Saturday, December 24, 2011

Hello to any who check this. I am not doing good at keeping up with this bog now.

Merry Christmas to all. I wrote on Caringbridge.org the website is Maryweinand. I will post here as able. I am still struggling with arm weaknesses and pain. Pray the doctors and physical therapist help me find ways to improve if possible.

I am in good spirits. Wonderful my son who move To San Francisco is here till Jan to stay with us. Hanging out with us today. Family are not coming till tomorrow.

Merry Christmas. I hope you read my reflections on caring bridge.

We like the warm weather but really do want white christmas.
First year ever i paid a small company to snowplow and shovel for me if over 2 inches. Looks like though you pay each month that the owner will not have any works. He said first time ever in the years he has been doing this. We kidded wonder if he will get lots later of if it will be a light year. Sadly we will need the moisture in spring so do need snow.

My son says it is so warm here he hardly feels like he left San Francisco weather wise. He chuckles they bundle up so for temps that still seem warmer to him. I wonder if he is out there several years what his opinion will be. Sadly my husband is sick, almost no voice, sore throat and cough. We just commented he hasn't been sick very much for years. Well now he is and I better try not to get it. He is being wonderful to me.

Take good care, Mary

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Check out this blog of Keeley and her puppies. Photos and Videos. I had to upgrade my adobe flash to make it work and can't get it on the ipad at all just computer. See if it works for you. Judy Michurski and family are caring for them and Keelie lives with them. She was the first mom of Emma. Took her in and trainned her. I can never thank her enough.

Okay I didn't reach the goal to post every day but will work on that. NO new pictures yet either darn it. I did a first today. Went out with my sister today for lunch. We had a great time and it was close to my home. Ready for a big nap but glad to get out of the house. We also exchanged Christmas presents. She is so kind and generous. We had a great time.

Emma is ready for a nap too. Bummer no snow as she really liked even a few inches to play in. Brown and I think ugly. Much warmer than normal. Sunday they say 42 here. Having no snow is keeping the weather warmer. Usually it would be in the 20's. Skiers, the children who get new skates and sleds for Christmas need snow. I will miss a white Christmas. But it is MN so eventually we should get snow.

Emma is so funny. Now I have a pillow just for her to use on my bed. So cute how she adjusts it just so. I use a snoopy pillow case or other special one so I know which one it is. She enjoys it I think. This picture is from last year but it could be this year too. Got out the musical puppy and she again likes it very much. She is so funny. Don't you love this picture?

We don't have the granddaughters today because Greg works a very long day and into the evening. I am still sleeping or resting a lot. I have found the true definition of doing nothing all day. Have to really rest my legs and hands and use nebulizer for breathing. Bronchitis seems better today so that is so good.

Yesterday I slept 5 hours after a medical appointment. Wow I do sleep. The weird thing is when I sleep I have no concept of time when I wake up. Freaks me out. I don't know if it has been 30 min, 3 hours or more. The other night I fell asleep about 7 hoping to sleep an hour. Greg woke me at midnight he was still up, to remind me to take my evening pills. Or it gets dark so early and dark if I wake early in morning. If I wake and it is dark I can't recall if it is morning or night. I just hope that sometime I don't need this much sleep and resting.

I really miss feeling like I accomplish something in a day. My husband, kids, and the medical staff and physical and ocupational therapists say taking care of myself is my task daily. I do the mild at home exercises they gave me but I really miss that good feeling of accomplishment and getting out of the house. I try to be patient and upbeat but some days am not so good at that as I should be.

Can't imagine all this time at home if I didn't have Emma. She will snuggle with me and then after so long bring me toys, or nudge me if she wants to go outside. Most times I never sleep through her feeding time at night. She will wake me. She has a good tummy alarm. And I think I told you if I am up around 2 pm she knows that is nap time. She will come and I just know she wants me to follow her and it will be to the bedroom.

Emma is a wonderful comfort and helper. Greg agrees it gives him peace of mind also when he has to work. She is just awesome will try to write more details about her tomorrow. Merry Christmas to all of you.

Mary and Emma

Not sure how many even know I am blogging again.

oops can't find the photo I wanted to add. Maybe later --- Mary

Monday, December 12, 2011




Yes you have seen this picture before, but it is one of my favorites.
Now you are more likely to see her sleeping right on our bed with me. She likes our naps.
I think she would like a little more snow. Maybe at the end of the week but I am not sure.
At this time last year we were cleaning up from a 17 inch snow fall that ripped the roof of the MetroDome.
This year we don't even have 3 or 4 inches I don't think.
Of course I am not the one shoveling.
We are paying someone to help us this year - is that a sure way to get less snow? We will see.
Like washing your car and it rains?

Emma had a nice day and evening. She sure likes pushing her nose through the snow.
I think the trees in the back ( a small tree line from the farm that was here) cast shadows
She sometimes runs and or barks when there seems to be nothing there
Mostly she just enjoys the snow, the smells, and the squirrels that are still around at times.
She loves her back yard, I watch from the patio so am so glad it is fenced.
She keeps stopping to look at me to be sure she can see me, today I sat down in a chair that wasn't visible to her
due to where she was in the yard and she came running quick.
I need to be in her view and that is good as then she is in mine.

When I sleep too long in the day she comes and nudges me to play
Never does that at night.
Today I think it was a good thing, she brought me a toy too
She wants me to play and be with her.
Even on days I am worn out, I really need to push to get up and sit to gain strength
And being with her is a big treat.

How I treasure Emma. She is just wonderful to be with.
Tomorrow we get out of the house to go to the doctor. She won't mind that.
This doctor was so afraid of dogs, I would have Emma stay with her nurse.
Now she is not afraid at all of Emma and even told me she learned to like a neighbor dog.
She really thinks Emma is a great dog - though not ready for her children to get a dog yet.
I consider this a big victory on Emma's part.

Love you Emma. Thanks to all who helped bring her into my life.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Tis the Season?





Christmas Cookie Baking a Few Years Ago - yes she was commanded to do this
One of our first holidays with her.
Opening gifts.

We're Back!!

Okay folks spread the word, I am going to blog regularily here again. I hope someone will read it. I am obviously a little stronger. Still sleep a lot or rest but can use fingers and arms enough to type daily and feed myself. Must rest them a lot on a pillow but I will never ever take such abilities for granted.

Emma is doing well. It is Sunday. She bugged me at 2. I was up. It wasn't time to eat and she had just been outside. Late in life she has learned to rarely bark for my attention. I couldn't figure out what the deal was. Then saw the time. We almost always nap at 2. Is she now my nap alarm clock. I headed to bed for a nap, she curled up next to me and was so happy to do so. Thatta girl Emma. You always surprised me.

I have arm exercises to do and they are gentle. Most can be done by adapting and playing or petting Emma. Of course she loves that. Greg also good to play with her a bit more than before since I have had a hard time with MS. Very happy about that. She likes the lights of the Christmas tree. So cute to see her staring at it. I am over dosing on Christmas shows, they perk me up, make me smile, laugh, cry in a good way and she watches some of those too. Mostly she cuddles up next to me.

She was a dream at Physical and Occupational therapy last Wed. One of the women I had met at MS things and is one of the staff. All of them loved dogs. I brought her blanket, they made sure she had water and she watched carefully what they were doing. I have OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY AND PHYSICAL THERAPY an hour appart so I can rest. This time they had a place I could even nap. Pillows and all. I fell asleep but Emma was watchful they said of what was going on. Once we got home we both napped. Going outside the house takes a lot of Energy for me.

I have my first wheel chair. It is light and called a transport wheelchair. NOT designed to be in all day, and made to be pushed by someone else. My arms are too weak to move a wheel chair anyway and that is NOT new. A bit sobering but goal to help me when we go out of the house. Goal to be strong enough for the Weinand Family Christmas Brunch next weekend. Will see if i can manage that. One day at a time.

So happy to write about Emma. She is super at helping me like always and does a bit more than before out of my need. She showed me an older dog can recall her younger skills. What an awesome dog she is. I sure hope if you are thinking of chairity dollars you remember Helping Paws. It is helpingpaws.org - they just had two sets of puppies. Will try to post those sites tomorrow.

Wow I have to go rest my arms awhile. Love this picture of Emma. Need new ones. Thanks for prayers and support.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

New puppies are coming any day now = check out

keeleyandherkids.blogspot.com

The Michurski family that is raising Keeley, raised Emma. Judy is very involved with Helping Paws. Will be fun to wait for pictures.

No news here. Very tired and slept a lot already today. Emma is being super. She has her "favorite pillow".

Mary and Emma

Monday, November 21, 2011



When I am awake, have looked at some old photos. Found this one I think taken when we first brought Emma home. She is so special to us. She brightens my day. Physical therapist will be here soon. I just wanted to post this. Nothing new. Just getting a bit lonesome being home so much. Maybe that is a good sign that I want to see people? I do sleep or rest so much too. Maybe will arrange some short visits with friends here? We'll see. Never sure how I will feel. tomorrow the cleaning lady comes. i sure need that.

My daughters had a fun time visiting their brother Danny in San Francisco and spent most the time unpacking and making it homey for him. I thought he had a futon and he only had a futon mattress there while waiting weeks for his furniture. They assured me it was very nice and a great location. Man and I wished I saw him more when he lived in Uptown Mpls. Will treasure seeing him at Christmas. My other children are so busy also but at least in town I do see them. I never took it for granted but gosh will still cherish time with any of them or all of them even more.

We wish you a Happy thanksgiving. Ours will be a bit quieter. Plan to write more this week. Just see how I do. Mary and Emma

Saturday, November 19, 2011



Rosa was so comforting when I was in ER, This was before I was admitted to the hospital for a few days. Didn't know Greg took a photo of it. HOpe it works.

Resting at home. Emma so much help.

caringbridge.org Maryweinand has updates --- Mary

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

If you follow caringbridge.org you know I was in the hospital due to high blood sugars due to the steroids due to MS symptoms. We don't know if we are dealing with anything but MS now...will see. Here is what was on CaringBridge today.


Emma and I slept most the day away. It seems good to be in my own bed. Tried to do a few things but arms are still very weak. I tire easy also. No changes there. Emma is comforting and helpful. Glad that Monday Greg got her into the vet and she is doing great!!

Emma is so close to me, when i fed her evening meal i walked away. She followed to be by me and left her food!! She is a lab!! So i told her to eat but needed to move to a chair by her food dish till she continued eating! What a shocker! She is very literally at my side every minute.

too tired to post more. Mary

If I don't post here and you want to see what is going on try caringBridge.org enter website Maryweinand. thanks for the positive emails, prayers, and all the support.

Thursday, November 10, 2011



Found this photo. Looking at old photos when I feel up to it. My family taught me how to scan. With weak arms only on computer a bit but I could do this today.

This is a MS Society Couples Retreat. We went to several. Due to funding issues they are not held now. Special times for Greg and I and Emma and other couples. Educational and fun. The theme was to look like you were on a cruise dinner. I had to borrow this from a friend. Normally I never wear sparkly things and never have since. Rosa likes to dress up in it and looks cute on her. My friend told me to keep it.

Emma is being just great helped. We snooze a lot and I rest all the time. Miss the sense of accomplishment of doing more but so glad for Emma's help.

Just a reminder, if you wish, I post on caringbridge.org - you enter my name maryweinand for website. Will keep this up as I can.

One day at a time - I am coping... Emma makes it so much easier. Cute of her in this picture I thought. wish photographer had her come closer to us...

Have a good day.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Monday Another quiet Day

Hi Friends,

The weeks are now months as I try to feel better. MS is not easy. Oh well, come of you also have MS, and that is not new news at all. Better think of other things.

It is so fun to watch Emma play in the leaves. She loves being outside. Despite my needing to rest/sleep I get her out a great deal and so does my husband. since we are not out and about and getting exercise that way, extra time in her back yard is great for her. Also good for me to smell and feel the fresh air.

I found the thing you hook on doors for her to pull them open. Maybe can get a photo from Greg. Those who train dogs know what I mean. It is so if a door can be pulled open but has no handicapped door she can use that. So many places I go have automatic doors of some kind it is rarely used so tucked away. Well I got it out to practice with her - once again she showed me how she can recall old tricks. Yep this older dog recalls all she knew in her youth. So impressive an so very hard working!

I am proud of her. Too tired to do more but will see if Greg has time to take photo when he gets home. I am trying to take it one day at a time. Talked to several doctors today but no news on what to do yet. I need more patience I think. Greg will be home tonight so that is a big treat for me. He is spoiling me and is a great cook. Home made beef vegetable soup tonight = comfort food for us both.

Very happy to get some cards in the mail, and email support it means a lot to me. Mary and Emma

Sunday, November 6, 2011



Found this fun picture of when I taught a wonderful second grade class. Maybe 16 years ago. Forgot I was ever that that thin. That class was amazing. They had a special grant so it was small even though in a public school. The next year though no grant so I lost that position . It was a great year though. Happy memory.

Emma woke up early as her tummy did not turn back like the clocks did. She sitlll is loving playing outdoors in the leaves. No snow yet. In fact it seems pretty mild for this time of year. I have my bedroom window open to get some fresh air in. She is just super. A great great dog. Lover her so much.

Not much new. i am still weak. Fun to see granddaughters yesterday though I tire easy so had to nap. They don't mind and are full of enthusiasm. I like that a lot. I need to ask Greg again, think he has some pictures of Emma that I do not have. will check on that if I remember. He is home tonight yeah, poor guy doing laundry, cleaning and so much. I always think I don't do anything around the house but now both of us agree I did more than I realized. hard for him to work, do it all alone, and need to help me in so many ways. he is a great guy.

The MSFocus magazine has very brief article on him as caregiver and photo. We tried to scan it but it didn't work. Eventually it will be online. He got a gift certificate to McCormick and Schmitz (spelling) so when I improve that will be a fun night out).

those wh have an ipad may want to know there is a free app to be able to dictate to the computer. Voice recognition isn't perfect but so helpful now. More expensive to put on my regular computer so not doing that unless we have to later.

Hope all is well and you have a great weekend.

Mary and Emma

Thursday, November 3, 2011



I have been writing on the caringbridge.org site but today yeah going to write here also. I may have to take a nap but worth the effort. using voice recognition to help me with things. Arms and hands so weak.

This is a photo from MS camp of course. Fun to look at and remember the outstanding individuals who also cope with this crazy MS. It is the highlight of my spring/summer to go there with Emma. I feel 'normal" there as everyone has some MS issues. We laugh, we have fun, but give tons of support to one another too. Many of the individuals I see only at camp, a few more often. And my dear Kathy communicates with me almost daily via email. Good friends are a rich rich blessing.

What's new with Emma? Well she still is loving playing in the leaves. Much have blown away or crumbled now. We live on a hill and the wind hits us in such a way that we don't need to rake nearly as much as you would think. She is still loving her fenced in yard. I sit outside with her when I can, or can sit inside and watch from the patio door. Greg also gets her out when he is home.
Hope things get so we get out more so we both get change of scenery and she more exercise. One day at a time of course.

She has that tummy alarm to eat at 7 am and 5 pm. Well yesterday I napped till 6:30 pm and she never woke me. wonder if she tried? I missed phone calls too. I was so worn out after a medical appointment I guess. Normally she is very persistant. Also if for some reason she eats early, she still nudges us relentlessly at 7 am and 5 pm to ear again. Her weight is good though and she seems healthy.

I seem to love her more each day if that is possible. She is such comfort, and really nice company when I am alone so much now. She amazes me too. Still excited to help me out. Always seems happy and content to be with me no matter what. She is nuts about Anna and so when she visited Monday Emma really liked going outside with her. Saturday Mike and his children here so she got out extra times also. Becky came Tuesday night so she out then too. Good for Emma and for me too.

More later Emma needs to go out. I think Greg said on his camera he has some pictures of Emma not on my computer. So will see if he can arrange for me to get those to post... maybe will think of something funny or creative later. Need to lay down again after she gets outside.

Mary

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Check out caringbridge. org
I am too tired to write. Web site name is Maryweinand.

A good day just tired...

Friday, October 28, 2011



Emma and I are resting. A quiet day. She is so much company. Love this photo. Hope you have a good weekend. Going to have a friend visit which will be nice. We will have supper together as Greg works late.

Be gentle with yourself, Love Mary and Emma


Couldn't make it without the support of my husband. Feeling weaker today for some reason. Thanks to Emma for all the help today.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Time of Strong Feelings.



Reflecting on the joy my youngest granddaughter Rosa has added to my life. She is going to be 5 tommorow. I could not wait to post this baby photos again. I feel GRATEFIUL.

Awake for a bit since I am nervous about today. I pray the doctors find some answers to help me on the journey to better health. I know they think there may be a number of issues so one day will not likely provide all the answers. Yet this step is good, and then we will know what the next step should be. So I feel NERVOUS.

Got the most recent MS Publication and identified several free events i want to attend. I did sign up using the computer for several. So I guess I am OPTIMISTIC that health will alllow me to go.

Received the news that I now a great great Aunt now. A beautiful baby girl. So I feel HAPPY,

Greg and I had a wonderful talk about dealing with life with all that is going on. We have arranged for some helps with snow removal, laundry, and brainstormed other ideas to help us cope with our health and life needs. It reminded me I am not alone in this journey. I was able to share my concerns about Greg trying to do too much with such a demanding job. Like when I hired this same person to mow (a small business) it was a bit tough to get him to let go of a task he felt he should do to save money.
I know having one less thing will be so good for him even if I return to my baseline. I feelRELIEVED.

I slept a lot today but happy surprises wonderful supportive emails, notes on CaringBridge site, and card in the mail. Both my daughters called and had time for long chats that made me laugh. I feel Loved

Didn't realize the cleaning women who is now a friend also really knew all Emma could do for me. Either I am not home the day she comes due to MS Swim. Or if I am home I am sleeping a lot even before this illness. She marveled as Emma showed her things. She also did abouve and beyond her job here today. Was so nice to have someone around and the help of both Emma and Karyn. I feel FORTUNATE,


I feel sleepy so back to bed.

Thanks for all your support.

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Time to Say THANK YOU Again



This photo I of Eilleen of Helping Paws. This thank you goes out to her, to Judy Emma's foster Mom, tp the Helping Paws Staff, and especially the foster families who train dogs...

Written Oct 24,2004 Blog - MY THANK YOU to The Volunteers Who Train Service Dogs...

This begins a new chapter in my life. Emma's companionship and help at home is more than I can ever express on this blog. When you are handicaped or disabled you have to depend on others to help you. Now here is this eager dog who wants to help, who thinks it is a game, and who wants to play. Emma has already brightened up my life. My days have been busy right now. when I return to normal life I know it will be more evident how my life has changed.

Today at training we practiced the cue go get help. With some treats as reinforcement Emma did well. At home I practiced the same cue. Emma worked fast. She went to get my husband and was persistent till he followed her. No treat needed. She nudged at him and made it clear I need attention. Then she made sure he followed her.

This is just one example of a command that can help me. I have trouble with falling and need help. The reassurance of knowing she will do this also makes me feel more secure. She will physically do tasks for me. That will help me be more independent. It will help me feel more comfortable going places. Her presence will also be a mental lift and support to me.

Please be assured that every moment you put into training the dogs, every dollar spent on vet bills and food - your patience, persistence, committment, - everything you invested into this dog - has been worth it. Your investment has given me and others a rare gift. Each dog brings us love, assistance, so much more. When you train those puppies, when you work each week in class, and when you have to see them leave to join the home of there future owner - please understand that your gift from the heart is life changing in a way that you can't imagine.


I got a wonderful card from a cousin. I need to share it with all of you. On the outside was a picture of a beautiful yellow lab. The word congratulations. Inside the caption was
"your success was no accident". The success I am having with Emma is no accident. Those of you who worked with her - especially her foster family - should be very very proud of your accomplishment...."

My Thoughts In 2011

I cried when I read this. I thought then she would be a gift. I know now she is my angel, today she is helping me through the most difficult MS Flare Up I have ever had. My husband and I think that I literally would not be able to cope at home during the day without her assistance. I am asking more of her each day. She shines in the challenge.

We chuckled tonight and wish we had videod it. Judy her foster mom, called in her "puppy dance" I think. When she really really likes somethings she gets so excited and goes around in circles. We think it does look like a dance. Well today she spent a really long time helping me. Things I needed to do as cleaning help is coming tomorrow, I needed help for self care, well things she can do but gosh she was like the energizer puppy. I didn't have to move. She just kept helping and helping. The more I asked the happier she was...just delighted.

Greg and I wonder if it seemed especially even more delightful to her because I was out of bed for awhile up and alert. Very enthusiastic of course too. We cheered her on verbally and she was so delighted. We literally ran out of things for her to do.

We are thankfully they taught me how to kind of add things together to get her to do something that may seem new. Like combinding things she knows how to do, with push, pull, that's it...well she is doing just awesome. I am move impressed than ever at her skills and devotion to me.

Some day if we have it handy Greg is going to try to video it on his iphone. I think short video clips can be added just never have done that.

I didn't think I would be able to write but it is comforting to express my thoughts. It is distracting from other things and so helpful to me. Hey can you tell I always wanted to be Laura Engels Wilder?

What a Great Gift/Partner Emma is to me each day...Thanks to all of you especially Judy....

Mary
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I am HOME but this was when I was in hospital. Emma is great support. Very tiring day. Up just for a bit. I sleep off and on so sometimes awake for a little bit at night. I am going to relax and just listen to music and drift back to sleep.

See last blog entry how there is info now on caringbridge.org on website maryweinand
Note if you want they have a place you can check to be notified if the journal there is updated.

Emma and I will see what we can do about writing here where you are use to me being kind of verbose. There most times hope to be more consise for those who want that. Did some longer notes there as some who I know will want to follow it will probably want to catch up on what is going on, and why they haven't seen me at activities, family events, church, and things much since Aug and now not at all.

But dog stories still cheer me. So when I can will keep writing those here. Thought you might like the photos since I yeah had energy to do that tonight. By the way, I think this is cute. Emma is by my side always. Right now I am at computer and she looked so tired that I said "YOU can go to bed" and she did. Rest assured though when I move the chair to adjust position or to move back to bed she is here quick as a wink. Not snoring or sleeping hard like when i am with her.

Cute thing today. She had to go outside to go to the bathroom. I was weak and now we find I can tell if she "really" needs to go by her response to me asking her if she really has to go. Like I know the look of true urgency. Well took her to the patio door, and opened it wanting to just watch her. there is a chair I can sit. Well know what that silly girl did. She backed up pressing against the glass watching my every move. She would NOT take her eyes off me or venture out. So I brought her back in. Greg was home in about 5 min or less. She then would go out but so quick now and runs like a race horse to my side.

The worse I feel, the closer to me she is and doesn't always want to even go out to play or walk with Greg. Only for the necessity of going to the bathroom abain when I am doing rough. If I am sleeping peacefully Greg can get her out at least a bit in the yard to play.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

HI,

I truly hope to keep blogging here as I can. Weakness though is not decreasing and I am pretty weak. Still batting health issues so set up this website for friends and family. Please pray or send positive thoughts. I am not dying or anything but thought you might want to know you can also check out -
http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/maryweinand

We use this site when Greg's cancer reoccurs to keep people informed. Helps with communication. Please pray too that I use it to EXplain not COMplain. Just too weak at times to even pick up phone or to type.

Nurse Emma is doing great...one day at a time here. Dont' give up on this site as I will enter here if/when I can. Or if you want to follow caring bridge site when I quit using it because things improve - I will post there that I am going to be blogging only.

Mary

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Busy Day for Emma


Well I got in two naps and some rest time....but Emma had busier day than I did. She got to be outside and inside things were hopping this afternoon and evening with Rosa and Sophia here. Rosa's favorite was packing a box for Uncle Danny (my son in SF) for his birthday. It didn't get mailed but was tons of fun for her to play in. Grandpa Greg also in the morning took them on errands including buying a few groceries, and a few presents for Dan.

I was bummed but didn't have much energy. Wondered if have them here to distract would help my energy. Well NO on that buy yes great for my spirits. Sophia likes to write and read me some of her stories ehen I had to rest in bed. She also layed by me while I napped and read. Nice company.

Rosa put herself in charge of bringing me water, and figured we could play barbies even in bed if needed. We also watched a video, I watched her play in the living room. she also got new bath toys for when she sleeps over. Well they didn't sleep over but of course she took a bath to try them out. I promised once I am better we would go swimming again at Maple Grove pool it is especially fun in the winter we think. She and Sophia love it.

We had lots of conversation. Greg cooked two meals, and did some cleaning. Wow he was busy and we realized with both of us working we dont get so tired. the time flew by though. I layed down when they left an hour ago but am back up but not for long. Emma is back to her favorite spot on the love seat. I think the action was good for her but she is relaxing and will be snoring soon I am sure.

A doctor appointment regarding my lung function in the morning. Not sure if it will change anything for right now but glad to check in with this doctor. She is super good. Off to bed. Hope your day went well....warmer temps up to 60 in next few days.
this time of year even with shades drawn Sun makes house so hot. We forgot to open windows but did later. In the winter love how sun heats the house. In summer we use air conditioning as needed but today yikes it got so warm for me.

Shouldn't complain I have so many blessings. Mary and Emma

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Things to be grateful for

Up having first cup of hot chocolate of season.
Not concerned I am awake since resting/sleeping so much.
Amazed and tears of gratitude for a simple thing
I could lift the cup all alone one hand...a mug!
Weak arms and this MS stuff and over all weakness
Are having me rethink the many things I should be
appreciating in life. Tonight I lifted a mug!!

Emma like always gets up with me and is at my side.
Don't think I should be up long ....she looks so tired.
I can lay and listen to music...but will probably easily go to sleep.

We get out tomorrow for Dr appoint and hey i typed this much with only a few times to rest.

Yep you have to be grateful for the little things...Mary




One quiet day at a time
Loved this picture of Judy, it is part of picture of her looking at Emma.
She is Emma's foster mom who raised her, trained her from puppy to Oct 2005.

The other is picture of Emma helping - now more than ever.
Her company, her moral support, and her physical support (help) needed.
She is so patient
Unless I am sleeping at meal time - 5 pm.
She nudges me, then licks me, and if I say "you have to wait" she may lay down but not more than 30 min.
then she is at it. Today she also brought me socks, as if to add merit to her wish.

Nice I have her to get me up a bit, take her out, and all.
Thanks a million thanks to those especially Judy, who trained her and brought her into my life.

A Dr appointment this week and next. Just taking it a day at a time.
Thanks Emma that I am not alone.
Yeah Thurs if all goes as planned my granddaughters coming over as they are off school.
Rosa says she will take care of me and is bringing a video for us to watch.
Greg will be here to handle it all -= and Sophia. Sophie is so fun to be with too.
Rosa turns 5 this month and Sophie 12 in Dec...time flies..
So looking forward to time with Sophia too. She is so sweet and interesting.

Mary

Monday, October 17, 2011

This Might Take Awhile

Going to be resting fpr awhile doctors think. Will post as able. don't give up on us. Emma very helpful. Prayers appreciated and positive thoughts. A dear friend just dropped off magazines for me.

Friday, October 14, 2011



A friend, battling breast cancer shared this quote.
I think this is so true for life's struggles and for my family especially health issues.

Reminded me of all we have been through
My daughters both had some serious health issues as children that scared us
Greg has survived the kidney cancer though it reoccurs
He deals with other health issues too
Greg sister died of cancer way to young and his dad too and his mother ...so scary and sad.
but we handled it all

I have the ongoing health things

But remembering that we have more strength and resilience than we realize
We have a supportive family and friends

And yes I do believe this quote.

Hope life treats you gently..and faith helps us too...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

My First Week with Emma in 2005


We made it through the first week.
Oct 14, 2005


Emma and I made it through the first week of training. I can't believe how much I have learned in five days. Tonight I feel kind of naked not having her at my side. Among the new commands we tried today was "car". Emma showed me how eagerly she gets into a van or car. She was so cute in the car especially. she was on the seat, looking out the window eager to go. I do think she looked a bit disappointed that she had to get back out without going anywhere at all. We also met with the people from the foster home. Judy told me more about her work with the dog, and what the dog was use to in her home setting. It was helpful.

She also shared a story that is a good reminder for you dog and cat owners. One time after a sleep over her son had with his friends - the dog got downstairs unattended briefly. When they checked on Emma she was unconscious. She had found a bag of chips, and trying to eat what was left worked her way into the bag and ended up suffocating. They got her out and she came to on the way to get emergency help. She said that she heard from another dog owner that it has happened with a dog getting into a box of cereal also. I am glad she told me so that is another thing to really watch. I am so glad due to their quick thinking that the dog is fine. I know accidents can happen in an instant.

When we were talking I asked her how she ever got this adorable puppy to learn so much. It is so amazing all she does. Judy and Emma have been to weekly classes since she was 8 weeks old. She said you can't believe how much she learned in six months. No matter how many months or years pass my gratitude to Judy and her family will never fade. That includes her friends and relatives who all were part of Emma's life. I hear many of you are reading my blog. Thanks so much.

Today she practicing picking things up for me. I drop things easily and she can pick them up to put in my lap, in my hand, or even on a counter or table top. We also practiced retrieving a phone. I will have a portable phone in a specific place where Emma can pick it up. We are probably going to put a velcro handle on it to make it a bit easier for the dog and to protect the phone. she loved practicing that skill for me today also. The goal will be if I fall or am in a medical need situation - she can go get the phone for me and bring it to me. Imagine that.

She practiced picking up so many items including keys, kitchen untencils, a glove, and billfold. She really loved it. It is all like a game to her - she is eager to get it, bring it to me and it is fun. I am also astounded the dogs know the command look. She will then search for the item I am asking for. It was so adorable watching her scan the floor or counter for the item I requested and then bring it to me. She also can put things into a basket, on the counter, or my scooter basket. They tell me try having her put laundry in the hamper and you can bet we will try that. Some service dogs put laundry into the washing machine. I am not sure Emma can reach mine but she will be able to empty the dryer - and I guess enjoys that also.

The big thing I have learned this week is how much the dogs enjoy helping. The tasks are like games to them. They get a treat sometimes now as they get use to us but more and more will do it for the fun of it and verbal reinforcement. I can't wait to bring her home and show my family all she can do. It is one thing to read about it, but to see it in action is unbelievable.
YES they tell me Emma has been as tired nights as I have been. I hear she can snore but I won't mind that a bit. Thanks Emma for a great great eye opening week.

UPDATE - 2011
Yes she snores, still loves car rides especially if on the seat, she still eager to do all tasks. Still loves keys but since I don't drive I don't drop them like I use to. If Greg does she is elated. I think the noise and challenge make if so fun for her.

Our only thing I may check with staff on is getting the phone. Yes I can have Emma get if I drop. but found if i put it in one place for her to get if i asked for it - well she loved that and would bring it to me over and over and over again. I usually have cell phone in my pocket and one home phone by me at all times.

Also she can get me blanket. Well so handy now as My arms so weak that sometimes i can't pull up the covers and can get her to do that. Still working on it but she does pretty good. Funny though, so rare, she woke me in middle of night. Like always tried Greg first and he ignored her, then she pops to my side, I thought she just wanted to play. so she gets in bed...I think yeah she will lay down and sleep. Gets in the middle and places her paw on me like she is tapping me (it is adorable and polite) so I think better get up she needs something. Took me a minute to wake up and she pulls my covers off me. Well that will wake you up...and took her outside so surprised she had to go to the bathroom again...not normal for her.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

home from hospital

Hi, We did spend time at the hospital this weekend. Glad to be home but glad I went.

They did a thorough look at me. Think among other things I have a bad virus that is adding to MS problems, asthma flare up and wondering if sinus problems are bacterial or virus. Long story I wont detail. Was good we went in because I got some through checks up and helpful physical therarapy, iv for more fluids and meds, occupational therapy, respitory help etc. So overall helped,. Still see family doctor Monday about some things and upcoming tests I may have as out patient etc.

Still suppose to rest and drink more fluids. I drink so much I think but they thought I was dehydrated...Emma was super and got to stay overnight and that was good for both of us. Not sure if I will blog daily now but will blog. hang in there with me. Will handle this one day at a time.

Just exhausted but they did not do mono test as treatment would be the same as what we are doing now doc said.

Mary and Emma wish you a good day...Mary and Emma

Friday, October 7, 2011

Relaxing




These are my neice Jill's dogs. She is the most energetic person I have ever met. One day though she said she had to slow down and so did her dogs. So cute all of them relaxing. Cute dogs.

Emma is not sleepy today. She wants to be outside and we have been often. She nudging me awake (still so sleepy) and I sit while she plays. It is warm and leaves are blowing in the wind. She loves that. She is sniffing in the yard maybe a squirrel, or something better got in the fence? She following the scent like trails through her yard. some leaves in a small pile and she had so much fun pushing her face in it --- maybe practicing for snow? I guess she likes every season.

Weird I slept ten hours and after an hour needed a nap. I had mono once but wonder if I have it? Well see the doctor again Monday am and see where I am at. Maybe just sinus, allergies,,,,who all knows. MS makes recovery slow usually. Sorry to keep mentioning it, just so weird to be this exhausted all the time.

Greg may come home early today which means maybe by 4? Earlier. A big treat and he has put in plenty of hours this week. He only goes to work part day tomorrow Sat and I think Sunday just 4 hours too. Oops don't want to jinx it.

My friend Jan wants to see me this afternoon after school. Greg kids I can feel tired and not be home every minute. So she might pick me up and go to happy hour. Ha ha happy to see her that is. We only have pop, water, and maybe splurge to share some salad or an appetizer...but when she has time it is a great time for both of us. I use to teach with her. Those who know her I will have some news about her work soon I think. She is great at her work. I really liked teaching with her.

I barely knew her as she came in a bit after school started as the 5th grade teacher had to leave for medical reasons. I had MS problems that year with vision and she started helping drive me. We are on the same side of town but she is miles away and I not on her way. At first my dear kids drove me from Maple Grove to Excelsior. My son worked a weird schedule and recalls driving me in am and then parking to sleep a bit before driving back home. It was at least a 30 min drive one way. Well Jan would take me home and pretty soon Greg dropped me off close to her and she did the trek in with me.

Sometimes we hit lots of traffic, always we loved it , laughed and talked about our day. Sometimes stopping for a pop or cone to have in the car. Now over ten years later on Fridays I am honored she likes to end the school week with me. Again drives to my home to pick me up. She is the dearest friend in the entire world...though I have other friends I love too of course. But she and I click personality wise..

So here is too great friends...be they puppies, dogs, cats, service dogs, girlfriends, husbands, etc. Hope your day goes well. Honest to pete I need to lay down again. will try to read but I think need to sleep more? ha ha this is so weird.

Mary

Thursday, October 6, 2011



Also from 2007 - like the photo. Emma helping me wrap at Barnes and Noble to raise money for helping paws. I love her more each day and never thought I could love her more but I do...she is my angel.

From this date 2007

My cold is still causing a lot of coughing. I feel like I have had gallons of cough syrup (not really) but I did feel better today. It always takes me awhile to get over colds. It was another very warm day out so we put the air conditioning on. Believe me in MN you do not usually need air conditioning. You would expect temps in the 60"s not 80's. We have neighbors already planning their trip to Arizona where they stay for the winter. They have a house there. I can't imagine keeping up two homes - one is enough for me. Usually it is cool here before they leave.

Leaves are falling and oh does Emma love rolling in them, and smelling them. She loves being outdoors. My children Dan and Becky were over and helped with a few things. They were outside with Greg and I and Emma was in her glory. She thought it was great fun to have everyone around. My fun loving puppy. Then my neighbor came over to chat and she was even more excited. Fun fun.

After an early afternoon dinner Greg headed to work, the kids headed home and it was just Emma and I. I wonder what she thinks when there is so much going on and then it is just the two of us. We of course snuck in a nap but also got outside. I kept the nap short.

I am a mentor for the MS Society so called for that tonight. There is such a nice woman that I visit with. Since I don't drive it is helpful that we can visit by phone weekly. I also had a few other calls to make. I am trying to calm my cough down so will sit quiet for awhile read or watch tv.

NOW - warm temps this year too and I still mentor the same woman with MS. Emma still keeps me company. My children have busy lives and Greg works a lot...Emma and I are a great team.

Emma is so much fun to be with. She sure is a good companion. Maybe I will get a picture of her in the leaves.

Enjoy fall where ever you live.
Mary and Emma

Six years ago and worth repeating..

Waiting for my service dog
Back to Full Blog

October 6, 2005
My first service dog. I am disabled due to Multiple Sclerosis and looking forward to this helper dog and companion. I am working with helpingpaws.org. I have met my dog named Emma. She is a yellow lab and specializes in retrieving. I have had a dog but am wondering if it will be an adjustment to have a bigger dog. I know it will be unique to have a well trained service dog. This is exciting and will help me be more independent. I already get many questions about what a service dog can do for me. I hope to write about our life together. Maybe it will help those interested in service dogs and also dog lovers. It sure has stirred up interest among my friends with Multiple Sclerosis, my family, relatives, and other friends. You are welcome to write with questions or comments or your own dog stories.

There is a neat story about the women who trained Emma. I use to teach her children in a small school in Minnesota. Due to the size of the school I got to know the parents well. Judy was a wonderful parent volunteer with artistic talent and loved to volunteer to do special art projects in the classroom. When I had to leave teaching due to my progressing disability with MS (Multiple Sclerosis) she understood and shared my tears. It was sad for my students, parents and myself as i had to leave mid year. I left for a sick leave in Dec and never imagined that was the end of a teaching career.It was sure coincidence that she trained the dog. She was not on the team that helps match the people with the dogs. It w after the fact we found out and both cried. Her children were excited about that news also.

I am having some problems with the MS these past weeks but resting and on medications to help me improve. I can't wait to work with Emma. They say the dogs pick the owners in many ways. She really liked working with me. I can promise her a nice loving home. My friends and family are eager to welcome her into our lives. I feel like little girl waiting for Christmas. I am learning 75 doggy cues that were sent to me - my kids and husband kid about if WE are smart enough for the dog.

Precious Friends




Email from someone just said they admired my courage and determination. Learned a lot from the late Connie Fox who was my neighbor and dealt with serious illness causing a young death. She would say "I am not couragous, line us up and say who will take this illness and I would run the other way!! You just deal with the things that happen in life and make the best of it".

I get strength from Greg, my kids, grandkids, friends, EMMMA, and of course my friend with MS who share in this journey. We share coping tips, support, friendship...

will post another note too I hope about my first days with Emma...

Photos of MS camp and gosh Kathy why aren't you in one? They send yearly disk but need help getting those photos on to my computer.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Our pet stories.



YES this is a cat. In our cleaning some shelves hurray last week found a disk with pictures my daughter took in Italy. May share some more famous landmarks another time but loved this photo. she is a cat lover. Always was. We once had one cat then two.

Cat 1 - Anna and siblings wanted a cat. My husband says "Well you should research first what it takes to have a cat." He not a cat lover ever. Well she did. In fact she did a great research and won in 4H competition at the county and state fair level too. And yes Superior (grey the color of lake superior rocks) entered our lives. Sadly died young of a stroke. She had gotten outside we never knew for sure but vet thought maybe she had gotten into something that poisoned her. She was obtained from Humane society and turned in too young away from mom. Very fiesty but we loved her. I cried just buckets when I brought her in sick and left her there. She died overnight and we weren't ready for that...maybe our denial. I cried and cried and cried. Didn't want another pet ever.

Cats 2 and 3 - Anna was in her teens now. I received a few calls that puzzled me asking for Anna. Then we were in bed one morning and enter my youngest Danny with a clipboard. Very serious (and young) ""would you prefer a siameze cat, calico, black and similar questions..' Well the kids had been I think answering ads trying to find not one but a pair of cats. A pair so they could play together. This time from a private party. We agreed to visit after I also spoke to owner on phone. Well she was marrying someone alergic to cats. Her poor littly guy about 2 or 3 waved bye bye kitties...and yes they went home with us. Took years before I knew Madera and Philips were named after liquor ha ha. Great cats, calmer thant the first, not same litter but raised together...lived to be over 9 years will us. Age 11? Not sure. They were with us when Emma entered our life.

EMMA came home and they backed her against the wall. NOt sure why but they claimed mostly the basement of our split level and Emma stayed with me so mostly upstairs. Peaceful coexistence but they never really became pals. And we did not replace them.

Boomer - Dog 1 in adult life. I was working as a teacher and honest my kids will have to refresh me on time line regarding Boomer and the CAts 2 and 3. Boomer was an oops. Two dogs got loose and breeder hence pure bred terrior plus pure bred american eskimo crossed. She was delightfully colored like a fox, with white paws looking mostly like a alaskian eskimo. There best friend and neighbor had another puppy in that bunch.

Welll boomers original ownere died of cancer. Her friend took the dog but then couldn't. So the kids asked us. Again I said okay I would go see the dog. Well she kind of pranced. had been hit by car so on one leg a bit off but otherwise healthy. The cutest thing and yep I was the first to say, okay put the dog in the car. Sadly he lived only about 7 years well maybe not that long. I think we had her 5? less? He was there but became MY dog. Hate to admit but not really trained when we got her and I didn't take him to classes. Would if I could change that. Didn't realize how much positive rewards could be used in trainning there. Well over time he got too protective of me as I got ill with MS. HE was home with me and learned some things that helped me and gave me a taste of what a helper dog might be like. I put my name in at helping paws but determined I didn't think I could overlap dogs.

Boomer got too protective but at first we didn't know he was sick too. He wouldn't let my own kids in my bedroom if I was sleeping or didn't say okay. And forget letting anyone else enter the house to feed him or take us out if we weren't home.
Sadly Boomer had physical issues that caused pain only cortisone helped or an expensive chemo drug could have been tried. Long name I could never remember but rare for this breed. Great vet but then he got cushings and nothing helped so had to put him down. The vet was so awesome he would call me weekly till together we knew it was time to let Boomer fo...Almost took my name of helping paw list. I never wanted to cry this hard ever again. NO more pets. Plus we had the cats.

The CATS lived a long time. Hid and died naturally within a few months of each other. Sad but they lived long lives. We don't know if old age but since just maybe a few months apart also wonder if the cat food scare from china a factor though not a listed brand? One had played all day and that night found her dead right at her food dish. Again for both cried and cried and cried...but they lived a long life. But they loved playing in the laundry basket. So fun to see two littl black heads popping up from my whites... when we had Emma we had both light and dark hair to deal with.

ENTER EMMA - I can tell you she better live a very very very long life. I will need an army to hold me up. But anyway mentioning them all as the gifts of pets.

A SERVICE DOG is so much more than a pet in my life. To be sure we say not a pet due to her duties. She is with me all the time. Though at this older age (she is 8.5) she handles being alone awhile ok. I tell her to nap and she hops on my bed but that is when I am OK. Now when I am sick she is at my side. Sometimes won't go out to go potty with Greg unless I go too. Or won't get out of his side of the car, wants me letting her out. I mean really at my side.

Last night coughing and couldn't sleep at first. Well then she cuddles up more, gets up anytime that I do, lays her head on my leg or whatever to show her presence. Worked we slept 14 hours. Yeah she woke me at 7 (usually wakes Greg) and I barely woke up to feed her. Needed something for blood sugar so drank orange juice had toast and back to bed we wnet till 2 pm. Greg's worked lots of nights so never heard him wake up and go. Never heard a peep though he did let her out. Or she wouldn't have slept so long.

EMMA IS THE GREATEST DOG EVER - Boomer would have loved playing with her and would have been a better dog to all if I would have taken him to obedience training. Gosh I loved him. Had pet dog Katie as a child too and missed him more than I realized when I left home. Who knew? Never realized how close I was to her. She also had tags that jingled in the night. ON PURPOSE I have Emma's tags such they jingle. Sometimes family have said why not change it, because I love it that way

So here's to pets and dogs all over the world...peeking from windows, or whatever....we love them all...

Must feel better though slept a lot today as i wrote so much tonight...thanks for reading. I know at least a few of you say u like my long stories.....

Funny bought new winter jacket badly needed and it came today. Ordered it in cool weeks awhile ago on sale mail order. Arrived and found it so hot to try on - it was maybe 85 today? or more? Never put a/c on in October that I recall...

Mary and Emma wish you a good day

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Short note



Just love this photo.

Emma is nurse Emma...some health problems. but hanging in there. will write when I feel better...

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sunday Comic



Found this through facebook and it made me laugh.

I really wanted to add photo of Emma as a puppy from my original blog but just can't get it to work. Looked for puppy cartoon but didn't find that either.

Emma got her PHOTO taken yesterday with me, and with Greg and I for the Church Directory where Greg works. I will be able to share when it all arrives. Interesting, in photos with Emma I have such a time when i am in them. This happened at Becky's wedding too...she wants to look at ME. The presence of a stranger the photographer makes that even more the case. Even with treats that happened. We did get a pretty good shot though. I blink easily and sure feel I look awful in photos but anyway I will treasure this.

Beautiful fall days this weekend so Emma is getting out a lot. I still have to rest a lot but sitting outdoors with her playing is resting!! She is so enjoying uncovering leaves that have fallen. What she smells is even more exciting as she loves to both walk in leaves and also to look whats under. I recall that from other years. A pretty time of year for MN. Treasure these last days before the snows of November...which by the way Emma will love.

I guess she is a dog for all seasons.

Hope your day goes well. 3:00 but I have to lay down again. Tired today but in good spirits so that is good.

Mary and Emma

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Saturday

Going to take our picture today for church directory.

Will write more later. Having trouble loading photos I want to post.....hmm. Cute puppy photo of Emma. Watch for it will try again later

Mary

Thursday, September 29, 2011

My First Blog Post Ever almost 6 years ago

October 6, 2005

My first service dog. I am disabled due to Multiple Sclerosis and looking forward to this helper dog and companion. I am working with helpingpaws.org. I have met my dog named Emma. She is a yellow lab and specializes in retrieving. I have had a dog but am wondering if it will be an adjustment to have a bigger dog. I know it will be unique to have a well trained service dog. This is exciting and will help me be more independent. I already get many questions about what a service dog can do for me. I hope to write about our life together. Maybe it will help those interested in service dogs and also dog lovers. It sure has stirred up interest among my friends with Multiple Sclerosis, my family, relatives, and other friends. You are welcome to write with questions or comments or your own dog stories.

There is a neat story about the women who trained Emma. I use to teach her children in a small school in Minnesota. Due to the size of the school I got to know the parents well. Judy was a wonderful parent volunteer with artistic talent and loved to volunteer to do special art projects in the classroom. When I had to leave teaching due to my progressing disability with MS (Multiple Sclerosis) she understood and shared my tears. It was sad for my students, parents and myself as i had to leave mid year. I left for a sick leave in Dec and never imagined that was the end of a teaching career.It was sure coincidence that she trained the dog. She was not on the team that helps match the people with the dogs. It w after the fact we found out and both cried. Her children were excited about that news also.

I am having some problems with the MS these past weeks but resting and on medications to help me improve. I can't wait to work with Emma. They say the dogs pick the owners in many ways. She really liked working with me. I can promise her a nice loving home. My friends and family are eager to welcome her into our lives. I feel like little girl waiting for Christmas. I am learning 75 doggy cues that were sent to me - my kids and husband kid about if WE are smart enough for the dog.


Six years ago I learned I would get Emma. i cried. I went to my car and couldn't move. I had a cell phone and used it. Judy Michurski who worked there went to lunch and others too. They came back and I was still in my car. Afraid to even drive I was so darn excited. Nope this little puppy pictured was not even with Judy yet when this photo was taken. For 2.5 years the Michurskis especially Judy took good care of her. And once I knew she would be my partner is was so tough to wait. See my very first blog entry almost six years agol


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

We're Back a weekend of family love


Here I am back blogging, almost gave it up but wanted to start again.

We were out of town over the weekend to Duluth. YEah yeah. All my children, even Dan from San Francisco and granddaughters. The event that drew us there was a nephews wedding. They have dated 9 years including his years in dental school so she seems part of the family already. A very joyous celebration with the Weinand side of the family and the kids got to visit even with cousins who live out state. Very enjoyable.

I almost did not go due to health. Probably said before my MS is flaring up. They think sinus infection still part of issue. Will go Friday as it seems worse even with two weeks antibiotic started. But maybe Friday will start another type or decide what to do with that and some minor health issues too. But the dr urged me to go. They gave me medicine and sent us off. Meds for cough and sinus. Said I could rest or sleep there as well as home.

Good lesson to me. My children were adamant I go and also my husband. Did not bring scooter as I don't have lift in this car our only car now. And needed room in back for luggage too as our granddaughters and Dan rode up with us. Well anyway I did little walking or standing but still had great time. I rested and slept plenty but hey change of scenery was great. Hearing lake superior waves lap or crash lulled me to sleep or occupied my mind during the rest times. Shared meals with kids when able and did make it to the wedding too. Then Greg surprised me and arranged for us to spend two days in Grand Maris. Two hours about further north but a lovely drive. We like it there.

Was great for Greg to get away from work, and there our room overlooked the lake. Pretty cloudy in Duluth and yet nice. Warmer in Grand Maris over 70 and there saw some fall colors. i couldn't hike like old days so we drove up the gunflint trail to the boundary waters enterance. We saw beautiful colors, found places to stop the car where I could see more, and I did get out two times and took a few steps to sit at a rock on waters edge. Emma got to wade and explore unique smells. It worked great. The whole time in Duluth and Grand Maris Greg didn't seem to mind that I didn't venture out much as he needed time to relax too. Or I would be willing to be alone with Emma a bit while he walked somewhere with the kids. It was just great for my spirits.

Emma was great...one strange things happened. If you have hints please email me.

while driving up the gunflint trail very early on she started to just go in circles on the seat and cry in a way I never heard ever from her. We got out wondering what was wrong. Got her out of the car and she layed in the grass and didn't want to stand.
She just kept streching and then pulling herself through the grassy area. We though she had to go to the bathroom maybe but she would stand up a bit and then repeat pulling herself in through the grass or just lying there. She wasn't crying though just weird facial expression too. Not sure how long it was but too long for me.

I called the vet and they talked to me. She had been eating, voiding, everything find. They stayed on phone with me, we got her to walk and after aways she did go to the bathroom. she got in the grass streched but then started goofing around rolling her head in the grass like she does. The dog who gets grass stains on her head. She didn't seem itchy or anything. She drank a bit of water and eagerly went back in the car. So they said just watch her.

Well she was absolutely fine and still is. The way she kept stetching I though do dogs get cramps. But she had only been in car at that point for less than ten minutes. She had just walked before that. oh yeah and first thing we did was wash out paws good to be sure wasn't stones or gravel between pads or anything. But we saw nothing. So don't know what it was but she is fine. Will have vet appt in mid to late Oct for normal routine.

Got home late last night. She slept so much today - good deal as I needed it to. We took metro mobility to my counselor again and the 20-30 min ride home was instead 1.5 hours. A tour of the city. From New Brighton, to the U of M, to Lake Street, to around near lake Calhoon (pretty) and to Plymouth and home finally. It was a car not mini bus rare with the dog but she loved being on the seat. The riders had to sit in front with driver to be sure room for all. More comfortable but they should usually send van she said as normally she has three riders at a time. Someone must have forgotten to key in the service dog or something . But nice day, pleasant driver and various passengers who got on and off. With a car we all chatted some so it really did not bother us today at all. But yep at 1.5 hours glad to be home. The driver loved dogs.

So then rested all day for the most part. Weak weak legs but managed. I live with stairs so hope the leg things improve or keep up enough I can do stairs to take Emma out or to go out to car. Split level. Someday we will have to move I know. Talked to MS nurse specialist today, they still optimistic that wihen infection fully cured I will improve even if not to my previous baseline. They could do some physical therapy the days I dont have water exercise to help too if that is needed. But for now rest and deal with sinus and cold or whatever it is.

I love picture above. I mostly sat on walker but we did take granddaughters to train museum and children't museum in duluth (same building). This is Greg and oldest Granddaughter Sophia. She is not with us as much due to time with her biological father. But she is not a step granddaughter to us. I thought this captured family love and happiness that engulfed our entire weekend. We made our own sunshine I guess.

Also with this MS stuff this summer Emma just gets more and more attentive if that is possible. We are having to fine tune a bit some skills we didn't use as much but do now. I find she is doing just great. She however would not get out of car before me. I would get out and be at walker and stand at door and then she would get out. She would not get out of car without me. Had to be coaxed to go out potty with Greg if I didn't go and would want to go back in quick (even in the lovely outdoors up there with new smells). Even home now she is like literally almost touching me every single time. We had a big king bed most the time and she insisted on being very close to me even with so much room. But it worked out Great I am not complaining nor did Greg at all.

Wow this is long. Even have ideas for other blogs this week....keep checking in when your time allows. Hope photo isn't too small or dark. Enlarged it is even nicer. Mary and Emma

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My Team Partner Emma


With me needing more help these days,
Emma is so at my side.

Monday on the way to the doctor she would not go out the door with Greg.
I had to hold the leash and be with her.
He could not get her to leave the van out his side door, she insisted on waiting on my side of the car.
She would not walk with him to a grassy spot even when we knew she had to go to the bathroom
She kept her eye on me every second.
It worked out fine.
she is so great.

I feel a bit better today.
Rested a lot but we did fold some laundry even.
Emma is so happy to help with that task.
She is a super dog.

More later or Wed but I am okay just trying to be patient till I can walk better again and am stronger.
But today was an okay day.

I love you Emma - you brighten my days. Mary

Monday, September 19, 2011

Trying to Rest Up

Emma is the greatest.
A doctor appointment today may be helpful - I sure hope so.

Still very tired, and weak due to MS. Emma so helpful of course.

Thanks for your prayers, MS can be like that - I just need more patience.

Mary and Emma wish you a good week.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Emma Night or Day

Hi All,
Have had a rough week with MS problems. So no blogging. Lots of rest for Emma and I. I am having to rest and sleep most the time. NOt able to do much. Today felt a bit better. Glad for that. have a bad sinus infection and they wonder if that is what is causing MS symptoms to flare up...

Anyway Emma is with me night and day
Sleeping most the time but up at this late hour for a bit
Emma gets right up with me
Always there to help
Always there to provide comfort
Always always my wonderful Emma

thank you Emma for being part of my life
Thanks for helps with the ups and downs.

Thanks Judy, thanks Helping Paws staff, volunteers and supporters.
For my wonderful Emma.

Sad to hear Judy's father passed away. Our love and prayers are with her and her family.
Judy was Emma's foster mom...

Going to try again to sleep = Mary and Emma

Monday, September 12, 2011

Fond Memories of My Great Aunts




Emma and I are busy with things regarding my Aunt. Well one of the fun things of it all is going down memory lane as I look at photos. This one was actually sent by Arvid and Maybelle with the glasses is his Mother and My Great Aunt. Great in every sense of the word. And her sister in law Freida. Look at all those eggs!

We have survived on the one day on and one day off plan. One day actively doing things like sorting or packing up her apartment and the next day more quiet things home if possible. My own laundry, paper work etc. Emma has been super through it all. We were home most of the day today and got in a big nap and time outdoors.

I found the papers from Oct 10, 2005 when i began training with Emma. I met her I think a week or two before that. Gosh I treasure Emma. May find some fun quotes from those days to share.

Most things all wrapped up for my Aunt as far as closing her apartment. She is too confused to know we had to do that. Her new room has touches of home including her photos from the past and lots of cards friends and family sending. wow was i tired today as they moved things out on Sunday. I just helped with easy things and sat but still tired from it all.

Now back to time to blog, share more about Emma and so on. Will see my Aunt of course but have time to get back to my normal routine. Seem to have a cold and bad cough brewing so have to really get more rest too. Won't help anyone if I am sick.

Emma is the greatest do ever. Thanks to you who have stayed with me, or check the blog now and then.
Have a great day

In the closet tucked away we found my Grandma's apron...like those full ones worn here. Boy I loved her my Grandma -
Mary and Emma

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sleepy Sunday


No picture - maybe tomorrow>

Sleepy restful day today.

Emma we are going to nursing home tomorrow to cheer Aunt Betty and others.
She handles it well, small unit so should go well.
Then to work on the apt and sorting closets and storage space.

Yeah so cool not even 70 today so fun outdoors.
In 70s all week I guess.
Trying to get lots done on the apartment by Sat
But will have to rest too.

Emma is the best
Gets me outdoors
Snuggles with me.
Just means the world to me.

In 18 days my son from San Francisco coming home for Weinand Wedding will be great too see all my children, their spouse and grandchildren together for fun weekend. Just can't wait. The light at the end of the tunnel.

Of course outdoors with me Emma does not need pack or leash in fenced yard but cute picture. In our yard so active between her movements and my tremor blurred photos only. One day in past weeks it was so so hot hot. So i carried pack but not on her. Well we stopped to eat after working on apt. Forgot to put it on but attached to my purse. Hostess says you don't need to have it on her it is obvious she is a workign dog. So often people tell us she is one of the best, or the best behaved they have ever seen. That thrill me.

Have good day Monday - Labor Day and we will be working hard.

Mary and Emma

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Emma Is Staying Busy



Friday - the Green eyed dog ha ha went with us to Eye Dr. It took awhile for both Greg and I to be examined and select glasses. AT the end Emma snoozed. We thought so darling in the corner, sunlight, and by eye glass ad sign. She is great, did errands too. Pharmacy, haircut, groceries, a much needed day as it included a four hour nap. MS friends may understand how mega naps sometimes vital.

Saturday = Made some treats to try to send to my son in SF. Hope they ship okay we will see. Also will share with other kids. May see my daughters a bit today working on my Aunts Apartment and taking a few things out of there to distribute. MS is such a good reason to not have to move items myself. I can pack though and sort. Will only go a few hours though so I don't get too tired. Then I feel almost ill.

Walking - my legs seem heavier. Am starting to break in my orthodic shoes, have orthodics themselves due to diabetes issues. Hey insurance covers it for diabetics once a year and one pair of shoes too if you need it. The shoes not like grandma wore ha ha. You would never ever know - cute tennis. Long run hope to help feet as i have such little feeling there diabetes and maybe MS too. They think diabetes neuropathy for sure.

Brace= Well that Dr qualified to evaluate my walking in general. Saw foot drop that explains some of my falling and stumbling issues. Not uncommon with MS. So starting on my first leg brace. Pretty light. So weird to get use to though. He says a few days and I won't notice at all. Not heavy just helps manuever my foor so my leg movement actually helps lift the toes. He thinks both also will help balance issue too. Anyway one coworker at Greg's work said bluntly "What is that on your leg? You are going to where THAT the rest of your life????????????????? Well knowing her we had to chuckle but a bit sobering. You slowly get use to it. A few hours each day adding hours. May need it adjusted a bit. But hey if I don't fall, don't break a hit, have better balance I am all for it. Right?

My Aunt settling in as best she can. She always so pleased to see Emma and us too. The other residents too so Emma now is a bit of a therapy dog too i guess. She sure brings smiles. At her former apt we are working on the people we see in lobby or halls all know Emma already and greet her/us.

think tomorrow is just church and home. ... Have a great weekend. Mary and Emma

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Out and About

Emma and I are getting out more which is good.
She then gets more exercise too. Also nice for me that I feel better.
Today a bit of shopping and other errand tonight.
Today a dr appointment and all is fine.
Tomorrow tending to things for my Aunt.
Going through paper work and files to see what we need for records.
Will meet my sister there and visit my Aunt too.
They want a few peices of furniture moved to her private room
and wall photos too.
Not sure we will get that done tomorrow due to needing to plan to move it to a building in the complex that is like 4 blocks away.
Will need some muscle help to do that.
Very pleased with the staff caring for her in a new long term unit.

Keep those prayers coming please.
She actually still supports two churches (long story) church and choir participation very important to her since high school.
Contacted them and they are going to each send a regular visitor for her. Also let some of her friends know she is there.
Yeah for that. She is still declining and we want to cheer her with visitors. She is in no pain though.

She loves when I bring Emma as do any of the people we see. Emma is so great we visit the people sitting outside by the door there is a patio type thing on our way in. Just short but they love it. Also the people she lives by or we greet in the halls. She is great at it - was for my mom too. Even when my Aunt is confused or frustrated stroking Emma is good for her. Then she tells me all about a dog she had when she was a child. she loves to talk about the old days.

Hope I write more but days have been busy. Friday eye doctor appointmen and not sure what else. Home for the holiday weekend unless we go pack things for my Aunt. Just not sure yet.

Thanks for checking this blog. I just can't get to it daily right now. Emma is camera shy. Tried to get some great photos and then she moves to fast or i tremor and ruin the picture.

Realize it was 6 years ago in late Sept that I met Emma.
THIS IS FUNNY
Everyone asked me what she looked like after I met her and found we would be matched.
I said just like any yellow lab.
Well now I would never say that.
I have bad dreams lately - my nightmare is we get parted.
Then people bring me yellow labs and insist it is her.
I know by looking at it that it indeed is NOT my Emma.
Then i wake up so glad it was a dream.
She is so unique to me - body language, eyes, everything and her reaction to me.
No she is not just like any yellow lab.

Emma thanks for helping me and comforting me. She makes every minute of every darn day and night better.
Thanks Judy, Helping Paws Staff, Volunteers and Supporters,

Have a good week and weekend.. Mary and Emma

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sleepy Sunday

Boy were we tired today. Did enjoy time outside and rested a lot.

Saturday Emma was super we went to a wedding and reception.
A super time with old college friends. Very very fun but went so late.
We weren't home till midnight (it was an hour drive)

Hope you had a good weekend.
More soon.


Mary and Emma

Thursday, August 25, 2011

BACK TO THE POOL




Emma and I were back at MS Water Exercise class today. That was so good for my body and my spirit. Emma didn't mind at all. Great to get out of the house, exercise and see friends. Great weather today so we were outdoors when home. Emma is tired tonight.

Yesterday, in the afternoon, we (Emma and I) babysat my granddaughters. Fun to be with Sophia 11 already and Rosa age 4. Rosa has so much pep. We had a great time. Emma seems to like their dog Lily. She cries when we pull up to their house and can't wait to get out of the car. She was very good there.

Not a lot new to report. Sorry I am not blogging as much anymore. Need to take some photos to jazz this blog up. Also now that I am feeling better we will hopefully do more and have more to talk about. Hope so.

These are old pictures but maybe you didn't all see them. I found them fun to look at again.

Have a great day Friday and Awesome weekend.

Mary and Emma

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Where Did Summer Go?

This week flew by...Sunday? Already?

Book club Monday but didn't get the book "The Beet Queen Read". Misplaced paperbook, then found it and I guess I am hooked on the ipad ebooks and being able to enlarge to font I want. Just too much came up between my health, visits regarding my Aunt, and just life this month. I will still go to book club and see what they thought. Probably won't finish the book anyway...not this time.

Nice weather so Emma is loving getting outside. Also trips to Target, Sam's Club, the Nursing Home, Church, and Dr visits over past days. Good for us both to get out and about. I was tired today though after we got home at 4 and needed a long nap. Emma loves nap time. Still rushes into bed with me. Adusts "her" pillow just right and snuggles in with me. She is such a joy.

At church today a two year old we know had such fun laying on the floor and petting Emma. Her folks are friends and have a new born also. So nice to see them. Greg has a new boss and then the church a new pastor. He seems very nice and hospitable. Like his sermons. Busy time of year (isn't all year) for Greg as they prepare for the students coming back to the University for classes. He is a campus minister among other duties at the St. Lawrence Neuman Parish. Not my local parish but we go both places to church depending on his work schedule. Emma is welcome and known at both places. A kid magnet but also people are very respectful. Today most people were gone when we let Treva play by Emma.

Life is fragile. My Aunt is declining so. Not sure if she will plateau, improve or decline or what. Also have heard of so many deaths of people we know or friends of ours parents etc. Sure have to appreciate each day. I feel like we keep having to purchase sympathy cards the past few months.

Emma is doing good. Everyone is surprised if they ask her age and I say 8. She seems to be doing well. I think she sleeps a bit more but maybe because I have this summer ha ha. She still plays, has her favorite toys, and we love our fenced in yard. She is outside with Greg right now, playing while he grills a late dinner.

The second MS camp - Majestic Shores Resort is this week at Camp Courage. You can't go twice a year or we so would be there. Thinking of friends I know who are there and hoping they have a great time. I think nice weather for them. Hope it doesn't get too warm.

Amazed the MN State Fair starts this week. Don't think we will go due to Greg's work schedule and my stamina right now. We will see. Saving money also for a wedding in Duluth in Sept. A big Weinand destination weekend. Most of us hope to be there Fri - Sun or longer. Should be awesome.

Hope you are doing okay. Thanks for following us even when I miss some days. Will try to get some photos ready to add to blog. I received a dvd of photos from MS camp in May that were awesome to look at. i cried thinking how fun it is and of my friends battling this crazy disease of MS. We share a special bond. but couldn't figure out how to download single photos on my computer to share darn it.

Have a good week - Mary and Emma