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On the Road Again; Farewell, Gretchen… A New Home; Hello, Nellie! Grumpy Rudy…

On the road again…  It’s June, and I haven’t posted since October. We have had some difficult times, and frankly, I haven’t felt much like writing. We had been in our new home in South Carolina for about 3 weeks and had just finished unpacking boxes when I was scheduled for a simple outpatient medical “procedure” to clear an obstruction in my throat, an esophageal diverticulum. The procedure, which the doctor assured me would take about an hour, and then I’d be on my way home for a hike or a bike ride, involved the doc using an endoscopic laser to remove the offending tissue that was obstructing my throat. Imagine my surprise (nay, consternation) when I awoke in a post-surgical ward with a 4 inch incision in my throat, drain tube from my chest, a feeding tube through my nose and an IV, and found that I had five days to spend in the hospital in Savannah, an hour’s drive from home. I DON’T LIKE SURPRISES!!! The worst came that night when I almost bled out from a ruptured jugular vein. Thanks to an exceptional senior resident, my near death event turned out as well as could be expected. But recovery has been very slow, and for two solid months I endured serious insomnia. IT WAS NOT FUN!

Then on Christmas Day, we lost our precious little Gretchen, one month short of her 14th birthday. She was a sweet, quiet little girl, and a world class, award-winning kisser. She never complained, and we miss her so much… Thanks to our dear friends Beth and Mike Pasakarnis who made her transition as painless as possible. We know she is still with us as an Angel Dog…

On the positive side, we are all settled into our new house. Suzanne is especially happy with her meditation room where she also does readings, her weekly radio show and on-line courses. Our back yard backs up to a small lagoon, and one day this great blue heron was seen walking around. We don’t go near the water’s edge because of the alligators…

Thanks to a dear friend, Jean Marie Randall, I now have a proper sign for my very own parking place! 

The beach at Hilton Head is a great place to walk, and Suzanne even found an office with a view…

We also get out for bike rides and long walks in our community, which has a small nature preserve and several ponds, including this one where the sunset views are spectacular.

The fishing is usually pretty good from a nearby dock… this cute fisherwoman is happy with her catch… “Great job Suzanne, just get 30 more and we’ll have a meal!”

After we lost Gretchen, we found that we needed another little girl to lighten up our lives. We also thought that Rudy, who was used to playing with his little sister for the past 14 years, would benefit from a playmate… well, batting 50% isn’t too bad… Meet Nellie, a long haired English Cream Dachshund… she weighed only 2 1/2 lbs when she joined our pack.

Nellie likes napping on her back, alongside her favorite chewtoys… it’s also a good way to get a belly rub from Mom and Dad!

For the first couple of weeks, she also slept on Suzanne’s throat, which was a little weird….

Rudy’s initial reaction was positive, but at the end of the first day, we are sure we heard him say, “Wait… do you mean that she is staying???”  Rudy is 15 years old, and pretty set in his ways… and he can be a bit grumpy – adjusting to this new little girl has been tough for this old dog.

Finally, we see that they are getting along pretty well… sometimes. Here is Rudy teaching Nellie how to use the water bowl…

I will continue with short blog posts until I catch up with life in South Carolina and on the road. Our travels this summer will take us through Atlanta, Tulsa, Flagstaff, Zion National Park, Salt Lake City, Boise, and into the mountains of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, then back home via Longmont, Kansas City, Tuscumbia, Chattanooga, Charlottesville, Fairfax, and Asheville. We are looking forward to our adventures through the Heartland and the mountains, happy to be back on the road to see our great country and meet more wonderful people!


  • Brad
    Posted June 25, 2020 at 3:46 am

    Good to see your post! I think I told you all a few months ago but we lost our dachshund Simon earlier this year. We are now looking for a replacement for our remaining dog. Tough to lose our pets and that unconditional love.
    Hoping our paths will cross as you get close to East Tennessee! Brad

  • angeldust
    Posted June 25, 2020 at 3:46 am

    Hey Ty, so good to see you back here with your great writing skills. Have missed you. Sorry you had the strenuous experience with the surgery, yet what a story to share! More importantly, you have healed!! So happy to hear this.

    Nellie has such a sweet face. I know you and Suzanne have found the perfect girl for a perfect home. It sounds like your road travels will take you to some special places. Enjoy all that’s out there and don’t drive any faster than your angels can fly!! Have a wonderful summer. Be safe and well. I send light and love as you continue on your journey.♥️

  • KarenMBrothers
    Posted November 22, 2020 at 1:03 am

    Wonderful to have you back to posting, Ty! It has been an eventful 6 months for you and Suzanne. Love and light to you both and the pups! ❤️

  • Beverly G
    Posted November 22, 2020 at 1:03 am

    Yay! I'm so glad your blogs are back, Ty. I was really missing "Life as Ty Sees It". I look forward to "traveling with you" this summer.


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