RV Travelers Pet Series: Maci’s Journey

As a writer, sometimes it’s hard not to feel incredible emotion with each word I put on my computer screen. I will sit back and stare at the screen while sobbing. But, sometimes this kind of emotion brings out some of my best work. This is one of those entries. Who would ever think our happy RV life could bring such detriment to my heart. Well, because in our They wanna go too pet series, I get to know these little heroes and their owners on a personal basis. I understand the struggle. We’ve been there. So, this blog I dedicate to a special little Corgi dog, Maci, who was larger than life.

In the summer of 2017, we were parked at Elkhart campground for a couple weeks to catch a breather from getting our fifth wheel warranty repairs completed. While I was taking my power walk one warm July afternoon, I noticed a red decal on the back of an Airstream that read: OurSomedayIsNow.

After finishing my walk, I pulled up their brand on Instagram and instantly made contact by private messaging them. I admit, the reason I wanted to meet them is because they had familiar looking dogs. Two hours later, Dan and I walked over to meet them in person.

We were greeted at the door by Nancy Brinkman and her partner, Paul along with their two vivacious little Pembroke Welsh Corgis, Maci and Jake. Those two Corgis, of course, stole the show. Jake was rolling around and frolicking on the grassy patch by their Airstream while we talked softly and gently petted little Maci who was in her pink handicap dog cart. Jake never left her side though and for good reason.. We learned Maci was a special little dog who lived large and loved even more.

Before I go on telling about Maci’s journey, allow me to share that we have this extraordinary love for Corgi dogs as our son was had one (Yoda) while he was growing up. And, pardon me for being partial to this breed, but I still think Corgi dogs are absolutely the best dog out there. I’ve never yet met a bad Corgi.

Referred to as a big dog in a little dog coat, their personalities are truly bold, spirited and comical. They have this look as if they always have something to say, smiling or are laughing at a funny joke. They typically are happy doing whatever their owners doing; whether its lounging on the couch all afternoon or hiking ten miles through the woods. They simply are, in my mind, the best dogs on Earth!

About OurSomedayIsNow Nancy & Paul…

Nancy was born, raised and lived in New Jersey for most of her life.  She moved to California, finalized her divorced and met Paul shortly after.

Since, Nancy and Paul have been full-time RV travelers for almost three years. They now live in their 40’ Foretravel motor coach; traveling mostly west of the Mississippi. They both work in their RV on the road which enables them to spend lots of quality time with their pups. They love to explore, cycle, hike, and sightsee with their Corgis.

Macy’s journey begins…

In 2003, Nancy got Maci when she was 8 weeks old.  As are all Corgis, she was vivacious and loving. She and Nancy were made for each other. However, fast forward to Maci’s ninth birthday, Nancy noticed something was amiss with Maci’s health. Her little Corgi was starting to stumble over her back paws periodically as she walked. Concerned, Nancy made an appointment with the Veterinarian to see what ailed her.

Maci was diagnosed with Degenerative Myelopathya neurological disease that is very similar to Lou Gerig’s disease.  There was nothing wrong with her body; just that her brain and body failed to communicate with each other. This is a disease that is known to be widespread in Corgis and Boxers. And, coincidentally seems to surface at around nine years of age just like it’s stricken Maci. When she was diagnosed, Nancy was told that her little girl would most likely start to inhibit breathing issues and by the time she lost her front paws her internal organs would start to fail.

Maci’s a strong-willed, little Corgi; none of what her Vet told her had occurred.  She never showed any signs of compromised breathing, digestive or other health issues. However, two years later, she lost the use of her back legs but the rest of her maintained virility.

Nancy and Paul bought Maci a little two-wheel K-9 Cart handicap cart made for dogs. She adapted well. The cart featured support for her back legs. She still had use of her front legs. Maci could still run around in her cart chasing and playing with their other Corgi, Jake.

Sadly, Maci progressively lost the use of the front legs. So, they reconfigured her cart to support all four of her legs. This certainly didn’t stop her zest for life or damage her spirit. She still enjoyed going for walks in her cart; only then Nancy or Paul had to pull her along.

By the time she turned twelve in 2015, her health progressively continued to fail her. She became incontinent requiring her to wear doggie diapers. Maci became a full quadriplegic dog.  Nancy and Paul would still take her everywhere and included her in every thing they did.

How do they manage their Veterinarian visits?

Maci had a vet in the town they used to live in; monitoring her disease intensely.  When Nancy and Paul decided to go out on the road they had a lot of things to consider. Maci needed to maintain her shots and flea, tick and heart worm regimen.   They communicated through phone discussions. Through the course of their travels, they consulted with Maci’s home Vet on a regular basis.

Because Maci’s immobility, she had much higher frequency of Urinary Tract Infections. So they had to seek Veterinarians wherever they happened to parked. Nancy would have to research to find a vet to get her the medication.

Finding an outpatient vet service was difficult during their travels. Sometimes they had to complete new patient paperwork just so she could get be seen by the doctor.  Many times, Nancy would leave the vet’s office crying because they would just tell her “you should just put her down”.

They didn’t know her little spirited Corgi like Nancy did. Maci yearning to live life on her terms and there was no stopping her. It came down to Nancy having to express her bladder repeatedly throughout the day to avoid Maci getting UTIs.

When it came to food, Maci was always an extremely vivacious eater.  There wasn’t anything that she wouldn’t eat.  Luckily, she had no restrictions or feeding schedules to have to deal with.

How Maci’s special needs and health impacted their RV travels and excursions…

The only impact that Maci’s disease had on Nancy and Paul’s RV travels was that they had to take and store a lot of gear for her to make her life more comfortable and enjoyable.  Maci had a handicap cart for her to do her business in, a doggie stroller for walks with her family. They also had a large stock supply of doggie diapers, wipes, puppy pads, extra dog beds and towels.

Unfortunately, Maci is no longer with Nancy, Paul and Jake. Her health took a turn for the worse in November 2017. Nancy’s made the grueling decision to lovingly send her to Rainbow Bridge where Maci could live even larger and run, jump and frolic as healthy Corgis do. Little Maci lived large for fourteen years.

Today, Nancy, Paul and Jake (now 9) still continue their RV travels. Their memory of Maci will always be bright as the shining star she was. And now when they look up at the dark southwestern sky above them during their boondocking adventures, they will see that one shooting star is Maci waving at them below.

Degenerative Myelopathy

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