Thursday, August 10, 2017

Quick Update, Disability Hearing

Still alive.  Been really sick on and off multiple times with flairups, including falls and passing out. Started as soon as the temperatures began to get warmer outside.  Been borderline heat stroke every day since. Can't get anything done because I overheat too easy, even inside with the AC running full blast. The little energy I have has been totally devoted to preparing for my Disability Hearing at the end of August.  I haven't really been online on FB or anywhere else at all since April or May, so if I missed anything major, I apologize.  Thank you all for the birthday wishes back in May, they helped cheer me up while I was sick. Hoping it cools off outside soon. I hope all is well for all of you. If I missed anything you want me to know about, please share.  I will catch up as I am able to, but probably won't be real active till after my Disability Hearing on August 31st.  Positive thoughts and prayers for a positive outcome are appreciated. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

In Boxes, Crafty Things, Dogs

In Boxes
So busy.  Driving back and forth to Texas, trying to find the energies and lack of pain to sort and pack up more things.  Helped Mike get settled in to the new place. Things didn't go the way we originally planned; when do they ever?  Lack of Uhaul Northeast side meant all of our belongings and furniture that was at his grandmother's ended up having to stay there.  Which meant he only came with what he could cram and Tetris into his car, most of that room being taken up by his work computers and chair and work necessities, and a handful of other stuff he could jam in.  So once again we started with nothing and had to get new furniture and things, with the hope his family will go and take pictures of the stuff we left and sell it so we can get some money back for it, but the likelihood of that happening anytime soon is slim. Lots of stress, the move almost not happening because Mike's pay drops so drastically from the supposed "cost of living" difference. Which is horrible that companies can do it and base it however the hell they base it off local rent costs or whatever, because when you base it off a city that has reduced prices because of the nearby military base then of course that might be cheaper - only if you live on the base and have access to the reduced base prices. But the rent isn't. And milk and other things still cost as much when you are on civilian side.  It's disgusting that by relocating to get closer to work, it basically set him back to his beginning pay rate, removing 3yrs or so worth of raises and a promotion to a higher position.  But job opportunities and affordability long term is better, so it was worth doing. It just means things are going to be insanely tight for a while.

Crafty Things
I have all sorts of things going on and in the process of being completed art and creativity wise and with related efforts. The ceramic rattles are completed, but they were one of the first things I moved via car to ensure they wouldn't be damaged. I will get pictures of them next trip and get them posted online for sale, though I might ask Mike to take a few teaser shots of them I will share via Patreon for anyone interested in catching them before they are released to the general public.  Most of my art supplies are going to be packed away until they can be relocated, but I will try to keep out some basic things like a sketchbook, my Wacom for digital, and maybe a few other odds or ends. All of my corals are doing well.  I have finally grown some out enough to where I can frag them, and plan to have those frags up for sale when I do.  Moving the tank and its inhabitants is going to be all sorts of insanity, but I already have it planned out and hope to document the process and share it later.  I have been prepping plants for bonsai and doing my annual collection of flowers for drying. The Sweet Olive and Gardenia smell so wonderful.  I have a few ceramics items that are glazed but not yet fired, so I really need to run the kiln and fire them before they get packed for travel.  Making of new items is on hold for the moment.
Dogs
Ember stayed with Mike so I could focus more on working with Tesla individually, similar to how I did back with Journey.  Training has been a little slow going with all of the other crazyness going around, and my body having an absolute fit. My ankle has been messed up over a month now, making it painful and hard to walk.  Poor Ember was getting to a point where I was having to give her more medicine when she was more active going places with me, and it was clearly effecting her behavior and her ability to alert accurately, to where I decided it was in her best interest not to work her anymore.  As a DDR line descendant GSD, Tesla is a very high drive dog, and far more challenging to work with.  I'm still not completely certain he has the correct behavior for assistance dog work.  He'd be excellent for Schutzhund and IPO activities without a doubt. In fact, I have been in contact with a local Schutzhund club and we went out this weekend to meet some of them and see them work their dogs.  Tesla even got to become acquainted with some nosework for tracking. Tesla is insanely strong for his size, and he has a beautiful bite and grip when engaged in play.  It's just honing in the focus and building the self control over those instincts, and helping build his "on/off" switch that might prove to be an issue. He is a puppy though, so I am hoping I can shape it and use that drive to our advantage, in a controlled fashion that will make him the best working dog he can be.

Going back to the topic of size, that is really the only other concern I have with Tesla. I am not sure if he will be big enough.  His growing rate is more closely resembling Chakotay's, which was on the smaller side for a male Shepherd.  Journey was huge by this age, but he also had obvious physical issues as a result despite my best efforts to do everything right to ensure physical soundness.  You just can't beat genetics.  Still, at 4 months old ( going on 5 ), I feel like even Chakotay was larger by this point.  But it could just be that I am so worried about if Tesla will work out or not after Journey and Chakotay washing out, that my mind is playing tricks on me.  We went in for Tesla's last round of puppy shots/ rabies vaccine. I discussed it with the vet. With his current rate of growth, unless he hits a huge growth spurt, she isn't sure he will be more than 60lbs.  He is a very strong little dog, even now.  But I need the size. He needs to be tall enough for full mobility assist and have a sound structure for the weight bearing support work and counter balancing.  Once again I am not sure how this will play out.  If he ends up being too small, I might not be able to use him, even if he is physically sound otherwise. Ideally a person my size should have a dog no less than 80lbs, preferably 100lbs+ for the mobility assist I require. With Ember, I fudged a lot and always used an additional surface/wall/furniture/whateve
r so I didn't hurt her.  Now I am to the point where I can't do that anymore, even if Ember was still young and workable, my body just can't tolerate as much as it used to. I need a larger dog.  I am really hoping Tesla will be that dog.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Moving Along, Avian Amusement

Had the icky sickies of a flair and sinus infection since my last post. Had a lot going on with training with Tesla, physical therapy, and an unexpected trip back to Texas to look for rental options. I went alone with the dogs this time because Mike didn't have enough time to take off work, and needed the time and money for moving. As we found out the last time, the rental market there is crazy and if you don't immediately jump on something you like, you lose it.  This happened several more times over the past months and even during the trip. We finally managed to find something that will work for us, and were approved!  I will be going back and forth between there and my aunt's house while waiting for my disability stuff to be sorted out, and also so I can help family with some things.  Mike is moving down from NJ to the new house mid March. I will move most of my things over to the new place so they are there for when I can move there full time. Now he is closer to his employer and better job opportunities.  It is only about an 8hr drive from New Orleans (more for me since I need to stop frequently to take breaks), so we'll finally have a chance to be back together again after waiting so long and it will be easy for me to travel back and forth as needed. So insanely happy!
During this recent drive there and back, there was some avian amusement. I literally watched a chicken try to cross the road in Caldwell, TX.  By a busy traffic light, the young bird was at the edge of the road and would start to dart out, but then run back when a vehicle would get too close. This happened several times as vehicles ahead of me passed it. I slowed down, and it tried again.  This time making it halfway across the road. It had to fly frantically the rest of the way to avoid traffic. The chicken crossed the road, and it did get to the other side!

The next month or so is going to be crazy busy. Excuse my sporadic presence online.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Meet Tesla






















This is Tesla.  His registered name is Tesla Leuchtet Den Weg vom LhunThyla ( Tesla Lights The Way - from LhunThyla ; my owner/kennel tag ).

Tesla is an AKC registered German Shepherd ( Alsatian ).  He is 13 weeks old.  I have had him for about a week, but didn't want to post anything publicly till I knew for sure I was keeping him.  He is a Galliard, born Waxing Gibbous ( a day shy of Ahroun! ) . Very vocal and likes to tell you about all the things.  He has a great personality and is already more like Journey was in his confidence levels, which is a good thing. Certain personality traits about Tesla remind me of Journey and Chakotay both.

Tesla's namesake is in honor of Nikola Tesla, famous Serbian-American inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, physicist, and futurist who is best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current electricity system, wireless communications, experiments in wireless power transmission, and much more.  Tesla coils, anyone? :D

The symbology behind "lighting the way" is both toward that namesake, and the hope he will light the way for me as my new service dog.  So far he is doing well with basic training and everything he is exposed to in public.  His hips and body structure look great; he does the "Superman sprawl" which is an early sign hips should be okay.

When I went to meet him and was doing the initial evaluation, he was quite the character.  While talking to the breeder, I set my treat pouch down off to the side. Next thing we knew, puppy had picked the whole thing up and was happily trotting back toward the garage carrying it!  A metal trash lid dropping right behind him when he wasn't expecting it and umbrella/object testing did not phase him, he had quick recovery. He happily greets strangers and other dogs.

As long as the OFA xrays come back good, he will be clear medically.  As long as he can overcome any adolescent fear periods he might have, he should be okay behaviorally.  Fingers crossed he will be the one.  Third GSD is a charm?  Lets hope so.

I will be setting up a fundraiser to help cover his medical and xray expenses, and so we can get into some training classes for socialization as soon as possible.  Anyone interested in donating can send donations to leopardwolf@gmail.com  via PayPal.  I am offering artwork or creative things in return, based on donation amounts for anyone interested.  Thank you for your help and support!





Follow along here:  http://www.facebook.com/JourneyWithServiceDogs


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Femur Funny

Ember and I went to an appointment with a new doctor the other day.  When we walked into the room, we found this anatomy model, who looked like it had seen better days. The femur bone there was broken in half, taped together with duct tape to make it whole again. After the doctor comes in and we introduce ourselves, I gesture to the model and say "I hope you don't plan on fixing me like you fixed him".  The doctor grins and replies "Duct tape really *can* fix anything!"  He's a keeper.





Saturday, January 21, 2017

AmBull Breeder Situation Update

An update to the situation with the AmBull breeder. She returned $300 to me, which is something she does not normally do.  While it was not the full amount I should have gotten back, some is better than none.  We had a chance to speak back and forth and more details came to light. The whole thing was a huge misunderstanding on both our parts caused by unreliable communication in the form of missed text messages and such, because she lives in a poor service area ( I know this is true because my grandparents don't live far from there ). We apologized to each other and left off on the best terms we could, given the circumstance. If anyone would like more information on the matter, they may feel free to contact me directly.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Facial Nerve Injections?

Waiting to hear back on a referral to see a Neurologist and Pain Specialist, probably also ENT doctor.  Hoping that I can finally get the MRI I have been waiting years for. Depending on what they find, there might be some treatment options to help with the Trigeminal Neuralgia as far as injecting the nerve or other procedures.  Getting the injection in my wrist tendon is painful enough. I can't even imagine how much an injection to a facial nerve is going to hurt.  They seriously better gas me to do it, because I know for a fact I will feel this through any local or topical they use on me, and it will trigger my neurocardio stuff in a bad way.  Feeling like a skewered piece of meat as a giant needle is jabbed into your jaw socket.  Awesome!

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