Pepper was still not great in the morning, so we needed to get him to a vet. We got an early start and headed for Portland, 35 miles away. On our way out, we waved goodbye to our new friends on Emilie B. It was a beautiful, clear, calm sunny day and we had a quick, easy run. We were in Portland before noon. On the sailboat it would have taken more than five hours in good conditions. It took us three and a half. That’s what 480 horsepower will do for you.
The Portland Lobster Boat Races were just getting under way as we approached: there was a large crowd of boats gathered around enjoying the races and the beautiful summer day. It was a fun spectacle to see, but we were on a mission so we didn’t linger. DiMillo’s Marina found us a slip for a few days, and the Emergency Clinic at Portland Veterinary Specialists told us just to bring Pepper in whenever we could.
We got settled in our slip on the “big boat” side of the marina. We would have to move after the first night, as they were very busy and had to be creative to get us in at all, but they were great. We called for an Uber ride, endured a rather long trip thanks to heavy summer traffic, and got to Portland Veterinary Specialists 24-hour emergency clinic by three in the afternoon.
Just a pause here to say that as we have travelled around the country in the last few years with two dogs, one of which has some chronic issues, we have needed vets. Everywhere we have gone, without exception, we have discovered wonderful clinics and hospitals with terrific staff who have cared for our fuzzy family members with great concern, thoughtfulness and skill. One of the receptionists in at the Fidalgo Animal Medical Center in Anacortes, WA offered to drive several miles to pick us up in her own car on a pouring, rainy day. At the Upper Keys Veterinary Hospital in Islamorada, FL, a vet tech helped us to remove a painful sand burr embedded in one of Pepper’s paws, and wouldn’t let us pay for it. At the Charleston Veterinary Referral Center in Charleston, SC the doctors and staff basically saved Pepper’s life when we brought him in with acute pneumonia. These are just a few of the heroes we have met along the road. We thank them all.
Portland Veterinary Specialists was no different. The reception staff welcomed us like old friends; the techs did a thorough history of Pepper, and the doctor was thoughtful and thorough, giving us all the time we needed to discuss his case and consider options. It was all very comforting. We left armed with a new arsenal of ideas and options to keep Pepper healthy. Thank you thank you.
Here’s to cruising with pets, and the veterinary professionals who help us keep them healthy and happy travelers.