Monday morning, Sunneva calls. She had taken Tracy to the vet and we should expect a call from the vet.Â We are in Florida visiting my folks, Disney, and NASA. We are set to fly home the next day on a direct flight. The vet calls, and Tracy has another urinary blockage. Through the day and several phone calls attempts to catheterize him fail and there are two options left – another more intense surgery, or euthanasia. Adam & I discuss it and decide that it is time. The vet will keep him comfortable and our flight lands at 5 on Tuesday, enough time to get to the vet and say our goodbyes. Worst case they will keep him on pain meds and express his bladder and we will be there first thing Wednesday.
Tuesday we pack and go online to check in. Wait, why does the boarding pass say the flight leaves at 5:40 and not 3? Quick call to the airline and confirm – flight is delayed. Call and reschedule our ride to the airport, finish packing, and hang with the folks some more including a lunch of leftover lamb shanks from Flakowitz.
We get to the airport at 4:15 and check in and told the flight is now 6:30. Bad weather in the northeast is wreaking havoc with all the air traffic on the eastern seaboard. We go to the bar and wait and watch as the flight slowly gets later and later until finally – canceled. We go stand in line with a hundred and fifty other people and finally are told they can get us home on a direct flight Friday arriving at 5, or on a change over through JFK on Thursday at midnight. Two options pick one. We choose Thursday at midnight, are given a hotel voucher and a voucher for a single meal – yes, we are stuck two extra days but they only give one meal voucher – we are told to submit the receipts for the remaining meals.
We get to the hotel and I call the airline. I am told they can get us home tomorrow (Wednesday) if we can get o West Palm Beach. Its a 2:20 flight, arrives at JFK at 6pm, and then there is a flight from JFK to Raleigh at 10pm getting in at midnight. We feel its a race against time and take the flight with no idea of how we are going to get to PBI from the hotel, but its 10pm we are hungry and that is tomorrows problem.
We order pizza and I go across the street to the gas station and grab some wine. They have a nice wine selection but not a single cork screw. I trudge back to the hotel and ask for a cork screw and am told they dont have one. They suggest the other hotel next to the gas station. I go back across the street where the nice bar tended opens my wine and gives me glasses. And I am not even staying there. She gets a nice tip.
We wake up and I call my cousin. No sooner are the words describing our situation out of my mouth and he says that he is on his way.We watch TV and talk about Tracy and I tell Adam I can almost feel him nuzzling against my glasses. We cry. Charlie, my cousin, gets to the hotel and we load up the car and are off to West Palm. I ell Charlie that if he ever needs a kidney I would help him hold down one of his brothers so we could get one. He laughs and tells me he doesn’t drink that hard anymore so he probably wont need one but if he does he will let me know.
We get to West Palm Beach airport, say goodbye to Charlie, and go check in. We go to the gate and, of course the flight is delayed.
We go get some lunch at the Chili’s in the terminal. I look at the menu and dont see the El Presidente. I ask and am told that despite it not being on the menu, they do have it. I order one and Adam says “I’ll have the same.” A few minutes go by and the bar tender brings us an El Presidente and a Sam Adams. We get that cleared up and Adam orders a cheese steak and is told they dont have that any more. So, we accept that the menus are useless and move on. Food comes, and we are asked if we want another round. We say no, and the waitress replies “ok, two more Presidentes coming up” OK, menu is useless and the wait staff doesnt listen. Great. We finish eating, pay and get back to the gate.
The flight finally boards takes off and lands at JFK about an hour late. Not too bad as we had a four hour layover ahead of us. We find the gate, wonder around browsing the shops, read, get some less full of fail dinner, and head back to teh gate. Flight is delayed.
They finally board us and we sit on the plane. Finally, a flight attendant comes on and announces that she lives in Raleigh and is trying to get home. The flight crew is one attendant down due to other plane delays and they are checking to see if she is legal to work this flight so they can get us off the ground. Adam looks at me and comments that he will believe we are getting home when the plane actually lands and we get off and get our bags.
The plane finally does land at about 1:30 and Wystric is there, G-d bless him, to pick us up.Â He takes us home, we go and get Garbo from Charlotte and all four of us – Adam, Hepbrun, Garbo and me – collapse on the couch together and fall asleep.
We wake up at around 8:30 and head over to the vets. We spend some time with Tracy saying goodbye and let him pass gently into the night. The last thing he does when I hold him is nuzzle my glasses leaving a big streak across the left lens. I drive home and type this up and still have not cleaned my glasses. Goodbye, buddy.