Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Thanks to everyone who commented on my blog. So, so appreciated.
It seems like he has actually improved since I wrote the blog. I am not going to delude myself to think that he is "all better". I know he is only going to get worse. But since I wrote, he has been getting up the steps a little better. We have a piece of wood that we use as a ramp. We also have two real doggie ramps, but he refuses to use them. Maybe they are too narrow. The problem is that he has become hesitant to use the ramp at all. But for the last two nights, he has walked up the ramp on his own (albeit not on the first attempt).
Perhaps I should blog about him more often.
Two more fun facts about George. First of all, he was being treated for heartworm when we first met him. The shelter took care of his treatments, and this delayed him coming to us. But he has been fine since.
The other fun fact - he almost never barks. The last time he barked was on March 30 (I only know this because I texted my kids when this happened, and I just checked the phone). Last time before that was probably about 6 months earlier. Even when he does, he usually only barks once. For that reason I think I would have a hard time at this point with a dog that barks a lot.
Monday, May 20, 2013
My 5% challenge team, the Spirited Underdogs, has a blogging challenge this week. It is appropriate that my first blog will be about my precious dog, George.
Please note, George is still very much alive!!! I am not writing to mourn his death but rather the deterioration in his health.
George came into our lives in May 2005 shortly after the death of our collie, Sparky. We found a dog online that we wanted to adopt from a nearby rescue organization. They told us that said dog had already been adopted but that we were approved to adopt any other dog from them. They were having an adoption event at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, NJ that weekend, and why don't we come.
Well, come we did, and that's when we found George (his shelter name; we never changed it). He was a huge boy, sitting cramped in a huge crate. But boy, was he smiling, and that smile has never left. They asked if we would like to take him out. The only reason I give all the details about the Liberty Science Center is that if anyone is familiar with the area, you would know that it sits at the edge of marshy area (not far from the Statue of Liberty in NYC). Of course, George broke loose and ran to the edge of the marshy area. We were lucky to catch him before he went into the swamp (another dog was less fortunate the following day). He was very strong, and I wasn't sure he was right for us. Of course, my son (age 16 at the time) fell in love with him and made it known that he intended to keep George.
George became part of our family in a big way. He would sit with us at the dinner table (where he always sat nicely until after dinner, when he wanted a treat). He almost never barked. Everyone was crazy about him. His tendency to run away was greatly diminished after he was neutered.
But things started to change about a year ago. We went away for a long weekend, and there was an incident at Petsmart (where we left him for boarding and grooming). I still don't know what happened except that I will never take him to Petsmart again. I think he was dropped during his grooming. Since then, he has had difficulty walking up the stairs in the front of our house. This actually started before we went away, so I can't totally blame Petsmart, but the situation got much worse after his boarding. We spent a weekend in Philadelphia in January, but he came with us. We were at a dog friendly hotel, and it was great. We boarded him this past weekend for the first time in a year. And again, he seems to have gotten worse. This time, I can't blame the kennel. Again, I think the problems were starting before we took him there. But now, he is having more serious troubles moving. I fear that he will soon have to be carried up the stairs. It is only a few stairs, but he weighs about 100 lbs., so it is not easy.
He has been such an important part of our family. It hurts so much to see him end up this way.
Here is a picture (daughter is in the background).
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
So shocked and upset, as is everyone. If anyone here is affected directly or indirectly, my thoughts are with you.
What has the world come to????
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
It is no secret that this has not been a good round for me. I have become unexpectedly extremely busy. For the last few years I have been either unemployed or working in jobs where I haven't been too busy most of the time. This gave me plenty of time to Spark and also to exercise.
No more!!! I have been so busy at work that I can barely breathe!! Also, I signed up for an online course, Introduction to Databases. It is a non-credit course offered by Stanford U., and it is free. If they offer it again and anyone has an interest in that sort of thing, then I would highly recommend it. But it also has been very demanding. The class will be ending this Saturday, but I am hoping to review the material at my leisure after that. I actually would take another course if the same professor offers another one, but I will be glad to get some time back!!!
I also have had some issues that have affected my mental outlook. Most notably, my mother injured herself while on vacation in Florida (fell out of bed the first night and fractured her pelvis). She has been getting me more and more upset as time goes on. Having just lost my stubborn father after a long bout with Alzheimers, it is very disheartening to see her emerge with even more stubbornness and some sort of dementia to boot. Seriously, I want to cry at times.
I decided to pass on the 5% challenge this round, and frankly, because I have been so busy, I think it was a wise decision. However, I did notice that after the first week, there was some sort of challenge to write a blog about one bad habit that you want to break (or something like that). When I saw this, I must admit that I was a little sad not to be part of the challenge because that would have been a good assignment for me. Then I realized - just because it is not an assignment for ME doesn't mean that I can't do it. So I think the biggest habit I need to break is nighttime snacking. More than anything, that is a problem for me. The second bad habit I need to break is the physical inertia that has set in. It's not that I have completely given up on working out, but I have cut back so much. That plus eating too much?? What should I expect!!
I did a 5K at the end of April last year which was for Alzheimer's research. Now that class is ending, I want to train to do it again this year. Last year I mainly walked and came in next to last. This year I want to make a more respectable showing.
This weekend I will be having lunch with a group of high school classmates. While I am looking forward to it, I can't help but feel that this could have been my time to really impress, but that is not going to happen. I am going to be about 15 pounds thinner than the last time I was with this group, but it would have been even more if we had met a few months earlier.
Speaking of things like that, it still scares and upsets me that when I seem to be seriously poised to make a breakthrough, I self-sabotage, gain weight, and it just doesn't happen. However, by making a few changes (which I have done successfully in the past), maybe this will be the year that it does, starting with the next 4 weeks.
Tuesday, January 01, 2013
I just want to wish everyone a very Happy and Healthy New Year. Personally this was a tough year between my father's death in September (a blessing in disguise in some ways but sad and shocking nonetheless) and the major hurricane that hit my state a month later. Not to mention the deaths of many people (including the victims in Newtown and the significant others of some good friends) that left me very sad. I am hoping to be able to put this behind me in 2013.
If there was one positive in 2012, it was that I was able to achieve reasonable job security. I work a series of contract positions as a technical writer. After some difficulties in 2011 and a shaky start to 2012, I started a contract at a major pharmaceutical company in NJ at the end of February. I am happy to say that I am still there. My initial contract expired on December 31, and in November my boss (one of the best people I have worked for in some time) told me that he was not going to extend me but that he would recommend me for another position if there were any within his group. I headed into December extremely pessimistic about this possibility, but one of his colleagues offered to extend my contract for six months (likely longer). I will return to a new position on Wednesday after being off since December 21 (office closure). I will have to look for a new job at some point because the client imposes a two year limit on temporary workers. But for now, it's all good.
I am going to try to work on some goals and have them firmed up by the time the next round of BLC starts. That gives me about two weeks. One thing I definitely want to do is blog or journal more often. I just want to keep a record of what is happening and maybe some of the obstacles I come up against. I did this a lot when I first started Spark (using the private journal feature, not public blogs), and it has been helpful to go back and read the entries. I wish I had more!!
I want to thank you all for being such good friends. Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, I feel like I let my friendships slide, and I am not proud of that. I just want you all to know that I truly appreciate SparkPeople and the actual Spark people who have made such a difference in my life
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