Thursday we finally took the ferry from Aljeceiras to Ceuta and it was a not so fun and bumpy ride. Our first ferry, the day before, got cancelled and the day after (yesterday) again. It was a good excuse for us to stay in a nice cafe, but we were wondering why? There was already a wheather warning for hard winds but on land we couldn’t feel that much of it. We went to one of the other agencies and they DID go, because they had a bigger boat. The catamaran was too small for these type of winds. We decided to go for the big boat and booked for the day after at 14 o’clock. We headed back to the cafe, boohoo poor us hahaha.
The next day we prepared ourselves again and went to the ferry harbour one hour before. The guy mentioned there was still space left on the boat of 13 o’clock that got delayed. We decided to go for it and we entered the line as one of the last cars. As it appeared it was lucky news, because we had a trailer so we had to wait anyways to go in last. And who goes in last backwards… comes out first at the destination. NICE!!
The boattrip however…NOT SO NICE. Soon we learned that the 13 o’clock boat is the smaller ferry type. Not super small but smaller, and therefor more sensitive to high waves due to strong winds. And boy did we get a portion good, strong winds with super high waves. The boat dances up and down like a rollercoaster, just as your intestins do. Oh boy I hope nobody starts vomitting…. People are now obligated to stay in their seats and boat staff does a quick checkround and give every person multiple vomit bags. JOY! You could really see everyone struggling. People started sweating, children crying, old people vomitting and some people needed extra wind provided by other people making the wind… The trick to watch something at the horizon was pointless as the horizon literally disappeared with every wave. You could see the sky….WAVE… water….WAVE…Sky…etc.
Mom decided to sit on the ground with me (Finley) and hold my paws in order to stay calm and not panic. She literally let the swing of the boat guide her and swing along with it instead of fighting the swinging motion, what the other people did. Mom also closed her eyes because she was scared she would throw up seeing others get sick. Only too bad your smell takes over when you shut your eyes, but luckily we still have the option to breath trough our mouth. Don’t think about vomit, don’t think about vomit.
All of a sudden, 10 minutes being out on the open waters, there is a super loud BANG!! In a split second you see fear in everones eyes. The moment we all get to realize we are not in CONTROL, the captain is! That split second was enough to trigger Moms security system. She started sweating, was fighting against dissociation (to stay here on the boat and stay inside her body) and was trying to stay concious. But she’s a fighter and made it through as at that point they were already halfway. A few more times we heard the loud noices and figured it must have been the super high waves breaking against the boat, but it sounded like boating over a whale (if that’s a thing). Funny to see how the staff tried to calm everyone down with a big fake smile mask. But okay it worked a little bit!
Too bad I could see the other staff lady sitting in the room behind the kitchen having a hard time too…
Mom made it and cried her way through and holding my paws. But she did not pass out and did not vomit and did not dissociate. WIN-WIN-WIN!! Right after everyone was called back to their seat and (in our minds) heard our boat hitting the giant whale, a staff lady came up and told us that I needed to be put behind bars on the top floor with the ‘other ‘NORMAL’ doggos. Who did this lady think she was… Dad pointed at my vest saying I was a Chien d’assistance… a Perro de asistencia… a servide dog… a hulphond… I was even wearing the blue crosses for extra visibility that I am a medical support aid. Only then the lady finally saw that Mom was already in panic crying and holding my paws while sitting on the floor of the boat. She apologized and left us alone. Hey Lady: THAT DID NOT HELP!! You just added gasoline to Mommies internal fire! Thanks cause now I have to work even harder to calm her down pffffff… these humans…
Some other people tried being nice to Mom by smiling, waving and winking at her. Some people said ‘aaaaawww how cute that dog’ at me, but I was like: Humans, leave us alone for a bit. I’m trying to work over here. And smiling at this Mom while inside her brain is telling her SHE IS GOING TO DIE, is NOT helping! We know that everybody means well and we appreciate the effort…but at the same time we just need some space and time. Normally dissociating was Moms answer to these type of situations. No more bad thoughts, no more scare things and difficult feelings…just floating in space like a bird watching herself from outside of her body. Seeing it all happen as a movie from a distance. But ever since my arrival I have been able to keep Mom in the here and now in her body.
Mom thought she was getting a service dog just to help her with her daily stuff…
LITTLE DID SHE KNOW SHE GOT A SERVICE DOG THAT IS GUIDING HER THROUGH THE WONDERFUL THING CALLED: “FEELINGS”.
Yes, since a year now Mom is in the process of starting to feel things inside of her body. Feelings wise she was always paralysed from the head down. Actually the psychs called her just a walking head. But now she can feel when her body is in pain or has a hot flash or sweat is breaking out. Most of the time she doesn’t notice it, so when I do notice it, I point it out to her. I pull my special robe or jump up against her or stop walking all of a sudden. Then her task is to respond to my signaling by sitting down and do nothing else then breath. JUST BREATH! She doesn’t have to understand it yet…just Sit and BREATH! We will figure it out later, or not at all.
Once arrived in Ceuta on the African Continent, we were the first ones to leave the boat! We started to prepare ourselves and our things for our first and only border crossing this trip: Morocco! Mom and Dad made sure to prepare all our papers, passports, medication overviews, car papers, car insurance papers etc. etc. You never know what will happen at the boarder. We have been denied before in Armenia and Azerbeijan so Mom is always a bit stressed at boarders. Then the super strict and authoritarian officers don’t make the situation better.
And boy was this one heck of a boarder crossing for us!!
Read our next blog and find out why we got denied at first…