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 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 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 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