RIP Little Sunny & Updates

Best Camping Buddy ever

Best little camping buddy ever.

Little Sunny’s camping days are over.  Besides going blind and deaf, his hip sockets would give and often his legs would go straight out to the sides when he bent down to eat, drink… or sometimes for no apparent reason.  And he completely forgot his potty training.

My little ragamuffin buddy coming out of his sweater at White Tail Ridge.

My little ragamuffin buddy coming out of his sweater at White Tail Ridge.

But it was the dementia that finally defeated him.  At the last, he would wander around, bewildered, in circles.  He would get lost in a room and not know how to get out.  He would stand in corners, apparently waiting for a door to open.  He even became unable to find his food bowl, and I would have to put him in front of his food and water bowls to make sure he ate and drank.

Sunny waiting for Mom at Cotton Hill COE

Sunny waiting for Mom at Cotton Hill COE

He still loved his Mom, but his life just got too hard for him.  So we had him put down last week.  Sunny loved having his neck rubbed more than anything, so I was doing that when the vet gave him the shot.

Although I miss the little guy more than I can say, I am so relieved that his life is no longer a bewildering maze of the unknown.

June was a tough month.  My favorite aunt died, so we went down to Florida to the funeral.  We stayed and visited family several days, got back home, and got a call that my uncle had died, too.  So we went back and attended his funeral 2 weeks to the day after my aunt’s.

Sunny at the Casita window at Ft. Pickens

Sunny at the Casita window at Ft. Pickens

But it was so precious to get to see our cousins that we hadn’t seen for many, many years.  It felt like getting a new crop of sisters.  🙂

I had a couple of major emphysema flareups, but I’m doing great now — except for the weight that my meds keep packing onto me. Two of my sisters are laughing at my concern.  Their advice — I’m old now.  Eat strawberry cheesecake and don’t worry about it.  😀

Sunny camping in the Aliner before we got the Casita.

Sunny camping in the Aliner before we got the Casita.

Ron and I have started going through our things and sorting them into trash, donate, sell and keep piles.

We plan to camp this winter in Florida, and hopefully sell our place sometime soon.  We’d like to fulltime for a while.

But eventually we want to move near my sisters — if this place sells, of course.  If not, we’ll still spend our winters in Florida.

Being able to spend time with my family is more important to me than great adventure out West.  So we’ll probably stick pretty close to the Southeast.

I have felt pretty “blogged out”  lately.  Hope that changes when we get back on the road again.  🙂

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  1. I’ve been wondering and worrying about how you were getting along. Sorry to hear the bad news. Have been through that so many times – I know how very much it hurts. Super big hugs from both of us.

    Virtual hugs,


    • Thanks, Judie. It has been a tough month, but I can’t imagine how my cousins feel after losing both parents so close together.

      It is helping us a lot to busy ourselves getting rid of the stuff that keeps us here.

      I appreciate the hugs! 🙂

  2. Shelly

     /  July 20, 2015

    I’m so sorry to hear about sunny. And your aunt and uncle. Sounds like a rough time for you. Keep your chin up and hugs from iowa

  3. You’ve been on my mind so much lately – it’s a relief to know that you and Ron are okay, although you sure have your share of hardship right now. Losing Sunny is hard – pets have a way of making themselves front and center in your life, and there just really isn’t anything like that.

    Hope that you continue on with your dream of beocming a full-timer. You’ll be a great one – inventive and dedicated to living a more simple life.

    Sorry to hear that you are blog fatigued – I look forward to reading your blog so much. You have so much of that outdoorsy knowledge that I crave. When you post about foraging, I wander around, looking at the ground and under stumps.

    Hope life is kinder to you and Ron soon, Sharon. Count me among the many people who wish you the best.

    • Judy, your post really warmed my heart.

      I have been intensively studying mushrooms every night. Tonight I correctly identified 298 mushrooms in a flash card-type quiz. I need to get out and camp so I’ll feel the thrill of hunting them again. It’s not the same at home!

      I did find one, just one, agaricus campestris in my Mom’s yard when we were down last. I only had a 10″ frying pan, but it didn’t bother me a bit to heat it up to saute my little 3″ mushroom. It was one of those that was so good you want to stomp your feet!

      I also found 3 superb yellow hygrophorus milkies (sp?), but was too busy to cook them so I had to throw them out. Broke my heart! 🙂

      Sometimes I surf looking at small dogs. But it’s not the right time for me to get another one yet. It would be the last dog I will ever have so it has to be the right one… and my heart needs to heal a bit more.

      • After one of your earlier posts, I downloaded the the free Myco app. As I suspected, I’d better not eat anything I find in the woods! But, I do love their ID system. Please don’t give up your blog! Cheers to you and Ron.

        • Judy, I’m so glad you got the app. I have found two more that I am just crazy about. One is Mushrooms Pro. It has several photos for each mushroom (8 for the BayBolete and I counted nine on another one). The quiz is a lot more challenging because they show a different photo for the mushroom each time and there is little repetition. What drives me batty is that they use common names instead of including the latin name on the quiz, and common names vary from location to location.

          I also LOVE the Audobon mushroom app for three reasons. First, all of the mushrooms are North American mushrooms and he tells which part of the country they grow in. Secondly, I have heard that he is an extreme gentlemen wherever he goes and is patient with people asking him the same questions over and over again. And thirdly, the hard copy of his Audobon Mushroom guide is where I got the courage to eat my first wild oyster mushroom. 🙂

          I don’t even attempt to identify the mushrooms I find beyond genus anymore, unless I think it might be a nice edible or is especially intriguing. But I do love photographing all of them.

          In the past I made several mistakes in calling some edibles poisonous because they are related to deadly ones. But I’d much rather err on the side of caution.

          I can’t tell you how tickled I am that you got the app. An easy way to start learning the different kinds of families is just to pick up a mushroom, turn it upside down, notice if it has gills or pores, or a ring around the stalk or not… it will automatically train you to start noticing differences. Because in the beginning, they all just look like mushrooms!

          I plan to keep up the blog, but not as often until we get on the road again. Unless I find some cool stuff that I just must share!

  4. I am so sorry to hear about Sunny. I know how you feel. I lost my camping cat a couple months ago and it was devastating. Sunny had a wonderful life. Hugs from Iowa!

    • Oh Brad, I am so sorry to hear about your losing your kitty. Was it Sabrina?

      Thanks for the hugs… and I’m sending some to you, too.

  5. Kathy

     /  July 20, 2015

    So Sorry to hear about Sunny and your Aunt and Uncle! That’s so much to deal with in a short time!! How you must miss them all! Hugs!

    • The special thing about my aunt was that she was one of the few people I felt loved me unconditionally when I was a child. I am so blessed to have known her.

      And little Sunny… he was a once-in-a-lifetime gift, too.

      I’m loving all these hugs! 🙂

  6. So sorry to hear about your aunt, uncle, and of course Sunny.
    I can tell from the photos that Sunny was a wonderful camping companion. Our dogs, like yours, are part of the family and it is always hard to let go.
    Also glad to hear you are feeling better and have plans to be out and about.

    • Yes, I called Sunny my baby boy. That’s what he was to me.

      Thanks for the good wishes. We really are looking forward to getting out again. Right now the only thing that keeps us here is having to keep the huge yard mowed. But we’ll squeeze in some camping trips when the weather drops out of the 90’s and into the 80’s.

      • Sharon I sent you a text explaining in more detail about the posting I just made. It no longer displays my name but the name of my newly created word press account.

  7. I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your travel companion and family members too..

  8. Gene Masse

     /  July 21, 2015

    Sorry to hear about your pet. They can become family and it hurts to see them go. Remember the good times.

    • Camping with little Sunny were the best times of my life. It is a joy remembering. And it does help to remember that we did everything humanly possible to give him a happy doggie life.

  9. Marcia GB in MA

     /  July 21, 2015

    I was just thinking about you yesterday, so it was a nice surprise to see your post this morning. I am so sorry to hear about the losses of Sunny and your aunt and uncle. It’s difficult to deal with so much death in such a short time. May your memories be your blessings.

    Our dog Tanya is experiencing all the same infirmities of old age as your Sunny did. I am struggling to make the decision for her. What you said about being relieved that Sunny’s life was no longer a bewildering maze of the unknown really it home for me. It’s time.

    Sending many good thoughts your way as you prepare for the changes ahead!

    • “May your memories be your blessings.” So beautifully put!

      I have always heard that you will know when it’s time to let a pet go. In retrospect, I kept putting off the inevitable selfishly. Only after Sunny was gone did it sink in how difficult his little life had become for him.

      Thanks for the good wishes. And I wish you peace in your decision about Tanya. My heart goes out to you… and her.

  10. I’m so sorry you have been through some tough times. I love your blog and your posts. David and I are slowly downsizing. Our little Chihuahua and our cat are both getting up in years. Hang in there, and know you have friends all over the country thinking and praying for you.

    • I am always amazed at the wonderful comments people leave on my blog. Thank you so much. I especially appreciate the thoughts and prayers. 🙂

      We are not rushing at the downsizing. That way it’s not so stressful. When we are tired, we move on and do something else until we are ready to tackle the sorting again.

      Even though it is devastating to deal with an aging pet, the years they give us are priceless. I am already looking for another dog, but want to wait until all the upheaval in the house in over. I can’t imagine life without a little furbaby to love.

  11. Gail

     /  July 21, 2015

    What a fitting tribute and beautiful way to say goodbye to little Sunny.

    • Gail, there were so many pictures of him camping with us in so many places. It was so sweet remembering all those times. He was a tremendous blessing to me and, as you know, helped me through some very difficult times. 🙂

  12. Darla

     /  July 21, 2015

    I’m sorry to hear about Sunny and your aunt and uncle. Sometimes it seems like life piles on the troubles all at once. It’s hard to find comforting words, except that I understand and hope the pain of missing them lessens with time, to be replaced with sweet memories. Time with family and more travel and outdoor time seem like they will help, too.

    • Darla, it does seem like life dumps truckloads of trouble at a time. But I am trusting that the bad times are behind us and we’re heading into a good streak for a while.

      You can’t imagine what a difference all these comments from people who really care has made.

      And yes, camping and family are our greatest happiness.

      And my blog readers. :).

  13. Emily

     /  July 21, 2015

    I am another that is so glad you are back and feel what you have been through. I hope you two get to realize, at least, part of your dreams. I am there with you.

    • Emily, knowing you are here with us is a precious thought. Thank you for your friendship!

  14. Rick & Beth Clark

     /  July 21, 2015

    Sorry for your Aunt and Sunny loss. Prayers
    Hopefully you can find a new pet soon.

    • Thanks so much. I really appreciate the prayers.

      I think I’ve decided to wait a while to get another dog (even though I have a couple of long haired chihuahua breeders sites bookmarked). I’m hoping I can find a young adult. I don’t want a puppy, and I don’t want the problems that come with older dogs.

      I’m praying the right one will show up when I’m ready.

  15. It takes a strong person to let go of someone they love so much..I had to do the same many years ago to my best buddy “Lucky”…

    • Oh, Carol, I do so empathize with you. I hope you can smile at the memory of your sunshine days together.

      Before I had Sunny, I had a little Westie named Heidi. I still smile when I think of her lying on my chest and issuing a low, protective growl when she heard people walking past our motel room one time. No one was going to mess with her momma! 🙂

  16. Sweet baby boy. What a great life he led.

    • I almost posted the picture of you holding him at that campground on the Alabama side of West Point Lake–can’t remember the name. But he didn’t look too well in that picture and I wanted to just remember the good times.

      I used to love to watch him run, ears flying in the wind. 🙂

  17. Jo

     /  July 22, 2015

    I was really getting concerned about what happened to you. So very sorry about Sunny and on top of that your Aunt and Uncle. Sunny had a great life and he was a happy little guy.
    Had my own close call with Fred a few weeks ago scared me so bad. He spent the day in dog hospital. I refer to him as my forever 3 yr. trouble maker. My buddie and best friend.
    Good to hear you are making an effort to get things moving for you full time adventures.
    Going to start a big clean out too selling as much as I can so I can buy a little trailer.
    Best wishes to you Sharon an Ron

    • Yikes, Jo! Will have to go read why Fred was in the hospital. Scary! And your description on him as a forever three year old troublemaker, buddy and best friend is one of the best descriptions of a dog I’ve seen!

      Hope you get your little trailer soon. You sure have been waiting long enough for one.

      Thank you so much for the good wishes for us. 🙂

  18. Very Sorry to hear about Sunny, but it seems you Guys did everything possible…you still have those many memories…especially as a “Camping Companion”…Glad to see you Blogging again…was wondering if all was ok…though as I remember you Two had some surgeries planned…

    Good luck on your house…look forward to your full-time Journey…Take care…Horst sends

    • So good to hear from you, Horst. We miss little Sunny, but he gave us a great life, and I think we gave him a great one, too.

      It feels great to actually be doing the things we need to do to get on the road. And it feels so freeing to be getting rid of stuff instead of acquiring it!

  19. Jo

     /  August 3, 2015

    Sharon check out In the Dirction of Our Dreams loads of beautiful mushrooms

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