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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Just a Regular Week - Dakota Still Our Superstar

Monday, September 22, 2014 @ 2:01 AM

Good morning.  WooHOO!  This is the new Microsoft program – there 365 Cloud or something like that.  Joe, Cari and Ramsey were over last night and as one thing leads to another – Joe gave me one of his copies of the newer Microsoft package and we gave him our second copy of the Adobe programs.  As amazement after amazement Joe was REALLY interested in getting a copy of Adobe Illustrator because it was something he’d learned while he was a kid during the years that I was gone.  He played last night when they were over a copy of Rich’s logo and I could just tell he was in Joe-Bot heaven!  Joe had at one time during college been studying to be a computer programmer so things like Dreamweaver and FLASH really interested him.  The Dreamweaver is Adobe’s most COMPLICATED web package tool.  Joe said that he could actually make money setting up web sites and that really excited me because it was an extra way to provide income for his family.  I also liked it because Joe and I would be learning the same thing and going through similar excitements.  It’s just soooo cool when one of your kids picks up one of the things you are most interested in.  WOW! 

Pswhoo!  Back.  It turned out I was able to fall back to sleep – slept on the couch for a while.  I wrote this and a note to Linda, then we slept until a couple hours ago.  It is now about 9 am.  I think that it’s been about 3 weeks since we’ve last written.  The last time was write after Katherine had been here, and now today, It is Dakota’s one month anniversary of being with us.  We think its going extremely well.  He’s such a good dog.  There are still incidents when he’ll have an accident with his housetraining, but I think we’re much better off now than we had been a month ago.  He’s still not doing real regular things to let us know he needs to go out, but like when he doesn’t finish a whole meal, I know that he has to go to the bathroom in-between things.  And, we’re better at feeding him about dinner time, then kenneling him while we eat.  He gets a bone during that process and then we know to let him out and he’s pretty good after that.  I think when we have problems it is like he’s saying – oh don’t let me bother you, I’ll just go over here!  He’s got a favorite spot in the sitting room behind the recliners, so we’re thinking he knows its wrong because he’s hiding it.

We’ve only talked to Katherine a couple of times this month, but she’s been very supportive of Dakota’s learning process.  We’re both amazed as is Dr. Marvin that he’s learned so much in the time we’ve had him.  There are just a few key things we’ve been working on other than bathroom.  One is to “Go on…” which means that we’ve had enough of his attention seeking and he’s to walk away and preoccupy himself on his own.  And, then similar to that is the command for ‘No petting.”  This was developed mostly at Dr. Marvin’s when he wants continual attention and “CAN’T” walk away because he’s on a leash … it tells him we’re done petting and he should just lay down and chill.  Last time at Dr. Marvin’s we just said it once, and then he laid down and was out for most of the session until about 5 minutes before we left ... so that was enough time for him to get back adjusted say good-bye to Dr. Marvin and for us to put back on his vest.  He was a really good dog and we appreciated him handling the situation so we could do the Dr. Marvin stuff we needed to do.

Hmm, my mother just called – it was less than a two minute conversation.  She’s got a doctor appointment this afternoon.  She called yesterday and she’s been having trouble falling again and some intestinal issues.  She was in the doctor’s office and spent a night in the hospital last week, but has now arranged things to be in again because the anti-biotic medicine has not taken care of the problem.  She called to let me know she packed a bag just in case she has to stay overnight again.  I think that it’s a case of being over-prepared, but we’re glad she’s taking her health seriously and is getting in when she should.  She’ll give me a call later to let me know how it is going.

I think everything else is in order this morning.  I remember Rich trying to wake me about the time he was leaving, but I was pretty much unconscious, couldn’t even lift my head – he had to bend down to give me his kiss.  He’s really the nicest person we ever met!  I’ll try to do him the reciprocal favor and not eat the corn bread and extra pie while he’s gone.  I am thinking he’s going to want me to save that for dinner J  See we CAN be a good Ann. 

Missy just walked past and Dakota shared some of his uncomfortable feelings.  He’s always given Missy a wide berth.  Good dog!

We had such a good time with Joe and Cari here yesterday.  Cari only has approximately just under 3 weeks to delivery.  We’re so excited for them.  Part of them coming over last night was to do a little private baby shower here.  I wish we could have given them more, but we got a gate for them like the one we got for Missy and Chief.  It is the one with the special door that lets through the cat, but everything else is stuck on the other side.  I think they are planning to use it to keep the baby on the upstairs part of the stairs going down.  It sounds like it doesn’t have a door, or maybe it does but they have to leave it open for the cat?  I’m not sure, but we were happy to be able to contribute toward the baby’s well-being AND the animals as well.  We also gave them some cash.  It seems like from what they were saying that it will go toward taking care of getting a new person for the delivery process.  I forgot the name – it’s sort of like a mid-wife, but different.  I think she does negotiating between them and the hospital staff.  They are going to be in their natural birthing area, but its within the hospital, so safe if anything were to happen.  Obviously, we’re hoping that everything is going to be very normal.

I was so excited to be talking to them, it’s like we were tripping over the conversation because it was such a wealth of information I’d been looking very forward to.  It’s just been such a long time since we’ve seen them.  Like not at all since they first told us they were pregnant.  Again VERY nice time!

The dogs got along very well.  I think that Ramsey was a little more submissive and Dakota a little more playful, but we’ll try to add the video of the two playing … by the time the video was taken – he he Ramsey definitely was involved in the game.  He’s speedy fast like Dakota.  He’s stockier, but he doesn’t mind as he bumps his way along to be in equal chase with Dakota.  Dakota has home field advantage in that he knows the chasing routes and is more agile (young) than Ramsey, or for that matter Lady or Max Maury’s dogs.  I’m really glad they have developed a bit of a relationship and we’ll look forward to it more in the future.  I would like to see the four dogs put together.  None of us have that kind of space – like a fenced back yard, but I’d still like to see it.  We might however have Rich climbing the walls if we did it inside the house.  There was some concern over the dogs bouncing off Cari and the baby – so that was a little protected, but we should be working harder to have Dakota not bouncing off the couch.  He does seem to have a favorite “fort” location in back of my recliner.  He can go around it in a circle really fast and uses the space to out run the other dogs.  He’s just SOOO happy to be entertaining and enlarging his pack.  We’re very happy for them all!

So that’s about it there … I’m sure everyone went home a little more tired.  Rich made a GREAT meal of BBQ Pork Ribs, corn, waffle fries, salad and corn bread AND he even cleaned up for me so that I could be with our guests longer.  Cari watched the football game a little more and talked with Rich when he got done and had an opportunity to rest, and Joe and I had a chance to talk about our computer worlds.  We showed him the work we’d done in the morning with Rich’s web site and then we went into as we mentioned above sharing our worlds with me giving him Adobe and him giving us Microsoft.  We each had an extra machine copy that we could download.  Really happy about how that turned out.  I never expected to be typing on a new MS 2013 Word program this morning.  I like it’s lightness – no heavy design colors, and I like the way when we reach the end of a sentence the page just floats up ... It is very magical. 

I think this morning we have to wash clothes, and then get back to the work of putting together Rich’s Web program.  Maybe you don’t know all that is going on with that whole Adobe thing.

Basically, Rich and us got to talking about his web page and we told him that if he paid the monthly fee of $49 (locked in for 2 years) that I would commit to setting up a web page for him.  The side part of that was that we’d also be able to sign-up for our own web page for the Multiplicity.  That is the true motivational part of the project.  Adobe has a program called, Creative Cloud, and you get about 30 of their programs including their PDF, lightroom, photoshop, illustrator, Muse, and so forth – basically, everything you could ever want to put together web sites, photos, videos, flash, auditory ANYTHING …. It’s just top of the line programming.  They decided that instead of selling piece by piece, they would sell monthly subscriptions – so they always have money coming in and in the meantime the programs are always being constantly updated so you have their top of the line issues.  We also went back and got the Captivate program.  Captivate was the main thing in the Adobe e-learning Suite we’d gotten last fall when we first fell in love with Adobe.  At that time we had their creative cloud too, but we hadn’t used it enough so dropped it.  At the time we were getting the student packages.

With the e-learning suite – that had been about $1,800 and because of really bad customer care, we complained in one of their forums, which turns out to be very carefully watched – to help people through problem-solving and we ended up with the suite for free ... well sort of … we’d already put solid money – somewhere between $3-400 on the Captivate CS6 program.  So that turned out to be a really good idea, but like the other we weren’t using it like we should have.  But, now we have more opportunities to be learning and using it.  There is a lot more time to work with it because now we are not in school so don’t have all those deadlines looming over our head competing for time. 

The big deal of the e-learning suite and Captivate in general is that it is a program to do online classes.  The Overall feeling of what is going on now is that Aynetal3 (US) are a web presence and our own brand, and that we’ll have a website, that will tie to our blogs and most importantly it will tie to our mind map AND it will tie to classroom learning … all those things will be a part of our mother ship Hehehe which means it will all be about not only us, but what we learn of Multiplicity in all the different means we offer.  Before we went underground last year, we were involved in these processes …

We haven’t done a whole lot of that for quite some time, but now that it is fall again, we seem drawn back into the world.  Matter of fact, we had seen this new learning/teaching program and we’d dropped a note to our friends over at Plural Activism, and then the guys Astraea had written back asking us to do a short recording – forgot the term you now audio?  It will come to me.  So we’ve got that going on now too.  In general, the classroom part was – hmm, let me see if we can find it again!

AHA!  It’s called

It’s a special course room to develop learning programs and it gives a space to anchor the programs.  I think there is a special kind of language/code something that allows it to load programs from the Adobe Captivate program, which we’d mentioned before as a online learning classroom.  I forgot the code, but thought I’d seen it on the Versal program when we were skimming. 

I had told Rich after listening to several couple hour long videos on the newest changes in Adobe and Apple through their big conferences that I was going to switch my title to a “Creative”.  He said we would have to check that with the boss – meaning him.  We were prepared for that … we said that we consulted for him and that he was one of our customers, but the bigger umbrella was going to be us as the one that pulls together All this really fantastic stuff under the Aynetal3 title which might include not only him, but our website and all that’s in it and maybe doing things like helping Katherine out with her website or any other creative avenue we do … Our biggest contract of course will be the Multiplicity thing that we are now going to work through from our web page.  That was the deal – we’d get the really good creative cloud from Rich for $49 per month, but that we would be able to not only do a web page for him, but our baby as well.  I’m just so gosh darned excited.  We’ve watched about 100 videos so far teaching the basics of some of the programs on Adobe.  We haven’t really practiced them yet, but maybe that will happen today.  The nice thing about a web page is that it is stable and easily accessed by the web.  Some things like the mind map aren’t really accessible too much from the Google searches, but some of the other things are coming together, and will be even more potent when we get the web page figured out.

Yesterday morning and a little from the day before, we went in and started doing some preliminary work on Rich’s Web site.  As mentioned we did a lot on the video watching, but we decided to really focus a bit on the content.  Our basis was the one page that Rich sends out in his emails and which is the total some and substance of the web site his son helped him with.  That’s it though – his present web page is just that one page.  So we brought it to our mind map and worked it into it’s own outline and then we went through about 30 sites through packaging and assembly services which is Rich’s main stake.  We decide to build about 9 pages which contain pages for Home, About us, Specialties, Operations, Services, Solutions, Industries Served, Request Quotes, and Contact us.  And, then under all those categories we’ve got sub-categories and data under even that so that we have a very comprehensive outline of his services.  When going over the other sites, with all their ideas, we were just picking and choosing things that made sense in Rich’s business.

The bottom-line outline I think is going to be really good.  More things might be taken out, changed, or reordered, but we took the time to do some reordering while we were working on it yesterday morning so we’re pretty happy as a first run with it.  I think the categories or TABS which all the above will become are strong and should be fairly straightforward to anyone looking at the site.  I think the only one not filled in right now is the Home key and that we’ve decided will be just a few things like the tabs in a paragraph form with links, and then also on the cover page a strong link toward the page where the viewer can write in for a free quote.  That’s sort of the bottom line is to get them signed up!  And, there should be a page for a newsletter.  Basically, part of the blog program is to send out a communication once every month or two feeding the customer with new information and again a direct reminder that we do services they might want.  I would like to add a blog part of course, being me, but that might be a little more challenging in that either Rich or I would have to keep up with it, and we’re not really familiar with information in his field and Rich isn’t really familiar with regular communication to be putting something out.  I really like them when included in most web pages, but if you don’t get to it regularly then they work backward.  People think you are not up to date.   I think Rich has to walk a line too in that he doesn’t really want to give information on his customers, because that just puts things out to others to “take away.” 

I’m kind of thinking that if we were to do anything there, we might get a couple of trade magazines.  I know that Rich used to have some coming in, and then we’d have to skim them and write from those kinds of resources about things happening in the industry.  It might serve a function to keep up on the more simple processes of packaging and assembly services.  We’ve spotted too a couple locations on line for membership in certain associations also with good info, but they tend to be more like costly associations which might be more helpful to bigger organizations, but we’re just not there.  This goes especially with new-fangled machine operations that simplify processing, but are too star-spangled to ever be considered in Rich’s shops.  He’s really a mom and pop organization.  And, we have to remember that.

The main purpose for Rich to have a Web site is just to maintain an online presence.  Secondarily to bring in leads and then after that maybe contribute back into the conversation.  That will take some time and probably by the time we get there, he will be ready to retire. 

There was a bit of conversation a couple days ago – Friday, when we took a ride with Rich on his daily chores and we got to the part of looking into a website for him – basically his web address.  We can be working on his project now because Adobe has something called, “Business Catalyst” which is a series of five temporary sites we can be using temporarily from 3 months to 2 years.  But, really they are practice sites, and then gateways to plugging in your own web address.  Rich was saying something more abstract and we didn’t even want to hear it because the name wasn’t including the name of himself or his business together.  To us that’s REALLY the way to go and we don’t want to budge from there.  He on the other hand wants to go more abstract and we’re saying you don’t understand how things are done and you are going to need trusting us on some of the basics like this.  I know to register is only like $9-10 but in being able to have something people remember – You really have to go the most basic.  

We were a little bit like it with the outline too.  I think from his comments after seeing it yesterday morning, he was more appreciative of my work than he’d thought.  There were a few services he wasn’t sure he wanted to advertise, but that was just a minor detail.  They main thing we were getting to was his general organization of the site.  We plan to have short pages with not much more than the simple outlines on each, but we’re going to have it done well and make it look professional as we can including his contact information and the logo he wants to use.  It’s a little more complex than our taste, but I’m sure it is going to work out fine in the end.  Last night when Joe was here, he worked a little with the logo in illustrator separating out the lion in the crest and then the crest from the more complicated parts of the image in the background.  I loved that he knew how to work with layers.  GOOD JOE!!!

Those kinds of things will be important and it will be important to work with it in Illustrator so we can make the image clear and still be able to resize it.  I will want to work a little later on adding just the first few things to the Master pages like pages for all the elements we have so far and maybe adding text boxes for the information that we’ve outlined.  I think it will take a little longer coming up with a series of designs through other suggestions as to framing in each picture.  This part is a little scary for me because I’ve never done it, though from what I’ve seen there is a lot of simplicity to it.  I wish we had more pictures to add, because I think most pages are better with at least one, but We’ve really only got one picture and the making for a logo and neither is ready for that kind of exposure.  Just want to get to the part that things are sketched in.

Through the process last night with Joe we ran our ideas past him and he did the same with the web pages he created for his father and for the one he’d started to work with for his own Karate business.  That one is very basic at this point.  The one for his father has tons of pictures, which is really an important aspect of showing of the work he does as a Victorian Painter, but as all things can improve.

I’m thinking this morning we have a lot of “busy thoughts” running through our head.  One of the things we’ve talked to Dr. Marvin about this month – OTHER than our weight and fitness program are running askew is that we might need to go back to the mind map to sketch out not only Rich’s business, but our own.  We want to be able to place all these things that we’re talking about and we want to work on things as if it were yesterday and everything is completed.  We have to walk a solid line in thinking we don’t want to overwhelm ourselves again, but in the meantime realizing there is soooo much to do and we’ve just barely caught the surface of ordering our world so that it more succinctly makes sense and can be picked up by others. 

I think the main problem besides starting or getting back to some of these other projects is that there is so much work to do getting through what we wanted to do with other Multiples’ blogs and the searches through the Google program.  We’ve continued to pull together information but we are way back to about a year ago in pulling information together … there are a couple main things there in that we want everything represented, but with the number of medium steps we have – there isn’t enough time to catch up.  Maybe one of the things that we should consider is getting the news collated not with us going through it at this moment, but putting the emails in some kind of form and function that others can sift through it or at least so there is a collection of it so that it is available as a library to be searched later and put to more usefulness.  We really want to curate, but there is another big responsibility to just collect the information to keep it current.

The other main part relates to the curating in that there is a final end need to be able to pull all the information out there which is deafening so that it can make sense to others by looking at it.  When we were working to the level of the slideshow and through Learnist, we were able to make comments which really used ourselves as a base with the work that we’ve done with Dr. Marvin as something of upmost importance as another level of looking at things with other Multiples, or with those interested in them.  Basically, it is defining our own voice amongst the others.  You know the kind of stuff that defines – what is our purpose anyway?!  I think the bottom line is that we want to become a resource of well-put-together information that collects maybe not from the professional world, but from the common experience of day to day Multiples.  Of course the other material works itself in, but there is something to be really said about direct experience and understanding of oneself(ves). 

There is this other part too that Dr. Marvin sometimes reminds me of and that is going through the work of Paul Dell and his Disassociation book which has the conglomeration of really big professionals on the subject.  It was always a dream world to associate what they were saying with the general flow of experience of the regular (like me/us) multiples.  Kind of a counter-balancing of each other, because right now those worlds are really separated.  I think there are some like Astraeas’s, the Plural Activism group and others who collect information and knowledge and some of it tends to play off with other groups, like through PODS and Mosaic.  I know there’s probably TONS of other sites that have gone into trying to make sense of the Multiple World both inside and outside of common or professional windows.  We are subject to concern when we think that any one organization holds all the answers.  To us it’s just that the discussions and defining of terms hasn’t been done.  It is frightening that so much of the professional work that has been done prices itself out of the ability of regular Multiples to even read the material if they can understand the ton of encryption that has gone through the explanations of processes.  It seems most professionals want to coin the next part of the all in all understanding of Multiplicity and the terms cross understandings.  I think it is up to researchers, which in another life I would have loved to be a part of – but, they will have to sort it out.  Having a book like Dell’s is a first step.  For those not knowing much about it – it has about 46 different chapters by even more specialists in the field all talking about their most understanding aspect of the phenomena.  We’re going to go on the side of Astraea’s group in not considering Multiplicity to be a disability.  Although I really need to better understand the way they look at things and sort it out.  Basically, they do have valid information to include and I want that really to be part of the organization of our little Multiples’ World.  As well, I would like to learn the names of people involved at the personal and professional levels so I can add there part of the conversation in that which becomes the GREAT conversation!

I know there are probably other books that have come out since Dell’s in 2011, but I’m not really aware of it.  Hmm, Maybe I should stop over at Amazon and take a peek?  Hmm, nope … we checked under DID, then for 4 stars & Up, and then New and popular.  There Were 75 titles that came up including Dells, but there were not other professional group that wrote a book more recently than that book.  I did see Moline’s book (2013), but we’ve already discussed our thoughts on that and him writing as a professional, but another writing after having experienced Multiplicity minimally and after that having drawn conclusions – and that from more a disbeliever’s view.  SO … we’re considering ourselves caught-up J 

Ok, then … thinking through that and wanting more an outline than actual start of work – how do we take in Dell’s book so that our own work becomes more ordered?  We have a tendency to get blown away – I think in real life we’ve gotten up to chapter 11 and on a practical level it doesn’t really correspond to the work or understanding we have. 


Monday, September 1, 2014

Dakota's first Weekend Part 3 and first week!

Sunday, August 31, 2014 @ 9:56 am

Good morning.  I’m not sure where I am leaving off from my last communication because we’re sharing our big computer.  Isa is listening to it, because we had it earlier before she woke up.  When she got up we were talking to Linda so couldn’t break off, but she caught me after Linda went – and then of course Hehehe we’d share the computer.  She likes listening to a British guy.

Right now something else is happening that’s a first – ALL THREE DOGS are curled up sleeping by my feet!  WooHOO!!!  Yup yup!  Lady and Max came by last night and did a sleep over.  Yes, of course Maury and the girls came too.  The unusual part is that the dogs have ALL stopped playing finally!  OMG is there a lot of activity between them whether they are inside or out.  I’m glad to see that Dakota can hold his own in this pack.  We already knew that Lady and Max could do it, but wow – Lady and Dakota can go at it too.  On the other hand it is Max and Lady that can do the new pull toy we got them where Dakota can’t.  At one time I did see him pick-it up and then drop it behind the recliners in the sitting room.  I think he wanted it out of the picture, because he sure didn’t want to play with it.  He does for sure know though how it’s played through watching the other two. 

So happy the dogs have a relax button!  They sure are happy together.  I think Max is like the older brother because when he growls, Dakota walks away respectfully.  The two younger dogs are definitely the more playful.  AND, nobody has got hurt yet, Yay!

It was such a nice day yesterday.  Toward the late morning, we went with Rich to Bass Pro, and then we went to the lake with him just to get his boat.  Hmm, I’d like to get some ice water, but don’t want to break the peace … better that I remain sitting down.  Anyway, Dakota and I went in … we went up and down a couple of aisles, but Rich seemed to appreciate most that we stayed in one place he could find us near the waterfall.  After a while we thought, he we’re not learning anything – though it was good to have people passing us.  SOOO we took Dakota for a walk over the small walking bridge directly next to the two story waterfall.  AND, he did it!  Good dog.  He did need a little reassurance, but that was to be expected, it was REALLY loud!

Whoops HAD to get something to drink.  Dakota down, now the other two?  Max is checking out Dakota’s water … its ok boy.  Lady likes to call the water dishes hers though and just pushed Max out so she could get a drink and then she spills the water on the floor with her paws.  Good now Lady is down and now YAY Max is down too!  Trifecta!

Anyway, Dakota did really good yesterday.  I took in the walker and he stayed close without being overly curious.  After we picked-up Rich’s boat and we took him for a little walk.  He doesn’t seem to “go” with the vest on – maybe because he’s on duty, so we took it off at the lake.  He’s such a good dog in so many ways.  He also likes the car rides, though he’s still trying to decide where to sit/lay in the car.  For a while yesterday in Rich’s SUV he laid down lengthwise next to my walker and looked out at people traveling in back of us.  The windows are tinted, so people might not have seen him, but he was getting a real good look, AND Rich put down the side windows a little bit on the slower roads so he could get in his sniffs.  Such a good life of sniffs he’s going to have!

After we got back, I was a little tired so went immediately to the couch thinking Dakota had gone at the lake.  As I lay down, he continued to play so after about 10-15 minutes we got up and said, “You HAVE to go outside!”  So we took him, and then within about a minute, he went and did a poo.  Duh!  We’re going to have to learn better the cues around here.  I’d still like him to go to the back door and whine, but I don’t know how to teach him that and it’s confusing in that if Rich is out on the boat or garage, he will go to the back and whine at that too. 

We’re looking around at our place looking from one corner inward and seeing some of it looks a bit lived in.  We cleaned up our kitchen and the other rooms are ok – with cushions out of place though on the big couch, but we have some towels on the floor from Lady kicking out water.  If there is too much she will do it, but then they get thirsty again … I guess it’s just something we have to keep up with.  On the other hand, there’s the cat!  She seems to be doing ok too.  She’s using her litter box in the bedroom and has been pulling out her fur.  She did last season too.  I think she thinks it’s pretty crazy to have all these dogs here, but that’s just one opinion.  I’m really proud of Dakota for being able to keep up with Maury’s dogs.  He really knows how to play good with other dogs!  They are each about the same height, but Maury’s dogs are a lot heavier.  Max is 6 years, Lady is going to be 3 years and Dakota is just 15 months - Lots of experience in this pack. 

Whoops thought all were laying down, but Lady found Dakota’s treat stash in the bar area … she’s the only one not lying down.  Ahh There she goes! Rich had gone through here from his shower, to putting on shoes and socks, and to going out to work on his boat.  We’re doing pretty well with the dogs not insisting they go out.  I fed them in two shifts with Max and Lady going first, and then we fed Dakota who was waiting in his crate.  When Dakota ate I put the other two in the sunroom, and then Lady came-in and helped Dakota finish up.  Hehehe I THINK he got a good dose.  I’m not going to take him for his full walk today because they’ve been playing so gosh darn hard.  I want him to conserve his energy for his “Pack Family.”  It’s almost like these guys have been together for their entire life.  I think Dakota showed a little bit of ownership over me when he was sitting on my lap last night, but we can pet 2-3 dogs at a time without him being concerned.  All three seem to really know the house. 

The girls and us watched a couple shows last night, well maybe one and a LITTLE of the other.  Maury brought them from Red Box, but the second wasn’t suitable.  At that point Ame went into the bedroom to do her thing – WITH phone and Isa and us watched a couple of shows from Disney.  Did I say the part yet where she felt bad about Dakota being in a crate?  She decided to sugar coat that experience with her laying down in protest next to him.  She fell asleep just moments before she had to go to bed at 11 pm.  I’m really sure that Dakota appreciated her company.  Both the girls seem to like Dakota, but together with the two others, they are a little wild.  Next time they are up, I will go back and untangle the dog cords and make sure everyone gets time to be out.  Max is the only one who hasn’t deposited a “load.”  Yup yup, got to watch out for that sort of thing; he might have to go on a walk with Ame, but as to the urine – we were really glad that all three dogs were using the back yard appropriately. 

Dakota is kind of funny … twice now he decided to sleep on my feet – MAYBE a little territorial!  I’m pretty sure he knows we’re his.  These dogs seem to come with other humans!

We don’t have too much planned today.  I saw Ame had brought her sewing stuff AND Isa brought some books, so I have talked to her about after lunch sitting down to read for a bit, or reading to me.  I could go either way.  Just want to support reading.  Rich has a really BIG roast in and potatoes and carrots … Hehehe Isa is really giggling … Maury is supposed to be back between 2-4 pm and dinner will be about 4 pm, so that they can finish and get home at a decent time.  I understand that no one has homework, but I’m thinking there’s not Anything?  Eh, not my business … just got to ask.  I figure that if they are doing their showers here, they at least have time with Dad Sunday night where they can get that done.  Just want a priority on it.

The air is really making the house comfortable … It seems that we have had a lot of muggy weather, and today it’s been misty out.  Maybe if Rich tries hard enough he can pretend he’s on the water. 

I think I really need to now finish up the stuff with Dakota’s first week.  I so much want to talk to Katherine and I’m afraid she might not understand why we’re not calling yet.  Just want to get things down on paper before we forget everything.  I should have put the other writing online so I could see where we were without interrupting Isa.  Maybe if I just think a bit.  I know I’d talked about the restaurants – well at least up to the part where that “kind of annoying” person kept talking to us because of the dog intro.  I had been the first to turn away, and then Katherine was able to end the conversation.  We had very good dinners – I had a Burrito Grande and then afterward we thought we were ordering our favorite dessert, but apparently we’d ordered something else so we had that instead.  It was something doughy with honey and chocolate and the honey was really good with it.  We definitely brought home leftovers. 

Maybe we did something about the break from Saturday to Sunday, not sure right now, but in case we did, we’ll try to be brief.  Hmm, thinking now we’re pretty sure we talked about Dakota at the beach, because we are remembering that we were loading a picture or two to yesterday’s post and it was about the beach.  Maybe a summary there – Just a damn good time!

Afterward, we drove over to Dr. Marvin’s area.  The three of us, Rich, Katherine and Us sat in the SUV and talked strategy.  I think the biggest thing was that Katherine was stating that were didn’t have to take Dakota to the washroom as much as we thought we had.  I was thinking after the drive (1 hour 20 min), after Dr. Marvin’s session, and then again when we got home.  She thought just once before we left home and after we got back even though there was 4-5 hours would be fine.  We did concede and go with her plan as it turned out.
Hmm, back again … we just had another round … two of them seemed to want and go out, so we brought everyone out, and then they all played again and got petted, and now we’re trying to get the three of them to lay down again.  They are circling me.  Hmm, had to give them all water again; which is going to lead to everyone needing to pee again.  This is how it goes, hmm
One dog down … two … shoot two dogs playing again!  Lady is trying to teach Dakota to play with the tug aware toy.  Dakota is trying.  He’s not doing tug o war yet, but he’s playing a good job of keep away.  At least he’s hold the thick cord in his mouth.  But now Max is up again … I don’t think they’ll ever settled down … they’re in the sitting room.  Hmm, more playing and now there is two down and one checking the kitchen – more water spilled on the ground – that of course was lady.  YAYYYY!!!  Finally, all THREE down!  That’ was a LOT of activity.  If they are playing, how come it’s ME who gets so tired?!!
Maybe a nice break - where … oh, we went to Dr. Marvin’s and talked strategy and then Katherine and us got up to do the walk over in the window hall.  BUT, the doors leading from the elevator to the glass passageway were locked, so we couldn’t do much about it.  We came back downstairs and talked to Rich and at LEAST we knew the gist of how it goes and that gave us the confidence we needed.  Since then we’ve been to Dr. Marvin’s TWICE for visits, but we’ll talk about that part in a bit.  I know LONG story!
There’s this part in here somewhere that Katherine and Rich had been talking about pork roast, sauerkraut and dumplings, so it was decided that we’d go that route instead – Maybe we mentioned before that Rich had prepared it before we left.  The house smelled sooo good after we’d gotten back.  I’m pretty sure we had dinner right away.  It was very good. 
AME IS UP!  It’s noon now.  She was up until 3 am talking to one of her girlfriends.  *sigh* I am pretty sure Maury said she could decide when to sleep.  All three dogs are finally down again.  Hmm, Ame moved the tug a war toy and Dakota checked that out, but otherwise they are down again.  Had to encourage showers over the next four hours and I asked if they didn’t make me the bad guy.  I HOPE NOT!  We’ll see *sigh*
Ok … we’re at the part after the pork roast … all I remember here and it blurs into the other nights, but sooner than later, I knew I was going to get a Katherine hug if I could be persuaded to let her go to bed.  Kota we would work with on schedules more after Katherine had gone, but I think that night we’d kenneled him while eating because he was too flaky.  Poor kid!  Playing at the Chicago Beach was something to remember!  But, I’d like to think we’re tiring out our puppy!
The last morning was the hardest because we knew that Katherine was leaving.  We took one more picture with her, but I looked terribly fat in the picture.  I know, I know, I AM terribly fat, but no one really wants to see it.  I’ve cut down the picture with just Katherine and Dakota so I have at least a good shot of them together.  I also got a darker shot with Katherine in the car, but there really wasn’t many pictures taken I’m sad to say. 

The routines the last day were similar in that there was people getting up, coffee, taking care of the dog, and then eventually after as much talk as we could squeak in.
Wow!  Good Gramma stuff.  I think Ame is in the shower AND Isa is reading a book on wolves.  YAYYY!!!  OH, and all three dogs are lying down AND we get to be writing too!
Back to the part of Katherine and us getting our hugs and talking.  First, I just want to say that Katherine is about as gifted as it comes in presenting interesting things to learn about.  I think she has a wild crazy cool life and especially because it ends up with her being a dog whisperer.  That was the very best stories to hear about – like how they go through a typical day and what typical isn’t when you’ve got so many furry friends to take care of and train.  I LOVE her husband, because he’s so in love with Katherine AND the dogs.  I think this kind of lifestyle shows a lot of patience AND love.  Now that we have the three dogs overnight, we can’t believe how tired we get with all the animal activity.  It seems that they have to be monitored a lot.  Hmm, also like when Isa is reading her book.  She’s easily distracted, but of course we have these dogs.  Isa stops to show pictures which is fun for us, but then she’s not reading.  That’s not so good. 
I just got done taking out the dogs and they are ALL accomplished and now all THREE of them have had their first of the day poop.  This pooping business is some serious stuff!  Holy Schmolly!  Rich is in eating a late lunch, we took our medicine and now Isa has disappeared. I don’t see the book, so maybe she’s reading somewhere else, OR the second GD is in the shower!  Wouldn’t that be the story!
I’m thinking that my everyday stuff in and out is taking over my ability to focus on the previous week.  It’s already Sunday so like Dakota has been her for ten days.  Maybe I have to jump ahead – did we get to the sad part about Katherine being at the airport?  A lot of the driving time was Rich and Katherine talking so I could spend my focus on Dakota, but the trip to the airport, I think it was us whining.  The only thing I really remember beside holding/hugging Katherine was the thought that I might never see her again and that made me feel really unbelievably sad.  She says that we can maybe get together for a fishing trip with the guys.  I don’t know if that would ever be possible with all her responsibilities, but that’s what we’re going to hope for. 
I guess it’s been a long time before we could get ourselves while writing to that point …the point where we had to say goodbye to Katherine.  Maybe now that I’ve done it on paper, I will be able to open that door again.  It seemed to be a system rule that until we finished the weekend, we couldn’t call or talk to her.  It’s over now?  I’m not going to want to bother her on a weekend, but think that maybe tomorrow we could call?  Maybe we could do it after the girls and all leave tonight, but I’m not sure.  We’ll have to see how it works out with the system.  I’m thinking now we’re going to have to post too which means that we close out the week.
Maybe we’ll get to that right now.   I saw a stuffed animal on Ame’s bed, so I’m thinking she’s been sewing, and Isa had taken a washroom break, so we said – SHOWER!  She wanted to take in the Kindle for music, but much too much water in a small bathroom for that.  We helped her adjust the temp, and she’s fine of course with the rest.  Rich is done eating and is watching TV fishy.  He said something about a half hour, so we’re thinking he’s going to take a nap.  He’s been out with the boat and from what we hear she is ALL shiny!  I know I’m going to have to give it my okie dokie, because he worked real hard on it!...  I went out the second time with Max – the first time I took just him and he urinated, but then he whined at the door again, so I took all three out.  AND he did his masterpiece!  YAY PLUS, the other dogs wet their piece of real estate too.  I guess it’s a big deal that they go on top of each other’s stuff - Will have to ask Katherine about that.  Maybe just to produce a new PACK smell!??  Could be?!
NOW EVERYONE is relaxing and I’m doing well because I’m back at Rich’s computer.  I think I’m going to suggest that Isa finish her book when she gets out and before she’s back to the computer – BY suggesting she sit in one of the recliners.  It’s a real comfortable place to read and it should be just outside the regular distractions.  It’s only about 12-15 feet away, so not REAL far, but should give her some peace.  I am wondering when the last time she had an eye exam.  Her eyes look tired when reading.  And, she’s much closer than the traditional space from me sitting up and reading the computer screen – especially since we’re at 90% screen.  I’ll talk to Maury.
Hehehe THREE REALLY tired dogs – one on each side of me and the table.  They are soooo gosh darn cool.  As tiring as the dogs are, they are like heaven to be around.  I think their world is so interesting that we’re just amazed by it.  I like to think we’re learning how to be a good pack leader.  I don’t know how to slow them down on the playing other than to separate them for a bit.  I know Maury suggested he could leave them at home, but then neither they NOR Dakota would get the benefit from having a bigger pack.  Nothing anyone said could convince me they haven’t been having a good time.
AND!!!! You know what?  Through a lot of patience from Lady, she has taught Dakota how to be playing a good game of tug-o-war!!!!!  I’m soooo excited about that… Just seemed like a good dog thing.  He’s not very good at it yet, but Lady was very patient.  He got finally the part first of picking up the toy – heavy item, then he would run it in front of the other two dogs to get them to chase him.  He then got to a stage he laid down with it between his front legs, and then with a LOT of coaching from Lady she would hold it for him to grab with no challenge.  He wasn’t doing that, so she put it down on the ground to make it more alluring, and then then finally when he went to grab it, she grabbed her end.  For a while he kept letting it go, but through her very thorough training he finally held onto it while she held the other end.  Soon after she was walking him backward through the LR, dining area and sitting room.  He took a little longer to offer him resistance becausehe thought basically that she was walking him. 
We did have one little scrape.  I wasn’t thinking and I offered Lady a handful of the new dog food to see if she would like it, but Dakota got too close and Lady kind of snapped at her.  There was no connection, but it took Dakota a while to not have hurt feelings.  He did back away like he should have, but I know now that I won’t be feeding them close to one another.  I will always feed them separate with Maury’s two dogs, and then separately we’ll feed Dakota.  It seems to work better too to do Maury’s two dogs before we feed Dakota too because he’s more laid back about eating.
Now Isa is out and took Dakota with her to brush her hair.  I think she likes it that Kota comes to her most the time she asks for him.  He’s a really good dog and has been perfect at least with older kids like Isa and Ame.  Ahh Isa is now reading in the comfy chair.  She says usually if it’s too comfortable she falls asleep and I have no reason to disbelieve her, but there has to be a balance.  Dakota is still being a distraction for her, but we’ll stick with.  Hmm, she’s having much too good a time to open the book.  I guess we have to let some of it play out - hmm, the next thing?  Both Dakota and Max need to be petted … Now Max is whining at the door better check that out?
Oh Lordy … had to do the outside stuff AGAIN!  This is turning into a full time occupation!  BUT, every time I let them out they seem to actually use the facility!  Lady did her good doggy this time so it will be Dakota’s turn next.  Now Rich is getting up and the dogs are getting good pets from him.  Lady is settled down and it’s time the other two settle down, but with Rich up they might wait until he settles.  I think he has to go to the store to get some black lining to hold down the weeds on the side of the house before he puts down Mulch.  I’m so excited he’s doing this stuff because our house really could be improved with fewer weeds.  We get fewer flowers too, but think it’s more important to be without weeds, no matter how we do it. 
Hmm, it’s just about 2 pm now.  Maury took our car with him so as normal looking forward to it coming back.  I THINK I took out the garbage from it.  It would be embarrassing if I had not.  Mostly it’s garbage food stuff from on the way back from Dr. Marvin’s, but usually when we bring garbage out or pass by it waiting to get into Rich’s car, we will check it.  It still needs to be vacuumed though.  With Maury’s broken hand, it is not a good time to ask him for help.  He’s really encumbered by the cast … I don’t know how he’s doing the dogs, but feel empathy for him AND my sister.  I don’t know if we said it, but while she was healing from getting her shoulder surgery done, she tore the meniscus in her knee and she broke her opposite arm by the shoulder.  What are people doing wrong?  We don’t seem to get hurt often so don’t understand much when it happens.  Hope this trend is about over.
Isa is back playing a “Sim” game that took a LONG time to download.  She’s talking out loud to herself, but we’ve really not been paying attention to what she’s saying.  She’s focused on something.  She said she had gotten to page 17 out of 31 and didn’t really want to finish the book.  She said maybe on the car ride home.  I don’t think you should be FORCED to read, it should be motivated out of enjoyment, so we let it go.  I think Maury is expected at any time – at least he said he’d be back between 2-4 pm.  My guess is that he’s coming back later.  I’d seen him on FB, but he only put some pictures in there of working at the food place again.  I don’t know all of who he went with, but I saw Ame was there and she seemed to have a good time. 
Rich just went out – I guess the black stuff is for later, he’s going to go address his rods and reels.  He’s getting everything ready for a trip with Bob and Doug on Monday – I guess its Labor Day.  It will be pretty quiet here tomorrow with just Dakota and us.  Maybe we’ll both need to be taking some naps. 
Hmm, wanted to get to the part where we said something about Dr. Marvin … first though, we did want to say that we’ve been doing pretty well at keeping our place neat and clean.  I’m really happy about that … with people around more – like the grandchildren and now with Dakota, it seems we’re doing better at getting up and making sure things stay clean.  *gulp* BUT now just saying that I realize that we forgot to make our bed this morning.  Shoot!  Look around and EVERYONE is relaxed including Rich, Kids AND DOGS … nope nope we’re not going anywhere!  We did figure that when we’re up and before everyone settles again, we need to keep our glass ready with something to drink.  THAT is just not worth unsettling everyone!  Again, the dogs are hovering in my area, but to be fair we are in front of the fan/air, AND in front of the sliding glass doors.  That ALWAYS seems to be a hub with multiple dogs, and least we’re just making that up today 
As to Dr. Marvin, Dakota has had two real good trips to his office.  We’re trying to preface them by saying, “Are we going to Dr. Marvin’s???!!!”  And, then repeat liberally on our way in and just before we see him.  Dr. Marvin has done real well with him and it seemed we were able to get off the dog for moments of time this last time.  I think we already wrote about Tuesday when we wrote on Wednesday – Maybe? Maybe not?  One of the funny things is that Dakota seems to know that he’s going to be on a leash, but after his first time of seeing Dr. Marvin and getting petted, he’s got a sneaky thing where he’s laying on the floor, and then he crawls on his elbows under the coffee table to get some more free petting by Dr. Marvin.
This time we worked eventually to be more assertive in telling Dakota – no more pets and that he had to settle lay down.  We did give him a couple drinks of water, and we gave him one of his small bones to settle down.  I want to build things like that as routines so he knows what to expect.  SOOO, like Katherine AND Dr. Marvin said we have to work on being more assertive.  We have done better at getting him to sit and be “down” (lying down) and we’re getting better at saying, “Go on…” and expecting him to walk off leave us alone.  He can’t be taking all of our attention. 
The other thing that came up at Dr. Marvin’s was that Rich said to tell Dr. Marvin, we have to work on our weight again.  I guess since about the time the girls were over a couple weeks ago and Austin was over, we stopped taking charge of what we were eating and recording it on our MFP site.  That reminds me we should be doing it now too.  We’ve only had mini-wheat and a bowl of vegetable salad so far  hmm, about 2:30 pm.  I think it’s time to have some popcorn! 
Hmm, there sure are a lot of transitions.  The dogs are all up and need to lie back down.  Isa has switched over to the computer, Rich came through looking for tea, Ame came out for bread and chips.  We told her we have more or better, but it seemed fine AND we have popcorn, a couple or tortillas *sigh*AND some ice for ice water.  The dogs are thinking they want to go out with Rich because they can see him from the door.  Good two are laying down … YAY there goes the third.  Remember to tell Dr. Marvin that we spent a good bit of weekend time hoping that everyone settles down – especially the three dogs!
Hmm, another break –we decided that we should make some cookies for dessert – so we did that AND Maury called to say he’d be about 45 minutes late.  That was almost to be expected.  I’m going to guess he was having a good time – said something about the best breakfast place ever.  *sigh*
SOOO to Dr. Marvin’s - I think I told you about the part where he petted the dogs a couple of times and there were – between the two dates that sneaky stuff under the table?  Hmm, seems we may have been here before.  Well, are we almost through then?  We could say something about how spectacular that Dakota has been doing.  During the latter part of the week he even took me out to do the walk with the walker. 
Hmm, that’s interesting … it’s about walker time right now.  I wonder if we should take our walk.  Rich has been able to do the weather, not sure if I could do it too?  Just had to go into the bedroom to cool ourselves down - I’m thinking in reality that I’ve been up and down enough so I don’t have to walk and for that matter Dakota has been having a busy day too with so many people to keep together.  Maybe we’ll pass on that and just focus on the next thing as being cleaning off the table.  Hmm, how bad is it?  Not too bad, just a couple of minutes.  The hardest part will be turning off the computer.  AND, we’re not ready to do that yet.
I didn’t turn out hungry enough to eat the popcorn.  We’ll just throw that.  Wall-to-wall dogs.  They are so pretty together and Isa caught the similarities of colors in that they all match.  It’s been a nice weekend though we look forward to putting our feet up too!  Oh and we started the dishwasher one more time because we thought we would have too much a problem after adding dinner dishes.  Mostly it was just morning, lunch and cookie dishes, but I figured it wouldn’t fit the roast pan unless we did some now.  Dinner wouldn’t be until another 1 ½ hours so shouldn’t be a time crunch.  We did have some conversation and cookie testing between me and the two Granddaughters.  We decided the cookies weren’t just right … needed more sugar or flavoring.  *sigh* So many cookie batches yet to try.  Its ok, they are “good enough” for dessert.  PLUS, the three of us can now wait the extra time for Maury to get here.  Not worrying about Rich he had a late lunch.
I don’t know if he finished the weeding project on the side, or if he was waiting before he got the covering.  He’s been outdoors long enough, but I knew it took a long time to do the boat AND I think he went from that to fishing poles.  I think these are good days for him, though I’m disappointed about the yard not improving or the recumbent bike not getting put together.  The fishing stuff is on a deadline with him going out tomorrow.  You heard the part about getting our treadmill on Friday?  That’s really good news J
Hmm, that’s interesting.  Rich just readjusted everyone when he came in asking me to make tea.  That wasn’t a problem, but dogs all get up, BUT by the time we sat down again after making the tea the dogs were already lying down!  What good dogs they are.  I think between the activity and the heat, they are really tired out.  We just filled their water dishes one more time.  Lady has emptied them out a couple times so we’re not really filling them up too high. 
Running out of steam myself, but know this is the build-up time to put things in order before the business of dinner takes over.  It’s 3:50 pm now and we just gave Isa a note to take a break soon to help me with the table.  More my stuff than hers, but her help will help, especially in stepping over the dogs!  Just remembered how much we love them, BUT it does take a little time, balance and coordination to make sure everything is in order.  I think we’re going to take a break for the night ourselves. 
Anything left of the day?  Not really.  I expect Maury here in about 45 min.  Before that Rich will come in and do the leftover things for dinner and he’ll be so happy if we get to the table first!  After that we will have dinner, dessert, a little talk, and then Maury and his will have to go – thinking about 6:30-7 pm.  Then Rich and I will get comfortable, I’ll clean up the mess before dessert.  Hmm, we’re going to have to take out the dogs one more time to get them to settle before dinner and they are going to have to be fed.  Think we’re going to talk about a staging area for Ame and Isa’s stuff too so it’s easier for them to get up and leave.  Just don’t want to push them any earlier than we have to.  I’ll probably have on PJs before they hit the end of the driveway Hehehe – yup like that.  Think Rich and we will watch a show, and then we’ll get the animals ready for bed – make sure we take our medicine, and then we’ll head for bed for the coolness AND to massage Rich.  Hmm, thinking too – I could take a shower.  Maybe by then Rich will need one too.
Hehehe – he came in all sweaty saying he has to hydrate.  I asked him if he was going to take a shower tonight because he was dripping wet.  He smiled coyly and said he had taken one in the morning!  BLAH!  We can read each other by now! EVERY one is taking a shower! It’s been a good weekend the girls being here help both of us to keep busy and get things done.  For me it’s been the blog entry.  I think next we’ll email it to ourselves so we get it back to our computer, though don’t know until later if we’ll post the entries tonight or tomorrow morning.  It makes me feel good that we put in good time watching and taking care of everyone.  I probably seem the least important around here, but like to think in the middle we’re what keep things running along - right?!
Kota was just a gosh darn good host for the pack! 

Dakota's first weekend - Part 2

This is what Dakota looks like waiting for Rich to come home after he’s just left 10 minutes Hehehe.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 @ 1:38 PM

Hi hi.  This is me and this is the second part of trying to capture some of Dakota’s first weekend.  I can’t believe we’re already up to Wednesday.  We’ve just finished getting the last couple of entries into the blog.  I’ve read them through a few times so have a general idea where we’ve left off.  I think the last entry was written sometime after getting back on Monday from the airport for Katherine.  We talked briefly for a few moments yesterday while we were driving to know that she got back probably about 4 hours later than expected.  She had problems getting out of O’Hare.  There were thunderstorms and I guess that really slows down traffic now days.

The gist we got was that everything was fine and we were happy to hear her voice, and we said we’d talk to her later, but things are mentally a little bit out of control, in that the system isn’t letting more time go by WITH Katherine until we get the weekend recorded.  We want to catch-up but it’s not time.  So let’s get this writing going.  It’s already mid-afternoon.  Some of the things happened as scheduled, but for the most part, we are trying to create our schedule as we go along to provide some security for Dakota. 

This morning, Rich had to wake us up about 6:30 am.  He was leaving and wanted to tell us that he’d let out the dog and had secured him in the cooler sun room.  We were startled because we couldn’t think of all the implications.  For a few moments we just lay there coming out of the morning daze.  We had been so pleased that Dakota had been able to stay in the crate until we were up, showered, dressed and ready for the day.  From Rich’s perspective, he saved Dakota from HAVING to be in there.  We’ll talk about it later.  When asked he said that Dakota was out for about 5 minutes and he couldn’t tell us whether he had gone to the bathroom.  That wasn’t acceptable either, but we didn’t want to discourage Rich from taking some time with Dakota.  Dakota did look comfortable when we got up and looked out to the sunroom.  Good Rich.  Be nice Ann! 

Much later in the day – to properly orientate you; we’re at the computer listening to Ariana Grande – first time.  Dakota is lying directly under us, so that I’d run over his ear if I moved.  He seems to be ok with the music.  The washer and dryer are going and the dishwasher has run its cycle.  I looked through yesterday’s mail and put it where it belonged, and the kitchen area is cleaned-up.  The living room is good except the few blankets and I hadn’t gotten to the bed in the bedroom yet.  I also have to do the sheets in Katherine’s Guest room, but I don’t have enough clothes to go with it.  I’ll have to do that maybe tomorrow or Friday. 

I still don’t know what is going to happen with the Girls this weekend.  Maury called on the way home from the airport and stated that he broke his hand playing the drinking game – Mercy.  Oh Mercy … yah, that’s what we have to say too.  He’s out of work now on disability for about 6-7 weeks.  Yeah ... Ok, that could have been better thought out Maury and Alex??!!  *sigh* the good side is that he gets more time with the girls.  So again, as to the weekend, they could all come out, or he might keep them.  I think they are excited to meet Dakota though so maybe they will still come out.

In other recent news, the recumbent bike came in – the treadmill has not.  I don’t want to startle Dakota now that we got everything settled, but next time up we’ll grab the phone on the counter to call the company.  I haven’t heard any word from them yet.  It will come up with Rich when he comes home and sees the first box.  I know, I know … where’s the second box? 

Hmm we’re going to listen to Coldplay now for a while.  We updated our playlist.  We also turned the shuffler on.  I like the more relaxed song, but it’s been a while since we listened, so we’re expecting a variety.  Dakota doesn’t seem to mind.     

There … we took a washroom break, popped some popcorn and filled our water glass.  I might have to start another list just to get a full day in.  Let’s see think about the weekend, do the clothes, empty the dishwasher, don’t forget to steam the clothes, pick-up the mail and go around the block, and then teach something to Dakota – maybe out front, or - inside?  I want a learning place, but I also want to be unfettered by the chains.  Hmm, Maybe I have to cut up some treats.

Friday, August 29, 2014 @ 11:33 am

Hi hi … it’s us again.  I just read through the above and figured it wasn’t enough to send out on its own.  Today sounds much the same, but it is two days later – Friday.  We have established a pretty good routine when we are home, in that, we got up and did some Internet, then took Kota for a scooter walk, then we fed him and us, then picked-up the house, did the dishes (machine and hand-washed), am on my second load of clothes (one’s folded), and we made the bedroom good again.  Not much else though.  Oh … did kitty litter and garbage that ALWAYS counts.  We’re in a spectacular habit of picking up the dog poos after we get back from our walk.  It seems pretty standard, but I am going to ask rich for some of those loose see-through disposable gloves, instead of using one bag to pick up the poo and one for it to land. 

AHA!  Ordered 500 disposable gloves – the kind I wanted.  It came to $8.10 and there’s no delivery charge for a 2-day delivery.  It is part of having Amazon Prime.  Probably get her then on Tuesday with Monday being a holiday?  It will be a good deal - much neater.  Soooo THAT is done!  For the bags, we can still make Rich feel good by using garbage bags.  That part doesn’t seem to matter though it is nicer to have a folded down bag until we need it.  AND there’s a chance when you grab an old grocery bag that it has a hole in it, but we’re pretty used to checking it so Missy’s litter doesn’t fall through. 

Well folks, just get used to it.  We’ve More than doubled our animal “POO” level, so it might just come up some days – we’ll try to be more conscientious though – sorry!

So we’re all caught up today as far as the tasks performed.  Rich said that it was ok that Dakota stay outside for a bit for a “good” place to lounge.  I don’t like that as much as he does, but he’s out in the sunroom today, so Dakota has a visual.  Better go check him now though because it’s been about 45 minutes.  Ah he’s doing pretty good … Think we’ll leave him, because somehow I think it gives Rich some company.  When I looked, Dakota was standing up on the top of the porch looking down the stairs/block.  He then stretched comfortably and then laid down again facing the stairs.  He’s not looking toward the door – although he gave that a check.  Pretty much he’s out there just having a good time.  I think Rich is right in getting used to the place.  This back yard is now HIS place.  I was never so happy to own that back porch.  It’s gotten more use this week than the whole entire year and a half we’ve lived here.  NICE!

We did talk to Linda a little bit before we did the housework.  She is having a stay at home day – though she has errands and Granddaughter today.  She just finished a quilt for someone after the machine gave her some trouble.  Her Tony fixed the machine and all is sparkly again!

There’s not much news from my sister other than she’s pushed her 4th surgery and in the process she broke her other shoulder and tore her knee up.  Think it had to do with the laundry room area and letting the dogs out.  I know she’s still reading, but not sure how much or exactly how she’s doing it.  I’m guessing when we finally call; she will be on speaker phone.  We should call her this afternoon.  Just want to make sure, all considered she’s doing all right.  She’s comparing this week to the worst since childbirth.  Don’t envy her a bit, but thinking maybe NOW she’ll let other people do things?!  I don’t know for sure. 

I’m dying to know how Katherine is too … We REALLY owe her a call, but had wanted to finish this letter first.  I feel so badly because we’re not being very responsive.  I know she has a lot of work to do at home, but we are missing her.  Today, with the Grandkids coming tomorrow, we figured we really had to wash the guest room linen.  BUT, it still spelled like the pretty stuff she wears.  *sigh* Dakota and I did it together.  Hate to complain, but Maury is like NOTHING smelling good like Katherine!

As to Maury’s group, we did hear back from them a couple nights ago and the plan is for him to bring the girls AND dogs about 7 pm and then later he would be going home on a date.  I don’t think he’s planning on staying long, AND he is bringing the girls earlier to the Renaissance Fair.  I know Ame had been there before, but not as a family unit, so they should be having a really good time.  We don’t know yet if his dogs are staying.  It will depend on how they get along with Dakota.  He will either leave them or bring them home.  Not sure yet.  I think Dakota needs more dogs in his pack, and we’re hoping to have more sessions with Joe and Cari’s dog too.  That’s harder though because I think we’re on the bottom of their social scale.  MAYBE sometime we’ll get their Ramsey and our Dakota together.  I think Joe’s walking Ramsey now – just not sure how long he’s been doing that.  I don’t think he’s done it all along.

We’ll have the girls for morning and afternoon Sunday, and then their father will come back about 4 pm for dinner here.  Rich says he’s serving Roast and usually he makes corn on the cob because he knows the girls like it, though Swenson’s the family he usually buys from is reported to be done for the year.   Not sure if Rich will go to some of the other roadside places, or if he’s back to the grocery store, but we’re setting the bar high enough to think we’re going to be disappointed with the change.  We’ve had a good amount of corn all year.

Maury and family will leave soon after dinner and we’ll make sure that part of the weekend is getting in their showers.  I would like to do homework here too, but we’ve not heard much about it.  We’ll maybe bring it up at Sunday dinner, because I would like to help if we could.  I’d like to think homework can be enjoyable and not something pushed hard on Sunday nights.  I don’t think Isa has so much, but Ame is probably working into it AHA!  Rich said he’s going to let in the dog YAY!!!  Definitely have to do some petting – though I just heard him ask Dakota about his leash being caught up.  He’s going to fly in!   AHA!  He did in that!  We gave him a good petting, and then he went for some of this morning’s leftover breakfast, and we took the tomatoes and cucumber Rich’s mother’s friend sent over and we made a nice salad adding onions and green and red peppers.  YAY we’re back to being the good Ann.  So far we haven’t eaten anything besides raison bread.  We’re having a good day – and the BEST would be to record again, right?

Good Good … ok, we ate lunch, added the calories, AND added a food note for today.  I think we’ll take one more break right now and fold the last load of clothes before Rich eats in 15 minutes or so.  BRB

There!  Did most of the stuff … AND put things away, but did not get the guest bed made.  That will be on our next up.  The counter though is clean and we expect Rich any moment if he’s on schedule and not carried away with his work load.  We’re a bit out of breath, but are feeling confident in our Domestic Godestry.  Ahh Dakota is checking out the place too.  That’s funny … he went to Lady’s favorite spot near the sliding glass door to Max’ favorite spot on the opposite side of the coffee table.  To be fair, we did turn on the fan that Maury left and the fan in the LR.  Maybe they know something I don’t.  It’s good.

We have 939 calories left with the day, but are ashamed I’m only just now drinking our first glass of water.  We had three cups of coffee and one diet coke, BUT it’s still not the same as water.  I’ve got to remember what this all groove was like.  I did like the feeling that I’d accomplished our day, and I did like getting on the scale and it showing a loss.  It will be a trial with a weekend coming up with Granddaughters.  I think we still need to have chips and ice cream in the house, but MAYBE I can handle it better?  I don’t know … BUT with 939 calories, knowing we’re going to have a great 2nd day of jambalaya – it would seem we have enough for a snack tonight AND Rich did say we have watermelon again!  YAY!  Right on track for the day!  I’m so glad that Rich suggested a subject of diet with Dr. Marvin, we might have gone there too, just usually when Rich says, “Tell Dr. Marvin …” and then we do it to be fair.  Not always pleasant, but fair.  No reason in this psychological economy, Rich has to labor on my issues.  PLUS, this morning he volunteered his weight AND he knows we’re competitive with it – with him being 3 pounds less.  I think if we stood on it, we could be down 3 pounds by the end of next week when we get the treadmill.

Thinking now … maybe we should put the guest blanket out to air and the pillows?  Probably is good guest etiquette!  BRB Hmm, back, we found our puppy too!  But he’s starting to understand better – whether he likes it or not – the term – “Go on!”  AHH he chose a place to lay down directly in front of the fan AND we have the air on … good deal for him!  I sure hope he likes Lady and Max.  I can’t see any reason he wouldn’t.  He is having problems with Don the neighbor to the south.  I don’t know if it’s because of all the walking around the house he does, but now twice when we’ve met Don in our yard or the street, he puts out a low growl.  He can be petted, but he shouldn’t be doing that with ANYONE particularly someone being this close a friend.  We’ll have to ask Katherine about it.

He sure looking like he needs some good rest - I think Katherine also said something about it and that when they are not doing something with you it is common that they rest.  Wow, wish I could be saving up that kind of energy, BUT I’m not the one who walks 2 miles a day at a fast clip!

THERE!  We did it, we called CS.  She didn’t answer, but we asked her to call us back when she could.  Just don’t know how she’s handling everything.  Maybe she’ll call sometime today?

I think my mother is good … we did talk earlier this week I think Tuesday or Wednesday.  I really appreciated that she spent most the phone call talking about Dakota – for good or bad, meaning not EVERYTHING he’s doing so far is perfect, though it’s been several days – since Monday that he’s had an indoor accident.  I don’t think he does it as his first choice, just hasn’t learned to whine to go out, and I’m not sure how else to handle that - Maybe another question that needs asking?  Is there any other dog news?  Not really, he has been half way up and half way down in hanging around as I do my chores.  I think he thinks it’s his responsibility to keep track of me, but for the most part if I’m working in the kitchen/dining room where he usually lies, he just follows me with his eyes.  I think that Katherine did a lot of housekeeping at her place, and so he’s used to those general movements.  He’s working really well with the “lie down command” when I’m working in the laundry room … he’s just really good at so much.

Hmm, Rich is in now and he’s made lunch and is watching a fishy show for his lunch break.  He had remarked on the condition of our guest pillows we had outside and we then told him we need two MORE pillows, because the pillows were flat and not enough for guests to be comfortable.  Then we said that we’re using our green couch pillows (in pillowcases) for the girls.  Then he said he needs to pick up five pillows for each of us – one for guest, one for each of the two girls, one for him and one for me.  We said you can’t get an odd number of pillows and make the guest bed and that we needed TWO, but I already have two and didn’t need anymore.  There was then some more grumbling and discussion, but I was happy with 5 meaning none for me and two for guest and girls and one for him.  He had said something during that time about pillows being $20 a piece, and then we said the girls have pillow cases I got when we got their bedding, but we need four matching pillow cases in the guest room, but then he started complaining again.  BUT, we only have a couple matching pillow cases.  Then he said he doesn’t make enough money to spend $200 for bedding.  We told him that there was going to be five pillows at $20 and that it didn’t cost an additional $100 for four pillowcases.  Sometimes he exaggerates to make his point, but that to me just crumbles his argument.  I think he’s thinking though too that we need another casing (sheet/mattress cover) on our bed, because he doesn’t like the way ours works.  Fine with me – go ahead and SPEND $200 on bedding, but I didn’t start this!


Maybe we’ll wait a little bit before we remake the bed.  I think the only other thing we need to do – two things – one is empty the dishwasher and the other is the always HARD steaming of clothes.  Maybe if we can put a deadline of like 1 ½ hours or so we can still start the steaming and watch some HG TV.  We almost forgot though that we’re trying to do our walking with the walker about 3 pm (its 1:45 pm now).  Maybe we could do the walk at 4 pm and have it closer to dinner.  I like the part like yesterday that with Rich gone, we stayed out on the patio with Dakota till Rich came home – AND then dinner got made.  Tonight is leftovers, but we’ll probably eat at 5 – 5:30 pm.  Good schedule.  There are advantages to Rich being home for the day.  He HAS been busy with work.  A couple new jobs have come in and he’s got a lot to keep track of AND he has to always be making cold calls looking for more business.  If it weren’t for owning money from last year, we’d be doing better, but for the time being we’re still paying off business debt.  It’s just what happens though.  I believe in him as a hard worker!

Maybe we should jump a LOT more directly into some earlier Dakota thoughts to get to the point we’d originally started with as to finishing his first weekend OR week up!  I think we went through the part where it was Saturday last week, and Katherine was here, and we’d gone to Walmart Pharmacy and Pet Smart.  I know we’d listed some of the things that we’d gotten, but we hadn’t yet talked about going out for meals.  The first meal was a trip to Bull Moose.  What a very very nice time we had.  We sat toward the back of the train room where there was more room for Kota, and he had very very nice manners.  He wanted to look and see what was on the table, but for the most part he lay down next to me and allowed Katherine and us to have the most WONDERFUL lunch.  The lunch included each of us having two Bloody Marys.  Yup yup THAT’s how GREAT a lunch it was.  We felt it was leisurely and the restaurant wasn’t overly crowded so we just sat back and relaxed and talked and talked. 

I can’t even begin to think of all the conversations we got to have with Katherine – there was just so much learned about her, and just the same, she learned more about us.  AND, of course, Dakota was ALWAYS coming up in the discussion.  I like it when Katherine talks about personal stuff AND when she talks about her business.  I just think it’s’ the most wonderful job a person could ever have, so we’re always asking her questions about the dogs and how she does things and how everyone gets along.  It really helped too in thinking through Dakota’s experience and what kinds of changes he was making.

There are so many good things that he’s been trained for that we don’t want to wreck things up.  Like one of the things that we’ve gone back to that Katherine was doing was the idea of putting him in the crate and our dinner time with Rich.  He really makes it a non-issue to be in the crate, but if he’s out, he gets pretty excitable – mostly because Rich and us eat a lot in the living room and with that little bit of informality, he has a hard time knowing his official boundaries.  I think it’s key to remind the reader that he’s just a puppy.  I think we went through that already, but in general he’s 15 months old. 

I just talked to Rich about going out to eat.  We thought maybe tomorrow night before the girls got here would be a good time, because I know he’s working through the day on projects, but he said that he had already thought he was going to make a couple of steaks.  It is REALLY hard to turn THAT down!  But, we planted the first real seed post-Katherine that we’re going to have to go out at least once a week to keep him trained.  I’m hoping that will be enough.  I think he does really well with the walking.  We’ve mentioned that before, but he’s getting practice with that every day.  I think we’re going to have to pick a few days – maybe bad weather days and do some of our walking in stores.  We’ll talk to Rich more about that later, like if he has things – one or two things he wants us to pick-up at Walmart or Arts – the local grocery store.  I should bring him to other stores too, but that might take a longer conversation with Dr. Marvin to plan out.  We don’t have money to be buying a lot of stuff, but maybe like those gloves we ordered earlier, we should have maybe planned to go to a store for that.  Probably they sell them at Walgreen’s?  I don’t know that’s ONE of the stores, I wanted to go to, just not in practice so don’t know what we could be picking up.  We should talk to Dr. Marvin AND Rich.  It’s part of the whole activity program, right?  Let’s not get too overwhelmed.  The good part for this first week is that we’re taking the scooter AND the walker walks.  Pretty good deal!

The second trip out with Katherine last Saturday to a restaurant was to the Santa Fe here in Sandwich.  Neither restaurant questioned us bringing in a service dog (he had his vest on), but we had to get things established that was made much easier by having Katherine there.  We were having a hard time being able to say the words like could we be put somewhere out of the way.  And, then between her and the waitress, they took away each time the extra chair so he could have more space next to me.  He is always causing a stir no matter where we are.  This was especially true when we went out for dinner.  The only table available was right behind the lady who seats people.  We’ve had that table before.  It seems we never make it back to the side places … just always get sat in the middle (not so private). 

We had the most “trouble” with the guy and his wife sitting in back of us.  I think his wife alerted him that he and I were back to back with the dog.  He actually turned around in his chair and put his feet up on the chair directly in back of me.

Hehehe – just talked to Linda for a few moments – it was like a power-talk.  It only lasted a few moments, but both of us were revved.  Each has had a good productive day and she has her GD today and we have our GDs tomorrow – so both feeling enthused there.  She had to go to pick-up Teadora AND shop, where we’ve got some rest of the afternoon stuff to manage too.  BUT, we were actually talking about the weekend so we will go back to that - Hmm, maybe after doing the dishes though.  Hold on…

AHH!  BACK!  We let Dakota out, cleaned the dishwasher, put the sheets on the guest bed AND pet Kota for a bit.  He’s really getting better with the “go on!” command though we see that he’s right in back of us stretching out.  He is also enjoying the bush we have out back because it offers shade … Hehehe – going over to see if he can get some free pets from Rich … no go there, stopped for some water, now ???  What’s next for the dog that has everything!??  Hmm, checking out the kitchen AND the kitty guarded community - nothing to be had there.  I think he’s like got his “grounds” to cover.  I did wash under the kitchen counter ledge to keep him from getting sick from stuff picked up there.  Hmm, then he came and gave us a sniff, AND then he walked around the coffee table and checked out the front door, came gave me another sniff, then Rich – think this has to do with his herding.  There ya go; he lay down next to Rich.  Sweet!  He’s such a good dog!  Guess he’s back to dognapping.  Everything is all ok within his realm.

Ok, back to the guy at the restaurant.  He was probably drunk, but the thing was that he put his feet up in the chair next to him and he was turned to us and that was like going to be like he added us to his table.  One of the first things he did was crumble chips in a bowl and give it to us for the puppy.  Katherine took that and put it aside.  I figured right … no snacks from the table while he’s on duty – OR for that matter at any time.  Katherine does recommend if there’s extra food at the normal table at home that they are put in his dinner dish mixed with his regular food.  She discussed that it was part of keeping him cleaned up – something to do with exposing him to many different types of food.  BUT, the dogs don’t get to beg at the table.

We noticed that while the guy was talking, Dakota had been asking me to pet him, and then finally, he lay down and we turned JUST toward Katherine and she was able to finish up the conversation with the guy.  But, then there was ANOTHER lady who came over from several tables away.  She just wanted to tell us how excited she was about our dog and how well she noted he was behaving.  I think people feel a little bad about their own dogs under these circumstances, because they like this lady are pretty sure they’d be begging for food at ANY table they saw.  I was really proud that Katherine had taught Kota so well not to beg and to lie down at the restaurant after making sure we were ok. 

We had a great meal and we ordered a couple of Margaritas each.  They were small, but we still asked Katherine to drive us home, because the day was starting to weigh on us.  I don’t think we went out to dinner until like 7 pm or so.  The time with Katherine was just so perfect and she seemed naturally more able to turn the dog over to our own well-being.  We pretty soon on figured that we pet the dog a lot more than she would normally.  It’s not because she was mean or anything, just that we were really lavishing Dakota with attention, because we were eager for the bonding process and just felt so happy with him.  Dakota really did know that Katherine was still there overseeing though, because if she raised her eyebrow, Dakota would like know when he was messing up.  She was doing somewhat the same with me.  She was patient as we struggled with getting our “adult voice” as did Dr. Marvin.  She was especially good as we were working with Dakota on the common behaviors of sitting and lying down.  We have to work at not repeating ourselves, because we want the dog to respond the first time.  So like with the down gesture of pointing, we will also say down, but not repeat it though holding our finger pointing to the ground.  Kota really seems to be getting it.  He’s a little quick on getting up afterward though – so we’re working with “Stay.”

I don’t remember everything about how Saturday went and I think we told you about Katherine going over everything that had been on our “wondering list” that we’d made up with Dr. Marvin.  She was SOOOO patient with us, and that’s why dinner was so late.  Katherine doesn’t stay up too late, and we’re pretty sure we kept her up later than normal.  She did get chances to talk to Brian her husband, and that probably normalized her life more than anything, but I always had the feeling that whenever I had another question or something to talk about that she was ready with a listening ear.  She was such a perfect guest!  AND, to be honest there is one extra Katherine bonus.  We were getting REAL hugs at the appropriate moments.  I’m holding them so dear to our heart.  I can feel her holding us and wiping away some of our insecurities.  She never lost balance with the part that everything that was happening and happening quick was new and different for both Dakota and us.  Everything was just soooo soooo nice!

Sunday morning we woke up feeling things were already in a routine.  The first thing was that I was taking showers – EVERY morning first thing.  We had to explain to Katherine that was new, because usually we went to the computer first.  We did very little computer time while Katherine was here.  By Sunday, we had gotten up to do the shower, get dressed AND take Dakota outside.  He did all his good dog stuff right away.  Monday morning when we woke up it was the same, but we woke up at 2 am.  Dakota had patiently though waited until we were ready for him, and it was us that asked if he wanted to come out of the crate.  YAY DAKOTA!!!  BUT … back to Sunday.

With Katherine there was always something to talk about.  I LOVED that we got to share a couple cups of coffee and after a while we would have cereal and then after that came our scooter walk with Katherine and Dakota.  I was soooo impressed with Katherine’s well-being, fitness and general physical and mental health throughout the weekend.  Like running two miles wasn’t a problem for her.  Even when we turned to go back, she still ran the distance.  I don’t remember doing something like that since high school … she’s just so gosh darn impressive.  The second day there was one bad guy out on the road – he slowed down with Katherine on one side of the road, and then sped up yelling something out the window about finding a sidewalk.  That was the only mean thing that happened all week.  This morning was great in that another person yelled out the window – about how great it was that we were doing what we were in being out with the dog.  That makes up for the negative comment a lot.

I don’t know what it is about being out on the scooter with Dakota.  We usually start off by saying, “let’s go,” but pretty much as soon as the machine is powered to go forward, he’s already conditioning himself to keep pace with the vehicle.  We have a pretty good idea now how far we should hold the leash, but he's been kept pretty close.  Sometimes he will bump our leg, but mostly he keeps true.  We are both actually on the street part.  I had thought at first he’d like the side area of grass and such, but that’s not his preference.  All the time he is quick walking, he keeps his nose pointing forward.  We’re learning not to slow down when he thinks he can get interest in the side of the road, but he doesn’t do that very often.  When we come up to a bump – like the speed bumps in the park, we say, “bump.”  I’m thinking he’s getting pretty used to that, because he slows down knowing that we go over them slower.  He’s just so smart! 

So far we’ve taken him around the park, then down a mile to the end of the road (country mile roads), and then we take him once around the park to get him back into his neighborhood, and then we stop next to our back yard where he goes to the bathroom.  We’ve got a dish outside and we pour him some water … he usually only takes a few slurps until he’s more rested.  The water bottle we keep in our basket and we keep a couple bags in our basket.  After he’s clipped on to his regular leash, we go pick-up any poos we see and we bring it to the garbage in the garage.  Then we go in and wash our hands, and then go back out to put the scooter in the garage – w/o Dakota because we want him to understand sometimes we do things without him.  Then we come back through the garage to the sunroom and go in and sit.  If he’s busy he’ll let that be known, but usually, he seems to know already that after we get back from our walk, he gets his breakfast. 

All around it is just a very enjoyable process.  After that *giggle* he takes a rest unless we’re moving around.  When Katherine was here, we probably did some getting things in order, and she would take her shower after she cooled down from her run.  I think Rich was around Sunday and I remember the part about them discussing the day before having pork roast, sauerkraut and dumplings … it was like a favorite food she’d had in the past and hadn’t had for a long time, so it was decided that we would stay at home for dinner after being in Chicago.  Rich took the time to put our scooter up behind his SUV and he prepared the roast so it would cook while we were gone.

A lot of being in the car with Dakota in the back seat was about bonding with him, and letting Katherine and Rich talk and talk about fishing, or whatever.  Hehehe – this time I loved it.  It isn’t often that a girlfriend will get in such an in-depth conversation with the guy, but we had the feeling that Katherine would fit in with almost anyone she talked to, because she had so many experiences, interests, and abilities.  Ok and we were super happy about petting, petting and petting.  This was a new marvelous dog that we couldn’t quite believe yet was ours.  Sometimes we find ourselves talking to him.  Not as much babying, though there is a lot of asking him if he knows what a good dog he is and he’s told a lot how beautiful he is – JUST because we can’t help ourselves. 

I had thought we’d go take the scooter on Foster Beach where we used to live and walk alongside the lake, and then we’d go to the dog park, and then Dr. Marvin’s and then dinner out.  As just mentioned dinner was out, and somehow in the process Rich and/or Katherine took it that we were combining the two beach experiences into one.  We couldn’t find the voice to communicate that everything was all wrong.  We’d been going through the beach area where there was a LOT of people, no parking because we were at the wrong beach, and they were talking about us going to the dog park which was now terrifying us, because we knew there wasn’t any place to sit.  Between Rich and Katherine, they had to coax us to believe that something would work out.  Rich pulled up to the area by the dog beach; we were terrified and asked Katherine to take the dog.  Then we saw the general layout and noticed that there was a breaker wall we could sit at, and we asked Katherine to take Dakota in for a walk in the dog park, because we wanted to see him run free.

FORTUNATELY, Katherine seemed intuitively to understand our experience and agreed to the arrangement.  She went in the dog park and let Dakota go free.  I was so proud of them for being able to do it.  Just we hadn’t planned right – should have brought a chair for the beach.  But, Dakota started moving and smelled some other dogs, and then Katherine took him deeper into the beach and after we lost sight she took him into Lake Michigan.  He wasn’t really thrilled with Lake Michigan, but followed Katherine nonetheless.  About three times, Katherine turned around and waved at us and we waved back.  She was pretty smart to know that we’d be watching them sincerely with all our heart!  She was doing something for us that we weren’t able to do ourselves yet and there was soooo much appreciation!

After a while, Katherine brought Dakota back, and she sat on the breaker with us.  Man oh man what a marvelous magical moment that was.  Dakota patiently laid there between us and we did manage to get one beach picture before the camera battery failed again.  This is our beach picture!

It was just sooo cool!  There were a lot of people and dogs, but Katherine and Rich helped to make it manageable for me.  It was one of those places where if you had a dog you would want to try!  I’d thought that for a long time, and then Katherine made it come true.