Monday, March 29, 2010

What you have all been waiting for....

This weekend, I went to see the puppies. I still don't know which one is mine, we are waiting on results of some genetic testing that took place last Tuesday. Labs can carry a gene known as Exercise Induced Collapse (EIC) - if you breed two that carry the gene, the puppies will be affected. In the case of this litter, the mother is a carrier, the father is not. The puppies therefore have a 50-50 chance of being a carrier, but will not be affected.

All of the puppies are adorable...but what lab puppy isn't? I have forgotten how cute roly poly little puppies are and how sharp their little teeth are! It is going to be a lot of work initially, but I am hoping that with 6-8 weeks of potty bootcamp, we will have some sort of routine. I will be picking him up next weekend. We should receive the results of the testing sometime this week.

And now...what you have all been waiting for...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Who ya' gonna call?

I know, don't fall over, 2 posts in one day.

I am writing this post as a follow up to Natalie's post from Tuesday regarding the horrific incident that took place in Columbus last week regarding the beating death of a four year old by his stepfather while his mother went into the other room and turned the music up so the three other kids in the house wouldn't hear what was going on. Natalie indicates you will be sickened at what you read, and she is absolutely right.

I am writing this to call your attention to a different perspective - that of a first responder. Yep, a first responder. Who is a first responder? Have you ever given much thought to that? I hadn't really, until December 31, 2005, when my cousin's husband lost his life in the line of duty as a lt. in the California Highway Patrol responding to the scene of a car that had skidded off the road. Who is a first responder? My dear friend Jodi as a parole officer is considered a first responder - who is Jodi? She is Dolan's mother, James' wife, Stan and Mary Lou's daughter, Brad and Kenny's sister, our beloved teammate. All of these people have something in common - daily, they risk their lives to help people. They are the people that see first hand the AWFUL things we see on the news and read in the paper/on the internet.
My good friend who is a fire fighter/medic had the misfortune to be a first responder on the scene for this incident last week. What started out as a "non responsive, CPR being performed" run turned into the run from hell for them - half way there, dispatch informed them it was a 4 year old that CPR was being performed on. It was quite apparent to them that something was not right upon coming on to the scene - despite the anger and disgust they felt toward the individual that had committed this horrific crime, they were able to remove him from the scene and focus their efforts on trying to save the little guy. David actually drove the medic to the hospital...85 mph from the east side of Columbus to Children's downtown. As a result of this incident, they were out of service for nearly 3 hrs (ie, unavailable to help anyone else) while they were interviewed and waited around the hospital to see how the little guy fared - the outcome as we all know here in Columbus was terribly tragic.

Your first responders - the people you call when you need help - they are someone's husband/wife, father/mother, brother/sister, best friend. They risk their safety to keep us safe. When traveling down the road and you see lights and hear you pull over and let them pass? Someone's loved one is in there...on the way to hospital the other night, with a 4 year old child dying in the back of the medic, people were racing it, following it and not pulling out of the way. This could be your loved one back there.

Next time you see a police officer, fire fighter, medic, etc, stop and take a moment and appreciate them - they will be the ones that come to your aid if, god forbid, you ever need it. Move out of the way when you see lights and hear sirens. When levy's come up for safety, that impacts the funding of your local police or fire department, consider voting for them...having proper man power and proper equipment is of paramount importance - much of the equipment here in Columbus is so old that it often has to be taken out of service for repair and any calls to their response area while they are out of service have to be answered by another unit - minutes and seconds are precious in a life and death situation. (Um, sorry your house burned down, but the closest engine available was 20 minutes away)

The awful human beings involved in the above situation are currently in jail with no bond...thank god someone got that right. Natalie's blog addresses what appears to have gone wrong from a Children's Services/family court perspective. Sadly, this little boy had been removed from the care of his mother and step father at some point and had been returned just two weeks prior to this incident. Overwhelming to try and grasp.

So tonight...hug your kids, appreciate your first responders and move out of the way when you see lights and hear sirens.

Riding through the old 'hood

Tonight, I had dinner with Natalie - for all of you dying to know, I did get my buffalitos I posted about on FB, garlic parmesan to be more specific. We went to BW on Bethel Rd, my old stomping ground as many of you know.

For old time sake, I decided to drive through the hood where Chelsie and I pounded miles and miles of pavement in her puppyhood. These were the sidewalks we walked to the school to play with Truth and walked to get to Belinda's condo. Belinda would come to our apartment in her walking clothes, and Chel would just go NUTS because she knew we were going for her walk.

I used to walk through the neighborhood admiring all the houses, dreaming of the day I had a house of my own. I admired flowers, trees and yard decorations, as well as porches, dormers and the facades of all the houses. I used to get so frustrated when people did not care for their houses, because I so badly wanted one of my own - which is part of the reason I am so OCD about caring for my house (to show it how much I appreciate living here - yeah, I know, I forgot to take the psycho drugs today, sorry). When the time came and I was able to purchase a house, that neighborhood was a little out of my reach...but driving through it tonight, I still remembered how much I love it. :) Maybe after little Ace comes home, we will take a walk in Chelsie's old 'hood and she can tell Ace all about how she walked these sidewalks (I almost said walked these streets but then thought better of it!) in her puppyhood....

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Returning to Dodd Hall

Tonight, after nearly a 6 month hiatus, my girl and I returned to Dodd Hall. Oh glorious visits! She was thrilled to put her jacket on and go to work - and jumped straght into her crate in the car!! Her nurses were so excited to see her...they loved on her and she told them that she was neglected, unloved and did not get enough to eat. :) We visited for nearly 2 hrs.

It was a return to some form of life pre-injury. I have really been struggling with the change in routine since Chelsie's injury. For the first three months post surgery, her activity was severely restricted....severely. It was very challenging to find the balance of activity - too much vs too little. Then, once we got released to more activity, winter unleashed its fury and made going outside unsafe to us. Although I had BC dog to run in agility, I want nothing more than to be running my own princess. As we get closer to hopefully being released to do agility, I get more and more antsy and more and more nervous about letting her try again. And it is weekends like this...when I know my closest friends are cheering each other on at a big trial (one I was at last year) that I really miss it.

These past few weeks have been a life has truly been out of sorts since Chelsie's injury. Add the break up to it and my life as I once knew it (and was quite happy with) is no more. I am holding out hope that warmer weather will make me feel better, and that bringing Ace home will help fill the void I am feeling right now. I am working hard to fill my life with new, fun and different things, but I miss what I had. I am sure that this too, like all other things in life, shall pass...I just hope it is sooner rather than later. :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Bad Blogger....Again

So I have not been the greatest blogger as of here is the 411.

1. My dad had his hip replaced last Wendesday. According to him, he didn't need it. His doctor disagreed...the hip was "a mess" (I was there when the doctor said this) All went well for the most part, he is still working through a few things, but each day seems to get better and the pain is a different pain. He will get physical therapy at home 3X per week for the next three weeks and has a follow up in 6 weeks. I am going to fertilize his lawn and plant his bulbs this weekend with my mom. I will probably take him some flowers too...I definitely get my love of flowers from Big Bill.

2. Part of the reason for my bad blogging is because I have been sick. I even called the cute doctor and got some medicine..and added Mucinex and Robitussin to the mix last night. I had an appointment with the rheumatologist last week, and I will continue the medication for 3 more mos. This is a medicine that requires time to work, and they will evaluate my blood count in June. I have been having minor episodes of the rash on my legs, but compared to what they were, this is nothing. Hopefully, the weather stays nice and I will feel better soon.

3. The end of the era has come and gone...I am done running BC dog in agility. We had trials the last 2 weekends...and this past Sunday, our last day of showing together, was our best 2 runs yet. We didn't Q, but we looked pretty darn we had been running together for a lot longer than three mos. He will be going home for good in 2 weeks, as Scott and I split up last month. Schedules and distance proved to be too much. Although I know long term this was probably the right thing, I am having a very hard time and miss not having him in my life. While having BC dog around is difficult, having him go will be difficult as well. We have agreed on a day, but have not worked out the logistics just yet.

4. The baby puppy was 4 weeks old on Saturday. All of them except 1, "Little Girl", the true runt of the litter, are completely weaned. They have been outside multiple times and ae starting to mouth and carry toys around. Light Blue boy was tugging with the breeder's hubby this past weekend, and then took the tug toy into the crate so he didn't have to share it with his siblings. She has a crate in the pen, and the puppies seem to go in there on their own, which is a good thing. New pictures and mugs are up.

Click on the AmberCody litter, puppy photos. And watch the video titled "Ella" - little girl maybe little, but she can sure throw her weight around. Ella is token black of the litter.

5. Chelly-Bean continues to do well...February was difficult on our rehab walks, so I hope March is a little better. She goes back to Medvet on 4/8 and I am hopeful that I can begin to re-introduce agility to her after that. My hope is to compete in a trial in July. She continues to be her mom's princess in every way...and mommy is mildly concerned about what she will think of her new brother. It will be interesting to see how she reacts to Rippy going home....

So that is what has been going on here. Hopefully, spring has sprung..winter was nasty, snowy and cold, and some nice weather is definitely in order. March is about to become MAD with basketball, and that is always fun. I think tomorrow my crew and I are going to go somewhere to watch tip off of the is supposed to be nice outside and we don't get out of the office enough to begin with.

Hope all is well with everyone!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Rachel and Cessy

This weekend, me and BC dog competed in a trial. Saturday was a disaster, today was a lot better. 0 for Q today, because his handler was an idiot and made the same mistake twice on a rear cross. A rear cross is when I change directions left to right behind the dog - this is not something I do with Chelsie, as I am always ahead of her and cross in front of her. The timing is totally different and something I am not used to.

The first time I screwed up, I had good reason..if I missed, we were for sure doomed, as he probably would have gone into an off course tunnel staring him in the face - it is important to note that the dogs were approaching a very tight sequence of obstacles with a tremendous amount of speed...I cut the angle too close and sent him right by the jump. Fast forwad to jumpers...same opportunity, only no off course out there - I thought, great! I can fix it - this is a good course for him, we will get past this and be good...wrong. Praise the dog, slap the handler...

Anyway, about Rachel and Cessy. Rachel is in 5th grade and trains her Samoyed Cessy (a big fluffy white dog) at our club. I first saw Rachel and Cessy about 2 summers ago, at one of our NADAC trials. These trials are less intense than AKC and great for jr handlers. My first show with Chelsie was a NADAC show. Anyway, it was on dirt, and Cessy found a stick and became obsessed with it. It was obvious Cessy had zero intention of doing anything but getting that stick. So the judge walked over, got the stick and gave it to Rachel and let her run the course with a stick in her hand - a big no-no. But Rachel and Cessy finished, quite well actually all things considered.

This weekend, in her second AKC trial, Rachel and Cessy completed their novice titles and moved into open. They got their novice jumpers title yesterday and competed in open jumpers today, and in one of the last runs of the trial this afternoon, they got their standard novice title - and there were some tough obstacles out there, primarily a horrendous weave pole entry off the A frame and a horrendous angle on jump 13 going out. A lot of dogs ran by jump 14 because of the angle. But it was great to see them finish - yesterday, they did the only thing they could have done not to qualify and that was knock a bar. The standard ring was the ring I was course building in, so I saw it all.

We were all so happy for this little girl. She is one patient kid and has worked so hard with this dog. She trains in the class before me on Wednesday nights, and it is obvious that she has stuck with and kept on going - Cessy is not an easy dog to train. It was great to be able to see her reap the benefits of 2 years of hard work. Not only did the dog qualify, she was 21 seconds under standard course time - the look on her face when her mom told her that was priceless.

Made it all worth it to be there close to 2 hrs after the other ring was done and gone home. :)

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Right Thing

This afternoon, my parents were downtown and had the opportunity to see my office and meet my coworkers. I am blessed to have some pretty great co workers, and was glad my parents had the opportunity to meet them.

After they had left, I was talking to my boss, and he asked what they were downtown for. As it turns out, they were downtown to go to the state insurance board. There is a creek not too far from where my parents live, which puts them in a flood zone - so they have flood insurance. Flood insurance premiums are based on where you live in the flood zone. My parents ended up switching insurance companies, only to find out the one they left had overcharged them because they had my parents in the wrong zone - and had overcharged them for 2 years. My dad called the Union County offices and FEMA and verified this information was correct, that they had overpaid based on where they lived in the flood zone. My dad called the former insurance company to try and get their money back - to no avail. In the event you are not familiar with flood insurance, it is quite expensive.

Clearly, the former company made a mistake - and is not owning up to it. Lord only knows how many other people are paying far more than they should. That being said, my dad has reported this issue to the state insurance board. Whether or not they get a refund at this point is irrelevant - my dad fundamentally believes in doing the right thing, and he feels the right thing in this case is for the insurance company to own up to their mistake. I told my boss that my dad is a man who believes in doing the right thing, even when it is not always convenient.

Fast forward to 2 hrs later. While my parents were stopped at a red light (they were the first car waiting for the light to turn green) a car ran the light and t-boned another car crossing the intersection. The car hit another car, for a total of three cars in the accident. When I was talking to my mom, she said they driver at fault told the police that the light was green - I asked how she knew that. She said that they stayed and waited for the police - that my dad felt obligated to provide information to the police being as they had witnessed it all. The 2 cars behind them stayed as well.

Growing up, the phrase "Its the right thing to do" came out of his mouth quite a bit. Wasn't always what I wanted to hear back then, but I hear it loud and clear now, and it has left a lasting impression. So for all my dear friends out there who wonder whether their kids "hear" them - while they may not acknowledge they hear you, they do. :)