We left Columbus, Tx on Dec 20th for Fontainebleau State Park. We knew this would be another long day of driving but decided that if we liked it there we would spend another couple days at one campground. While driving there, Vinnie began to whine as if something was hurting him and Kim noticed that he was having difficulty using his back legs. Vinnie has had back problems before and has had two surgeries for disc issues and had some residual weakness in his back legs. As we got closer to Mandeville, LA, it was obvious that Vinnie wasn’t doing well with his back legs and was hurting. Kim found an emergency veterinarian and made sure they were open. As soon as we got into Mandeville, we got the toad unhooked and Kim took Vinnie to be seen. Alan took the two girls and went to get settled at the state park. It was dark and the office was closed by the time Alan got there so it took a bit to find our reserved space. At the vet, Kim had them check Vinnie over and their best assessment was that he had another disc issue going on. He was started on some pain medication and steroids and had a follow up the next morning. We kept him resting all night. Unfortunately with the problems with Vinnie we didn’t get any pictures of the state park or to explore the area which looked nice and we have read good reviews on.
The next morning, Vinnie was about the same. During the night we had decided that for all his other treatment needs Kim would head to Raleigh with our car and get him seen by the vet that her daughter had worked for before going to basic training. Kim did take him in for his follow up and their suggestion was that he needed back surgery again. While Kim got started for Raleigh, Alan got the motorhome packed up and the girls ready for the drive. The motorhome was also at the point that it needed it’s first oil change. Luckily, I was able to find an oil change center close by that also specialized in RVs. Alan was able to get in right away and get the service taken care. The center, Easy Lube & Oil in Slidell was professional and had us taken care quickly so Alan was able to get on the way.
Kim had thought about driving all the way to Raleigh but as it got later in the evening made the wise decision to find a place to stay. She was able to find a hotel to stay at in Lumberton, NC for the night that was dog-friendly and had rooms. The area didn’t have a lot of open rooms as many people are still living in hotels as their homes are still be repaired from the damage caused by Hurricane Matthew. She was also close enough to Raleigh to not have an issue making it to Vinnie’s next appointment with the vet in Raleigh. Our daughter, Ally, was able to get Vinnie in right away with the vet practice she used to work at so it was important that Kim was close enough to make it to the appointment in the morning.
In the meantime, Alan had decided to see how far he could drive safely. My thoughts were initially that I could make it to about the South Caroline border. As the day progressed that didn’t seem to be feasible and once coming into Atlanta on I85 and getting on I285 and hitting rush hour traffic it was obvious this wasn’t going to work out. I was able to look up some Walmarts and find that the one in Madison did allow overnight RV parking. Alan and the girls pulled in and got settled for the night as best as possible. We aren’t big into this kind of stops but there is an advantage to Walmarts when in a hurry to get somewhere. The only problem with this stop was that a semi pulled into the parking lot during the middle of the night and kept it’s generator going all night.
The next morning Kim, with Vinnie and in the car, and Alan, with the girls and motorhome, both got up early and each headed toward Raleigh. Kim got Vinnie to his morning appointment at Hemlock Bluffs Animal Hospital and he was well taken care of by the staff. We had discussed ahead of time what we wanted to do for him and had decided that surgery wasn’t something we wanted to put him through again. He did great recovering the first time but was slower to recover the second time. Now that he was 13, we didn’t want to chance how he would do with surgery unless absolutely necessary. After having him seen by Dr. Parker and discussing options, we decided to do laser therapy and physical therapy for him rather than surgery. We will keep the blog updated on how he is doing with his recovery as we go along.
Alan made the drive to Raleigh without any issue and went straight to the RV campground we had decided to stay at. We were looking for one as close as possible to Kim’s daughter and found Raleigh Oaks RV Resort in Four Oaks. As it turned out this was a good choice as the campground was dog-friendly and well kept. There were a bunch of long term residents there but everyone kept their sites clean and picked up. It really looked no different than any other private RV campground. They had no issues with the fencing for the babies and we saw a few others with similar fencing.
Now that we were settled for a couple of weeks, it was time to work on Vinnie’s rehab, enjoy Christmas with family and explore the area. More on that and more about the Raleigh Oaks Park in the next post.