And So We Meet

I’m Kate, a Christ follower, a wife to an awesome husband and a mom of two amazing, beautiful daughters. I’m totally crazy about hockey and my favorite team is the Detroit Red Wings. I love animals! I have a dog, and there’s 5 guinea pigs in this house at the moment.
This blog isn’t about any one thing in particular. I am a very random person and while some people may say that’s a bad thing, my husband knows how to keep me balanced. I “call” things as I see them, I’m not afraid to be in your face, raw and honest. There’s no sugar-coating things with me. What can expect to read in this blog? A little bit of everything, my friend! I will be blogging on some physical challenges that I recently overcame with the help of the Lord and the power of prayer. You can expect to here a few “tales” of living with 5 guinea pigs and a dog and the adventures we’ve had them. There will be occasional rant or two or three. There’s more…but YOU need to come back and find out for yourself.

Everyday is a new adventure and I’ve been given a second chance. I’m not going to sit around and wait and watch as life passes me by, I was forced to do that long enough. Life is for the living and until the Lord calls me home, I’m living life to the fullest each day.

 

20120316-191703.jpg

Service Dog in Training

Apache Fawn, Service Dog in Training
Apache Fawn, Service Dog in Training

Earlier this spring a vet visit for my Service Dog, Molly brought news this handler wasn’t really ready to hear.  Molly had developed arthritis in her right, hind hip and leg.  While she wasn’t in a great deal of pain, it was visible that the way she walked at times, that it did bother her.  I immediately cut back her pubic access work, but that also cut back my public outings.  I had become very dependent on Molly to get me around in a safe manner when I was outside and alone.

I didn’t want to face the fact that within a few years Molly would need to retire completely from public access work and live out her days as the CEO of our little household.  We were a team, we worked together, played together, shared the bed and at times, showered together.  Molly needed me as much as I needed her and I never thought once about EVER needing to replace her.  However, now was the time to bring in a puppy to begin training.

My husband and I talked for hours and prayed for days and weeks about the dog the Lord had chosen for me to have as my future service dog.  I also kept my eyes open on the various dogs that were housed at our local humane society.  I had gotten Molly there and she was a great fit, so I hoped to have the same success the second time around.  About six weeks ago I told my husband there was a nine month old puppy that I wanted him to meet.  He agreed to go check out the puppy with me.  I loved Boxter from the second I laid eyes on him while volunteering at the shelter.

Boxter was a male, nine month old, pit bull/boxer/lab mix.  He had a white and brown coat and a very loving personality.  We took him into a visitation room and spent some time with him.  He was the sweetest dog and I was hopeful that he would be my future service dog.  However, Boxter had one fault….he hated being on a leash and pulled like crazy.  At 56 pounds and counting, I knew I would not be able to control him on the leash to train him to accept it.  I have right side weakness due to a couple of strokes a few years back.  I cried when we determined we could not adopt Boxter.  (However, three weeks ago, Boxter went to his forever home, adopted by a young couple!!!!)

The Shelter Attendant who was working with us asked us what we were looking for in a dog.  She had remembered us from when we adopted Molly, so she had a pretty good idea on what we looked for in a prospect dog.  She returned to the room several minutes later with the cutest little Chihuahua mix puppy.  He was a cutie and for the life of me, I can’t remember his name.  He was not the least bit interested in me and a high reward treat like a hot dog did not grab his interest.  He was taken back to cage and his sister, Princess was brought into the room.  She was a cutie.  A bit shy at first, but I soon won her over and well….the rest is history.  Princess an eight month old, brown, black and tan pup was adopted by us that day and her name is now Apache Fawn.

Her fur sister, Molly loves her, in fact the second we let Apache out of the pet carrier, Molly was like a puppy again, all playful and bouncing around.  We have been training, Apache knows sit, stay, to me (which means come to me) and we are working leave it.  She is almost totally housebroken as well.

Be sure to check back for adventures of Molly and Apache as we make our way through life as a deaf girl and her service dog and service dog in training.

Until next time my faithful readers…….

Apache Fawn and Molly Rae each enjoying a bone.
Apache Fawn and Molly Rae each enjoying a bone.

Service Dog in Training

Apache Fawn, Service Dog in Training
Apache Fawn, Service Dog in Training

Earlier this spring a vet visit for my Service Dog, Molly brought news this handler wasn’t really ready to hear.  Molly had developed arthritis in her right, hind hip and leg.  While she wasn’t in a great deal of pain, it was visible that the way she walked at times, that it did bother her.  I immediately cut back her pubic access work, but that also cut back my public outings.  I had become very dependent on Molly to get me around in a safe manner when I was outside and alone.

I didn’t want to face the fact that within a few years Molly would need to retire completely from public access work and live out her days as the CEO of our little household.  We were a team, we worked together, played together, shared the bed and at times, showered together.  Molly needed me as much as I needed her and I never thought once about EVER needing to replace her.  However, now was the time to bring in a puppy to begin training.

My husband and I talked for hours and prayed for days and weeks about the dog the Lord had chosen for me to have as my future service dog.  I also kept my eyes open on the various dogs that were housed at our local humane society.  I had gotten Molly there and she was a great fit, so I hoped to have the same success the second time around.  About six weeks ago I told my husband there was a nine month old puppy that I wanted him to meet.  He agreed to go check out the puppy with me.  I loved Boxter from the second I laid eyes on him while volunteering at the shelter.

Boxter was a male, nine month old, pit bull/boxer/lab mix.  He had a white and brown coat and a very loving personality.  We took him into a visitation room and spent some time with him.  He was the sweetest dog and I was hopeful that he would be my future service dog.  However, Boxter had one fault….he hated being on a leash and pulled like crazy.  At 56 pounds and counting, I knew I would not be able to control him on the leash to train him to accept it.  I have right side weakness due to a couple of strokes a few years back.  I cried when we determined we could not adopt Boxter.  (However, three weeks ago, Boxter went to his forever home, adopted by a young couple!!!!)

The Shelter Attendant who was working with us asked us what we were looking for in a dog.  She had remembered us from when we adopted Molly, so she had a pretty good idea on what we looked for in a prospect dog.  She returned to the room several minutes later with the cutest little Chihuahua mix puppy.  He was a cutie and for the life of me, I can’t remember his name.  He was not the least bit interested in me and a high reward treat like a hot dog did not grab his interest.  He was taken back to cage and his sister, Princess was brought into the room.  She was a cutie.  A bit shy at first, but I soon won her over and well….the rest is history.  Princess an eight month old, brown, black and tan pup was adopted by us that day and her name is now Apache Fawn.

Her fur sister, Molly loves her, in fact the second we let Apache out of the pet carrier, Molly was like a puppy again, all playful and bouncing around.  We have been training, Apache knows sit, stay, to me (which means come to me) and we are working leave it.  She is almost totally housebroken as well.

Be sure to check back for adventures of Molly and Apache as we make our way through life as a deaf girl and her service dog and service dog in training.

Until next time my faithful readers…….

Apache Fawn and Molly Rae each enjoying a bone.
Apache Fawn and Molly Rae each enjoying a bone.

Flashing Door Bell

     Many people have asked me, “How do you know when someone is at the door?”  Molly, my hearing alert dog usually alerts me by jumping on my lap, if I am sitting, and running from me to the door. All the while, the person on the other side of the door, if a first time visitor, sending their imagination into overdrive!  They probably think on the other side of the door is a Great Dane or German Shepard.  The truth is….it’s a 7.5 pound Yorkie! 
     I do rely on Molly to be my first alert for when someone is at the door.  However, for added measure we have a flashing door bell. 

image

When a person pushed the door bell the lamp that is plugged into the wall begins to flash (and Molly begins alerting me.)  The flashing light flashes on and off for about five to six seconds, each time the button is pushed.  Molly will alert and bark until I give her a cease command. 
     It’s another great device that had allowed me to become confident as a deafie and to be independent without depending on others.   
     So…if you are ever in my part of the neighborhood, stop on over and ring my door bell.  I promise that on the other side of the door is not a wild, crazy dog, waiting to bite your leg.  
     Until next time……Smile…life is beautiful. 

Be blessed ~ Kate

Waking Up

image

Many people have asked me how I know as a deafie, when to wake up in the morning.  Do I depend on someone to wake me up each day or do I have an alarm clock?
Most days my internal alarm clock wakes me up at seven a.m.  I will admit, my feet don’t always hit the floor at that hour.  However, in event I am feeling particularly lazy, I have always have my vibrating watch to wake me at my appointed time.  I just set the alarm for when I want to wake up, strap it on my wrist and go to bed.  Being independent is very important to me.  I rarely depend on anyone else to wake me up, except my service dog, Molly.  She walks all over me when the watch vibrates. 
I now have my watch set to wake me at 7:30 in the morning.  So my faithful readers…it is almost midnight as I finish typing this blog post.  Good night, sleep tight and sweet dreams. 
Until I post again……..

Be blessed ~ Kate

I Miss the Bird Chior

Now that the weather has turned warmer after a very long and cold winter, the birds have began singing in the early hours of the morning.  I can barely remember the songs of the birds from my hearing days as a child.  I remember that sometimes, especially on the weekends, how I wanted to sleep in.  It wasn’t an easy task with my bedroom windows opened in the early spring and having the windows near a tree….the same tree that it seemed all the birds spent choir practice in on Saturday mornings!  Too many Saturdays in the spring and summer found me up way too early for my liking.

As the years went by, I began sleeping in on Saturdays.  My hearing began to faded more with each passing year.  Even with my hearing aids, I noticed that I no longer heard the sweet harmony of the birds singing.  As the years went by stronger hearing aids were needed, but I never heard the Bird Choir again.

Today I am deaf, living in my own silent world.  On early spring days, I like to close my eyes, travel back to my childhood and hear the birds singing their beautiful melodies in the early morning.  Sometimes my husband or one of my daughters will describe the singing to me and I pretend in my mind what it sounds like.  I’m sure what I see in my mind is a bit more extravagant that it really is…but to each their own.

Stop the Violence

Pick up the morning newspaper, turn on the evening news on the TV or turn the car radio on and there is a HUGE chance you will read, hear or see about some act of violence in our world.  Right here in America, we have the violence in the streets of Baltimore.  There are riots in the streets following the funeral for Freddie Gray , a 25-year-old black man, who died in police custody earlier this month.  Stores have been robbed and looted, clashes with the local police and many people injured and arrested.

Yes, tempers flare and people get upset, angry and mad.  However, revenge and violence and wars are not the answers.  Nobody wins in these acts…..it just causes more conflict, more hurt and more violence and sadly at times, death.

We need to take a stand, America!  We need to stand up for what’s right, take back our streets, our homes, our country and make it a safe place.  We need to learn that violence solves nothing….it just causes more hurt, pain, scars and even death.  We need to unite and stand together.  We need to stop the violance…..and it starts right here, right now…starting with ME.  I’m standing up to stop the violence…whose with me?

A Handler and Their Service Dog’s Relationship

The relationship between a service dog and their handler runs deep.  It’s the love a parent has for their child, the bond that the sisters who are very close share, the trust that a husband and wife have for each other….all rolled up into one giant ball all at once.  The best way to summarize the relationship between service dog and their handler is what I once told my family.  “I will die for my dog, and my dog will die for me!”  It’s that deep.

Molly and I are attached at the hip….and sometimes a leash, when we go out into the public, 24 hours a day.  From the moment my vibrating watch goes off  in the morning until we are tucked into bed safely together at the end of the day, we are a team.  We are teammates, partners, best friends, she’s my wingman and my extra shadow.  We are loyal to each other, trustworthy, honest, loving and caring.

I depend on Molly to alert me to simple things such as the door bell, my alarm, when my girls or husband give her the command, “Go get Mommy!” because they need my attention.  She alerts me to people approaching me in the public, to when there traffic, be it automobiles or people and that we need to proceed with caution.  She also has alerted me to several seizures, which I didn’t know this little gem could do.  It’s not something you can train a dog to alert for, either they have the skill or they don’t!  In return for Molly’s services, I shower her with love and praises, I feed and water her, we take daily walks in the apartment complex off duty, I groom her daily, brushing her fur and her teeth.  I play with her, give belly rubs, and baths.  We depend on each other for the needs that we have and we trust each other to always do what needs to be done out of love…never out of demand.

Until the next time we meet……have a wonderful weekend, stay warm if you are in the cold regions and remember to love your furbaby and keep them warm too.

IMG_20150223_211419