Thursday, April 22, 2010

Alita continues

I am still working on the doily, Alita. It was on hold until I could get some longer circulars, but she is back up and going now. I am on round 112 with a whopping 700 stitches per round! No wonder it is taking forever for me to get a round done!

It is hard to get a good picture while she is all scrunched up on the needles, but here are a few pictures. She really is a beauty and I can't wait to finish her and get her blocked. So far I have only made one small mistake, which I figure isn't bad for size 10 thread and US 1 needles.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Inexperienced Vets

Okay, I just need to get it out and I figured most of you would understand:) Dakota has been through his "terrible twos" and is even more attentive and alerting to me now. I tell you, this is one dog that knows he was born for a purpose and he takes it seriously. So far I have had 3 very bad days where he keeps alerting and nothing will stop him. Sunday was one, so out of curiousity I thought I would take him for a walk. He wouldn't even let me go a block. He guided me back toward home and nipped me when I ignored him and was chatting with some kids. I am fine with that. There obviously is something very wrong on those days and he is bound and determined that I be safe in bed. He has made me feel so safe and secure, and I feel very blessed. God may have messed up my brain, but he has brought me Dakota to help.

Monday. I am exhausted after these bad days and I had to take Dakota in for his last boosters. I can take him into stores no problem, but he acts up at the vet. I realized  that it is because the other doctor gave him treats, which also explains why Dakota has been trying to climb up on counters that look like the examining counter . Had a new doctor today, female, who constantly told me that all of Dakota's behaviours were "puppy" things and that he wasn't alerting at all. I really didn't need to hear this, from a professional, the day after I sat and listened to him alert for 6 hours straight! Her response was that he wanted attention. Can we say NOT!

 When I got home I called the vet and was just in tears, nearing hysterics. Later on  I talked to the owner about another matter and addressed this issue as well. I told him that this doctor needs a lesson in tact, diplomacy, respecting severely disabled people, and understanding alert dogs. Boy did that ever feel good :) We have agreed that I will take Dakota to the first doctor that works at the clinic, whom I really like.

 In the meanwhile, I have enjoyed going out almost daily with Dakota. He has been well tolerated at the Dollar Store, pet store, pharmacy, and the bank, even by a lady who doesn't like dogs and whom Dakota thought he would show how cute he was by trying to climb over the low counter :) We are working on that bad habit. Since he has gotten his vest, people have been very respectful of him, asking to pet him, keeping their distance, and just loving how well behaved he is when he does behave (95% of the time). He now weighs 34 pounds and the vet estimates he will be close to 60 when he is done growing. Since he is such a big breed, I will have to wait until he is a year old and his growth plates are done growing to put him in a mobility harness.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

I think spring has sprung

The weather the last few days has been absolutely beautiful. I am hoping that this is the beginning of spring and that the cold weather is gone for this year. I don't do as well in the cold and find it very difficult to walk, not only from the pain, but also because I lose my footing very easily. Dakota should be in his harness for next winter and that should help give me some added stability.

Dakota and I have been taking advantage of the nice weather and have had several short outings. We are really working on manners right now because he is going through his "terrible two's" and thinks that everyone should love and pet him. Of course, I think that he knows he is special, which isn't helping his ego trip any :) He has learned to jump up on counters so he can see the person behind it - big no, no so we have been addressing that. People have been very accommodating. He has been well tolerated in all the stores we have been in and now that he has his vest, people are being quite courteous and asking if they can pet him. Right now he is on a no petting rule until he gets used to people not gushing over him.

It is hard to believe that he is only 4 months old. His training is going very well and he knows all the basic commands. Yesterday we started on him taking the stairs one at a time and now he makes sure he watches my feet before he proceeds to the next step. We have started the "brace" command, just so he knows it. I can't actually put much weight on him until his growth plates are set, but at least he will know what to do when the time comes. He seems to love helping me and we will start on teaching him to open doors, etc. probably in the next few months.

Dakota has become more pronounced in his alerts and I now introduce him as a medical alert dog. He is very good at knowing where I am at and what I need. I have had him tug me by the pants to get me to come home, guide me along a railing so I can hold onto it and quite a few other things. He alerts pretty much daily, which I hoped for given the severity of my sleep disorder. It does get annoying on my really bad days though because he won't stop alerting and there isn't anything I can do to make it better. Annoying or not, I am glad I have him and wouldn't give him up for the world. He really has changed my life for the better.