How I Spent My Summer Vacation

IMG_2753There is something weird about booking a hotel in your hometown. It’s like going on vacation where you once lived. That’s how I’m feeling about staying at the Ramada Inn, my home away from home for the next month. Frumpy, even when it was newly built in 1986, the Ramada’s decor and design feel tired and sad after 30 years of wear and tear. So I felt a bit depressed when I arrived last Monday evening and opened the door to my musty room.


Teresa from the front desk brings Chuckles treats

But I am grateful for the Ramada. The hotel is located within walking distance to the NCSU vet school where Chuckles is receiving his radiation treatments. They also let your dog stay with you at a discounted room rate. All the staff are very friendly and seem to love dogs, another plus.

While unloading the car I met some fellow guests, Jeff and Laura, and their dog Cayden, an adorable Welsh Corgi. It was Cayden’s last week of his 4 week radiation protocol, the same treatment that Chuckles will be receiving. He looked great and Jeff and Laura said that he had tolerated the radiation quite well with no major side effects. Our conversation left me feeling encouraged for what lies ahead for me and Chuckles.


Laura and Jeff from Tennessee with their dog Cayden

On Tuesday morning we arrived at the Oncology Department for Chuckles’s MRI and CT scan. The very first person I saw when we walked in was Patti, a volunteer at the vet school who I’d met 4 years ago when Chuckles was a patient there for a different medical problem. Patti recognized us immediately and we had a sweet reunion.


Patti in her red volunteer jacket chats with a cat owner

As a volunteer, Patti walks the hallways of the hospital chatting with waiting and anxious pet owners, consoling and helping wherever she can. She is a calm and comforting presence who has herself been a client and can relate with the emotional train wreck of having a beloved pet who is very sick.

Good news with the MRI showed that the blood surrounding Chuckles’s tumor had all been reabsorbed. He received his first dose of radiation on Thursday and a second dose on Friday without incident. Unfortunately he must be anesthetized each time, as a dog cannot remain perfectly still for the radiation. To save  time, an IV port for the anesthesia was put in his back leg for subsequent treatments.


Chuckles outside Oncology

All of the doctors and technicians are very kind and compassionate, not to mention board certified in their fields of medicine. I know that Chuckles is in the best of hands receiving the best of care.


Just a few of the portraits

The walls of the waiting area and back hallways of the Oncology ward are lined with portraits of cats and dogs who have been successfully treated as cancer patients there. The hope is that they will encourage others to not lose hope. Their sweet faces are testimony to their resilience and to the love and dedication of their owners. A love that never dies.



4 thoughts on “How I Spent My Summer Vacation

  1. I am so glad that Chuckles is responding well to his treatment. I take Chase to the veterinary specialists in Maitland, FL tomorrow. I got a “chuckle” about the Ramada near the vet school, for two reasons. I have never stayed in a room there, but their restaurant used to be (and maybe still is) GREAT! I had many wonderful lunches there over the years, both alone and with friends. Be sure to get a Doggie Bag for Chuckles if you eat there.

    The second “chuckle” was thinking back to Feb. 2007, when I was in the process of moving back to Raleigh from Florida. Before moving my stuff into my Whitehall home, I had the place re-painted and replaced all the carpets. This took about a week after my closing. Guess where Chase and I stayed? Not the Ramada, but the Econo-Lodge at the entrance to Oak Park off Highway 70. It was also a bit of a dump, but it had a small fridge and a microwave, so I could have my meals in the room while taking care of Chase, who was allowed to stay in the room with me. I kept him in his crate whenever I went over to Whitehall to supervise the home improvements. All went well, and I still remember that time fondly.

    We are thinking of you and Chuckles every day. And of course Chase is always thinking of Doodlebug. He just loves cats, and I think it is because his first cat friend was such a great cat! Love to all, Linda and Chase

    On Sat, Aug 20, 2016 at 5:43 PM, The Bohemian Freethinker wrote:

    > thebohemianfreethinker posted: “There is something weird about booking a > hotel in your hometown. It’s like going on vacation where you once lived. > That’s how I’m feeling about staying at the Ramada Inn, my home away from > home for the next month. Frumpy, even when it was newly built in 1” >


    • Linda sounds like your set-up at the Econo Lodge was a lot like mine. Thanks for the tip about the restaurant. I have been pretty much living off of WholeFoods which is so conveniently close by! Please let me know what you find out tomorrow. I will be thinking of you too! Doodle-Bug is out sunning herself on the porch as I write this. She would be happy for Chase to visit! We all send our love to you and Chase.


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