The Longest Day

Today is the first day of summer.  It is also the longest day of the year when the sun is out the longest.  The Alzheimer’s Association is encouraging people to do something special during this day to raise awareness.  I’ve decided to do something a little fun throughout the day.

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Today, on my Instagram, I will be sending out a story every hour from sunrise to sundown (approximately 6:30 to 8:30).  I will be sharing information about Alzheimer’s disease, some from my personal life and some statistical information.  So check me out @katyslifestory on Instagram.

If you would like to give a donation to support funding for Alzheimer research and advocacy, one way you can do that is by giving to our team as we walk in our eighth Alzheimer Walk this year in September.  The link to that is below!  Thanks!

Link to Our Team Page!

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A Foster Update

I haven’t really updated on Shayla, but she is still in our home.

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Shayla enjoys the quiet of our house.  She has a nice little corner in the office that she spends most of her day, quite contently.  But that’s because she isn’t really interested in human interaction, or dogs for that matter.  Her anxiety levels were so high before I got her that she can’t seem to cross that line far enough to really enjoy interacting with others.

So, last week, after some talks with the vet, we have some new, nifty things to try with her, including a little anxiety medication to help her along with a spray that will also help her feel calm.  And she is actually starting to trust me.  In the morning, she stays close to me outside of the crate, which is a huge indication!

And last night, she spent the evening following me around as I made dinner.  And she even snuggled on the couch!  Granted, she still gets very jumpy and when she is scared or startled, it takes a good hot minute for her to calm herself down, but progress is being made!

I’m so thankful for the SPCA.  They have equipped me with training, one-on-one time with the behaviorist and the vet, and all of these tools to provide the best care for Shayla. They truly love the animals that walk through their doors, and they always try to do everything they can to help give them their best chance.

I think she still has a long way to go, but she is making wonderful strides with the new tools we are using to help her.  And some day she will be in her own home, with her loving family, and all of this anxiety will be a distant memory.

 

Another Adorable Dog Post

I haven’t been spending as much time in the shelter as I would like because I’ve been working with a foster dog, lately.  But I did manage to spend some time with this adorable little Chihuahua, named Jasmine (I call her Jazzy for short).

 

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Jasmine is a snuggle bug.  When I’m volunteering at the shelter as an Adoption Counselor, the first thing I try to do (if it’s not too busy) is go into Jasmine’s kennel and snuggle her.  As soon as I’m on the floor, she crawls into my lap and gives me kisses, in exchange for pets, of course!  She is six years old and a bit shy to strangers, but I can personally testify that she is quick to warm up to you, especially if you have a treat and a warm lap!

I’m always quite surprised to see her there each time I come by.  She is such a lovebug!  But I know she will go home soon.  Her family just needs to come by and pick her up!

By the way, the SPCA is doing something pretty amazing this summer.  Until Labor Day, all dogs, cats, kittens, and puppies are only $25.  So, if you haven’t been to the SPCA lately, this is a great reason to go!  And the staff and volunteers there are trained to help you find your next four-legged family member that will work well with your needs and family dynamic.

I mean, just look at that face…

Alzheimer Kick Off Party

This past Sunday, I went to Nebraska Furniture Mart in the Colony for the Alzheimer Team Captain Kick-off Party.20170604_171341

Each of the team captains received a goodie bag filled with water bottles, a phone fanny pack, and pamphlets on recruiting and fundraising tips.

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After signing in, we gathered in this small area with other teams.  I met a lovely nurse from one of the local care facilities.  She has been involved with the Alzheimer walks for over 20 years.  We talked about patient care, and I could tell she was so passionate about the people she has cared for.  I am so thankful for our conversation.

A local Tex-Mex restaurant donated food and drinks for the party.  We had eaten there before, so we knew it was going to be delicious!  After everyone settled, Tara Longley, the Northwest Regional Director, talked about how much was already in place for the walk in September.  Big named companies, like Edward Jones and Denbury, are sending several teams to walk this year.  I was able to talk to her personally, and she said that the hope is to outgrow our present location to an even bigger one in 2018.  And it looks like we are on track to do that.

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We also talked about the successes of last year.  Those who have been team captains for five years or longer received a journal.  The longest running team captain received a duffle bag, and the shortest one received a piggy bank.

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Being in a room with so many people who have a passion for finding the cure to this horrible disease was both uplifting and heartwarming.  This will be our eighth walk this year, in honor of my great-grandmother, Zorie, and Michael’s dad.  If you would like to donate to the walk this year, you can do so at the link below.  Together, we can fund for more advocacy for caregivers and research to find the cure to Alzheimer’s!

Spreading Hope

This week has been crazy with the new dog.  Both Michael and I have forgotten how much work a one-year-old dog can be, but it’s getting better.  It’s really nice that he’s super smart.  I look at it as practice for being on your toes when a baby comes into our family.

If you are just joining this little story, I would invite you to check out my About page, so that this post will make a little more sense.

When I was in the hospital with my first stillborn daughter, a box was given to me by the nurses.  And the second time I was in the hospital saying goodbye to another daughter, I received another one.  They were from a group called Hope Mommies that is here in Dallas.  It’s a Christian support group for women who have had pregnancy loss or young infant loss (usually a year or under).  I attended a walk last October that was hosted by this group.

Well, last Saturday, I met up with some of the girls who were a part of this group, and we put together the Hope boxes, similar to the one I received during my losses.

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We formed an assembly line, filling each box with books, candles, tissues, bookmarks, tea, and chapstick, among other things.

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And after all of the boxes were filled, we each sat down and wrote notes to the women who would receive these boxes.  Most of these notes and boxes will go to local hospitals to be given to women just like me.  I tried to keep that in mind as I wrote a note to these precious mamas.  It was a lot more emotional that I thought it would be.

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If you know someone who has recently gone through a pregnancy loss, Hope Mommies has a Facebook page that you can join.  You will have to go through the admin, though, because the group is very protected, especially the forums.  I’m so glad to be a part of something that can both support and give opportunities to support others.

Another Sorta Small SPCA Update

We have had so many adoptions at the SPCA this year.  It’s been pretty amazing to see such fast turnover.  I don’t get to know many of the dogs before they are already set to be adopted.  Last week’s adoption of Captain Hook was so much fun.  I would like to share with you another special SPCA adoption story.

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Meet Teddy.  Teddy came in with a lot of other dogs from a hoarding situation.  Most of the dogs were fairly socialized with one or two behavioral exceptions.  For Ted, that exception is the leash and he gets frightened quite easily.  Working with Ted on the leash usually means walking him with other dogs, which makes the task easy, since he loves being around other dogs.  A lot of his fellow hoarding buddies were being adopted last week, most of them small, but Ted got his day of adoption on Saturday.

Because we adopted him!

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Ted is a blue heeler mix.  He’s very smart.  He learned the doggie door within the first ten minutes of being home (which is a record among all of the dogs who have been in this house, even Jerzee).  He has also already learned sit, as long as there is a treat involved.  I love his ‘sit.’  He plops down, it’s so cute.

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Because of his past, he is unsure around anyone, but he will follow me around all day, falling asleep wherever I am.  We’ve taken him on two walks, and he’s unpredictable.  The first time, he was just fine for the most part. But the second time, something spooked him and he laid down in the road.  Luckily, he’s small enough that I could pick him up!

We are loving our new addition to our family.  I think it’s perfect that he’s here for Valentine’s Day.  He is definitely a sweetheart!

A Small SPCA update

I’m so excited to be sharing this post.  Back in January, I shared a post introducing Captain Hook and another post with an update that he was still available.  This sweet guy has been waiting for a home since he was surrendered in December.  The major deterrent in his case was his separation anxiety.  The dog just loves humans.

At the SPCA, they don’t have a limit on a dog’s stay, but they aren’t considered a no-kill shelter because they will euthanize if the dog has a serious medical or behavioral issue.  And the behavioral issue has to be pretty serious and destructive.

Captain Hook is an excellent example of how far the SPCA is willing to go to care for and rehabilitate behavioral issues in dogs.  He has been in the home of the behaviorist as a foster to see how he does in the home and overnight.  He has been given anxiety medications prescribed by a vet to help with the stress.  He has even been giving weight management food, fed three times a day, to help him gain weight after a serious loss of weight due to diarrhea due to stress.

And one of his issues was a crate.  He would rip the crate apart, injuring himself in the process, if left alone in one.  So, while he was on the adoption floor, he was given parts of a crate to sleep in so that he would slowly be desensitized to the fear of being in one.

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And, whenever he was being looked at by a potential family, it was required that he would speak to a supervisor to make sure they understood his special case.

Well, on Monday, during my volunteer shift, a couple came in to look at him.  A supervisor spoke with the couple as they interacted with him in the play yard.  Then, the couple looked at another dog and seemed to really be engaged with the other puppy.  Like many times before, my hope for a home with Captain seemed to be fading.

But then!  The couple asked to see Captain again, and this time, they decided they would adopt him!  They were willing to work with him, train him, and love him!  I was so happy and thankful to be a part of this adoption and see Captain go home with his family!  I cannot express enough the love that the SPCA staff has for each animal that comes through those doors, and the celebration that happens when one of our special animals finally meets their family forever.

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I’m so thankful to volunteer at this organization and to be a part of uniting pups with their families.  Congrats Captain!  I know you will be well loved!