Sunday, February 28, 2010


The puppies were 2 weeks old on Satruday and continue to grow like weeds. Their little eyes are open and they are sitting up and walking around...looking like real little puppies. I have included the link to the breeders website. Click on the"Amber/Cody Litter" link, it is on the top left. Apparently over the past 2 nights, they have become quite proficient at "expressing" themselves regularly every every 2 hrs...hopefully MY little puppy stops that before he comes home...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Voo Doo Medicine?

As an athlete, aches and pains are part of life. Some days are better than others - some days I think I am a 35 yr old rock star and other days I feel my age and the years of abuse I have inflicted on my poor, defenseless body, all in pursuit of some stupid round ball varying in size. However, over the years, one source of discomfort has remained constant - my neck and my right shoulder. I have had massages, Xrays, taken hot showers, ice it on a regular basis - with limited success in ridding myself of the discomfort. .

More recently, I have added lower back pain to that mix (prob 5-6 mos). I am a belly sleeper, which is causing a high level of discomfort for me. I get up and walk around like an old lady - in fact, my brother gave me grief just last night for getting up slow and walking hunched over. I can't stand for long periods of time without my lower back just aching.

Many people have suggested a chiropractor to me...but I just haven't been able to bring myself to go there. Sure, like most other athletes at Woody Hayes, I would line up eagerly on the days Dr. Pangoinis was there to throw us around and crack every joint in our neck and spine, but I never game much thought to what he was actually doing for us. I hear people swear by the chirpractor, but I wasn't sure I believed it would work. However, modern and conventional medicine has been scarce in providing relief to my discomfort and I have reached my limit. I was talking to a friend of mine in whom I have great faith and he was able to share his positive chiropractic experience with me, as well as some of his reservations before actually seeing one. He spoke very highly of his experience and encouraged me to go. The clinic he goes to is acutally covered in my insurance - a benefit I know most people are not fortunate to have.

So off I went today. They were very educational, explained why proper alignment of the spine was imprtant and how improper alignment affected the rest of your body. It appears as though I have some inflammed nerves at the top of my spine that are creating the discomfort in my neck - one of them is attached to some nerves in my arm, which explains some of the tingling I have been feeling in my right hand. I attributed the tingling to an old shoulder injury I had. I also had some swelling and inflammation in the lower part of my back (they took some sort of scan) that is the likely culprit of the lower back pain. While I was laying on my stomach, it felt like he was running my back over with a mack truck...thankfully it was over quickly. I also had multiple xrays taken of my spine.

So I will give this a try. I am going back in the morning to get "adjusted". I am hoping it provides at least some immediate relief, but am prepared that if in fact this does help, it will be a period of time before I see some consistent, noticeable relief.

This past year has definitely been frustrating - the sinus thing, the rash thing, the autoimmune thing and now this. Really what has pushed me over the edge is the lower back issue. I went through all of this stuff today with the doctor, and he said that the inflammation in my neck could have played a part in the TMJ situation...but who knows. I am hoping to see enough of a result tomorrow to encourage me to go back, but am also prepared for the fact I could feel like I have been run over tomorrow. :) Here's to hoping for relief...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Our Beloved Truth Ann....

UPDATE: The vet was able to determine Truth had a mass on her spleen that ruptured. She also had suspicious spots on her liver the vet believed to be cancerous. No intervention would have prevented the outcome. Sharon is relieved to know there was nothing she missed or nothing she could have done to prevent this...but is still missing little Miss Truthietoes tonight.

This afternoon, I received a call from Sharon to let me know that Chelsie's very best dog freind in the whole wide dog world, Truth Ann Schmidt, left us today. It is unclear as to what happened - she was ill last month with what appaeared to be the doggie flu, but seemed to recover and be back to her old self (and her antics). This morning, Sharon left for work as usual and got a call from Larry about 11 30 to say Truth was panting and had collapsed. She passed shortly after that.

Truth was Sharon's second guide dog and her second golden. Her first golden Sheridan had cancer, and never made it to retirement. Although the decision to retire Truth was difficult, Sharon was adamant that Truth would have a few good retirement years.

I met Sharon when Chelsie was just over a year old and Truth was about to turn three (she would have been 11 on March 10) The weather had been miserable and on this particular day, it had broken enough that I took Chelsie out. I remember seeing someone walking a golden and thinking to myself....if God loves me, that lady will bring that dog over here and she will play with Chelsie. Sharon called out in my direction and asked if I minded if she let her dog off leash. I said no and walked that way. When I got to her and saw the harness on her shoulder, I asked her how she knew where I was. She said that she heard the dog tags to her right and figured that whoever was with her was that direction. That was eight years ago this month.

We had not seen them in awhile...Forsythe is a 2 year old male that has lots of energy after a long day of resting like a good guide should at work. With Chelsie's knee still very much in the healing process, I thought it too risky to take her over there, so it had been months since the 2 saw each other. Sharon moved into her new house in anticipation of a bigger house and a bigger yard for 2 dogs.

Chelsie and Truth were very special friends. We only ever had to separate them once...and they really were not playing that hard. Chelsie always had to walk next to her friend while she was in harness, but knew not to bother her when the harness was on. When we stopped to let Truth potty on our walks (Guide Dogs are taught not to relieve in harness) Chelsie waited quietly and patiently for her friend - any other time we stopped on our walks she often acted like a screaming banshee.

Watching these 2 was something. Chelsie was jealous when I petted Truth and Truth knew this. She would get a toy that she knew Chelsie liked, play with it so Chelsie would pounce on her and take it and then come back to me when Chelsie started playing with the toy. She never barked just once - always 4 successive barks in a row. I never got to see her face first...usually her back end so I would scratch the golden booty as she threw her entire body weight into me. Always hungry, she knew just how much food she could snatch and swallow before someone could pry it out of her mouth. The risk was worth the reward - she knew she would get in trouble but knew we could never stay mad at her. When Sharon was really mad at her for something (usually for her food antics) she would tell her "I am not happy with you" - Truth clearly had a look on her face that said "Yeah, lady, whatever". She was fiercely loyal to Sharon and was always looking for her when they were not together.

Nothing I say will ever do Miss Truthie any justice. All dogs are special, but Truth was a notch above the rest. I always used to tell her that if there was not enough love at her house, she could come to mine. But there was more than enough love for Truth at home, at work and just about anywhere she went. She knew how to turn it on and play the "look at me and how cute and smart I am" card - and everyone ate her up. Some of my favorite Truth memories:

 - 4th of July when I sat and watched her eye the plate of brownies, thinking to myself...that dog is going to go after those brownies. No sooner than I thought it, she had snatched up three of them.

 - The night Truth snatched the last bite of hamburger from Sharon's plate as she was sitting on the couch

 - How "vocal" she was when she was not satifisfied with the amount of attention you were giving her

 - Like her friend, she could belch like a trucker.

 - The day we were in Target after a long day of shopping when this kid started screaming at the top of its lungs....she turned and looked at me as if to say "Lady, get me out of here".

- The day she took up the whole back seat of my much that Chelsie had to lay on the floor

- The day she first went for a ride in my Pilot and got pissed about being put all the way in the back...she squeezed herself around the tiny opening in the cargo net to get in the back seat. Two seconds later, Chelsie did the same thing and neither of them rode back there ever again.

- The look of pure dog happiness when her Aunt Nicole showed up to take them to work...when I was working downtown, I would take them to work. Truth hated the public transportation Sharon used to get to work, so when I could, I "saved" her. Sharon would open the door when I got there and Truth would run out and greet me and get in the car and lay if to say "Oh, thank you for saving me from Mainstream!!!"

I could go on and on...but you get the point. We are all heart sick...but I am greatful that whatever happened seem to happen quickly. Please also think of Larry, Sharon's BF, who was wtih Truth when this happened. They had really bonded in her retirement and I know Larry is devastated as well.

Truth Ann Schmidt - 3/10/99 - 2/16/10. We will miss you.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

First Photos

Here are the puppies fist photos!!!! The litter was 2 yellow females, 2 yellow males and a black female. In the picture below, the uncollared yellow on lying to the right of the black one is the other male. The smallest of the group was the lighter female, in between the black dog and the pink collared female. One of the males will be Chelsie's little brother.

I love the look on the mother's clearly says...YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!!!

More to come as I get them.

To commemorate my softball career, this dog will have a baseball related name. I am open to suggestions.

On a final note, congratulations to my follow bloggers for their accomplishments this weekend:

Maddie - proudly presented Guide Dog Gabrina (FYL) to her new partner in San Rafael, Ca. this weekend.  Gabrina is Maddie's first puppy for GBD. She is curently raising FBL Betsy.

Kelsey and Emily - proudly presented Guide Dog Burgess to his new partner in San Rafael, Ca this weekend. Burgess is Kelsey and Emily's 4 puppy for GDB. They are currently co-raising Keno, and MYL.

Madison - proudly presented Andros II to his new partner as a Service Dog for CCI in Dublin, Ohio. Andros was Madison's second dog for CCI and she is currently raising Butler, a MYL.

Congratulations raisers!!!

Its a....

yellow boy. Chelsie sibling will be a male yellow lab.


As of 1:13 AM this morning, all 5 puppies had safely arrived. Not too much from the breeder, other than that all of them were here and 2 of them were yellow males. :)

So now, I am just hanging out waiting to hear about the rest of the litter and where I fall on the list. No one on the list so far has requested any yellow I am not sure if they will change their mind. This is a really nice breeding of 2 really nice dogs from really good lines, so people may change their minds, who knows.

My main issue with a yellow dog is trying to control yellow and black dog hair at the same time. Shallow, I know and I have been schooled not to discriminate against gender and color, only to go for the best dog. So to my fellow bloggers out there, I am open to advice as to your thoughts on managing both colors of hair, and whether or not you have been succesful at it. I wage war on dog hair daily....and am a proud owner of a Dyson D17 Animal, which will suck up a small child if given the opportunity. :)

Happy Sunday!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Attitude Adjustment, Part 2

Ok, so here goes part 2 of my attitude adjustment...

1. Sucked it up and went to gym after work and did 30 minutes on the elliptical. Being as the gym is at my office, I really have no excuse - esp given I did not have soccer tonight. I am glad I is now 9 30 and I feel tired. Last night was a fabulous sleep night...I did not move, making the bed (yes Kel, with all 11 pillows) was very easy this morning.

2. Let pooches play in the snow. Rippy loves to chase his frisbee (what is left of it) and Chelsie took one of her hard bones outside and kept dropping it in the snow so she had to dig for it. Dinner after we came in, then RIP went to look for the cat. Good night in his book.

3. Made yummy dinner - taco salad (with turkey meat and low sodium taco seasoning) Topped it off with a treat - a raspberry toaster strudel. BTW...toaster strudel is WAY better than poptarts.

4. WENT SHOPPING!!!! Had Petsmart gift card, so I got the kids some new filled chew bones. We were out of Bill Jac Liver treats (yum - NOT!) which are high value treats in our house, so got 2 boxes of those and then 3 bags of training treats. I go through a lot of them these days. Got some scissors at BBB - there is a scissors thief in my house. I swear I bought the very same scissors 2 weeks ago...but have ZERO idea of what happened to them. Now I have two pair..and death to the scissor thief. I also looked at mirrors for the bathroom and for some new dishes. I am in the market, but have not found anything that speaks to me yet. So for now, just looking.

5. Remembered tomorrow is an "out to lunch" day! Two of my staff (my newbies) are learning about gas meters (they are actually going to take gas meters apart!) and then we are going to El Vaquero! Chips y salsa!!!! We are also meeting some other peeps there - there was a project team that used to be right outside our door, we really liked all the people on that team. Unfortunately, they outgrew that room and are now at the location where Ryan and Shelley are taking gas meters apart. CHIPS Y SALSA with some old friends!!!

Tomorrow, little bean is going to have the muscle mass in her leg measured. She lost a significant amount of muscle mass all over her body in the first 6-8 weeks after her surgery (she was 57.5 lbs at one point, normal weight about 61-63 lbs), but lost a lot in her leg with the boo-boo. We have been standing and sitting, sitting and standing, walking over her little ladders...all in an attempt to get her muscle tone back. Last measurement was on her last day of rehab - good leg was 29.5 cm and boo-boo leg was 28. Not bad, given we were about 6 weeks out. About the only thing this snow is good for is her leg - she can't do sudden starts or stops and really has to work to tromp through the snow. Other than that, I really have no use for the snow. Sally, the rehab specialist, has a border collie named Griffin, so I told her I would bring in Rippy so she could meet him. So we are having a family trip to the vet in the morning.

Well, attitude adjustment part deux is complete. I still hate the cold...but am a little happier than I was earlier. :) Off to work the dogs for a few minutes and then to BED!!!!

Attitude Adjustment, Part 1

I closed all the blinds in my office. I do think it is substantially warmer in here (I have my space heater directly on my feet as I type) and I don't have to look at the slushy mess and see the signs/bushes blowing in the wind.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

In dire need of....

An attitude adjustment. Right now, I am looking out my window at work, it is snowing again, the roads are slushy and I am going to have to shovel YET AGAIN when I get home. I am not finding the snow beautiful right now...AT ALL. Anything but, actually.

I am open to attempts at humor at this point. Anyone?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Still here...

So, yep, we are still here...thankfully, my boss was insistent that my co-worker and I come home on Thursday from Lexington - and it was a good thing we did. The snow started on Friday and was coming down in big, heavy, wet flakes. The roads downtown were not bad, but by the time I got home, I probably had 6+ inches on the driveway. I decided NOT to run over it, parked my car in the street and tromped thri the snow to go in and change and shovel. Two hours later, I finally moved my car in the garage - shoveling wet, heavy snow just absolutely sucks. I will post pictures. For good measure, it continued snowing while I was shoveling and I had as much, if not more on Satruday morning. I fussed and grumbled and said all kinds of inappropriate things...from "this is a man's job" to "this sucks" to "I am getting a snowblower at the end of this season". My street is currently a sheet of ice and mother nature is supposed to bless us with more of her bounty tomorrow - 8 to 10 inches of it. Fabulous.

Part of why I am so miserable is that my hands freeze - no matter what I have on them. My fingers literally turn white, and hurt when the feeling comes back in them. The pad of my left ring finger was swollen for 2 days after shoveling on Firday, and my hands are interesting shades of red and purple from being so cold. UGH. A man's job.

The dogs, however, are in love with the snow. I took them out with me on Saturday and let them run around while I shoveled. I have to be careful letting the BC out, sometimes he loses his brain and goes in the street. Not a good dog. But he had his frisbee to play with - when my little brat was not taking it away from him. She loved the snow too, and I let her run around in it quite a bit - definitely the most movement I have allowed her since her injury. I was afraid I had let her over do it...but she was fine. I also let them out tonight for a little while and they loved it again. Both got to work for treats tonight too, so they were happy.

Saturday night I went sledding with the Quisenberry's..actually I watched more than anything. Again my hands were frozen and I could barely move. We went to dinner after and then I went back to their house to play Mario Kart with Bryce. Sunday was chores and a Superbowl party and today was work. Long day...and I will be going to bed soon.

And finally...litter of puppies scheduled to be born Sunday or Monday of next week. Amber, the mom, is hanging tough. The breeder says she seems increasingly uncomfortable, and that when Amber stretches out, she can see active little puppies moving around. Still don't know if I will get one, it just depends on what she has and what the people ahead of me want. This seems to be a nice breeding, so we will see. If I get one, it was meant to be, if not, it wasn't. I am really enjoying the change in training routine with Chelsie right now and the fact the she feels the need to closely bond with her mom.

Hope everyone is doing well. :)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Can't Wait... go home and see this puppy. I have been in Kentucky all week for work and we are leaving around lunchtime today to come back. It has been a productive week, but I miss this girl (and the obnoxious BC) and can't wait to get home and cuddle with her tonight!!!