon for a short visit and got to meet our dogs Annie and Kelly. It went well which was a relief as we were concerned about how big the dogs are and how small the girls are. Even Kelly, the smaller of our two berners, weighs about 50# more than our youngest grand-daughter Ingrid. But Kelly sat surprisingly still as she tried to figure out what these strange miniature people with squeaky voices were all about!

The next day was Sunday, Fathers Day. Off we went to lunch at Harraseeket Lunch and Lobster Co., a lobster shack in  So.Freeport that’s on a pier. So. Freeport is a small seaport south of Freeport, the touristy home of LL Bean, and Freeport adjoins the very rural town to Durham where we’re staying. The Admiral has been talking about having lobster since the last time we were in Maine in 2008, so this was a big deal. And Harraseeket didn’t disappoint. Brad, my-son-the-lobster-snob, said he gave them negative-points for having anything green in the roll, but we 2 lobster-deprived ex-New Mexicans kind of liked the tiny pieces of Romaine or whatever it was. When he ignored the greens, he admitted these were pretty darn good lobster rolls.

Fwiw, a whole lobster costs less than a lobster roll cuz the latter contains meat from more than just the claws and the tail; someone has to spend time picking thru the rest of the body getting the little tasty bits and pieces, so it’s labor-intensive. Nothing has been wasted when you have a lobster roll except the shell, the gills, and the tomally/tamale/tumally (pick your spelling; it is used for certain things).

Winslow Beach Campground

The ‘army’ marching into the woods with the
Admiral guarding the rear. You’d almost think
she used to do this for a living!
Annie letting Elin believe she has control!
Ingrid ‘walking’ Kelly…
with only a little help from Brad!
Anchorage off the point
Wild buttercup in the park
Small schooner reaching toward the anchorage

The crowds were overwhelming at Harraseeket’s and we were glad to be on our way to Winslow Beach Campground to go for a walk around the point and to let the kids play in the playground. We had a great walk with minimal crowds… I think they were all at Haraseeket Lunch & Lobster Co.! And Elin & Ingrid had a great time ‘walking’ them. That means there was an adult hanging onto the end of the leash cuz I didn’t want to think what would happen to these light weights if something attracted the dog’s attention!

When we got to the playground, Elin said more than once that Annie was getting slimy goop on her. I figured it was the usual wet nose stuff since berners don’t drool like Newfies or St. Bernards. Should have checked quicker cuz it turned out that Annie was drooling excessively and acting a little weird. Then the diarrhea started.

Dog trouble. Again.

It wasn’t a premonition, but for some strange reason I’d entered the number for an emergency vet in Scarborough, ME which is open 24/7. I called them and told them we were coming. Thankfully their address was in the latest Garmin directory (you do keep your GPS updated, right?!) so we got there without too much traffic-drama. While we were checking in and later in the examining room, Annie was leaving puddles of saliva. And by this time her gums were very red. The vet, Dr. Kevin Cowan, went thru the usual questions ‘did she eat this, that or the other’. Bottom line was, he thought it was mushroom toxin. That’s when Celia said she had seen a lot of mushes in the undergrowth. And Annie is a  grazer that snags anything she can find. So that’s the consensus. Plus Elin said she had seen a mushroom, then it disappeared. Brad was skeptical (she makes up stories like her grandpa Bowman), but it was certainly prophetic.

The vet recommended keeping her overnight, giving her activated charcoal to coalesce the toxins, do blood work, then kept an eye on her. We agreed, approved the estimate, gave them a deposit, and drove back to the RV to worry all night. We got a call at 5 AM to say that somewhere around 3 or 4 AM she had thrown up, but by 5 AM her blood work was looking pretty good. They asked for some of her special diet as they were going to try food later. We delivered that by 9:30 AM (30+ miles in commute traffic takes awhile), then returned to the RV. About 1:30 PM they said we could come get her. She was one happy camper when she laid eyes on us! We got her home where she drank an inordinate amount of water, ate dinner, then went to sleep for hours.

Annie’s doing great now, though I was very startled when she passed a stool that was black. Then I recalled they gave her activated charcoal. She’s getting meds to guard against any secondary infection and to keep her tummy settled, but all-in-all I think we’ve dodged a very large caliber bullet!

Bottom line: if you’re in the Portland area and need emergency help for your pet, we feel we had excellent care from Maine Veterinary Referral Center in Scarborough, ME, 207-885-1290. They’re located very near Scarborough Downs off US-1.

Spaghetti Dinner

Big feed in the back yard

Elin, Ingrid and Stephanie

Brad got home early (he usually works awful hours!) and made a spaghetti dinner from the sauce Stephanie made earlier. We had a great feed of spaghetti, spinach & kale with onions and shepherd’s bread. Then later we had strawberry shortcake that Steph and the girls picked earlier… strawberries are just coming into season here. Seemed to us they were having a late spring, but they told us this is about normal since we’re at 44 deg N latitude.

Stephanie and the girls will come over to the park on Wednesday. It’s supposed to be 91 deg F (yuck!) , so the swimming pool sounded like a good option!

About bruce10b

Celia and I are full-time RVers wintering (and now summering!) in southeast AZ. Our 2 Bernese Mountain Dogs, Annie & Kelly, prompted the name of this blog but sadly are gone because of kidney failure. They will live forever in our hearts.
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2 Responses to Postcard from Maine- 1

  1. HTBT says:

    Beautiful, beautiful pix of the girls & A & K! Priceless! Very glad Annie is ok. Poor baby!

  2. Annie was one sick puppy! We thought we might lose her, so it was really scarey. I've mentioned the activated charcoal to some folks who reacted like "well doesn't *everybody* know that?!" My son Brad said it's readily available in the health food store. It's the same old story… the father is the last to know! 🙂

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