Dear Maia and Isaac,

Last Sunday, I accidently dropped Sazi on the pavement and she was paralysed because she has disc disease. I rushed her to the vet and they gave me medicine to take the swelling down from her spinal cord and pain meds.  I cried.  I felt so awful.  She screamed every time I picked her up for a few days.  I had to help her pee and she has to live in a carrier for 8 weeks.  Well, she stood on one leg on Wednesday and today, she started wagging her tail.  It is a positive thing that she is already regaining function in her tiny body.

Sazi gets to stretch her legs outside her carrier for a minute

I decided not to let that stop me from camping, although I did take Friday off to mow the lawn and take Sazi in for another laser treatment before we left.  We didn’t go far, just to Fruita about an hour away.  It felt further because the tent sites are walk-in and with Sazi being crippled, it just took longer.  Our campsite was right on the Colorado River.  It was a calming place.

View of the Colorado RIver from our campsite

One reason I love camping season is that I read my Kindle before bed in the tent.  My dogs always hang out on the sleeping bag while I learn more about whatever I am reading about.  Sazi has to wear diapers now, but I let her lay on the sleeping bag next to me for a bit.

Maizzy, Sazi (with a diaper), and Kachina.

Anyway, right now I am reading about one of my former teachers, Dr. Martin Seligman.  He was the one who taught me about positive psychology – and flourishing.  It is his autobiography.  He talks about his study on something called “learned helplessness.” He experimented on dogs and found that if you gave them unescapable shocks at an unexpected time that even if you let them escape later, they stop trying.  It reminds me a little of Sazi now, except she keeps trying to walk.  I think I got hopeless about things with your mom . . . things kept happening that were traumatic for me.  I learned to escape, I guess.  I miss all of you terribly, but not the pain.

Colorado River State Park – near our campsite

Saturday, we set out to hike a paved trail that was supposed to be scenic, but it just followed the freeway for a long time, so we went back to the campsite for a bit.  Sazi’s carrier goes in the stroller and I put Maizzy in a backpack.  It was super windy, too. I didn’t get dogs to be a nurse to them, but between Maizzy’s heart and Sazi’s legs, it is sort of exhausting.  But, we went back and hiked by the Colorado River on a paved path in the State Park where we stayed.  It was a better path than in the morning.

Maizzy in her backpack on the Colorado Riverwalk
Our walk along the Colorado River

Today, we drove over the Colorado National Monument.  It is a pretty place with big rock structures.  I love the red rock.  And, the Monument is special.  I remember my first time over with my college pals the first week I lived in Grand Junction.  I drove over with my bride’s maid the night before my wedding.  I have driven over so many times, but now that I live in Montrose, it is a real treat.

Colorado National Monument – Fruita side
Colorado National Monument – Grand Junction side

On the way back, we stopped at the park in Delta and the Traveling Wall was there – like the one in Washington DC that we have visited together.  I remember going with you several times.  The last time, there was too much that happened when we got home . . .  worst night of my life.  Like shocking a dog, I guess.  We just have to be like Sazi and learn to wag our tails anyway!

The Traveling Wall in Delta

PS – I hope Sazi can walk by the end of camping season.  It will be winter before we know if she needs wheels or not.

Love, Grandma Hartt

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