We were on the bus, about to leave the hotel in Victoria when the first messages from Georgia came through.


“I’m so sorry.”

“Poppy just had a seizure. I’m taking her to the emergency vet.”

It was the middle of the night in Australian time. The rest of the day was a nightmare of me searching for wifi and Megan relaying messages between us. She has roaming.

The wifi experiment is a big NO. I’m never doing this again. Plus the time zones were a nightmare, with Canada being 17 hours behind Melbourne time. There were very few hours where it was instantaneous to communicate.

The coach dropped us off at the hotel we originally stayed in, but our paperwork told us that we were booked in to the other Sandman hotel downtown.

A $20 taxi ride there – only to be told that our paperwork was wrong and we had to go back to where we started. Terrific. A $20 taxi ride back.

After all of that was sorted out, we sat in the room. I was beside myself with worry about Poppy and was checking my messages all the time for anything new from Georgia.

At the same time, this was a day in an overseas city. We needed to get out and about, for Megan’s sake. She was chilled, but I knew it wasn’t fair. So we decided to go to Canada Place and see where we’d be getting dropped off for the cruise in two day’s time.

I had enough anxiety about Poppy going on – I didn’t need any anxiety over the next stage of our trip to be hanging around as well! So we went for a walk.

Vancouver is filled with a lot of trees, like Melbourne. They have leaves imprinted into the footpaths, but they’re only under where trees are planted. I loved it.

Megan photobombed the shot of the sculptures.

We went down and made sure we knew where we’d be going on Monday. It looked idiot-proof.

This was reassuring.

Look at the size of this frog!

The wharf has lots of these boards documenting quirky stories about Canada. We walked slowly along the boards, taking them in and looking at the ships that were docked.

An overly large ship pulled away, music BLARING and a try-hard guy on the microphone urging everyone to “Get excited!!!”

I hope our cruise isn’t like this…

Later that night, Georgia sent me this picture of Poppy and Jeff at home, snuggled up in my dressing gown. It’s the second-last photo I have of her. I didn’t know that then.