August 2008               


            Our orientation at Dollywood was scheduled for the morning of the 1st, but was changed to the 2nd, which will also be our first day of work.  We had gone to wardrobe earlier in the week and picked up our “costumes”, jeans and plaid shirts.  

            Orientation took place from 8:30 to 12:30.  We learned the philosophy of the park and were given a tour of the park.  As it was our first day of work, we immediately reported to our work area, which was at the furthest point in the park from the employee entrance and all uphill walking.  We were tired when we got there and it was very hot.  We quickly ate lunch and were then assigned to a game to be trained. 

            It was a long, hot day.  We worked until 8:00 with temps in the 90’s.  When we arrived home we still hadn’t had dinner.  Millie was feeling sick and just wanted to go to bed.  We later learned that she was probably suffering from heat exhaustion and she quickly learned to drink more water during the day. 

            One of the perks of working at Dollywood is reduced admission to the Dixie Stampede, a dinner and theater show.  On one of our days off we attended this attraction.  We enjoyed the show and the dinner was good except for the fact that you eat everything with your fingers, no flatware provided.  The menu consisted of Cream of Vegetable soup, (delicious), a small roast chicken about the size of a large quail, half of a roasted potato, corn on the cob and apple turnover. 

            The show was good, featuring a lot of fast paced acts and lots of horsemanship.  Pigs, cattle and an ostrich race were a part of the show.  It was a good evening to relax and have fun.

            Dolly Parton came to the park one day and employee pictures were taken with her.  They were done in groups of 20 and not all teams were photographed together.  She was very pleasant and thanked us all for the work we were doing.

            August is Rod Run month in Pigeon Forge.  There are two Rod Runs held here during that time.  It was interesting to see the many cars on display all along the “strip”.  People set their chairs out on the sidewalk and sit and watch the cars that are driving up and down the “strip”.  Sure makes for some big traffic jams!  Dick had a great time walking around looking at all the cars.   

            Exciting news for us.  On August 25, our first great grandchild was born.  Jaymee Lynn Kass was born to our granddaughter, Rikki Petee.  She was born in New Orleans, LA.  We are looking forward to meeting her when we leave here.   

            Toward the end of the month, we noticed that Ming was lethargic and not eating.  Dick took her to the vet and they determined that her chest cavity was filling with fluid.  They tried to drain it without success and recommended that she be taken to the Vet School at University of Tennessee in Knoxville. 

            Dick took off work the next morning and took her to Knoxville.  They diagnosed her with Pyothorax, a rare infection that causes fluid and cysts in the chest cavity.  She was immediately place in intensive care in an oxygen cage.  The fluid was pressing on her lungs (it was not in her lungs), making it hard for her to breathe. 

            We went to visit her the next day after work.  She didn’t seem to be too much better but is receiving antibiotics and fluids.  She isn’t interested in eating.  The next day when we went to visit, we took a container of her favorite treats for them to offer her. 

            The rest of the month was spent working and driving to Knoxville for a daily visit with Ming.  She doesn’t seem to be getting better.  One day she did have a rally and it seemed like she had turned the corner, but it didn’t work out that way.  They are now having to feed her with a tube as she refuses to eat.  She continues to be in ICU in the oxygen cage.  We are praying for her recovery.


Next month more Dollywood and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.


(Lots of new photos in the gallery, take a look.  We couldn't link to all of them.)