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Where Were You? 16 February 08

Posted by turtlemom3 in Aids, Disability, Here Fido!, Illness, Partnership, Tasks, Team, Training.
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I’ve been pretty sick for the last week – had to have emergency oral surgery after several days of major pain from a spreading abscess.

As I was on pain pills, I was even more teetery on my feet than usual, so I mainly stayed my chair except to visit “the little house behind the house to meditate.”

While Magnus the Magnifi-cat was a wonderful Purr-motor for me, but I felt really loopy from the pain meds. Wasn’t up to getting up to the kitchen to making meals for myself. I fed the cat, but couldn’t figure out much of anything I wanted to eat.

“What,” you might ask, “could an assistance dog do for you when you have an acute illness? An assistance dog is for mobility, or for psychological or therapeutic purposes.” Well, that defines what I needed last week! Mobility! Help walking from room to room, from house to daughter’s car, to dental office, to car, to house.

Help with my functioning even if I didn’t feel good. Help with making me move – there is something really therapeutic to knowing you HAVE to take the Woof out to poop and either work to exercise the doggie or get the grandkids over to exercise him and what not.

I’ve researched ways to exercise my Woof without my having to be very active – for those days I’m crashing. Found THIS

It’s called a Go Dog Go, and it’s an automatic (or as we say around here, an “automagic”) ball-thrower! Wonderful for the obsessive ball chasing/retrieving breeds (the retrievers! – go figure).

Go Dog Go

You fill up the bucket with tennis balls, set the electronic control for the frequency (7 or 15 seconds) you want it to throw a ball and how far (15 feet to 30 feet) and sit back and watch your dog have a “ball” chasing balls! You can even train your dog to refill the bucket for continuous, obsessive fun!

Go Dog Go   Go Dog Go Control

For those of us with energy and mobility problems, exercising the dog is no problem! And we can train the dog to refill the bucket. Do I want one when the Woof comes? O yeah! But I want neon pink tennis balls!

Back to my acute illness – This is the reason there is a “team” approach to assistance dogs. There must be a team at home. We have a team – my ol’ curmudgeon and me are the primary team members. But we have extended team members, too. Son #1 lives next door and his wife and sons are part of our extended team. They help with everything already, and are more than willing to help with the Woof. Daughter lives a few miles away, and she and her husband and son are involved and will help. Son #2 lives a bit too far away to be be involved on a daily basis, but will be involved in crises as needed. So that’s my “team.” And a great team it is!

How did it work for my acute problems with the tooth? Well, daughter (DD – dear daughter) took me to the dental surgeon for my surgery and stayed with me the rest of the day, bringing me little comfort things, and ensuring I did not fall when going to the bathroom and back. DIL (daughter-in-law) was in and out several times.

Woof would have helped. First, DD would not have had to stay with me. Second, DIL would not have had to come in and out. If “something had happened,” Woof could either have gone next door to get DIL, OR pressed the 911 button on the K-9 Rescue Phone we will have installed when Woof gets here.

K-9 Rescue Phone

It may not be cute or pretty – but it’s utilitarian! It’s also kinda expensive, so knowing the Ol’ Curmudgeon, we’ll probably have a home-made variety!! We are also in an area with weird 911 service. It’s available for medical but not for police services. We’ll have to work with the various services on how this will work in reality!

Where were you, Woof? I was sick and I needed you! Pass time, grow and develop Woof, learn Woof! Soon we’ll be together!

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Toothaches and Woofs – – 5 February 08

Posted by turtlemom3 in Here Fido!, Needs, Tasks.
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I don’t think there’s much the Woof would be able to do for my nasty toothache – an old root canal has cracked and abscessed (eeeeeeeeewwwwww!). I’m on antibiotics and painkillers – which put me into “woozyland.” When I’m not in “woozyland” I’m in “miseryland,” so I’m NOT good company.

The nice thing about the Woof (and Magnus, the Magnifi-cat) is that he won’t care that I’m not “good” company. He will love me anyway! He will be patient and loving. Magnus snuggles up against me and purrs. The Woof will sit by me, put his head in my lap and look into my eyes with his. He will thump his tail on the floor. When I’m up to walking around, he would help me get up, walk with me, and help me keep my balance. Magnus can’t do that. (And, since he’s a cat, I don’t think he would if he could!)

It is when things like this happen that I realize how much help the Woof will be for things other than pure mobility. As the Ol’ Curmudgeon is on a business trip, I would feel much better if Woof were here to go next door to get help for me – for instance if I just collapse from the “woozy-meds” (as I almost have a couple of times). It’s just maddening – I have to plan to be in pain to be up to prepare meals, then take the “woozy-meds” so I can eat them. Even soup is painful. Next week, after surgery, I will be on soups and puddings – period. For now, I’m not even up to fixing soup. Just tossing something in the microzap.

Come, Woof – get the bag out of the Microzap and bring it to me! O Gosh, I have to make another trip into the kitchen to get the dratted bag out of the microzap. Come on, Woof!!

Trapped in a Box — 15 January 08

Posted by turtlemom3 in Ability, Here Fido!, Mobility, Partnership, Service Dogs, Support PAALS.
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“I felt like I was trapped in a box … “

One recipient of an assistance dog said that he felt that way until he received his dog.

Until PAALS gets their videos made, I’m posting the videos from other, older, organizations. This one is from Dogs for the Disabled. But I’m still promoting support for PAALS!!

This is about 9 minutes and worth every second!! Enjoy!!

I’m still waiting!!

A Tale of Two Socks – 8 January 08

Posted by turtlemom3 in Ability, Dressing, Here Fido!, Service Dogs.
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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… Even though it wasn’t very cold yesterday, my feet were cold. So I wanted to wear socks, of course! I tried to lean down to put them on, but I kept dropping them. Of course the first thing I thought was, “Here, Woof!” But, then I thought, “Wait a minute! He could hold my sock while I get my foot into it!! Maybe even pull it up for me!” Cool!

In the meantime, I swallowed my embarrassment, and asked the Ol’ Curmudgeon to help me. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with him helping me with my socks, and he certainly doesn’t mind. I just feel kinda squeamish about it. I don’t WANT to have to ask him to do that – or many other things. I want to have fun with him. He’s my husband and we are reaching retirement. I would prefer to have fun-time with him!

Having Woof will mean that he won’t have to help me with my socks! It is a far, far better thing for the Woof to help me with my socks than for my husband to have to do that!

Here, Fido! 15 December 07

Posted by turtlemom3 in Here Fido!.
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I dropped my cane yesterday. I looked around, but there was nothing to “grab onto” to balance and lean onto while trying to pick it up. There was no one around to ask to help me. I teeteringly bent down and managed to snag it and get upright again without falling (yeaaa!). This was a “Here, Fido!” moment. My service dog will be trained to pick up things that I drop – like my cane (several times a day). This will reduce my risk of falling – which, in turn will reduce the risk of my breaking a hip – I’m at “that age.” It will also reduce the pain I feel when I have to bend over like that.

Now, some might think this will make me less active. Actually, with pain reduction, I am more active.

Here, Fido!