Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Angel in a Fur Coat and a Lot of Changes

As often happens, my remission of the last blog was short lived, but that doesn't mean good things didn't happen still. One of the many things I am excited about is that The Heathen has finally decided it is ok to ride on the quad with me, which enlarged our world quite a bit. We've made a few short trips on it, and one on horseback and he's doing nicely.

Having a phone I can use for the first time in 10 years is pretty exciting, although most of the use goes to playing scrabble.

Either the disease itself or the meds make me extremely forgetful and absentminded. I finally had to submit all of my prescriptions to a company that packages them together in 2 daily doses for me, labeled with the date and time they are to be taken. You would think that would solve my problem. Well, not exactly. Especially when I am feeling my worst. I might wake up, grab a cup of coffee and my pills, only to find out that it's Friday and the last time I took my meds was Tuesday. No matter where I put them, I forget. By the coffee pot seemed like a good idea, but I don't drink coffee everyday and I don't drink it at night. The dinner table seemed like the next best thing. Nope. We usually eat in front of the tv these days. Finally, TheMan suggested I train Heath to bring me my pills at the appointed times. It was easily done. The best time for me to take them is before I get up. That way I can't get sidetracked, so I set an alarm for the morning and taught him that when that particular alarm rang, he was to bring me my bag with the pills in it. It took him about 2 days to start doing it on his own. I then forgot to set the alarm, but no problem. Heath has an internal alarm, it seems, so he brings me my meds automatically at 7:45 both am and pm. If I need painpills or something else in the meantime, I need only ask him to bring them to me.  The bag is kept on a trunk that serves as a coffee table in front of the couches where I sleep. He always returns it to the same place, but woe to me, if I put ANYTHING else on that end of the trunk. ie: magazine, book, hairbrush...  It makes for a very disgusted sheppie who huffs loudly and throws my med pack into his toy basket with maximum volume then proceeds to glare at me accusingly. I'm learning. He even brought them to me when we stayed at a motel when we got snowed in in town...
THAT was a great trip!
We went to town the night before we needed to, because a big storm was expected and I didn't want to be driving 4 hours on desolate icy roads.
Got breakfast and went to a farm store and still had some time left so we went looking for the car dealership. Of course, we hit an icy spot and the truck went into a spin and we wound up going off the road into a field, just missing some big old pipes that came up out of the ground. Yeah, I'm ready to get my own 4 WD. TheMan doesn't like putting the truck in 4WD, because it will "wear it out". My argument of "wearing it out is better than totaling it and killing us" doesn't seem to stick with him.
 Heath  has given me back enough independence to get my license back, now I need something to drive so I can get myself to town and maybe take some road trips. It won't be til spring but I am really looking forward to it. It was snowing heavily when we were at the car lot and Heath really liked the little golf cart with the roof and windshield. I think he would prefer I replace our 4 wheeler with one of those, if he had his say. I test drove a used Jeep SUV, but didn't like it that much. Then we saw another one I LOVED, but decided it wouldn't be right to drag a vehicle that nice home to live on a ranch where dogs will jump on it, and it will live in the wind and dust with rocks banging off the bottom and the windshield as we drive down the 50 mile gavel road. I told them if they got one like it that looked like an old rust bucket, with the interior of the car I liked, consider it sold.
The Heathen had to wear his boots, because of the salt on the sidewalks and EVERYONE had to comment on them. TheMan and I could have been standing stark naked and no one would have noticed because they were fascinated that a Service Dog wears boots. Too funny.

As we left the dealership, the snow was getting pretty deep. We drove down a back street where the dogs could get out to pee and noticed a little delivery type car off the side of the road at the end of the street. People were driving by it from both directions. I asked TheMan to make sure they didn't need help. He said they didn't. I asked him again to just check, especially when we got close enough to see it was a young girl. We got out and hobbled over in the snow and sure 'nuff she was stuck. The vehicle was light enough that with both of us pushing, and her driving we got her up to where she had traction and she drove away. I laughed when I considered an "old" guy and a handicapped lady pushed her car out of the snow...sometimes it just takes a little help.

The first  night we stayed in a place that had a hot tub in the room. It was a nice place, but no chair so I was hurting pretty bad by morning from laying down all night. The worst part is that Scottie, TheMan's dog was also with us. Scottie is a dog that doesn't listen to anyone and barely listens to TheMan.  He's a snide little feller who does what he pleases when he pleases, much to my consternation. Well,  Heath woke me up early because Scottie had to pee. Now, TheMan has an ugly little habit of having to shower every morning before he gets dressed. He has a routine that is absolutely inflexible. So while he showered, did his hair, put on his makeup, picked out his outfit for the day and got prettied up, I had to drag both dogs to the elevator that neither one of them liked, with nothing on Heath, not even a collar, and my lash wrapped around Scotties neck, to take them outside in the snow, to pee. I was unable to bend far enough to get my boots on because of the pain so I was barefooted. Scottie did all in his power to pull me to the left so he could pee on the Christmas tree in the lobby, while I  directed both dogs to the exit. Walking over the icy sidewalk to the empty lot next door, I let go of the leash so they could do their business...just then an old gentleman walked around the back corner of the hotel with his cane. Scottie took off after him, barking and growling (he can be a nasty, unsociable little creature) and Heath followed wagging his tail with every intent to jump on the guy with an enthusiastic greeting....all on the ice. Thankfully I had on my shepherds whistle and with a blast on it and a "GET BACK HERE, NOW!!!" both dogs changed their direction and came back to me. I informed TheMan, that from this point forward, he will be responsible for taking care of his OWN dogs needs.

We were still snowed in town so we stayed a a less pricey hotel the next night, which was the Holiday Inn in Boise, which I highly recommend. The rooms are great, the staff is friendly and helpful and the breakfasts are pretty good too. Heath made an impression, as he still had to go everywhere "naked" due to our needing his leash to control Scottie. He wiped his feet each time we came in through the front door, and stayed by my side perfectly. I could not have been more pleased. The staff all got to know him and he felt like quite the star. I was so impressed by his perfect behavior when I had no controls over him. He was absolutely Mister Manners, until we would get back to the room, where he would become super silly, racing around, grabbing my pantleg, jumping on the bed to maul me with kisses and generally just spill over with joy and enthusiasm. It made for a great trip. For someone who is such a homebody I never wanted to leave, even to go to town and go shopping every 3 months, Heath has brought me to a point where I am really looking forward to getting my own car and going on road trips with him. It's an important move for me, because the auto-immune has gotten increasingly worse again, and depression is getting harder and harder to fight, being stuck inside a house along all day everyday. This will be a real game changer.

So for now, I stay home and we enjoy the company of our overly affectionate dogs.

100+ lb Bruno steals Heath's favorite spot while he's not looking...


  1. So happy to see your post. Best wishes for the new year. Sue M

  2. Sounds like things are looking up for you with more mobility. Wonderful! And Heath is an amazing fellow for sure!

  3. It is so good to see your post. Heath is AMAZING . :) I hope you soon have the wheels you need for some amazing adventures with Heath. May 2017 bring you more mobility and more pain free times. Hugs.

  4. This is all good news! What a gem Heath is!

  5. Your Heath is the greatest! I also love seeing your Bruno, as I have a Maremma too!

  6. So happy He put Heath into your life.

  7. Love reading your updates! Heath sounds like the perfect guy for you and I SO love seeing pics of your Maremma's again.

    1. Fabulous! Aren’t they amazing dogs?

  8. I'm so sorry to hear of your continuing pain. I would love to hear about you hopping on horseback and riding the range! But so grateful to know that God has given you a furry angel in Heath to widen your world. What a blessing I know you never imagined in your wildest dreams! God bless you!

  9. I just LOVE your Heath muffler, and how your little lap dog hangs off of both sides of your lap. It makes me want to get Maremmas or Great Pyrenees, but they would eat more and better than I do (and that's no easy feat :)). Just know you are loved by 2-footed ones too, but it is so easy to do from afar.