Jun 13 2015

Where did the first half of the year go?

Note:
Those reading this by email there is a video in this entry as well so you’ll have to go to my site to see it. Sadly I don’t think anyone has found a way around that yet, sorry.

Where did the first half of this year go? I’m pretty sure I didn’t blink for longer than a few seconds, honest!

And speaking of things flying by, can you believe that luna and I have been a team for almost 9 months already? Didn’t I just get her?

Boy it’s been a very very busy first half of the year and it definitely won’t be slowing down anytime soon.

1. I started at International Academy for my massage therapy training in January. It may take me a while since I’m doing it course by course to get the horrible *boring* courses like anatomy and physiology out of the way! Currently I’m working on A&P4, but that’s about to end on Thursday. Then I’ll be switching to even ore A&P plus 2 other classes, Ethics and Massage Techniques 1-4. Now the massage classes will be more like a refresher for me since I have a background already, but different country so interested to see how that will go.

School wise with all the problems I was having with Carleton University thanks to my disability worker that was as smart as a pole i’ve decided to put my focus more on getting my massage license so that I can start working sooner rather than later, smiles.

2. Sing sing sing! My absolute delight is singing with Shout Sister Choir If you love to sing and have loads of fun doing so and live in Ontario, then you should definitely join one of the chapters. You won’t regret it!

No, we are *not* a religious choir nor are we *nuns* We definitely don’t sing boring songs, but ones like what’s heard here. This is from our end of year show in May and I believe there were 125 of us on stage.

Sadly our season has come to an end, but never fear we’ll be back next season starting in September! Will anyone reading this in the Ontario area be brave and let themselves loose to join us?

3. Starting a business is fun and challenging and I think makes my brain leak out of my ears more than anatomy and physiology does. Whew, good thing I’m trying to get things set up now instead of right when I finish classes. Hopefully all I’ll need to do when the time comes is release my business site and start promoting promoting promoting! For now I need to find a trust worthy financial business person. Psst, anyone know of any in the Ottawa area?

4. Plan plan plan, that’s me! So along with working on business starting up ideas I’m also working on planning our first ever cruise! James and I are hoping things work out and we can go next year for our 4 year anniversary. We’ll be going on Carnival to the Bahamas! I’m going to swim with dolphins and go to Starbucks, hahahahah! Although playing with Sea lions sound like fun too! Decisions decisions.

Ok, think this post is long enough. Take care until next time!

Jun 11 2015

Has my brain finally had enough?

Oh my poor brain must really wish that it could find another safer place to float around in. I’m sure if it could yell at me I’d hear, “let me out of here already! I’ve had enough of being knocked around. It is not safe!”

1. When an idiot teenage boy pushed me off a slide
that was the beginning of the end for my poor head and scrambled brains.

2. I love goalball and so miss playing it, but once again I’m sure if my brain could yell at me it would say, “ow ow ow!!! Can you please find a safer sport?” Whenever I had to protect the goal against a penalty shot I’d not only stop the ball, but also slide smack into the very very hard goal post! *wham* One time I did it so hard that I seriously saw stars and heard multiple balls! Now that was creepy. Ha, all I did was rub my head and wonder how I’d manage to protect my side of the court when I heard more than one ball, smiles.

3. Everyone knows that shopping can definitely be dangerous at times, but usually the danger is from other crazy shoppers or maybe wet floors or something like that. Who would think that an attack would come from something you couldn’t see unless you seriously were looking? One day my friend Brodie and I were shopping and we sat down to check out the comfort of a couch.

*smack* goes my head against some extremely hard thing with an edge. It was hard enough that it actually knocked me off the couch. I’m shocked, Brodie’s freaking and neither of us knows what the hell happened for a while.

After I assured her that I was ok when I was sure I wasn’t going to die or faint or puke all over the floor Brodie inspected the couch to see what was there. In doing so she nearly knocked her own head off. There was a shelf right above the couch that was the exact same color of the wall. There was nothing sitting on the damn shelf to warn anyone that *hello* heads up, shelf here. Brodie only saw it at the last minute cause one part was slightly darker than the rest. She went from freaked to pissed off in the blink of an eye and I thought she’d rip the head off of any store person she could find…if they would have been around.

Ha, but me being me I just shook my head and told her that “time to go, my freaken head hurts!” Smiles, she knew better than try and talk me into going to the doctor. I wasn’t dying so . . .

4. Finally the last shock to my head happened last week on Thursday morning. Yet again I run into an idiot…or maybe I should say the idiot ran into me, but this time it was an adult! He was *so* involved in his phone conversation and in *such* a great hurry to get to where ever he was suppose to be that I guess it didn’t cross his mind to *watch* where he was going.

*** BAM ***

He runs smack into me from behind just as Luna and I clear the door and off I fly down the stairs! I have the quick reflex of letting Luna’s leash go so she doesn’t get hurt as well. Do you think he stopped to see if I was ok?

*no* of course not that would have made sense or made him even later I suppose! So, *yap yap yap* I hear as he walks away…maybe he mumbled sorry, but I haven’t a clue if that was really for me or whomever he was talking to on the phone.

Hello another head injury how are you?

This is something I didn’t mention to people after it happened because I was *terrified* and in a state of pure panic. On my way down I unfortunately met the edge of the nice hard hand rail when trying to prevent myself from falling all the way down the stairs and it caught me in just the wrong spot of my head…again! I mean I know I have a hard head, but sheesh must it keep being put to the test?

For the past week I’ve been trying to keep calm and hopes that the blackness that has appeared will fade and things will go back to my *normal* The only thing that’s happening is my headaches have gotten worse and my inner suffering is increasing.

Has my poor brain finally had enough of being knocked around? Did this last round with some immovable object finally stolen what I’ve tried so hard to hold on too?

*man* I hope not!

Maybe I should start going around in a helmet?

Jun 01 2015

What happens if you’re sick?

Did you ever stop to think about how you would take care of your guide dog if you were too sick to do so?

It wasn’t until I received my current guide Luna that I had to seriously give this some thought. From the moment I got Luna and our working bond started to build I noticed the connection that we have is much stronger than I had with previous dogs. I felt that we were more in tune with each other. I started joking around saying that Luna is without a doubt 100% my dog!

Well, his past march when that horrible sick feel like you’re dying bug was going around and it hit me like a freight train I discovered how true that statement was.

I felt horrible that I couldn’t get her out for walks, but standing for more than a minute nearly did me in. Luna absolutely refused to drink water or go anywhere at all if James tried. So I would drag myself out of bed to get her to drink water and take her outside or wait until the princess was desperate enough to go on the balcony. Luckily I didn’t have to worry she would starve because she’d eat no problem for James. I mean it’s food and a lab say no to food, never!

It was a long long couple of weeks and a month before I was completely better, but from that moment it stuck with me on what would happen if I got so sick that I couldn’t even drag myself from bed or have to stay in the hospital with a dog that’s super attached to me.

May 30 2015

How to toilet train your guide dog

How to toilet train your guide dog in just 2 easy steps!

1. Answer mother nature. We all have to go sometime, but to make this work you must go to the wash room just before it’s time for you to go somewhere or right before it’s time for them to eat.
2. Now you can take the dog out, harness him/her to go out for your day or outing or feed him/her.

By doing these 2 easy steps exactly as listed above it’s guaranteed that your guide dog will be toilet trained in no time. By the time you flush the toilet that pup will be letting you know in many ways possible such as, *whining, grumbling, howling or a combination of the 3* that you need to get a move on! Trust me I should know!

Much to my dismay I accidentally conditioned Luna to whenever I go to the wash room that it must be time to go somewhere and/or eat!

Now to figure out how to un-condition her, lol.

May 22 2015

Do you get a thrill from being vindictive?

What makes people so vindictive and so willing to hurt others, especially those that have a connection with one another such as children? Do you get a thrill of knowing you know how to push just the right buttons to cause emotional pain to that person?

You have situations such as couples having a child together, all the family members and friends get along to some degree and things are going great. Then *bam* everything starts to fall apart and the couple is no longer a couple. Uh oh, what happens now?

Well, it’s definitely not the parents sit down as adults and work out how to raise their child and who does what when and how. No no, the father of the child has to bring up something that happened years ago that the mother did and clearly never forgave her for and starts to tell everyone how unfit she is to raise the child. The father then starts trying to take steps to cut the mother out of the child’s life, but also telling the mother of the child that he would do everything possible to make sure she gets to spend time with their child even though they aren’t together. Mixed signals much? Lets make matters even worse and now throw in the family members of the father of the child. Since the couple is no longer a couple then *hey* who cares about the mother of the child. You’re no longer with our son so we’ll just help try and keep our grandchild away from you.

Seriously are these people not thinking of the child? Is all that goes through their mind is how best to hurt the mother?

What about married couples that have children and things fall apart?

Sadly you get the same thing and sometimes even worse! Mothers that use their children as weapons to hurt the father by turning the child against their dad. They’ll tell them things like your dad doesn’t love us or want you and that’s why he left or you’re dad’s a bum and we don’t need him.

There’s cases where you see joint custody with the parents and the grandparents for whatever reasons, best interest of the parties involved at the time of the family dynamics falling apart that also can turn ugly. Life moves on, the parents mature and grow in their new situations and it’s time to explore outside of everyone’s comfort zone. *whoops* the grandparents don’t like this idea very much and start making up lies and twisting facts to try and prevent this from occurring.

Again I ask do the vindictive ones not stop and think of what harm they are causing? Do they really not care? Is it really all about them?

May 20 2015

First follow up visit from Leader Dogs

Whew, time definitely needs to slow down a little. How can I keep people up to date on things if time keeps getting in the way?

So last week Luna and I had our first follow up visit from Leader Dogs. I was a little nervous about it since Luna was definitely out of sorts work wise last week. I’m pretty sure it was due to the heat. she really hates it and man I surely don’t blame her, bleh!

So late Thursday afternoon early evening John, sorry don’t remember his last name, but not John Bertram came to see us. I was taking Luna outside when he showed up and ended up getting lucky that he got to see Luna in one of her dog distraction moments. Luckily it wasn’t one of her *super* distracted ones* but enough to give him an idea of what I deal with every once in a while.

Before we started the lesson I wanted to work on he showed me how to do the *touch* technique. He was pretty sure that Luna already knew it and he was right. As soon as John told me what to do and I tried it Luna hit it right on first time! I’ve heard of the technique before, but it isn’t anything we learned.

Psst, Jessica John says Leader should add this into the training!

Now, it’s route time.

Tim Hortons/Wendy’s route
The problem I was having with this particular route was that I didn’t understand why Luna was crossing the way she was and swerving more than she usually does. I wasn’t sure if I was doing something wrong or if there was something that bothered her. Instead of continuing to work on it with the mobility instructor here that doesn’t let me know we’ve missed something until a few steps later like blended curbs or tell me that she’s way off where we need to be but not explain what she is seeing I figured getting someone from Leader would be much better and could give me the feedback I needed before and not after the fact and making things worse. Don’t get me wrong the mobility instructor here is totally awesome, but she isn’t quite grasping that the way Luna works is a lot different than my last dog and where Noah didn’t care that *whoops* I past that and she didn’t say so until 5 steps later, lets do it again. Luna is more like *oh no* what did I do wrong and *why* are we doing that again, didn’t I do it right the first time? And *why* is my human getting frustrated?

Ok, enough background, sorry for that. ☺️

Turns out that this route really is a weird crossing and will take some patterning her to *find the* areas instead of just find the curb. For example, I’ll have to work with her on *find the gap* instead of find the curb because at the curb is a manhole cover.

NEWS FLASH! Luna absolutely without a doubt seriously hates manhole covers. She will not step on them what so ever. This is feedback that I didn’t receive with regular mobility and couldn’t figure out. Every few steps on this route there are manhole covers. Sadly one of them is right in a straight line to the curb going to and coming from Tim Hortons/Wendy’s and Luna will go around them which causes us to go off track. But Luna being Luna once we’re past the horrible things all is right with the world and off we go.

Another crossing on this route from Tim Hortons/Wendy’s Luna will not make a straight crossing and John believes that it may be to her the cars are way too close for her liking and she tries really hard to keep me away from the traffic. He noticed she does this even when we’re walking down the sidewalk.

So, despite the fact my little pocket rocket didn’t go flying down the street like we usually do due to it being too warm for her the visit went great. I learned something new about Luna *manhole covers* are horrible! We now include *touch* in our daily routine.

I haven’t had a chance to see how the *touch* technique does when she’s seriously dog distracted, but I’m sure that time will come. Until then, see you at the next update!

May 11 2015

Luna and the pigeons

Hey, pssst, I got another funny tail to share with you. Are you ready? No, then hurry and put down that food or swallow that drink. I don’t need you to choke or something.

One of the funniest but nerve racking moments during training with Luna at Leader Dogs was the day when Luna picked up the name Luna the Terror and the following day when instead of my sweet dog back our class got an army of tormenting squirrels

Now, you have those moments fixed in your head, right? Good, lets take you back to present day!

Luna and the pigeons

It’s 6:30AM and it’s that time where I curse and grumble and let Luna drag me down the hall, in the elevator and outside for her to do her business wagging her tail the whole time. HMPH! Oh how I miss those mornings I could just kick her out the back door, lol.

I’m working on cruse control here. In the mornings we don’t have any problems with distractions or anything so me half there usually works.

Step out the apartment building

Pigeons, *coo coo*
Me, Holy cow there’s a lot of pigeons out here this morning!
Pigeons, *coo coo coo*
luna, *wag wag wag* goes the tail. *bounce bounce bounce*
Me, Yeah, I don’t think so Luna lets keep moving.
Luna, But but mum all the moving toys for me! *spins around*
Me, *groans* This is not going to end well.
Pigeons, *coo coo coo*

I manage to get my infatuated pet away from the pigeon convention and over to her park area. Of course once they are out of sight they are out of mind and she happily does what she is suppose to and is ready for breakfast.

That pigeon had a death wish

I get a firm grip on my lovely four legged creature knowing what I have in store on the way back to the apartment doors.

Me, Ok, Luna inside and kindly leave the pigeons alone.
Luna, *pant pant pant* sure, whatever you say mum. Where’s my breakfast?
pigeons, *coo coo coo*
Luna, *wag wag wag* goes that tail
Me, Nope, leave it and lets keep moving!
Pigeon, *flies right at Luna’s face
Luna, oo a snack! *leaps forward*
Me, Shit! *nearly loses leash* Whoops, there goes that firm hold! Damn bird, no Luna, leave it!
Luna, mine mine mine!
Pigeons, *coo coo coo* sits on the rail in front of us now
Me, *curses*
Luna, walks calmly by the pigeon as if it’s not there wagging her tail. See mum I’m a good girl I left it!
Me, Why me?

I’m afraid to find out what’s the next animal we’ll encounter this month!

May 06 2015

snake distraction

Dogs, cats, birds, children and all the other typical things that may distract our furry little pals you expect to come across at some time throughout your day, but what about a snake?

Yes, you read that right. A snake!

A few days ago I took Luna out to do her business and she was doing her spin around in circle thing when all of a sudden she stops in mid-spin. i didn’t think anything was wrong then since she does that sometimes. She gets distracted by kids playing on the playground across the street or another dog may be outside in her line of sight and totally forgets what she is suppose to be doing. But this time was different. Before I could refocus her Luna *growls*

Um, what the heck! Luna never growls and this isn’t a nice friendly lets play growl. This is a low growl. Luna growls! I’m shocked.

I call her name to get her attention and she plants her feet and continues to growl.

I’m wondering what the hell is wrong since it’s definitely out of the norm and how the heck do I get Luna’s attention refocused on me when a guy finally decides to say, “oh, I have a snake here. Don’t worry I won’t come any closer.”

YIPES! A snake. I hate snakes! Who the hell cares that he wouldn’t come any closer…a freaken snake! This is just great. Luna’s pissed and refuses to move and there’s a snake! This is something I definitely didn’t learn about at Leader Dogs. I think Jessica forgot that part of my training. I want my money back, lol.

Apparently firm tones and tugging her another way with the leash wasn’t doing the trick so I didn’t even bother trying that again. Besides, I wanted away from that snake!

Me, picks Luna up and quickly carries her over to another patch of grass not far away.
Luna, *growl, snort, yip*
Me, whoops, sorry didn’t mean to squeeze that hard
Luna, *snorts* and ignores me after I put her down and pees on my shoe
Me, *groans* Luna! Did you have to pee on my shoe?
Luna, *grumbles* and walks to the sidewalk to go back inside.

Can we kindly *not* have this distraction again?

Apr 01 2015

Remembering Prince Noah

Warning, this is a long post and for those receiving this via email there is a video. Sorry so far I still haven’t found something that allows videos to play in the email version.

April 1, 2014 was a day I will never forget. It was the day my previous guide, my white golden Prince Noah was put to sleep. Today marks the first full year without him and thanks to my new best furry pal Luna it’s not as bad as it could have been.

I received Noah shortly after I moved to Ottawa from Canadian Guide dogs and boy was he *huge* I remember when I got him wondering how in the world this big dog would fit anywhere, but he did! He could curl up into the smallest ball that shocked me even at times.

I sadly didn’t get to write much about Prince Noah and his funny ways because I didn’t start writing until August 2012 so missed out on some great memories.

But I’m so glad I have ones like telling Noah not to dance and most certainly the very first time I decided to dance with him

A great shout Sister Choir story:
So one night we were doing a show and sometimes my lovely Noah sits between my feet and sometimes he lays down, either is fine with me since he’s a good boy. We had this one song called ‘Lay Down” hahahha, the first few lines of the song are of course “lay down” So before we started the song my Noah was sitting up and nice and proud in his black shirt and we began to sing, *snickers* “lay down, lay down, lay it all down” You guessed it, the command lay down and over 100 people singing it Noah let out a loud groan as to say “alright already, I’ll lay down” and he plopped on the ground. Talk about funny. All of us had a hard time trying not to laugh and sing at the same time!

Unlike my current stubborn mutt Luna who would just grumble and snort at me if I had the nerve to leave her at home the vindictive Prince Noah got his revenge! Oh yes, he would find things to run me into like *huge* snow piles or *big* cold puddles of water to make me walk through and he’d be wagging his tail the whole time!

i remember during training Tim our trainer and I trying really hard one lesson to get Noah to not jump over or walk around a puddle, but he was having none of it. He refused to get wet if he could help it, lol.

Here is how Prince Noah got the title of Prince:
This one happened when we were actually still in training. We were walking down a busy downtown street, loads of people, tables, chairs and all those lovely obstacles that jump out at you in downtown areas *chuckles* Noah and I get about halfway down the sidewalk when he slams on the breaks. I put my foot out to see what’s up and see nothing, hold my hand out, nothing. Reach down check my dog and he’s looking off to the side. I’m now like completely puzzled and tell him to hup hup. Noah says nope, not moving. He then shakes himself and then looks back off to the side..not happy with whatever it is and shakes himself again even harder, then looks back off to the side. By this time my instructor has reached me and is laughing his head off and tells me what Noah is looking at. We came across a store front that had a window that reflected your reflection back at you like a mirror. I couldn’t help but to laugh and during this Noah gives one last big shake, looks off to the side and is finally happy with his appearance and off we go, bouncing down the street as nothing is wrong, lol.

On March 14 our partnership abruptly came to an end and then I had no idea how I would recover. To this day I still wish I could have made it all better and i panic if Luna seems even slightly out of tune. That part will probably never change, the worrying and wondering what if or could I have.

April 1 will always be a day to remember and a day of celebration!

Prince Noah
may 13, 2009 to April 1, 2014

Apr 01 2015

Happy birthday LD luna Moon!

I think one of the worse days to have a birthday is on April Fools Day even for a dog, but that’s what today is for my little pocket rocket!

Luna is now 2 years old and she had to spend part of it working. Isn’t that horrible?To make it even worse is she had to sit through Anatomy and Physiology. Oh the horror! Today she made sure that she got all sorts of attention by giving everyone big sad puppy eyes until they gave in and asked if they could pet her, lol. My girl is too smart for her own good!

Today was pretty rough for me as well, but this galloping bundle of joy still brought a smile to my face.

To her sibling that hopefully made it to a great working dog like her, happy birthday to you too!

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