Saturday, September 22, 2018

Update On Tesla / Service Dog Stuff

I haven't made any updates in a while about Tesla's training progress. Nothing too ground shattering had happened, just working through his adolescent stuff. It was all going fairly well, he was doing well at doctor's appointments and in public, fine in pet stores and anywhere else we went. Bracing well, starting to retrieve objects in public, more challenging scenarios.

But then there was an incident involving a pack of nasty reactive dogs belonging to an irresponsible neighbor of family we visited. They were constantly fence fighting trying to antagonize Ember and Tesla, who ignored them.  At one point the bad dogs started fighting with each other right next to the fence, and because I was near the fence when it happened, Tesla ran toward me and them, to defend me.

I stepped in to stop him, grabbing his collar to hold him back, because the other dogs were small and I was worried he would be blamed for hurting them or of him getting hurt. I lost my balance and used my hand to steady myself on the ground. The most aggressive of those bad dogs pushed through/under the chain fence at that point and nailed my hand while trying to get at Tesla, and the whole thing got Tesla real upset.

I actually ended up having a pain induced syncope episode and passed out after I managed to stumble deliriously inside with partial tunnel vision.  I had to go to the emergency clinic and report the incident. Then went through a horrible experience of having an allergic reaction to the antibiotics they gave me as precaution for the animal bite.

Ever since that happened, Tesla has been reactive to other dogs and more protective in general.  Any time he sees dogs in public, he has outbursts.  I have been working for months trying to re-socialize him, and just when it seems like we have progress, something happens to undo it.


Like the amazing day of Tesla going with me to the hospital for doctor's appointments and radiology stuff. Got all sorts of comments on how well behaved he was, etc. Then we stopped by our local pet store to see friends and get his claws ground, since I was having bad wrist trouble.
He was fine with dogs already behind the counter, peeking over to see them curiously while we waited our turn. A man suddenly comes in despite that I was right against the door and there was clearly no space with big Tesla standing there too. The guy had some sort of Pekinese or similar, and the dog was straining at the leash panting like crazy pulling to get into the salon... right into Tesla's face.  Which triggered an outburst.
It's difficult. I now feel like I am "that person, with that kind of dog".  I have worked with dog reactivity, but none of my own personal dogs have ever been this bad off.



I am at a point now where I don't have much choice but to consider Tesla a washout. Unless I can drastically change the behavior to where it wouldn't be a liability.  I don't have the money for taking him to repeated long term reactive dog classes to try and sort the issue out, and I am not sure it would fix things enough to allow him to ever not have that liability. Unfortunately assistance dogs cannot be reactive in the way he is acting.

He'd be perfect for Schutzhund IPO work.  Which is the next thing we are going to try, to see if putting the reaction under controlled environment and command will help him understand he should not react that way unless asked to do so, and only in the IPO "game" situations. It's sort of like a kid going to karate.  They learn discipline and skills and time and place for using those skills and energy, in controlled environments or situations.

Even with the specific training, there is no guarantee it will work well enough that I can keep working Tesla as my assistance dog. Even with the right training, he probably never will be 100% again.  There might be too much liability if there is even a slight chance he might become reactive at the wrong place and time.  Granted, this could happen with ANY dog, even one who has never shown any reactivity.  They are animals, not machines. At this rate I don't have many options.

I will probably need to get another dog, if by some miracle I can't make Tesla work out. I run into the same problem as before.  As much as I want to keep Tesla and I am really attached to him, I don't really have the financial means to keep 3 large dogs ( Ember, Tesla, and whoever new dog is ) if I do need to start all over again and get another dog.  Especially since we'd be looking at a larger breed like a mastiff type dog. I'm just not sure I can try owner training again,between the financial and emotional strain. Raising these dogs from tiny pups and then them being perfect except for some random fluke reason, too much emotional hurt in it and feeling like a failure when I have been forced to rehome them.

I am still on CPL's waiting list, but have not heard anything back besides forms to update my information periodically.  I am not hopeful I will hear anything anytime soon.


I am at a point where I am ready to give up if this working dog training doesn't work.  Maybe I'll just become a hermit and not leave the house anymore.

This week starts the Schutzhund IPO training with someone I was introduced to who has experience with police K-9s and military working dogs. He is familiar with the most high drive of working dog lines, which will be a valuable asset in trying to reshape Tesla's behavior.



Fingers crossed this will all somehow work out. I will post more updates along the way.  Positive thoughts for us are greatly appreciated.




Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Reboot Redux

Here I am again.  I know I have been pretty bad about writing updates, and worse about being able to check in on friends and see how everyone is doing.

I just can't seem to catch a break.  Just when I think I'll be able to get back into a good routine centered around this, it never fails that something always happens to throw things into utter chaos.  Murphey's Law.

Not complaining about it, just laughing at all the ironies and making note of much flailing and swearing that ensued. Imagine it in the comical sense of watching my spotty-stripe self run around flailing and maybe swearing in ancient Pictish or some Lovecraftian tongue.

First, my computer that is used for basically everything I do, from digital edits of images and video to crafty creative and social media related things like being able to browse Facebook or similar sites, to playing games like Skyrim, Fallout, and a handful of others that help me keep some semblance of my (in)sanity.... well, it started acting very weirdly months ago, freezing and hating on web browsing and programs.

It got worse and started randomly shutting down and restarting for no apparent reason. Right in the middle of me working.  Lots of lost edits. Then just restarting no matter what I did, without warning. I posted more about it on Patrreon, so head there for that full story. Thankfully I fixed it. Which is why I can post now!  Yay!


During the time that was happening, our AC broke.  We were without air conditioning for a week.  In 90F + heat.  Those sorts of conditions are pretty miserable for normal people.

My health problems and faulty autonomic system not regulating body temperature right, made it gazillions and trillions times worse. I was overheating like nobody's business.

It made me real sick and triggered flairups of epic proportions.  Bless my amazing aunt for covering the cost of repair and small portable AC unit till we could fight with the warranty people.

I glued myself in front of the window unit and stayed in one spot, with only the little portable AC to cool the entire house.  I barely managed to avoid a trip to the ER from heat stroke.

I was pretty delirious during that time, but I remember thinking it was funny that all the animals were huddled in the room by the portable AC trying to stay cool.  The rest of the house was an oven.

Near the end of that ordeal, our dishwasher started leaking water all over the kitchen floor.  Thank goodness we didn't start it as we were going to bed.  I heard the water from the other room. I actually thought it was one of the cats or dogs drinking, and went to investigate because it sounded weird.  Much flailing and spazzing followed as I went grabbing for towels to soak up the water.  We're still waiting to have an extra $75 to get that fixed.  Put down a drip pan right against the leaking edge to catch any water for the time being.

Now that I am not melting into a puddle and my computer is behaving itself again, I will be getting back around the catch-up game.  Apologies for masses of responses, comments, etc. that you might get from me at one time.

Hope everyone is well and look forward to catching up.




Sunday, May 13, 2018

Breaking Radio Silence

I haven't been online a lot since the end of November or so, mainly because a lot of things have been happening and changing in my life. I had a breakdown of sorts over the holidays and went into self preservation mode.  I was in a real dark place, and I am just managing to really pull myself above it where I hope it won't affect my friends or anyone around me that I care about.

I can't really talk about part of what happened. All I can say is it mainly revolved around the judge denying my Disability case, for biased reasons. I have filed an appeal with the Appeals Council, and that's all I can really say publicly. If you want to know more, feel free to ask in private.

Stress over the Disability hearing and then denial, caused autoimmune flairups from those stress triggers and snowballed. I got pretty sick several times as a result. Also had real bad flairs with my hands and wrists, needed steroid injections in my wrists. Raw skin on my hands has also made it hard to do things.  Had several bad Trigeminal Neuralgia flairs where the pain was so excruciating I just didn't want to exist. Like I said, the usual. 

Had some other things happening. Family stuff. Family illness. Deaths in the family. Just a lot of overwhelming emotional things that happened back to back.  I feel horrible that I haven't been able to be there and be supportive for everyone in the way I want to, and in the past was capable of doing. I feel like these shortcomings make me a bad person.


I know people have been concerned, not hearing from me.  I just wanted to let everyone know I was doing as okay as can be. Just didn't want to be a downer writing about nothing but depressing things, because no one wants to read about that.  I have little art and creative things, or geeky science and gardening stuff  ( mostly just pictures ) I have been keeping a record of over the months. I just haven't had the energy or presence of mind to process all the photos and upload them yet. I hope to do that soon.

Some I have already shared with my Patreons, who I am eternally grateful to and thankful for their continued support and understanding despite my absences and limited capacity to create on the level I wish I could and used to be able to. I am trying. My doctors have agreed that it is beneficial to keep trying, modify and incorporate what I can into my physical therapy exercises and such.


Just taking everything day by day.  Will start doing some catching up with everyone as I am able to.  Hope everyone is doing well.








Saturday, November 25, 2017

TLDR Dilemma

After trying for a long time, I have come to the sad conclusion that people in general have become habitually lazy in terms of awareness and willingness to engage. People don't want to read content. If it is not something that can be visually acquired within seconds of scrolling past, interest is lost. That plus algorithms designed to interfere with order of content and access to content for viewers, smashes any hope of success.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

AOL Instant Messenger Will Be Discontinued

PSA: AOL Instant Messenger will be discontinued.  For those who haven't heard and didn't get the email notice, AIM ( AOL Instant Messenger ) is being canned and dropped as of December 15, 2017.  AOHell is getting rid of it completely.  Per their email:

"We see that you've used AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) in the past, so we wanted to let you know that AIM will be discontinued and will no longer work as of December 15, 2017.

Before December 15, you can continue to use the service. After December 15, you will no longer have access to AIM and your data will be deleted. If you use an @aim.com email address, your email account will not be affected and you will still be able to send and receive email as usual."
So basically everyone who kept it connected via linked accounts so they could keep in touch with friends via an instant messaging service might want to reach out and update contacts before you lose them.  I had a feeling it would happen with recent changes they made, trying to force people to use and pay for the service.
My understanding is that they are disallowing outside connections to any linked accounts.  Which means Trillian and other things like Facebook Messaging will be unable to access the AOHell buddy list content any longer, or interact with anyone using it.  You will be unable to save or export your buddy list.
You can keep in contact with me via Trillian and Discord at the following:
Trillian - leopardwolf
Discord - LeopardWolf#7905

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You can see AOL ( now Oath )'s FAQ about it here:

https://help.aol.com/articles/aim-discontinued

For those of us who have used AIM since 1997 and before ( when still with AOHell as an ISP ), this really, really sucks.  So much for nostalgia and maintaining old connections.  Thanks for screwing us all over Oath.  I highly doubt you will develop anything more iconic or life changing than the original AIM platform has been.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Back In The Saddle

Apologies for the delays in more frequent updates. In wake of all the stress and preparation for my Disability hearing, the summer weather really decided to kick my ass and has caused reoccurring flairups of my autoimmune and neurocardio problems and related symptoms. I am still sick, but the bulk of the stressful events triggering symptoms has passed, so hopefully my body will stop freaking out so much. The summer heat is finally breaking a bit and there is more breeze instead of still, hot air. Once it cools more, I hope things will be more manageable.

A lot of reoccurring migraine activity and blurred vision or related issues from my Sjogren's has made it difficult to focus on creative things both visually and mentally.  Even as I write this, I am seeing halos and haze and have to take frequent breaks to rest.  During the downtime I have been working on various little things as able. I am looking forward to sharing them all.  It might just be a combination of some photos and short writeups to begin with, but I am hoping to generate enough content during my "stable" periods to help compensate for the downtime when I get sick in the future.  That has been the biggest issue I have faced, the gaps in activity and posting new content.

I want to be able to get to a place where I am able to make updates more frequently even when I am really sick, to break the pattern of falling behind every time I am.  It has been a slow learning process to find the middle ground. I really appreciate everyone's continued support and encouragement while I try and find that happy balance between being a creator and living with chronic illness.

Upcoming topics will include art and creative things, gardening ( in the limited capacity I can handle ), biology and botany geekery, bonsai, raku, and discussions about small ecosystems found in aquariums, terrariums, and updates about mine and plans for upcoming development.

Hope everyone is well.