Monday, January 31, 2011

Our Friend Michael and Emma

This is a picture of a friend named Michael and Emma. It was Michael's 15th birthday when it was taken. I use to tutor him in reading for a few years. It included the first year I had Emma. He has loved Emma all these years. He use to read to Emma during our tutoring session. Emma was a good listener.

As good fortune would have it, I knew him because he was the brother of my Becky's boyfriend. Well now they married so he is Becky's brother in law. We do see him and he is always delightful especially with Emma. At his party he took Emma outside in the snow. They had such fun. Michael told me that Emma showed him a whole new meaning to having fun in the snow. I treaure this picture.

So now I can put pictures from my camera on this site again. Now I better take more. I would take more of Emma in the snow but she blends in, moves fast, and even if I get her to sit and stay - well my hand tremors so some don't turn out ha ha.

It snowed today so of course she was delighted. Greg was off for one day after a 73 hour work week. She got outside a lot with him or with me. We also had a date night. She was well behaved (no surprise). We had a very generous gift card from Becky and her husband to use. It was fun.

I have been having trouble sleeping at night. Today I took a big nap and also tried to do some relaxing things. I have so much trouble with anxiety. Emma helps with that too. I think I will sleep better tonight. I hope so anyway. Emma even looks tired in the morning when I am up and down at night. She very kindly gets up with me.

They said on the news in February we will really notice getting more hours of daylight each week. That should help my mood. I like four seasons but this seems like a long winter to me. Thank you to Greg and my friends that I do get out of the house for events.

We had such a relaxing dinner, no distractions, no preparation, no dishes. A good day for all.

Hope you have a good day. Mary and Emma

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Snowy Sunday Night

Hi All,

I guess right now I just can't muster what it takes to write every day. I have been more fatigued and forget or can't think of what to write. Keep checking in though I don't plan to stop blogging.

Emma loves that snow is falling. i watched her play just now. We had a nice day. We were home much of it. We did go to lunch at Olive Garden with friends. We had kind an odd placed table and it was crowded. She was more visible because she really couldn't get "under" the table. Instead she was on the side of my chair. The people in surrounding tables complimented me on her behavior. She also did very well considering we were so close to a busy aisle. Certainly not the best seatting arrangement for us but she did well.

One gentleman was so excited to come see us. He apparently gives to helping paws, and was thrilled to see a dog in action in his community. This time my friends volunteered information on how helpful she was and I did also. My friends are so supportive of Emma and appreciate her relationship with me. We had a nice time and then headed home to rest. Like I said, i have been so tired.

those of you with MS, I just can't wait to be on ampyra again. We are waiting for insurance approval. I notice the difference in how far I can walk, I am steadier, stairs are easier, and I just feel stronger. It does not help everyone wiht MS but it sure has helped me and a few friends of mine. But I also know people who find it does not help at all. Well I think I have mentioned that before.

Emma helped with laundry, some picking up, and snuggled with me today too. Greg worked a long day and boy do I like both her help but her company. I wonder what she thinks when I talk so much to her? Her tail wags so she at least likes the attentions. It is surprising to me how much she does seem to know what I mean - not just the cues/commands that she knew when she first entered my life.

It is suppose to snow a lot. 6-8 inches? I think anyway. I am so tired I can't think - better go to bed.

Have a good week. Mary

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Water excercise and then wiped out for the day. I can't even spell. We are off to bed. More news tomorrow I hope and this weekend. Thanks for checking in on us.

Emma even waited for her evening meal so I could take a very long and very late nap. Thank you dear Emma.

Mary and Emma

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

This is a video someone sent me. Maybe I should teach Emma to put her food dish in the dishwasher?

I know nothing about who made it and if it is all legitimate or touched up. I do my service dog can do most of this.

Wed and wishing you a good night

wow I was tired again today. We were out and about in the morning but napped from 1-5. Emma's tummy was the alarm clock this time. I even slept through some phone calls and that is not like me.

We are having a warmer spell of weather so Emma is enjoying the outside yard a lot. I go out with her but then end up sitting down inside (watching her) as she lasts longer than I do. When we need her to go in a hurry she will but how I love days like this when she can be out longer and explore the smells and so on. Like a women on the news said you feel like spring fever when it is about zero again. But it will be cooler again by the weekend. I think these weather reminds us that it won't be cold forever. W
We hope to grill tomorrow night. We have water exercise and a nap planned. Hopefully not such a long nap. I have some things I want to do including reading. I just read "Still Alice" and am starting "Look Again". Both of them book club books.

I am out of ampyra the medication that helps MS patients with walking. It does not work for all of them. It helps me walk a further distance, faster, and be stronger. That means I can lift my leg easier so I do steps better also. I really appreciate how it helped me now that I am off it. UGH. Like in target with it I can walk with a cart some distance (varies by how tired I am). Without it I have to use an electric cart for every part of it or just sit somewhere and wait for Greg to shop. That is how much difference it made for me.

On my insurance I have to be reviewed every three months for my progress by the doctor. They observe and docuement my walking and I don't know what else they complete on the form. Well I didn't know that and ran out. Then it takes awhile for all of the paperwork to go through and it to be reviewed again by insurance. I have been without it at least two weeks. I hope this does not happen every three weeks. We are working with insurance and the pharmacy to see if we can move things faster next time. It will involve extra dr appts which is okay because they want to observe other things now too. I have another MRI in April too . MS is never dull.

I believe with the Ampyra and time to build myself up that in the summer I will be actually able to "walk" myself when I "walk" Emma. The heat and living on a hill will make an impact. But some summers I can't walk to my neighbors very easily even with a walker. I am optimistic that though not a "cure for MS" this medicine will help us get out in the yard more, visit neighbors more etc. And participate in more outdoor things. Again HEat is an issue and very cold for me too. But anything that helps you hope and dream is good for me.

I also can stand longer so playing with Emma in the yard might mean I can stand more and not just sit in the chait! I will still need her to pick up things, help retrieving, taking off socks and so much more. I saw a cute video on u tube about what a small dog was trained to do to help the owner. I will try to post it. So much of it Emma can do but some depends on her size. The little dog can pull the chain on a table lamp to turn it off. Emma would pull it off the table and I don't have that type of lamp anyway.

I am so use to Emma that I am amazed when I see such clips of how unusual the tasks are for a dog to complete. With Emma part of my routing. I don't always recall how cute, surprising and interesting it is to others. I know with blog readers some see Emma or read all the time so am not always aware to include what she can do. I will try to incoperate that into my writings.

Emma needs to go outside for the last time tonight. At this hour I watch from the patio door. In the summer though I usually sit outside watching her.

Thanks for reading the blog. Emma is a wonderful dog. I am thrilled if they renew the medication and it helps me in my care of her. It is not a miracle - I won't walk miles - but being steadier on my feet is a great thing.

Mary and Emma

Monday, January 24, 2011

Book Club Monday

Book Club was today. They always set out a bowl of water at the book store where we meet. Emma enjoys that. She showed off her great behavior. We had a nice time.

Not good luck with our car. A flat tire. Then while driving on the spare Greg got another flat tire. Scary and on the freeway. He is fine. New tire now.

It is warmer (above zero I think) and Emma likes being outside even longer. We had fun outside. I also watch her from the patio door some of the times. We had a good day. I am so glad to be feeling better.

Thanks for the birthday wishes for Emma. My friends today sang to her and I let them pet her too. A friend dropped a mitten and was so impressed Emma picked it up for her (when I asked her to). I reminded them Emma does things like that for me all the time.

The time passed quickly tonight. We are tired and are ready for bed. Greg got a different card reader that we hope will work with my camera. Time to start taking more pictures. I like showing her in the outdoors but she kind of blends with the snow.

May you have a good day. My new great niece's name is Addison Grace. Isn't that a pretty name?

Mary and Emma wish you a good week.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Happy Birthday Emma

Emma is 8 years old today! I finally am feeling better. It was a quiet day but a good great niece was born today! A happy day!

Emma got a special dinner and lots of affection. She enjoyed time outside and indoor play.

I will write more tomorrow and hope to have pictures.

Have a good week! Mary and Emma

Friday, January 21, 2011

Emma's Birthday is This Weekend

I am awake at 3 am after sleeping so much. Emma is still sleeping. She would be at my side in a second if I needed to be but I told her it was okay to keep sleeping. Somehow she understands my words. I still don't feel very good and am glad no plans for Friday. Hope to be okay for the MS leadership conference and MS convention on Saturday. Will take it day to day.

Monday we did get out. Emma is just the best. I get so many compliments on her behavior, skills, and how good looking she is. Did you know her birthday is Sunday and she will be 8 years old. Yes, I have had her five and one half years. No wonder we are such a solid team and have such fun together.

Monday, there was no school for many students due to Martin Luther King Jr Day. So we encountered many curious children, parents, and grandparents (with grandchildren for the day) in our outings. We went to several stores with Greg. Like usual in my outings, I have time, so am glad to answer questions about Emma. Most common what can she do for you? Does she ever get to play and just be a dog?

I met someone with MS and her granddaughter. I was able to share lots of information about the MS support group, book club, and water exercise for people in the area. We also discussed how Emma helps me with MS. It is rewarding to share information with others.

Believe it or not, with all this sleep I am still yawning and ready to go back to bed.

Emma has been wonderful on this day I feel sick. how?
- she likes to get me the blanket
- will hand me the remote and/or phone if needed
- picks up things I drop
- cuddles up to me
- and I am sure other things to

I am so use to her in my life I forget how much I use her skills - but I don't take her presence for granted. Thanks Emma for being a great dog.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Home sick ..slept all day and Emma didn't t mind.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Please Think about This

Deat Readers,

I want to keep writing this blog and I will.
However, I do find some days I forget or just can't figure out what to write.
I assure you for my own sake I plan to keep writing.
It is good for me to reflect on life and
it is especially enjoyable to have a venue to share information about my wonderful Emma.
Please be patient if I miss a day or too and don't give up on me!! OK?

I have been writing for 5 and one half years.
Yep I have had Emma that long.
So I am also open to ideas and questions if you have them.
I started hoping to educate and explore what it really is like to have a service dog!

Now i have some of the same readers and less readers over time.
If there are questions/topics you have please email me.
Don't send me spam please or requests about your businesses.
I am trusting it will be used only to offer suggestions or questions.

Emma's birthday is Sunday and my dear will be 8.

I do plan to write more later (I have and idea and time yeah) but have to run now.

Mary and Emma wish you a good day.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Home all weekend. Not much to say. Wordy Mary just hass no idea of what to write. Check in tomorrow and I will write. Emma is just great!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Sleepy time with a friend

Sleepy Time

Thurs night I went to bed at 5 pm and slept till morning. Okay got up once to eat a bit of toast because I had not eaten supper. I don't know why I was so tired. The day included going to the MS Specialist and some errands with Greg so no nap. But my gosh it is weird to realize you slept so long. Emma slept with me much of the time and Greg took her out as needed.

I am slow moving today too. More snow tonight - gosh this has been a snowy winter and Emma has such fun in it. She seems more sleepy today too and not sure why.

I plan to write more later. Emma was great at the MS Doctor office. They have treats for service dogs and of course remember me because of Emma. I will be going there more often as they watch carefully how my optic nerves are doing (might need to try change of medicine) and other things. The MRI showed more MS activity again. I just have to take it one day, week, month and year at a time to see how this progresses.

Hopefully more later...can't think of what to write...Mary

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Love Letter

Dear Emma,

thanks for your presence again in my life today. Your enthusiasm in the morning when I wake up brightens even a winter morning. Your excitement when we go outside to go to a counseling appointment is also apppreciated. You behave so well both in the waiting room and the office. You show off your ability to be attentive and yet quiet when needed. What do you think of when you lay there while I jabber away? You are so special.

You were great on the metro mobility bus. It is not your favorite but today we were the only riders at that time so came straight home. It was nice to get home so quickly. More time outdoors and I marvel at your excitement. You sure have to run in that yard to see if any rabbits or squirrels are either in the yard or even just in view. Wow you seem to be tough and proud that you can make them run.

I talk to you so much while I am home with you...whether we are alone or not. You are such good company. I like caring for you and how you care for me! Sometimes I think you must tell time ha ha. Not only time to eat seems to be programed into you - but also time to nap. You seem to know when we need to head to a short or long afternoon nap. Your warmth snuggled next to me is like a sleeping pill.

Tonight we went to the grocery store with Greg. You did great as I deliberately practices some turns, get the leash, find Greg, get the leash, sit, stay, drop all with the distractions that arise in a store situation. I was so proud of you. Last night by the way i heard you helped Greg pick up newspapers and a few things while I went to bed early. Usually you are with me but thanks for helping me by doing that.

I got involved in a conversation with a kindly gentleman while waiting for the metromobility. He has a lab that looks like you only bigger. It was such fun to share our love of animals, how great each of our dogs are, and to educate him on how many things you have been trained to do. One of his is still a puppy and I bet is getting some extra training ideas due to our conversation about what you learned to do.

Every day I am thankful for you Emma. Tonight is seems even more the focus of my thoughts. I think pets are such a blessing and you are so much more than any pet could be. I thank God for you. I think he sends "angels to help us" and you are one of mine. You are snuggled at my feet - cuddling in on a cold winter night.

do you think about tomorrow? I do, and I know it will be easier because I will have you with me - no matter what we do.

Love you Emma, Mary

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Greeting Old and New Friends
Relaxing and enjoying time away from home.

Snowy Days but Spring Memories/Dreams

This has been such a snowy winter in MN. An older friend of mine called it a "Good Ol Fashioned MN Winter". There is certainly snow for sports and it is pretty. Those in southern and northern MN have had a lot more snow. Not sure what they would say. Seems like it is snowing almost every day lately. Here is has been just an inch or so a day but many more inches elsewhere.

Emma loves these fresh dustings of snow. Hurray she must say as she enters the back yard. When we go for water exercise I always let her visit a snowy spot in case she has to go to the bathroom. Today she just enjoyed rolling in the snow - she came up with the snowiest face. Everyone around chuckled.

For the first time ever, Emma got up before I commanded her to at the pool. She walked over to greet me as i got up the stairs. Then she went to sip the water. i stopped her but was surprised. I bring a dish to give her water while I shower. Guess looking at all that water made her thirsty.

All the little children at the YMCA like to wave at Emma. There are classes for young children before our class. The day care children also sometimes go by. She also brings lots of smiles to the adults and teens who go by us as we go in and out of class and the building. I am so proud of her.

I have to admit I wish we had less winter left. I got the application for Majestic Shores which was formerly MS Camp and more like a resort experience held at Camp Courage. I go in May. it is offered in both May and August (you can only go once). You have to MS to attend and they have many many wonderful volunteers to help with programs and nurses to help with health needs.

So I will post some camp photos just to remember that in four months that is what i will be writing about ha ha.
Don't worry I won't start counting down the weeks or days till it gets closer.

Monday, January 10, 2011


A busy weekend. MS support group on Sat. And Rosa overnight and Sunday. We had such a wonderful time with here family and then our over night. More tommorrow to bed. all is fine.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Movie + time with friends + time with Greg + Netflix movie on tv + baking home made cake = very full day

What a busy, fun, day for Emma and I. a cold day but we bundled up to go to the movie Country Strong. there is lots of singing and clapping! I had to remind her to stay. Ha ha she associates clapping with thinking something is over (which is often the case). She thinks it is time to leave!

It was windy so it felt very very cold. I thought it was a good movie and good to get out with friends. I was glad to enjoy the day.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

We are snug and warm tonight in our home. Water exercise took us out during the day. We had dinner with my daughter and I did an errand with her. A nice day for us.

I did not get a nap. We are off to bed early. Sorry there is no other news today.

Thanks for family, pets and home.

Mary and Emma

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Loong Ride Home

I am very fortunate that Metro Mobility is an option for me when I need to go places. Due to the help of friends and family i use it only about once a week or less. Today was the day.

For those who know the Metro Area picture this - I was in Blaine and went home via Round Lake (about 30 min the wrong direction) almost to Andover. They had to pick up a woman there headed my direction. She was going to Crystal Mn.
Well gosh despite the loong ride - a surprise - she was a friend from MS Camp. I was so glad to see her. We chatted on the ride.
What good fortune.

Emma was glad to get home off the bus. She enjoyed time in the yard playing and sniffing around in the snow. She really enjoys the snow.

We were home all afternoon and like almost always were home in the evening. Nothing exciting to repost.

I think I have a bit of the holiday let down or something. Seems so cold, gets dark early, and I don't get out as much. Then today my thought is BE HAPPY FOR MY HOME. I am cozy and warm and that is a lot to be thankful for. Plus I share it with Greg and Emma...

Time to snuggle in my warm bed with Emma at my feet....may you be thank filled for your home.

Have a great day,

Mary and Emma

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Went to water exercise. Brr it was cold outside and the pool was cool also. We snuggled into bed for a nap after to warm up.
It was good however to see friends there.

It is so good to have friends.
I am so fortunate to know others with MS who help each other face the challenges.
We share lots of moral support, practical ideas, laughter and friendship!!!

What a nice day. A cozy night. Left overs, watching a Gopher Game with Greg, and time to read. Emma got outside as needed and enjoyed play time inside. She seems ready for bed early like the rest of us...

Thanks to all who help support helping paws and to the volunteers and staff - Emma is awesome.

More tomorrow. I should have more energy?

Mary and Emma

Monday, January 3, 2011

Getting Me Out and About

Emma gives me more confidence when I am out and about.
She also gives me motivation as I know it is good for her to get exercise (indoors or out)
We were just outside = it was a bit cold for me but good to get some fresh air.
I let Emma be out longer than me as I watched from indoors - she loves time in her yard.

Emma gives me confidence in stores as she can pick up things for me, she also draws people to look at "her" and not me in a scooter, wheel chair, or walker. Most stores I can use electric carts.

We also do a lot of education and promoting Helping Paws when out and about. Normally, I do have time to answer people's questions. In stores, at events, church etc. Emma makes me proud. She is so good and people notice that and her beautiful appearance. She will be 8 this month but looks just great! We get many compliments on her appearance. It is fun to take her with no mater what the opportunity is to get out of the house.

We are home today, all day I think. The weather is not as cold as the weekend though it feels plenty cold to me. I am so glad she has the fenced in yard. Thanks to the volunteers who helped make that happen.

MY THOUGHT FOR THE DAY IS TO BE GRATEFUL THAT I CAN GET OUT AND ABOUT. Some people with MS end up in nursing homes. I have an older relative who gets out less and less due to physical aging and circumstances. I am so glad, that though I don't drive, my friends, husband, children, and Metro Mobility make it possible for me to get out of the house. Sometimes I think I am in the house too many days in a row - but when I feel good I am glad for the balance of home and going out times.

I am appreciative for my health even with my limitations. I am able to live in my own home and mamage. This week we have swimming and water exercise twice. I am reading a book for bookclub (gets my mind out of the house ha ha)....I am so fortunate for so many rerasons.

So Emma and i are graterful today for opportunities we get to go places and quiet times at home too. We need both to make the best out of our days with my MS and other health issues. thank God we can be in our nice cozy home.

May you notice your abilities today with a grateful heart.

Mary and Emma

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The New Year

We went to a wonderful Mass at our church again today. The music was outstanding so I am mentioning it. We met old and new friends....many wanted to ask about the dog.

After we did some errands. Emma walked Fleet Farm and Cub Foods. Again we met many people interested in the dog. We met a few familiar with Helping Paws. I like to thank them personally for their financial support and I think it means a lot to them to see a dog in action. Emma's favorite thing to do today was retrieve my gloves. We really put some effort into educating the public while we were out. Emma made a big hit. In our case, we educate one or two people at a time.

Emma was out several times in the yard but it was cold. We took turns watching her from the patio door. Greg took her in the morning and when I napped. She happily bounded in and joined me those times. She plays and stops to watch where we are when we are at the door. She doesn't tend to be out as long when it is cold.

I have received nice notes and emails. We are okay since the accident...thanks for your concern. It means a lot to me. We also think Emma is shedding some weight (wish it was me) that is good. The vet wanted her a bit thinner. So good for Emma. I should eat only when she measured it out for me twice a day and see if I lost weight.

We also met at church some people from my childhood. The parents were there who lived across the street. There son plays in the choir , the violin. I never recognized him before his parents were there. We sure had a good chat about the old neighborhood and things.

Well we had a full day. Greg spoiled me again and made supper. HE is the best.
I think the few chores I hoped to get done today may wait till tomorrow. Despite the rest, I feel tired out today.

our day was good, hope you are starting out the New Year in a positive way. Sending you happy thoughts --\

Emma and Mary