Sheila, Darlene and families backed up for their trip home and were both on the road before 11 am since they had work commitments on Monday – ah, yes, rushing back home in order to get to work on Monday morning is but a distant memory for us now!
The weather forecast did not look good for late afternoon so Ken and I decided to explore the state park a bit.
We stopped by the main store to get information on how we would be able to do a float trip using our Sea Eagle on the Niangua River. This state park has a beautiful central store that is very well stocked and is also the place to get information on all kinds of activities available in the area.
Bennett has their own rafting rental on the Niangua River but because of insurance reasons they cannot transport persons not using the park rental equipment and you can’t use their put-in spot. Ken and I went to check out the put-in spot just outside the park considering that next time we expect to take our Sea Eagle for a 1/2 day float.
The river was already busy with rafters.
With several more families getting ready to launch from the area where we were checking out for put-in.
There were two beautiful golden retrievers, Ruby and Dove, playing fetch with their owners nearby.
One of the young boys on shore lost his flipflop and Ruby, the female, obediently followed instructions to go out mid-stream to fetch and return the escaping shoe.
I struck up a brief conversation with the owners and found out that one of their retrievers had, in fact, had hip replacement surgery. She had worked for a vet and, yet again, I was hearing from someone hat it was likely that Ditka was in for some form of surgery based on his hip staying displaced for several days now. More on that at the end of this blog.
We dropped by the hatchery to have a look at the various sizes of trout they are raising.
Since I hadn’t posted the prior day’s blog yet, we also dropped by the dining hall where they have an area set up for wifi use.
Ken was anxious at his point to get back to the rig since he wanted to watch World Cup Final.
The timing was actually pretty good because as the game was nearing the end, our weather radio started going off. Between tornado watches, storm watches, flash flood watches, storm warnings, tornado warnings and flash flood warnings, it had to go off at least a dozen times over the next two hours. While we love the fact that this good old radio shack version automatically detects its current location and we don’t have to program to counties, we do wish we could program OUT the alarm going off for certain types of events which is an option available on newer versions. As Ken watched Spain win the Cup in extra time, I was frequently in the bedroom with my Missouri map tracking the storm paths to determine if we needed to be heading for shelter. Even though we had a tornado warning, the path was well north of the park, although the funnel cloud did actually touch down on Hwy 5 at Camdenton which is on our route home, about 20 miles up the road. I’m certainly glad our families got out of town earlier. We did get quite a bit of rain but the 70mph winds reported in the area never hit the park.
Since we ate with family every night up to this point, we decided that we’d make Sunday evening our night to try out the park restaurant.
The Dining Hall itself is a beautiful old stone building with open beam ceilings.
Unfortunately, by the time we arrived, they were out of their Sunday special chicken dinner, so we settle for a hamburger, a cheeseburger and french fries. Everything was very good and too filling for us to save room for their home made carrot cake or fruit pies. However, we did notice that some guests were coming in to get desserts-to-go, something we’ll probably consider next time after seeing how good they looked!
Outside the windows in part of the restaurant, there are several hummingbird feeders and these little rascals were just thick around there. Quite lively entertainment during dinner.
Despite the storms coming through, it was a quiet, enjoyable day at Bennett Springs, topped off with this lovely rainbow we got to enjoy as we ended the day and headed bag to the rig.
Before I sign off, it’s now Tuesday. I called our vet in here in Quincy about Ditka’s hip as soon we arrived home. Dr. Jim said that he’d save us an office call, since based on what we told him there was nothing he could do except send us to an orthopedic surgeon. He said it was possible that it would simply be a matter of a minor surgery and a pin to hold the hip. Dr. Scully, from Hannibal, happened to be doing rounds in Quincy on Tuesday so we were able to get in to see him this morning. The news was not good. He showed us that Ditka has serious hip displasia. This displacement was bound to happen since there is really very little bone holding his leg in the socket. There was so little holding the hip in that he could have the problem simply jumping off the bed. (So, no, I’m not letting Ken get out of vacuuming just because last time the dog got injured in the process!!) Because he is a lighter dog, the best option, which was also mentioned by the vet in Springfield, is Femoral Head Ostectomy surgery. While this is about 4 times cheaper than full hip replacement, we will still be looking at over a $1000 in costs before we are finished, not actually a line item in my budget but then we aren’t willing to consider letting him stay in pain or the even worse alternative. Dr. Scully wants to do the surgery immediately so we will be taking Ditka to Hannibal early tomorrow morning for the surgery and then going back to pick him up Thursday afternoon. The good news with this surgery is that they want the dog to start exercising very quickly after surgery to develop the necessary scar tissue and muscle development so we should not have issue with needing to keep him quiet. We’ll simply need to keep Sox separate until Saturday to allow for healing of the stitches and incision.
I’ll post an update as soon as we have the little guy back home and recuperating.