Sunday, March 3, 2013

Hi! Checking in

I have finally gotten  my camera back from being repaired --it's as good as new, so soon I will be able to post new photos and videos to the blog! :)

Has been a bit of a rough couple of weeks for me, but Leon has been there through all of it. He's a wonderful friend to have in life.

He has broken out in a rash again. We just finished his course of antibiotics a week or so ago. He had a week of clear skin --it looked fantastic! And then the rash came back. So we will be going back to A&M soon to see if the Dr. has any other suggestions for us. Please pray that something can be found that works and won't hurt Leon long-term (as I'm afraid long-term antibiotic and steroid use will do).

Hang in there and we will have some photos to share with y'all soon! :)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Happy New Year!

Sorry y'all! 6 months without updating this blog is without excuse! I had started another blog on a site hosted by a non-profit who very graciously is allowing me to use their server space/hosting site for a fundraising blog for Leon's veterinary expenses. So I had been posting regular updates there, but forgot to post them here as well! I apologize!

The other blog is here (this is my latest post--you can see previous posts in the links on the side):

I plan to still update this blog as I can. I am kicking myself for completely forgetting about it.

Updates on life:

I am doing okay. On the other side of a bad viral illness I had in Nov/Dec. Finally feeling well enough again to venture out more! Still have to be careful to not over do it (and listen to my dog!)

I am starting a Masters program in Public Administration this semester. I hope to be a better advocate for people with disabilities and help get policies changed. I believe this program will help equip me to do that.

I am also in talks with my church about starting a ministry for people with chronic illness in my area. I see a big need. I have also met with several people who are very interested and have been praying about starting such a ministry themselves!

God is going to do great and marvelous things in 2013! More than we could ask or imagine! It's going to be a GREAT year!

Something I've found very encouraging is Rest Ministries. If you struggle with a chronic illness or have a friend or loved one who does, check it out. Very helpful articles as well as devotionals with words of wisdom and encouragement.

Leon is doing okay. He is happy to be working more again now that I am feeling better. He and I played mini golf with a friend a couple of weeks ago and he did SO well --NO flirting at all! And there were children around (his weakness).

Leon has been taking good care of me. :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Busy, Busy!

Leon and I are doing okay. A friend of mine has been sick and in and out of the hospital --so Leon and I have been spending a lot of time with her (plus she's just a really awesome person to be around). Leon has been awesome at the hospitals when visiting and made a number of secret admirers among the nurses and staff. He even memorized where her room was in the hospital (and did so even when she was moved to a different floor--only took one time of visiting and he knew exactly where she was!) When I was confused about which way to go, he took me right to her room.

My friend is home now for the time being. Leon gets so excited about going to see her. I guess he knows how important she has become in my life and how much she means to me as a friend.

I've been doing okay myself. I started the vitamin cocktail a few months back and am finally at therapeutic levels. I have noticed a marked improvement in my ability to function and get things done --and not feel so much of the time like I have to peel myself off of the bed/couch. I still struggle and still have to be careful not to overdo things, but am enjoying feeling better than I have in a LONG time!

Leon's doing okay. We have started his special shampoo. So he will be getting a bath every day for the next 2 weeks. And then twice a week after that. I bought a hair dryer just for him!

Our recertification for CPL is coming up. I'm getting friends together and getting things lined up to do the test by video and get it sent off to CPL before the end of the month. So wish us luck! :)

Hope y'all are all doing well!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Forgot to post the photos!

Sorry! I forgot to come and post the couple of photos of Leon from my friend's wedding! I've had a lot on my plate lately and it slipped my mind.

Here you go. It was a beautiful wedding at a state park. :)

Leon and I are doing okay. Trying to raise funds for his veterinary expenses (monthly medication, special food, bloodwork and the special shampoo the vet wants me to use on him). He seems to be doing much better on the new food (so far, so good) --still a little itchy and has dandruff, but his skin is clearing up. This is a combo of food and environmental allergies, so the food change was just part of the solution --the medication seems to be helping as well.

If anyone would like to help pitch in for veterinary expenses, I am working on getting a page set up for this purpose. In the meantime, I have a Paypal account --jesuslovesme2345 at (broken because of spam bots --just replace the "at" with a @ and remove the spaces).

Leon means SO much to me. It is a challenge being partnered with a dog with a chronic health problem. He works wonderfully and has helped me regain some of the independence I lost when my first dog retired. So I am doing the best I can to keep him working since he enjoys it so much and has enriched my life, making it much more full.

Any donation toward Leon's vet expenses will help make it possible for our partnership to continue. These expenses above normal dog veterinary expenses are a hardship since I am on a limited income. So anything that you are able to give would help us out a LOT and would mean the world to me.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Training Outing/Checking In

Hi y'all! Sorry for not posting again. My brain has been all over the place and I forgot! I apologize.

Earlier this month (April), Leon and I met our local trainer downtown to do some training/work down in the Tunnels. We also went up on a viewing platform with huge windows where you can look out and see the skyscrapers. Leon wasn't sure of the glass at first (since it's 60 stories up), but quickly realized it was no big deal and even began looking out on his own out of curiosity.

I fixed the problem of the tug on the refrigerator (the sock didn't work out well) --I used a rope toy that Leon had gotten for Christmas and tied it to the handle with a piece of ribbon. Leon can grip that much better and he ENTHUSIASTICALLY opens the fridge when asked (he doesn't do things halfway! Got to give him that. haha). Teaching him to close the fridge by pushing it with his nose and not using his paw is still in process to get it reliable, but he's doing well with it so far. I'm also trying to teach him to use his mouth more when retrieving instead of pawing at the object/kicking it around before picking it up (papers don't stand a chance at coming out of a Leon encounter unscathed), but he is improving, I am happy to say.

He retrieved my book for me off of a low table in the exam room at my cardiologist's office and brought it straight to me --no damage to the book whatsoever --very soft-mouthed. I am proud of how quick he learns to do things differently. :)

I will hopefully get back into making YouTube videos soon. I took a hiatus because of health stuff and craziness going on. I plan on making a video of us going into and out of the elevator safely with my scooter. I also hope to get video of Leon working next time we meet with our local trainer down in Houston (it's hard for me to take the video myself while walking with Leon and I need someone to film for me).

I am doing okay. Had a muscle biopsy done on April 9. Waiting for the results to see if I have mitochondrial disease like my medical team suspects. I am able to drive again (yay!) so I have been enjoying the freedom once again.

Leon and I are going to a friend's wedding this weekend. Leon will get to wear his black leather collar and bow tie (for formal occasions). I will take photos and post when I can. :)

Friday, March 2, 2012

Inappropriate Service Dog Handler Behavior

Shorty Rossi, a celebrity who has the opportunity to be a good example of service dog teams --he engages in this behavior with his dog in a restaurant: (Link to another blog where this is discussed --photo included)

Inappropriate Service Dog Handler Behavior

First of all, it is VERY inappropriate and unprofessional to feed your service dog off a plate in a restaurant. Since this person is in the limelight, it sets a very bad example of service dog teams and bad publicity --this is not appropriate or condoned behavior in the service dog community.

As much as I like to be supportive of other service dog teams, I cannot turn a blind eye to this type of behavior. It is abhorrent.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Fridge--Just for Fun :)

Today, Leon and I revisited a skill that isn't something I need him to do for me at this time --so we did it just for fun and for something to do here at home.

Here's the video:

Enjoy! :D