Thursday, June 22
Beaverhead Campground, Clark Canyon Reservoir, south of Dillon, Montana
“Well, Rog, today is your big day. This is a life-changing day for you.”
Reggie, Roger and I are off to Dillon.
Roger has an 8:30 appointment for neutering surgery.
“Trust me, honey. It’s for the best.”
Reggie waits in the Perfect Tow Vehicle while Roger and I go inside.
“No, you can’t get in the chair.”
The assistant greets us and invites Roger to step on the scale to be weighed. My effort to have him stand still or sit fails. As best we can tell, Reggie weighs in at 12.2 pounds.
Time to say goodbye . . .
“You be a good boy, Roger. I’ll be back. I promise, sweetie.”
Besides the neutering, Roger will be tested for heart worms and micro-chipped.
At the counter, the assistant and I discuss how the day will play out. I explain that my phone isn’t working. I promise to check my email’s inbox frequently in case the clinic needs to be in touch.
If all goes according to plan, I will return at 3 p.m., bringing Reggie in for his heart worm check. After purchasing heart worm preventative and paying the bill, Reggie, Roger, and I will go home.
I return to Reggie waiting in the PTV.
I keep my tone light as I reassure Reggie that we will come back for Roger later.
As we drive out of the town of Dillon, Reggie becomes concerned. He looks up at me with the most pathetic face (photo at left).
Oh dear, he’s heartbroken. Poor guy. We have six hours before it’s time to get Rog. I need to distract Reggie somehow.
Instead of returning to camp, I turn onto the interstate and go north.
Our destination is a fishing access point where camping is allowed.
Reggie hangs his head in sadness.
I guess what he’s thinking:
“Roger was my best friend and now he’s gone. I won’t ever see him again. We won’t play fights. We won’t run together. No more friend, no more fun.”
“Here we are, Reggie! Let’s get out and explore!”
At Glen there’s a boat ramp, of course, and about six campsites.
The campsites are “rustic.”
By that I mean, you have a place to park (dirt), a fire ring, and an old picnic table, maybe with weeds growing up through it. These campsites aren’t meant for a lovely picnic.
What seems like a lousy campsite (see photo below) appears almost like heaven to anyone who loves fishing for trout because a few steps away from the site, beyond the bushes and trees, flows a blue ribbon trout stream — the Big Hole River!
Once his paws are on the ground, Reggie cheers up.
We walk the campground road. The photo below shows one of the better campsites. (You can drive around that big bush.)
Here’s another view of the campsite.
Reggie and I enjoy a walk to the river before boarding the PTV for the return drive to Dillon.
Instead of taking the interstate, we follow Route 91, a two-lane road through the dry landscape of ranches cut by precious streams.
As we approach town, I stop at an electric/propane place.
I ask about service for the Best Little Trailer and learn that no one is available for another week because they’re “working on a job in Deer Lodge.”
“I’m hungry, Reg. Let’s see about some lunch.”
We roll over to Van’s Grocery and I buy a few chicken tenders. After dining in the PTV (ha!), I walk Reggie around the parking lot. All the while — when at Glen Fishing Access, at the electric/propane place, in the grocery parking lot — I check my email inbox frequently.
Hmm. . . nothing from the clinic. Everything must be going well for Roger.
Finally Reggie and I pull up to the clinic.
It’s 2:45. I walk inside and when the two women behind the counter look up from their work I know there’s been a problem.
Uh-oh. They have that look that one has from dealing with a colicky baby or a crabby toddler for hours . . .
Turns out that Roger howled and cried and barked and fussed for hours after his surgery. He did not want to be alone so they brought him up to the front area. It was stressful for the staff and for a feline patient in labor.
Oh, geez. . . .
The clinic sent me an email AT NOON for me to please come and pick him up. (I didn’t receive the email until 3:31 p.m. Ah, technology is grand!)
Anyway . . .
Happy canine reunion! At least on Reggie’s part.
Roger is kinda’ out of it.
The bill . . . .
The total is near $300. I bought a 12-month supply of heartworm preventative for the boys, which is pricey. Since we’re not in mosquito country much, it should last us longer than a year.
(Jumping ahead to real time for a moment: Roger’s incision heals well and he doesn’t seem to miss anything.)
Roger sleeps a lot for the rest of the day.
Until bedtime . . .
Then he’s ready to play, play, play with his Best Friend Forever!
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