Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sh!t Happens

More than just a phrase...shit does happen - literally sometimes. And when it does, in the least appropriate time and place, it can be mortifying!

Take, for example, a little "issue" I had with Kona yesterday at the tail end (pardon the pun) of a therapy visit to the VA Hospital. Now, understand that Kona and I have been visiting the VA hospital 2 to 3 times a week for nearly a year and a half. He has never so much as farted in a patient's room, as far as I can tell. He is always on his best behavior, and always the perfect little gentleman pooch.

Until yesterday. We were in the "multi-purpose room" where we visit a number of patients that are working on art projects. We stop in that room every Monday and Friday. As we were visiting with two gentlemen, Kona started to hunch over. The "poop" hunch. At first I thought that I must be seeing things..."Kona would never poop inside" I thought to myself. Then one of the men said, "I think Kona's gunna poop..." I looked and sure enough he was hunching over again, "assuming the position." OH NO! I bolted out of the room and headed for the nearest exit (which happened to be the main hospital entrance and about 100 yards away), all the while saying, "Hang in there buddy, we are almost outside!" Running as fast as I could, without knocking over people in the (very crowded) hallway, we'd made it nearly to the main exit. Nearly.

But we didn't make it.

Within about 10 yards of getting to the door, Kona pooped, on the run...the poor guy! Something really got to his tummy, and without being any more graphic than I've already been, he left a nasty trail. I turned around and yelled back to the woman who works at the information desk, "Kathy - I'm SO sorry! You are going to have to get someone to clean that up!" I thought about stopping and just letting him finish, but we were already basically out the door and heading for a grassy patch to let him finish his "business." Just as we hit the door, I heard an older gentleman's voice yell, "Holy shit!" as he saw what was happening....all I could think to say back to him, in that instant, was "Yes, sir, it is!"

I felt SO bad. I thought about going back in and helping clean up the mess, but I wasn't sure what had affected Kona and was worried that it might strike again.

We headed for the car, my head hung low, and my cheeks blazing red with embarrassment. I don't know when I've ever been so moritifed. I called the main desk shortly after we got into the car to apologize again to our friend Kathy. She reassured me that the mess had already been taken care of by the housekeeping department, and that "worse things had happened on that floor." Um, worse than a 15 foot long trail of poop? I don't even want to think about it.

So, the next time you hear the saying "Shit happens" think of us, and remember that yes, it sure does sometimes.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Jr. and Sr.

It's back to school for the kids today. It is so hard to believe that Pickle is a Junior now and A.J. is a Senior!

It wasn't that long ago that they were only 8 and 9 years old...back in 2002, and looked like this...or that they were starting the first day of school in 2005, going into 5th and 6th grade...
My how time does fly.

I feel SO old!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

"Jelly Boy & the Monkey Man"

This morning Hubby and AJ took part in the "San Diego Bike the Bay" event - a 25 mile community bike ride. We'd heard of the event about 3 weeks ago and Hubby and AJ got excited. They'd never done something like this before and thought it would be a lot of fun, and a good challenge. Although I'd given serious thought to doing it with them, I decided that it would be best for me not to. All I'd need to do is take a tumble along the way, screw up a knee or worse, and my plans for walking the 3 Day in November would be down the drain. It wasn't worth the risk for me...that, and the fact that I am not the most coordinated person, or very confident on a bike. It was a pretty easy decision for me to be the "support" crew for the boys this time around. They had plenty of company though - they rode with 2,700 other riders!

We got down to the starting point at 6:15am for the 7am start. It was an early morning after a long and very busy day yesterday. (We went on an over 11 mile training walk, went to a BBQ, and then I had a job from 4pm to 7pm - whew!) It was still dark when we left the house and headed to the Convention Center.

Here they are, in the underground parking lot of the Convention Center.
Riding over to the starting line, and it's still pretty dark out.
There were just a few other riders there, ready to hit the road!
The girls and I cruised over the Coronado Bridge ahead of them, and waited at the first "pit-stop/rest area for them."
You can barely see the bikers, but they are there - riding over the bridge. It's not very often that bikers are allowed to do that!
It was a cool, overcast morning, and perfect for a long ride.
Here they come! They checked into the first pit-stop pretty fast! They were only about 6 miles into the ride at this point, but at least the big bridge was already behind them!
My "Monkey Man" wearing his "Grease Monkey" jersey.
And the "Jelly Boy" in his "Jelly Belly - Sports Beans" jersey.
Waiting to have AJ's like looked at...he had a chain problem, but it was nothing major.
Listening intently to something...who knows what!
All smiles again and ready to get back to riding.
See you soon!
Back near the finish line, Pickle road her beach cruiser while I walked a couple of miles and we waited for the boys.
And here come a bunch of early bird riders!
It wasn't long before they were at the finish line.
They both had a great time and are ready to do it again next year!
Back at the car with some serious "helmet head!"
(I'll give you one guess what they are both doing now....)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Some AWESOME News to Share

Talk about making my day!

A HUGE "Thank You!" to everyone that helped make this happen for this very deserving family!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Creatures of Habit

Dogs are funny, and such creatures of habit. Each morning when I get up, they run around and get so excited because they know that it's time for their morning snack. They don't get crazy when anyone else in the house gets up, only me. I'm not "Mom" - I'm "The Treat Lady!" They couldn't care less when anyone else in the house gets going, but my feet hit the floor, and it's like the Golden circus has come to town.

They follow me to the kitchen, and crowd around me as I turn on the coffee pot, which just so happens to be right next to their treat jars. (Yes, there are more than one, the pups need a variety of treats, and they don't all fit into one jar!)

They always, always sit in the same order. Next to the frig is Kona. His slobber always winds up on the new stainless steel frig. Thanks Buddy....Next to him, and always slightly in front of everyone is Jill. She thinks she is the princess of the family. I suppose it doesn't help that we treat her like that too. Next to Jill is Harley, ever patient, always well behaved. Except she moans for her treats - like she is having a tough time sitting quietly, so she'll sit, but not so quiet. It's a deep moan that comes from her gut, as if to say, "Hey, don't forget me..." and then there is Jack. The treat obsessed Jackie Boy...He looks at me as if he has missed the last 10 meals and is starving. Ha! Mr. "I'm pushing 90 lbs." is not starving.
Always in the same order, never out of place.

It's the same thing when I give them their evening chew. They each have a place where they go, where they feel comfortable and not bothered. Harley likes to lounge behind the couch. She can still hear us and the TV going, but the other dogs can't see her.

Kona takes his chew outside. He lays on the mat just outside the screen door. Again, he can see in, and the activity of the family room, but enjoys his quiet time with his bully stick.
Jack takes his regular place on a bed in front of the fireplace. Looking back at all of us, as if to say, "This is my room, and I allow you all in it..."

And Princess Jill, takes her chew to the other bed, next to Jack. Then she will wait until everyone else is done with their chew until she starts on hers. She slowly munches, as if to scold everyone else for rushing through theirs. "Oh, yours is gone? Already? Silly dogs...what's the hurry?...I still have mine to chew on!"

Same routine, every day.

I love it.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Rock Star Treatment!

We had an absolute blast on our little getaway weekend to Las Vegas! Our friends Shirley and Ed recently moved there, and hosted a dinner get together for friends from San Diego. There were 9 of us total, and the only thing that could have made the weekend better would have been a big win at the casino...Oh well, nothing is perfect.

We started off the weekend with a stop at the cemetery where Hubby's parents are laid to rest. They are in the Southern Nevada Veteran's Memorial Cemetery, which happens to be very close to Hoover Dam. So, after stopping at the cemetery, we went on to see the new bridge that is being built over the river. Pretty darn cool! It's not open to traffic yet, but it will be in Oct.
The first evening we went downtown, and played in some of the older casinos....Binions, The Gold Nugget, 4 Queens, Fitzgeralds, etc.
Saturday was the big night....we were treated to the real "rock star" treatment! I knew we were going to have a limo for the evening, but I didn't know it was going to be a 12 seat Escalade limo! Sweet!
Hubby and I were ready to party! (Do you see Norm, the gnome? Yup, he came along for the trip! He'll have his own Las Vegas post soon!)
Getting ready to head out and go pick up our other friends that came in for the event.
One more stop and we'll have everyone.
After dinner and heading for the strip.
Looking a bit tired, but having a blast.
We had a great time with our friends, and I can't remember the last time I was out until 2am one night, and 3am the next! It was a much needed break and I'm so glad it worked out so well.
Thanks Shirley and Ed, for a fantastic weekend!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Big Bucks!

While in Las Vegas got our hands on a million dollars!!
I didn't say we won it, just got our hands on it....oh well, it felt good.

We had a blast in Vegas & Pops is doing good. He had his third round of dialysis on Saturday, and was actually able to come home! Whoot -whoot! How cool is that! All of your good vibes, prayers and well wishes have certainly helped!

More from the Vegas trip tomorrow. I've been playing catch-up all day, and still have plenty to do!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Escape to Sin City

Hubby and I are escaping reality...just for a couple of days. We've had this trip planned for quite some time, and decided that since my Dad is stable and doing ok, we were going to go ahead and make the drive. It's only 5 hours, and we can be home even sooner if needed.

We deserve it. It has not been a fun, or easy couple of months around the old homestead.

We are heading to Sin City for the weekend, where we will gamble, drink, eat fattening food, spend time with good friends, and turn off our brains to the worries we've got waiting for us at home.

Wish us luck and a big, fat jackpot.

Viva Las Vegas!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Dogs in the Mist - and an Update on Dad

Self explanatory...

And now a Pops - aka "G-Pa" update....Well, so far, so good. He had his procedure today, and things are going as expected. The catheter has been put in his neck, and as I am writing this he is supposed to be getting his first dialysis. Hopefully this will give his system the jump start he needs to get some strength back. Please continue to send some good vibes this way. We sure appreciate it!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

G-Pa Needs Good Vibes

My Dad went back into the hospital yesterday. He's been feeling pretty crappy for a couple of weeks now, and just wasn't seeming to bounce back.

He was admitted last night, and this morning he was told that his kidneys have completely shut down. Not good news...not at all.

Tomorrow morning they will do a procedure on him to insert a catheter into his jugular vein. They need to start dialysis ASAP. Hopefully that will help. A lot.

Please keep your fingers crossed that all goes well. We could sure use some good things to happen around here, for a change.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

"Through a Dog's Eyes"

I was contacted recently about a documentary called "Through a Dog's Eyes" - which originally aired on PBS back in April. I remember hearing about it, and how cool it was, and being upset that I'd missed it.

Well, apparently, it was so popular and well recieved, it will be airing again on September 8 at 8 p.m. ET/ 7p.m. CT. I'll be sure not to miss it this time!!

Take a look at the trailor, and you'll get a feel for what it's all about.

Here is a little more from an original press release:

“Through a Dog’s Eyes” Highlights a Unique Teaching Philosophy Based on Love and Kindness; Documentary Will Change the Way People Think About Their Own Dogs

Millions of Americans with disabilities rely on hope to get them through each day; hope for a breakthrough; hope for gaining or reclaiming independence; and hope for a friend. Each year, hundreds of them find hope at a handful of organizations across the country that train assistance dogs for people with disabilities. The new primetime PBS documentary, Through a Dog’s Eyes, follows the life-changing journey of recipients as they go through the heartwarming and sometimes difficult process of receiving and being matched with a service dog. Jennifer Arnold, founder of one of the nation’s largest service dog organizations, Canine Assistants, shows her unique teaching methods and lets viewers have an intimate look at the canine-recipient matching process. Based on the book of the same name by Jennifer Arnold. Through a Dog’s Eyes, reshowing again on Sept. 8th, will have you seeing dogs in a whole new light. The documentary is narrated by Neil Patrick Harris and funded by Milk-Bone® brand.

Through a Dog’s Eyes will explore the science behind Jennifer Arnold’s teaching methods and follow the stories of recipients as their lives begin to change with the help of some very special dogs. Produced by tpt National Productions, in association with Partisan Pictures, Through a Dog’s Eyes offers inspiring, hopeful stories that show how dogs can affect everyone’s life.

“This film will change the way people think about their own dogs,” said Naomi S. Boak, Executive Producer, who also produced the critically acclaimed and Primetime Emmy Award-winning PBS documentary The Forgetting: A Portrait of Alzheimer’s. “Through a Dog’s Eyes shows the importance of the human-canine bond and how, when fostered, that bond can grow into a beautiful, life-changing relationship.”

Through a Dog’s Eyes is an optimistic, buoyant documentary that follows the journey that a handful of recipients go through as they meet their new best friend—a Canine Assistants dog.

I was very impressed by the little bit I saw and read, and I thought you might be too. I hope you'll watch along with me on Sept. 8th!

If you'd like more information, you can check out these links....

Through A Dog's Eyes and Canine Assistants

Have a great day!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Double Digits Baby!

This past Saturday was our first double digit training walk of the year. Yahoo! We got up nice and early, drove to Del Mar beach, and got going. (For those of you who know San Diego, we walked from the top of Via De La Valle-near the fairgrounds/race track- to Kellogg Park at La Jolla Shores) We started walking at exactly 6:40am, and we were VERY thankful that the weather stayed cool and overcast the entire time we walked, which happened to be exactly 3 hours and 20 minutes.

We kept up a nice, steady pace of 20 minute miles, consistent over 10 miles, even with a potty stop, and a BIG hill along the way. I was very happy, not only that we knocked it out without any trouble, but that I felt pretty good afterward. Oh sure, I was tired, but there were no blisters, no super sore muscles, no aches or pains on my part. In fact, we had some errands to do in the afternoon, so I wound up walking another mile throughout the day. No complaints from me!

Bear and Hubby cruising down into Torrey Pines State beach, and getting ready to head up the big hill.
Ah, we do love it at the top!
Hubby proves that real men do wear pink! (He found a stray golf ball along the way and kept mumbling about how he'd much rather be golfing than walking, but I know it was all just talk...)
At La Jolla Shores at last - at it was still foggy. Yay! It was great walking weather.
We were done with 10 miles before some people were even out of bed!
Yesterday was a bit of an easier day for us as far as walking went. We were only due to walk 6 miles for training, and we got 5 of those done nice and early at the lake again, with some of our golden friends. Again, the fog was thick, but it was perfect for walking with our long-haired babies. It was a great way to kick off the day.

Not a bad sized group for an early Sunday morning!
In the final stretch...sometimes the dogs do better when one of us walks all four. They seem to walk so good as a pack!
Done with 5 miles and ready for a drink!
I hope you had a great weekend and enjoyed yourself, whatever you did.