We are still in Florida, soaking up every bit of sunshine this state can muster. Today has been awesome, we drove up yesterday from Sarasota to Crystal River to see the Manatees! We rented a tandem kayak from Hunter Springs Kayak for 45$ and were pleasantly surprised that we were allowed to bring the dogs with us! Tom and I had a big story planned out that we were going to say the dogs were “emotional support service dogs”, after a woman at the tourist information centre told us they can’t legally question you about it in the state of Florida. Thank god we didn’t have to play out our story because we could hardly keep a straight face in the car. The pups had never been on a boat before but Rubix has always had an obsession with climbing on anything floating in the water. He got up front and had a great time playing Captain, while Bali relaxed like a boating natural just behind me.
The Manatees were huge… I mean we knew they were big but when you actually get around them, I was pretty intimidated, and by that I mean slightly terrified. I know they are “big old gentle giants” but when we got in the water to attempt to snorkel with them, I stuck my head under water, and it was pretty murky with little visibility. That’s when I realized, I have literally had nightmare’s like this. Where I am under water and then suddenly some huge animal just comes out of nowhere, I freaked myself out way too much and opted to get back on the Kayak. Don’t get me wrong, I have snorkelled with 500 pound sea lions in Ecuador, Giant Manta Rays in Indonesia and big sharks in Belize however the water was really clear there. I just couldn’t do it, but technically I still swam with them..kind of.? Hahaha!.
We have been a bit limited on where we can go in Florida with the pups, but we did stop by St.augustine and enjoyed their dog friendly beaches. We actually pulled in quite late and slept right on the beach, we were happy to discover upon waking up toilets and an outdoor shower we made full use of. We had a walk on the beach when we first woke up, Bali practised her favourite pasttime of ”Finding a dead animal and rolling in it” and today it was a giant dead pelican! We were all pretty happy about the showers, except Bali, after that. We all got fresh and hopped Back in the van to head to the Historic district of St.Augustine. It is a nice little place to do some shopping, eat at restaurants and have coffee and chocolates, however, our budget does restrict us from divulging in a lot of luxuries like this, instead we had a nice walk around. Our budget was actually set back a bit after we had to spend about 150$ for Rubix to go to the vet due too frosting on his cornea and boogers in his eye. He is on drops now and the vet reassured us it wasn’t anything serious, not the most fun on our wallets but worth it for a piece of mind.
During our walk around the town, I came out from buying a slightly disappointingly dry cupcake and Tom showed me two ticks on Bali’s neck he had found. The pups are on flea and tick meds so I’m not 100% sure how these guys got on, but this was my first experience with these little pests. We hurried back to the van where I sterilized my tweezers and got to business removing them. My first attempt went terribly and I ended up doing exactly what you’re not supposed to do, I popped the bum and then ripped it off, leaving the head still buried in there. We did a bit more research and tried again on the second one. It came off a bit better and I managed to get the head out after. We sterilized a needle and poked at the first one until we got what we could out. Bali was extremely brave, not flinching once and I’m pretty sure she fell asleep half way through. I take credit for her being so good at being poked and prodded because I constantly pick at the dogs from when they are pups so they will be patient as they age. Rubix loves his ears, bum and face being cleaned, especially since we always make sure we reward them with treats after for being so good!