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Saturday, June 7, 2014

Dakota is at Katherine's! See Pictures Below!

Dakota is at Katherine’s! See Pictures below :)

Saturday, June 14, 2014 @ 10:26 AM
Good morning.  This is us and we’re thinking here something between writing a normal blog entry – the kind we don’t do very much anymore and writing just an entry about Dakota.  Maybe we could do a bit of both?
The situation with Dakota keeps going forward though it is slow.  But, because he lives so much in the forward part of my brain … he is being thought of all the time.  I’m so grateful for Katherine and her keeping me in touch with what is going on with Dakota that words cannot express.  The biggest change from the last post to this is that Dakota is officially living with Katherine and both are VERY excited about that.  I think Katherine’s first impression of the dog was that he’s a sweetie.  That feels good to me!
There was a little bit of problem in communication between the rescue people and Katherine, but it worked out and Katherine picked up Dakota 6 days ago.  Somewhere in-between there we talked with Marie one of the rescue people and she seemed very nice.  I think she was concerned that their dog go to someone who would be loving and responsible.  I guess we passed, because within a couple of days the arrangements were made to have Katherine drive over and pick him up.  I think they met pretty close to the rescue place.
There were a few problems right away that needed to be addressed.  The first was that Katherine was alarmed at what had happened to the genitals during the chemical neutering.  Marie and Dale too both decided they would never put another animal through it and that would probably be a good deal.  Katherine said Dakota was acting gingerly, but when she got home that night she called the vet clinic and they discussed getting him on medicine right away.  I don’t recall if it was anti-inflammatory or anti-biotic and I think there might have been steroids too.
Katherine had talked to me on the way home about the situation and she asked me to look up chemical sterilization to see what it said.  I think the most alarming to me was that it was supposed to be done if at all between the dog’s age of 3 -10 months, and our dog was closer to 1 ½ years.  The posts we were reading talked about negative things like his private parts becoming enlarged like our dog’s had been and the danger in all that.  We were also concerned that the dog didn’t lose the testosterone which would cause problems like the running or lifting of his leg on everything.  Mostly though we were worried because of the problems with someone not doing the procedure correctly which in some cases had led to death.
The vet said that most likely Dakota should go through the regular neutering process and that it should be done soon.  There was some more advice gained from Katherine’s specialist, but the bottom line was that he was neutered properly on Wednesday.  That was a huge worry off our mind.
The next sets of problems were just how unkempt the dog was.  Katherine had discussed it right away and had talked about the grooming he was going to need because of all the matting and that there was so much fur he was overheating.  That was put off until after the surgery.  Though last time we talked to Katherine on Wednesday, she was just coming home with our dog and had to carry him in the house after the hospital because of his sedation.  She was going to trim the underbelly part while he was still sleepy.  And, then work on the other a little later.  I believe it was going to be an outside job from that part.  The other grooming part was going to be getting him in for a bath.  She had the kind of space to do that indoors, but she said she’d have to wait at least a week with that because of the incisions.  The vet had showed her details of the surgery and that because of the chemical there were special needs during surgery due to the amount of tissue damage.
I was so relieved that Katherine had talked to someone so quickly and that it was taken care of proper.  The problems hadn’t slowed Dakota down all the way.  He is Katherine’s 11th dog and they are sleeping in the house and because of Dakota’s over-heating … he has a kennel write below one of her air conditioners.  But, when he is outdoors with the other dogs – he is having the time of his life running and playing.
It was a little funny the first day, because Katherine said the pack was teaching him the ropes which mean he didn’t get to have anything.  He would go for toys and eventually his food and the other dogs wanted to make sure he knew he was low man on the totem pole, but Katherine was happy with his manners which rolled into “oh that’s no problem behavior” conveyed to the other dogs.  I think he was faring better the next day and now it’s been a couple days so we’re not sure how it is going at this point.  Maybe now they are letting him play with some of the toys?
Katherine didn’t think he had been out much before because he reveled in it so much at her place – especially because of being able to play with the other dogs.  Katherine says that the training might last up to September and that she was going to have to start from scratch.  The first problem had been that Dakota had an accident urinating in the car on the way home, and then she found he really wasn’t housetrained.  She said he also didn’t walk well on a leash which was another surprise, but I’m very confident in Katherine’s abilities to train – just we’re going to need being patient and admitting that it will be some serious time before we see him.
We do trust Katherine and we’re looking forward to the updates on how well he’s doing and even some of the fallbacks.  I think in life most things are two steps forward, one step back.  I’m sure there will be problems, but they will be addressed as they happen.  I do know that Katherine isn’t going to start until after he has a chance to settle down with being at a new place, getting comfortable with the pack, and then of course, doing some healing with the surgery.
When I talked to Katherine one day, she said that we should be writing a book about the transformation of Dakota from a “reservation dog,” to a proud service dog.  I guess I really hadn’t known he had come directly from the reservation just that he’d been given back to Marie and Dale’s rescue operation.  I’m very grateful that through them he is coming in our direction.  I asked Katherine if she’d read the book, “Follow My Leader,” by James B. Garfield.  She hadn’t, but we told her and since then have sent her a copy through Amazon.
Follow My Leader was a book like Katherine had just thought of with Dakota.  Basically, it is about a boy named Jimmy who was about ten years old.  He’d gotten into an accident with a firecracker and has to learn to accept his situation and through that experience meets a teacher who taught him to read braille and walk with a white cane.  And then, she introduces him to the idea of getting a Seeing Eye dog.  And, that’s what the rest of the story is about – jimmy and his dog Leader.
It had been one of my favorite books growing up.  I tended toward books where the people/kids inside were learning things and sometimes had come from behind the odds.  I think the book will be there midweek this upcoming week and I hope Katherine likes it too.  I just know she’s going to love it!
I think our blogs become our “books,” and one day might get them all published, but for now we’re very happy with making blog posts.
Oh man … I don’t think we’ve posted pictures that we’ve received since then from Marie’s blog.  Here are the pictures of our dog.  We’ve got her posted on our computer screen so we can sneak looks at him all the time.  I think he’s just the most beautiful dog in the world!
Dakota 1 Dakota 2 Dakota 3 Dakota 4 Dakota 5
Doesn’t he have just the nicest smile???!!!  He also seems to have wonderfully warm, wise and comforting eyes.  Just very excited about him and we are imagining him with us all the time – especially when we sit out on the front patio.  Maybe we’ll get out there some today … I think we have almost finished a couple more books since we’ve last written.
We’ve talked to everyone we can about getting Dakota.  Dr. Marvin is excited like we are … and Rich is holding his own.  He keeps reminding us of things that will be different when we get the dog, like getting dressed in the morning so we can walk him.  We always knew that was going to be a stumbling block.  But, hope to figure it out by the time he comes home.  We did tell Katherine we’re planning on being very patient J
The two last books we’ve written have been kind of a slide …. It’s like information is still coming in, but they weren’t as exact as offering to teach much.  The second to last book we read was another from Cesar Milan called, “Be the Pack Leader.”  And, then the last book has been recommended by a friend of Katherine’s called, “Healing Companions,” by Jane Miller.  I think I will have to look for another book this time in more depth.  These last one’s have been more “feel good.”  I have to keep reminding ourselves if we REALLY want an in-depth book, we’ll go back to the one on Dissociation by Paul Dell.   Maybe at this point is when all the folks who tuned in to catch-up on Dakota can tune out again … Oh wait, just one more thing.
Maury stayed over some time last weekend when Nikki and the girls were out of town.  Things there aren’t going well, but for now the part I wanted to mention is that he brought his dogs and we had a very good time with them here.  We wanted to practice a few things that we’d read about in Cesar’s books.  The first was not making eye contact, touching, or talking to the dogs until they were calm and peaceful, and the second was getting Lady to sit before giving her attention so she wasn’t all up in our face due to over-excitement.  I’m glad to report that both worked although especially with the sitting we had to repeat and reinforce often with her getting treats (couple kitty foods) for sitting, and then we would go on telling her what a wonderful dog she was and petting.  I think she grew to expect that that was what she was supposed to be doing with us.  I’m VERY happy to have been given the chance to be with her, and between both Lady and Max, it was good to see how much couch space an 80+ pound dog will do!
They are going to be welcome back as guests any time.
Ok, maybe now we can go on with some of the other things.  By this time the kids are almost through school if not have already stopped.  Isa is going into 3rd grade, Ame and Jasmine are going into 8th grade, Austin is going to be a freshman, in high school and Jade is going to be a sophomore.  I don’t know how long we’ll be getting pictures, but saw Jade and Adrian dressed up for his senior prom.  They looked really nice together.  We also saw Austin with his Mom ready to go out after his celebration, but he didn’t look quite as happy.  Poor Austin, I don’t think photos are his favorite thing.  We’re also hearing about Joe and Cari’s new baby – Alexander and getting five month pictures from Mike and Laura.  Their little one is turning out to be such a happy infant!
That’s as far as we go on the Grandma front.  I think our next overnight weekend is actually going to be with Ame and Isa on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday – last of the month 23, 24thand 25th.   We’re very happy about that.  We’ll then also have to see when we can get Austin again.  We want to ride out some family planning before that to see how things go, but always looking forward.
Rich is having a fishing weekend now.  He left yesterday and he left me in pretty good shape with chili mac which is one of my favorites and saved for when he goes out of town.  It usually lasts the weekend, but we like it breakfast, lunch and dinner.  AND, we heard that we were supposed to make him a pizza dinner when he gets back on Sunday.  I am pretty sure we can do it, but will have to get instructions again on how long to cook the sausage before putting it in the oven on top of the pizza.  I can do it!  He went out with one of the older guys and neither is in contention for prizes this year, so it was supposed to be a relaxing weekend.  Rich planned very hard for two weeks to make sure that all his lawn and boat duties were taken care of AS WELL as making sure Ann was in good shape.  See above!
There have been normal things going on.  We have continued to take piano lessons, but wax and wane as to getting practices in.  I might have to cancel Monday’s appointment if I don’t make practice essential over this next three days.  It’s going to be at 11 am Monday which doesn’t give me a lot of time, and after that we’ll meet at 10:45 am on Wednesday mornings until the fall schedule starts again.  I think that Michelle is getting us closer to her yoga lessons.  It is fine … just a little harder to move in the mornings.  I’m more than willing though to make adaptations for her, she’s made plenty for me.
Sewing hasn’t gone real well since the last time we met in early May.  I only have now one week to get the butterflies finished before we meet again with the WI girls if I’m going to send the quilt top home with Linda so she can finish the quilting.  This is the first time I thought that out – how quickly that Saturday is coming up.  It would make a lot of sense then if we did some sewing today and tomorrow.  We had cleaned up the room a bit, but it still gets claustrophobic fast with the steaming stuff in there – especially like now when we have clothes to steam.  For the record we did catch-up on things, but are now easily behind again … I should probably put in a couple loads of laundry over the weekend too … just having gotten that far with anything … it’s already 11:37 am.  Hmm, I’m writing my blog – maybe that’s something I SHOULD be doing too?  You know cleaning-up?
Ok, maybe just a little.  Ok there … started a load of laundry AND the dishwasher.  It looks like we need to do a load of colors and a load of white – shouldn’t be too much problems.  Hmm, air started up too so we closed the sliding door and front door.  Rich had it set on 75 so there isn’t any problem there BUT, we moved it down to 72 degrees.  I looked just briefly out the sunroom windows and it seems like the flowers are really blooming out there and the rose bush in front is going like gangsters!
Rose bush 6-14
Really pretty isn’t it?  This was from a couple of days ago.
Maybe I should have started my shower before doing the dishwasher and washing machine?  Naw we’ll let them go.  I could stop them to assure I got a good shower, but not really in the mood for much … we would like to push ourselves to get out some today.  It would make a really good report to Rich when he calls tonight J  I should also make a pie before those strawberries fail, but not so sure I wouldn’t eat the whole thing over the next 24 hours before Rich got home.  Hmm, moot point if we don’t get showered dressed and out the door to pull rhubarb, hmm?  Mostly we are foreseeing just going out to the patio to read and people watch a bit.  Rich did mow before he left so the place looks fine.  Place inside is looking good except I have to make the bed and fold a blanket.  Hmm, should go through the mail AND we should go through the papers in the cubbies again, and what else is on our to-do list except to make Emilie’s quilt?  Let’s see shower, dressed, read books, play piano, household, and quilt.  That’s pretty much our full agenda.
Oh AND write!  Ahh Just got off the phone with CS … she’s going through some troubles and changes, but we invited her down for a couple of days.  She said possibly like June 26th, 27th – not sure how long, but it would be like a Thursday or Friday … She has to work around family schedules and Doctor Appointments.  Just wanted to let her know that maybe coming down might give her a small break.  It sounded like she was pretty stressed.  We wanted to balance that too – earlier in the week we might have Ame and Isa … think we already said that, but the two should balance out … we would just have to wash sheets in-between.  Now that I’m thinking of it, Maury might work a half day Thursday, so we’d probably suggest CS come on Friday or after.  AND THEN … we would like another chance at getting Austin over.  Hmm, forgot one thing … Rich said something about trying to get in a trip to New Mexico!  That be so great.  He wants to see his daughter … and that’s really understandable.  I think too he had like 3 fishing trips planned for June so we’re really going to need locking down dates soon because things seem to be filling up.
Hmmm, we took a break.  We switched loads in the laundry, BUT by the time we finished we weren’t able to make the bed.  Maybe that comes next.  It’s also 12:45 pm now so we decided to eat lunch … of course, more chili!
As to other things now … I think Rich and us are getting along pretty good.  I think the biggest difference is that he’s got fishing again and that’s motivating him to do more and more.  He set up a to-do list two weeks ago so he could be ready for this weekend and he got everything done that HAD to be done.  He says the hips allowing him to feel much better and he’s moving again which also helps him feel better.  Couldn’t be more pleased for him J
I think the only other thing we have on our mind right now … oh except making the bed.  There just made the bed and checked on our machines.  That was a good deal. Anyway the other thing would be our general meetings with Dr. Marvin. … I think we went a little bit of a break one week, but in general we’ve been just talking about what’s been going on AND for the hard part talking about weight.  That seems to be causing the system a great deal of difficulty.  The only thing he really suggested was that we start recording how much and when we were eating.  That lasted for a couple of days, and then someone got really angry at him.  It was a bad deal for us though because we get really iffy if things aren’t going well with Dr. Marvin.  He of course explains carefully, he’ll be there throughout, but for us its still shaky ground.  So for the last couple of weeks we’ve been saving just the last 15-20 minutes to talk about it.  He’s sneaking in a little more at the beginning, but he’s doing a lot in reading our body language.  I’m aware there are times we’re sitting back relaxed and just talking, but then there is a lot of time on this subject, where we are staring at the ground and unable to talk with him well.  Or, there are times when we are sitting at the edge of the couch and we’re rocking terribly and sounding very shaky.
He has confirmed with the safer parts that he’s going to be there to see it through.  We’re scared of what see it through means.  It seems each time we go into it there are problems with the past that we usually don’t have to deal with.  It’s a bit on the scary side.  It is like for some of it … tiny bits at a time – people inside need to hear that things are going to be ok and that bad stuff shouldn’t have happened.  We are about 293 pounds into believing bad stuff happens to bad people.  This really is against where we normally feel on the outside day to day.  We do seem to hold on more to trying to keep a schedule, be with Rich, and in taking care of household.  Other than getting opportunities to be with family … it’s really about all that’s expected of me … yet we feel on some days we’re just on the cusp of surviving.
Things like washing clothes and dishes and even vacuuming seem like daunting challenges, and we’re aware of how little we like to be outside the home for things like even the reading or to take pictures of flowers.  We’d in some way really LIKE to go out … I know that it seems better or ok after we get out there, but the getting part is very difficult yet.  I don’t think the warmer weather helps much either.  It Is now about 1:30 pm and I think we’re going to have to make a few realistic goals.  As soon as the washer gets done (dishes are on dry cycle), then we’ll go take our shower, and then when the clothes dry then we’ll fold them, and hopefully, it won’t be so long for the second load – less crowded so it will give our hair a chance to dry and to finish any writing or other computer we may have in mind.  Hmm, just remembered to plug in the Kindle … it was on way past low.  Maybe it will be enough time to charge that too.  I know I could do it outside, but not as freeing.
Everything in the household part beside that is done.  We have another goal though we have to do … We have to pack the quilt to go to T’s if she still wants it.  I think we have the box and it’s only our own fears of doing more keeping us from it.  I really hope that Rich will just take it in for us, but I know if we at least get it in the box and addressed that the next part would be easier.  Still have to get piano in … and what would it take to do the sewing?  Maybe if we just looked at the butterflies?  We have a horrible image that we really wrecked them up.  Maybe that’s something we could do now.
OK You!!!  They aren’t really terrible.  Some of the stems in the middle – the body part of the butterfly is too short, but maybe what is going to happen is that we need to square them up.  Maybe some of the pieces are pulled.  In reality there are 27 done – so only three more to go.  That wouldn’t be bad, right?  Then we’d have to sew the sashing, and then the borders, and then get the backing ready.  Theoretically, this shouldn’t take us too long.  I’d still like to go with getting it all done by Saturday.  Hmm, then we would have to think what we are going to do next?
Thinking thinking … took a little ride on the Internet … still thinking, but maybe what we’ll do is go back to the old pattern with the scrap quilt, and what we have in mind is to make something for Dakota.  I don’t know if he’s past the chewing or what kind of bottom he has with the kennel.  I also wouldn’t know whether to try more a pillow or more a blanket.  Maybe we are going to need waiting for the next time to seeing Katherine before we decide on something.  I had discussed it before we think in that we wanted something that was ours that he can pre-smell.  We’re really thinking that is a good thing … just want to make sure he doesn’t play chew the blanket AND we have to find out with his house training how it would affect him.  Before he went through the surgery he was lifting his leg on objects … so we’ll want to make sure the blanket/pillow isn’t a target for him.  Maybe if that was trouble than maybe Katherine could save it for times he’s getting brushed or something.  I’m PRETTY sure though that with 11 dogs … Katherine isn’t brushing dogs any toooooo frequently!  Again, a subject of another conversation.  J
Now I think we’re in the avoidant stage.  We don’t really have too much to talk about, but don’t really want to stop because then we’ll have to do those other things.  Hmm.
If we were Katherine, we’d have definitely moved on to the next thing.  Hmm, we also have to think of where we are with her stuff.  That might need to be rebooted.  Maybe we should save it for tomorrow.  Hopefully, we’ll get a cleaner start and the dishes, laundry and maybe even a pie will be made!  There won’t be too much to clean up with only one person.  We’re thinking, we’re thinking.  Maybe bills/paperwork also tonight and we at least finish the three butterfly AND take time to read AND maybe then distress with TV.  Why does it seem all these little things are so hard?  We’re not even talking about crossing the street for mail.  YEEKS!  Not that too!  It be a lot!  Hmm, we’re going to have to steam by tomorrow too!  Drat … feel like we’re falling behind.

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Posted in By AnnIt's all about communicationWorking with Katherine at the Animal Psychology Center