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smallCraft NC
Capt Suz & Tybee Rowe sail the SOBX of North Carolina~
A Vigilant Gaze
winds of change
09 February 2013 | home at the cottage
This past week has taken our journey down another new stream of consciousness. My trusted companion of 14 years on the water has developed a heartbreaking illness where her quality of life and existence came into question.

As much as Kelly Belle has always been a keen observer, smart and a devoted protector, she has also been the best companion a girl could ever ask for. Ever at my side, come rain, cold, snow, floods, hurricanes, kids coming, kids going, a string of different boats along the past 14 years, she has retained a sense of happiness and joy with a stick wherever she's traveled. Whether she's hanging out the window confident that the wind in her face was a testament to our moving mission or standing on the bow of every vessel poised in the wind as if giving respect with her stance. Her disposition has brought joy and laughter to faces everywhere she goes on water and roadway!

This all came into question this past week when her sunny disposition became horribly devastated by a geriatric vestibular condition that took that all away. Her worsening condition came in short events similar to seizures and then in the middle of the night, the condition took her mind over completely. After numerous vet visits and emergency calls in the night, they finally came to this diagnosis having observed her condition in it's current status. And the irony here, this is a dog that has "more sea miles than most people" and yet the only medication the vets could recommend was seasickness pills! The vestibular condition attacks the area of her brain that controls her inner gyroscope that allows her to stand ready on deck. So as we work with her rehabilitation, it is as if we are trying to straighten out the saunter of a drunken sailor...and her gaze has been reduced to rapid eye movements as if she is spinning out of control.

The positive side of our decision to love & care for her condition was found in her alert nature, her physical strength, her desire to overcome and her responsive wagging tail.
What a blessing this wonderful sea~dog has been in my life, setting an example of devotional love and unwavering stamina in overwhelming odds against her.
God bless you my sweet companion, Kelly Belle~ may you stay forever young