Thursday, December 7, 2017

Winter Days

Ena looking a little upset and cold
I don't know how many people enjoy the cold but, I for one, do not. I do not enjoy being cold and winter is one of my least favorite seasons but, I am perfectly content sitting inside with a blanket, warm fuzzy socks, a fireplace and, a cup of hot chocolate watching the snow fall. Ena seems to agree with me on some of these things. She does not seem to like the cold or snow. I know we have only had a little bit of snow but, every time she has gone out in it, she acts like it's getting her. She walks faster and shakes everything off moments after we get wherever we were headed. I get to take her home over Christmas break so, she and I will never be leaving the comforts of our warm house. Today, we had to go to physical therapy and it was snowing outside. When we got in the car to go there, her nose was already running and, her ears were freezing. I think my family and I will have to get her a sweater for Christmas. It'll be interesting to see how she will do for an entire month living in the Snowbelt up in Cleveland where snow is a regular occurrence. We usually get a few feet around Christmas. So far, all of my puppies have enjoyed themselves while out in the snow but, Ena not so much. Hopefully, she does not plop in the snow and give up on life the instance snow hits her feet. Here's to hoping and I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Gold Coast Tour

Over break, I had an amazing opportunity to travel with our university marching band to California. We left at 3 a.m. on Saturday morning and headed to Detroit to fly out to LAX. It was a long day on Friday preparing for the trip. We would be gone for five days and would fly out on Thanksgiving Day. Saturday morning came very quickly and we all drug ourselves out to Presser to prepare to leave. The Kappa Kappa Psi brothers got everyone packed and on the buses within 45 minutes.

Our marching band was split up into three flights. There was a Delta flight leaving at 8:30 (which was the one I was on), a Southwest flight at 8:35 and they had a layover in St. Louis and, another Delta flight at 11:30. MY flight was smooth. The take-off and landing were easy and there was little turbulence. When my flight landed in California, we had to wait for the other groups to come in. When we all landed and got our luggage together, we headed to our first hotel.

Mark Harmon's star on the Walk of Fame
We got to stay at the Hilton Garden Inn Hotel in Los Angeles, Hollywood. It was about a 15-minute walk from the Hollywood Walk of Fame. We went to the walk the first night and it was amazing. We got a chance to see a lot of the stars and took a couple of photos of them. The next morning, we went out to Mel's Diner for breakfast and to go down the walk again. We departed for San Diego at 11:45 a.m. that morning. On the way, we got to stop at Griffith Park and take some photos.

We successfully got to San Diego around 2:30 and it was breath-taking. I've been to San Diego once before and my love for it has not changed over the years. Our band got to stay at the Manchester Grand Hyatt. It was very close to the ocean and we had a view out on the bay. The next day, we had a performance in Balboa Park. The performance went well and, we had a pretty good turnout. Everyone seemed to enjoy the music. After getting back to the hotel, a group of friends and I all went out to go find some dinner and hit the beach. We went to Coronado beach. The ocean was cold but, we still all went into the water. It was a great opportunity for some beautiful photos and shell collecting. I found bunches of sand dollars and shells that I brought home for my family. We took off the next morning for Los Angeles again.
The view from our hotel room in San Diego

We stayed in Doubletree by Hilton. At 8:30 in the morning, we took off for Disney and our last day in California. It was the hottest day out of the few days of being in California and we had to dress in our full uniforms to march a parade. It was so hot but, walking down Main Street with all those people watching was 100% worth it. I love performing and things like that always remind me why I started it in the first place. The rest of the day was filled with rides, eating, and having a great time.

Coronado Beach

Our marching band departed for LAX at 5 a.m. We were all exhausted and ready to get home. We only had two flights this time. It was a huge relief landing and knowing we were almost home. I was so ready to get there and see my family and pets again. It was an amazing trip and I fell in love all over again with California. I hope to live there one day but, I got to spend the rest of my Thanksgiving break with my whole family. Even though I spent most of my Thanksgiving break on a plane, bus or, car, I couldn't ask for a better break!

Sleeping Beauty's Castle in Disneyland

Friday, November 17, 2017

Puppy Snuggles

Ena snuggles
Puppy snuggles are always the best. They can be so relaxing at times but, others can make you feel like you're just a chair to be sat on. Ena loves to cuddle so I always cuddle her as often as possible. I have fostered a total of five puppies and Ena and RossCo have been the only ones to snuggle regularly. For Boo, we used to have to force snuggle her. We have a command called lap and the puppy must leave their head in our lap until we release them. We would always make her do it and she would glare at us so much but, I personally think she secretly liked it. Babs would let me snuggle her when it was on her own terms. She would lay in bed with me when she wanted to but, if she didn't want to, she didn't. RossCo is a very snuggly puppy and he likes sitting in people's laps and on their feet. He makes you feel like you're his chair. He is so much fun to pet because he has so much chub on his neck and around his face. He also likes having his eyes pet but, I not like touching them because he gets eye boogers sometimes and I cannot stand touching eye boogers. Saber was snuggly sometimes. She was like Babs. She liked to be pet a lot but, snuggles happened on her terms and her terms only. Ena has been my snuggliest puppy so far. When she got sick the other day, she snuggled even more than usual. This made me both very happy because she was being really snuggly again but, also sad because she wasn't feeling well. When we first got her, she non-stop snuggled with us. She's slowed down a little but, she always pretends like nobody ever pays attention to her. She will flop around and show her belly off. She is such a sweetheart and I've fallen in love with her. She will (hopefully) someday make an amazing service dog and best friend for a child.
Babs would snuggle on her own terms

Thursday, November 9, 2017

It's the Little Things

I always love to look out for all the little things the 4Paws dogs do that show what they're meant to do in life. This past weekend was one of those moments where I could see how much Ena both cares about me and how great she would be as a service dog.

These past few months I have been having one medical mishap after another. In September, I had to get surgery done on my shoulder to remove a bone spur and fix an impingement. I have been going through physical therapy to get it working again. I have to get my other shoulder worked on in December. I just had another medical issue dealt with recently too. I have been on a lot of prescriptions to help improve my well-being and it hasn't been easy but, I have had my little sidekick with me through it all. I feel as though through everything going on, Ena has shown me her true colors.

This weekend was not easy for me. I had two appointments to go to and I had brought Ena home with me, so she could experience what a hospital environment was like. She seemed to be very clingy to me throughout the morning and all through my appointments and even into the night. My family and I never really thought much about it because I hadn't seen her as much during the week. During my first appointment on Friday, Ena sat by my feet the entire time and did not like it when I left the room to get an x-ray done. During my second appointment, she was again by my feet and paying close attention to what was going on around her. While at my second appointment, I noticed some red spots showing up on my arms. I didn't think much of it since I hadn't been feeling well for a couple of days and it didn't seem important. Turns out, it was an actual problem.

When I woke up on Saturday morning, I was bright red, running a very high fever, had flu symptoms and, had a very high heart rate. My family took me to the emergency room and Ena was coming with us. They had to run a lot of tests and I was not handling it well. It turns out that I had a severe allergic reaction to some of the medications I had been on. Ena was a lifesaver to me. She was trying to do her best to make sure that she was within reach and was checking on me occasionally. She had tried to jump on the bed multiple times since she knew that I was freaking out from having so many needles stuck in me. When I was finished and finally starting the process of getting discharged, we decided that it was all right for Ena to jump up and sit with me. She gladly leaped right up and laid down to comfort me.

This all just showed me what kind of program I am involved in. They are meant to make the lives of children with disabilities and their families' lives easier. They are there to improve the quality of life for a family in need and to be a best friend for their child. Ena has shown me that she can be just that. She seemed to be able to sense that something was happening and, we didn't fully understand what it was until after the fact. She has formed a bond with me and with my family. Ena has some amazing potential to be a service dog and I am so honored to be her raiser and to be a part of the 4Paws for Ability program.