Guilty’s First Therapy Visit

Guilty received her red heart “I am a Therapy Dog” collar tag and certificate from Alliance Of Therapy Dogs so she was now official to do pet therapy work with me.

Collar Tag.

Certificate

Guilty will join the pet therapy team along with her momma Glory and Gambler of Sand Spring Chesapeakes. She was ready to have her first visit which happened last Friday.

Gotta go to work.

I do pet therapy work each Friday at Beaver Dam Middle School during the school year. I visit 5 classrooms with my therapy dogs. Since this was her first therapy visit I got there early so I could walk her around outside and make sure she did her business. We then went in, signed in and headed to our first classroom.

What’s with all the bells and children?

I made sure I got there before the bell so that Guilty could experience the bell going off and the children milling around the hallways. I picked a spot to sit out of the direct line of traffic and away we went. The bell went off children started milling around and she just sat there and watched, nothing bothered her one bit. Of course she got rewarded as a few girls asked if they could pet her and I said yes since we weren’t in our room yet.

The goodie bag.

Guilty had her goody bad all stocked and ready to go for her visit. Since it was St. Patrick’s day she handed out green clover pencils. The kids could tell me the difference between Gambler and Guilty. A child that hardly will pet Gambler came right over and spent a lot of time with Guilty. The highlight of our day was our last room visit which was the cognitive disorder room. Guilty marched right up to the girls in the wheelchairs and licked their hands, stood there while the teachers helped the girls pet her. She switched between the two girls letting them each have a turn. She was so comfortable she would lay down by their feet until it was time to get up again and get some pets. The vocal girl didn’t bother her one bit. One girl just woke up from a nap and was laying on a tall bed in another room, the teacher came out and told me that Sophia said she wanted to visit with Guilty. Since she was on the bed the teacher asked if Guilty would sit on a chair. I told her yes she would so she brought in a chair and I placed Guilty on the chair. She saw Sophia laying there and put her two feet on the bed, I asked the teacher if Guilty could lay by her and she said yes. Gently Guilty was placed on the bed she laid right next to Sophia and gave her a kiss, Sophia pet her and Guilty stretched out right along side of her and was content to be by her. It was a great first visit! We have to make real sure that our therapy dogs aren’t going to be rough or step where they shouldn’t so most of our visits are done with the dog on the floor. We do make exceptions like in this case and Guilty proved that she could be gentle. She will still need to be cautiously watched if we do that again.

We have this Friday off for spring break then we will be back at it. We will be visiting two schools in the weeks ahead as I just got my R.E.A.D membership so I can participate in Reading Education Assistance Dogs.

House Guest

Guilty’s brother Jager is spending a few days with us. I haven’t seen him since last fall. He has grown up to a handsome young man. It’s nice to be able to spend time with a littermate. Guilty was sassy to him at first then the playing began and I couldn’t get a non moving picture of the two of them. That’s my goal this week is to get some family photos!

Wordless Wednesday is a community linkup of bloggers. Visit our host, BlogPaws, and you can use the icons below the post to hop from site to site. It is a great way to discover new blogs…..or even just a convenient way to find all of your favorites in one place. When you visit each site, be sure to leave a comment and let them know you found them through Wordless Wednesday.

The Twenty Years – Reflections And An Upcoming Milestone After Parents Deaths

The Twenty Years – Reflections And An Upcoming Milestone After Parents Deaths – Part 2

Mom was released from the hospital, she came home to spend the rest of her life at home. I took care of her, my brother’s wife took care of her, family and friends came to visit. Hospice was brought in and this was my first experience with hospice. What a wonderful organization I am so glad they are here for us. During this time my mom and I talked, reminisced and spent a lot of time telling each other how much we loved each other. Since I was spending 24 hrs a day with mom she spent a lot of time filling me in on things, like what keys were for what item, where important papers were, dates on the calendar that she had stuff going on, most of all she had a lot of antiques that were her mom and dad’s so she made sure she told me about each and every one of them. Today I am so glad that she did that otherwise I would of just packed up those trinkets and got rid of them not knowing the significance of them. Mom got weaker and weaker so together we planned her funeral. The hospice nurses would tell me what phases of death she was going through and what to expect. My mom’s brother was driving in from California, she was not responding much the nurse told me that sometimes they hold on for people they love. She also remembered that my first wedding anniversary was coming up on March 22 and that under no circumstances was I to have the funeral on my anniversary and she told me John and I had to go out for a nice supper. My sister-in-law and brother were expecting their second child at this time. Mom wanted to know the sex of the baby before she passed so Lynn had a ultrasound so she could tell our mom the sex of the baby. The night before my mom passed my sister-in-law came over to spend the night and give me a break, my brother spent the night as well it was at that time they told her the sex of their baby. I went upstairs to sleep for the first time since mom came home. That next morning after my brother and John went to work mom passed away. She put up a good fight but she passed before my uncle made it to town. I feel she waited for me to not be by her side since I was by her side the whole time. The doctor had a pretty good prediction as she passed away three weeks to the day of her operation from a sarcoma that arose from her radiation treatment she had in her late twenty’s to treat her ovarian cancer.

My mom died 20 years ago on March 19, 1997, my dad passed away 23 years ago on April 22, 1994. Both parents passed away when they were 47 years old. In the early years after my mom passed I happened to be watching a interview with Madonna talking about her mother’s death at such a young age and she said she will not have closure until she has outlived the age her mom was when she died. That interview has stuck with me for the past 20 years. It’s another thing I think about each and every day. Will I live to make it to 47, will I die before 47, will I die at 47 just like my parents did. 47 seems to be the magic number. I am happy to say my brother has surpassed the age that our parents died at. He is now 48 years old and going strong! I am so close to my brother (it helps we only live 3 miles from each other). Now that we have gotten older I see so much of my dad in my brother it makes it feel like he is right with us. I have now come to the year I’ve been thinking about for the past 20 years. This year in November will mark my 47th Birthday. You will have to follow along to see if I make it past the age of 47 or will I be cursed like my parents, a huge milestone that I have been carrying around with me. Hopefully I will make it and on November 19 a day after my Birthday I can start a new life of not thinking about when I’m going to die all the time. I will have surpassed the age of both of my parents deaths and I can finally have closure and know I have out lived them.

Another thing I have often though about during these years is about not saying good bye to my dad and the precious time I had with my mom. I’ve had the experience to witness death both ways and have tried to wrap my mind around which one is the best way of going. I would have to say that it was better for me to have the chance to say good bye to a loved one. It was for a very short time but at least we got to say good bye. As we were cleaning out my dad’s things we would come across things that we had no idea what they were for and wished he was around to ask. So when mom went around and told me all kinds of things it made the transition to cleaning out her things so much easier. You usually don’t have a say in when, where and how a person dies but at least hopefully you can find comfort in it. If I would have to do it all over again I wouldn’t want my dad’s death to be a surprise I would of wanted to have a few days to spend with him alive to say I love you and till we meet again peace be with you. I’m sure I will still think about my parents each and every day from this day forward but come Nov 18th I can put one thing behind me move on and think of something else to worry about for the next 20 years.

 

The Twenty Years – Reflections And An Upcoming Milestone After Parents Deaths

The Twenty Years – Reflections And An Upcoming Milestone After Parents Deaths – Part 1

Early morning of April 22, 1994 the call from my mother I hoped would never happen. It wasn’t a bad dream it was real even know it felt like a bad dream. “JoAnn”, yes mom, you need to get to the hospital I am here with your dad and their working on him. During this time in my life I was 23 years old working and living in Milwaukee. I hung up the phone, gathered up some things and headed up North to the hospital where the ambulance took my dad. My dad since 1989 was being treated for kidney failure which was in part caused by a genetic disease Poly Cystic Kidney Disease and untreated high blood pressure that caused him to have a stroke that lead to his diagnosis. He recovered from the stroke, was being treated for his high blood pressure and then started his new life of treating his kidney failure which back in the day was by peritoneal dialysis which is where they inserted a tube into this abdominal wall which would stay there and he would administer fluid into the abdomen, leave it there to work its magic by  clearing the toxins from the blood caused by the kidney failure. The solution would then be drained out and the process done over and over until one day my dad got very sick was admitted to the hospital to find out his intestine was perforated, a complication from the peritoneal dialysis. He had emergency surgery to remove the affected intestine, the dialysis tube was removed and they prepped his arm for hemodialysis. He would now have to go to a clinic and spend 3-4 or longer hours there having a machine clean the toxins from his blood three times a week. He was then put on the kidney transplant list where he waited for a call that they found him a kidney. During this time Grandma (dad’s mother) went in and was tested for a potential live donor. She was refused as she was pre diabetic. My mom tried and was refused to. Other family members weren’t considered because of the genetic PKD. I tried to get tested but they wouldn’t even consider me since I was a girl in her twenty’s and I hadn’t had children yet so they wouldn’t take my kidney. I tried to tell them that I wasn’t going to have children but they said I didn’t know that for sure at that age. To think I am now 46 and still don’t have or want children, and they thought I didn’t know at that age what I wanted. This is one thing that bothers me the most is that the doctors made up their mine that I couldn’t help my dad when all I wanted was to help him.

As I was driving up to the hospital all I thought about was my dad being at peace. I knew deep down that he wasn’t going to be coming home. I arrived at the hospital, went in to see my dad and my mom told me he was already gone. I kissed his cheek told him he was at peace now, no more doctor visits, no more pain. I left there empty as I never got to say goodbye and his life at 47 was taken to young. I was feeling very selfish the upcoming years as I was just starting my adult life and doing so many things and adventures and I didn’t have my dad, my best friend there to share my experiences with. You see I was a daddy’s girl, he taught me how to bowl, taught me how to play softball, taught me how to hunt and most of all taught me how to enjoy life and make everything fun. He could make anyone in the room laugh and you could hear his distinctive laugh a mile away.  He was full of life for such a short time. We had to learn a new normal, my mom had to learn how to live without her husband, my brother and I had to learn how to live without our dad. Dad passed away from complications from the kidney failure. The learning to live only lasted three years…..

The end of February 1997 I got another call from my mom. This time I was living with my husband John and we were living closer to my old home. “JoAnn”, yes mom, I haven’t been feeling well so I called the ambulance and they are taking me to the hospital. I was at work in Milwaukee at the time so by the time I got to the hospital they already had my mom in surgery for what they thought was an obstruction in the bowels. While I waited for the surgery to be over I thought about how it has been only three short years since my dad passed away. In those three years I moved closer to my mom so we could spend time together more often. She would make meals and bring them to John and I when we got home from work. We would go shopping, we would spend time with her first grandchild Brittany. She continued to work selling Avon to her customers and working in different restaurants. She was there for me when I got married. We at this point in our lives became best friends and I was so happy to be able to share my adult life with my mom. We didn’t get along well when I was growing up because she was trying to teach me about values, morals, how to be a decent person, the difference between right and wrong all the stuff a parent should teach their children. They aren’t there to be your best friend they are there to be your parent and hope like hell what they are teaching you sticks. I of course had to be a rebel and think my mom didn’t know what was best for me so we butted heads a lot. I think we were mad at each other more times than not mad. Through it all she never abandoned me, she was my biggest cheerleader at all my gymnastics meets, she continued to love me when I pushed her away.

The surgeon came in and told us what he found during the operation. There was a blockage in the intestine it was because she had a tumor that caused the blockage and they found that the cancer had spread throughout her body. They removed the tumor did a colostomy and told us it didn’t look good. He predicted that she could have anywhere’s from 1 to 3 weeks to live. What does one do with this type of information? One does everything possible to get everything arranged as fast as you could as you don’t know how much time you have. I ended up taking a leave of abscess from work, I packed up John’s and my rental house and moved everything into my mom’s house so I could be there with her when she was able to come home from the hospital. You hurry up and get a living trust together so her belongings don’t have to go to probate, you get a power of health care and a power of attorney set up. You contact her boss and tell them she won’t be coming back ever and contact all the people close to her. You go through the motions so fast that you don’t even take the time to understand what is all happening and why. When my mom was awake from surgery and after the doctor had talked to her about what he found I was sitting by her side and she looks and me and says “I’m sorry for being so hard on you while you were growing up”. I looked her in the eyes, hugged her and told her it was ok, it was because of how she raised me that I am the person I am today. Those words have stuck by me for the past 20 years. I think of them each day and am sad that I was so hard on my mom all those years prior. It’s nothing I can change now but move forward knowing we both loved each other very much.

Stop back tomorrow to read Part 2.

St. Patty’s Day Helper

Preacher decided to help me get ready for the Sand Spring St. Patty Day photo shoot.

Preacher decided to lay down on the job, her fun was done.

Stop back Friday as it is St. Patrick’s Day!

Wordless Wednesday is a community linkup of bloggers. Visit our host, BlogPaws, and you can use the icons below the post to hop from site to site. It is a great way to discover new blogs…..or even just a convenient way to find all of your favorites in one place. When you visit each site, be sure to leave a comment and let them know you found them through Wordless Wednesday.

National Pi Day 2017

Gambler wanted to get in on Pi Day 2017. He likes pies so why not?

Pie I like Pie!

Oh boy this is great!

I’m so happy it is Pi day I get to have my Pie and eat it too!

Preachie Pie wants in on the pie action.

Happy Birthday to Albert Einstein, sometimes Gambler thinks he is a genus.

Enjoy your Pie!

Purina FortiFlora #chewyinfluencer

Chewy White

Ding Dong Chewy.com #ChewyInfluencer calling.

Nellie loves FortiFlora hates photo shoots.

This months review is brought to you by Nellie. Nellie has been on Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets FortiFlora Probiotic Dog Supplement for over a year now so when asked if wanted to do a review on FortiFlora I jumped at the idea because this was one review that I could say the dog has actually been on it a long time so I know how it works long term.

Oh the “snakes in the belly”.

Nellie is a garbage hound and will find anything outside to eat, in doing so it gives her what we call “snakes in the belly”. Her stomach gets bloated, rumbles she feels miserable so then she doesn’t eat. I used to give her pepcid to calm her stomach down. Now I give her FortiFlora once a day on her dry food and her “snakes in the belly” have gone away for the most part. She will have an occasional stomach upset but nothing like before.

Easy to use and great tasting.

FortiFlora is a probiotic that should be used once a day on the dogs food. It comes in a box with 30 individual packages. One for each day of the month. You should only open the package when you are ready to use it as it contains live active culture and if open the active culture will die and not be beneficial.

Nellie digging right into her meal.

You can use it on any food, dry, wet or raw whatever you feed you just sprinkle the contents of the package over the food. For dry food you could add a little water or you don’t need to. The probiotic acts as a natural stimulate to get the dogs to eat so they will eat the food and then lick the bowl clean licking up all the powder.

The gang trying to help Nellie lick the bowl.

Once Nellie is done the other dogs in the house want to lick the bowl and lick her lips because they can smell the tastiness. You can use it on any dog for a routine supplement not just for intestinal upset or diarrhea. I feed it to the others just when they have a bout of diarrhea. I have too many dogs to use it routinely as I would be spending a lot of money on it, so they get it when needed except Nellie she gets it on her food each day.

More FortiFlora please.

For the dietary management of dogs with diarrhea, Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets FortiFlora probiotic supplement has been proven to promote intestinal health and balance as well as a healthy immune system. Proven safe and effective, FortiFlora contains guaranteed levels of the probiotic strain Enterococcus faecium SF68 to provide shelf stability and to arrive alive in the intestinal tract.

On Sale right now at Chewy.com for $25.99 a box.

Why Chewy.com?

Because: Chewy.com has more than 300 brands to choose from and is ready to fetch it and ship it, direct to your doorstep, anytime of the day. Have a question regarding the best food for your pet? Call us 24/7 and our helpful customer service team at Chewy.com is ready to listen.

Chewy.com lives and breathes pets. Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Chewy.com’s dedicated staff is committed to providing quality pet products to our customers in a fast and easy way. That’s why we have warehouses located throughout the country – so the products are delivered quickly and efficiently. Bottom line, Chewy.com delivers pet happiness – and there’s nothing really better than that. Their products are 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed (if your not happy call them and they pay for shipping the item back), they have expert pet care and product advice, over 200 of the best pet brands and 24/7 customer care. Another great benefit of Chewy.com is they have autoship for your pet food needs and orders under $49.00 are a flat rate shipping cost of $4.95.

Chewy.com 200 SW 1st Avenue Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301 1-800-67-CHEWY

What’s new at Chewy.com? They now have autoship.

I was given one box of FortiFlora  in exchange for a honest review.

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We would like to thank out hosts Sugar The Golden Retriever and Oz The Terrier for this Chewy Hop.

 

Making A difference With Pet Therapy

{This Moment} See Beautiful

Each Friday I do pet therapy at the Beaver Dam Middle School. Every other Friday I visit a cognitive disorder classroom at the same school. There are three very special girls that attend that class. They are in wheelchairs and can’t speak or do anything for themselves. When we started going there Gambler was a little aloof with one of the girls, even know she can’t speak per say she is very vocal with noises. Gambler would hang out with the other girls, get pets, sniff their chairs, kiss their hands, while he was doing this the one girl would become very vocal and Gamblers eyes would get big. He didn’t quite know what to think of that. I would then take Gambler over to her chair and the teachers would have her pet him, she continued to tell her story very loudly. We did short sessions so we didn’t scare Gambler. We continued to come back every other week and would work with Gambler and this girl.

Last Friday I and the teachers saw a break through with Gambler and with this girl. She was talking very loudly when Gambler was visiting the other gal, the teacher wheeled her up and Gambler headed right over to her he stood by her wheelchair and the teacher started helping the girl pet him. He stood there and wouldn’t move, the girl then all of a sudden stopped being vocal and you could see she was more relaxed and calmed down. Gambler then went back to the other girl got a couple pets and then went back to the one that is vocal. She was quite the rest of the visit and the teachers said “wow look what Gambler did, she hasn’t been this calm all morning”, “I think we need Gambler to stay here all day”! They noticed the difference and I for sure noticed the difference.

After that session Gambler got a big ole treat of Culvers ice cream!

Gambler loves the elevator ride we take to see the kids, sometimes a kid will join us then he gets all kinds of pets.

It makes me See Beautiful when Gambler makes a difference in kids life.

{This Moment} See Beautiful is a once a month Blog Hop, every 2nd Friday of the month. simply create a blog post that made your day, week, and/or month … inspiring you in Seeing Beauty. Blog Hop inspired by See Beautiful. We thank Sugar and Miss Lydia from See Beautiful.