20 August 2011


Summer has officially hit the Pacific Northwest. 96 in Portland by the five o'clock news which could go higher. Generally speaking, we tend to hit 2-3 degrees higher than that temperature in summer time unless winds are present from a cooler direction. That's not the case today. As for summer though, better late than never huh?

I had errands I needed to do this weekend. I procrastinated the New Seasons run, but figured I could use the two bus lines to get there today still since Sunday is the only day that line is unavailable. When I logged onto the website however to get bus times, I discovered that due to the airshow they had altered the route in a manner that made it not an option for us.

I struggled for about fifteen minutes over whether or not to give it an attempt using the Orenco max stop. I don't like the constant back and forth angles of the curbcuts on that street- leaves me disoriented at best. For Thane to go though, I decided to give that a go because the difference in pain would have been immense.

We had already got up over an hour earlier than usual to get all Thane's meds, supplements, Petz Life accomplished so it just made sense to give it a chance.

Thane really surprised me today. Though he still has some *follow the edge* necessity, it has tapered enough that I can live with it. His work was actually pretty right on for the most part as well. I would say he was about 90 per cent the norm today. In the process of Lyme from day to day, each day has differing function, but I am beginning to see more up days as long as I am careful not to overdo with him. These good days are leaving me with more of an optimism towards recovery.

We had to wait for both the max and the bus- why is it that on hot days we seem to *just* miss them? It was not too bad of a wait though either time- just ten to twelve minutes or so. The heat was not so bad so I decided to get off the bus a bit early and walk a bit before we got home because Thane still seemed full of energy. When we got off the bus though, I regretted that decision right away. It was significantly hotter in our town in comparison. Though we made it home alright, it's not a decision I would have made had I known just how much higher the barometer was here.

Thane rested in his swamp cooler while I spent a good deal of time rinsing, cutting, and freezing berries. The local strawberries were horrible. The produce man (not the usual good weekday guys) considered them good because they were just picked two days ago. Even I could tell that a good lot of them were spoiled beyond the edible. They also had no cover to their containers. I hate berries packaged that way as they not only are a trial to get home but they absorb store odors and can be contaminated by other peoples hands- be it germs or personal care products. Thankfully I found some good California ones that were packaged better for my needs. I also learned the California ones tend to be available for about eight or nine months out of the its mostly the blueberries that I have to try and clean up on the next month or two. Thane was so patient as I wheeled from one berry display to the other and back again to the other to determine what ones I was going to take home. I like to support our local farmers but not when their product will just be dumped in my trash.

Thane was so good until a manager tried to walk over him. I really don't like people to walk over him because people can fall and where will they land? He got up and she stopped to apologize to him at which point he decided he should attempt to visit- ughhh That is the first time he has done that in ages, but he also has not worked a lot lately and she did not do the whole *ignore the working dog* routine so there's blame to go all the way around. smile

I sure was glad to get my sweatshirt off when we got back home and I know Thane was loving his wet towel wipe down. When I do the wipe down I wipe his entire body and spend extra time on his underside to cool him down some as well as to do a bit of a tick check. It's not as thorough as I would like, but under the circumstances of just getting home, it's better than not doing any. Then comes his swamp cooler. He does not like it going on as its got a tight neck, but he gets all waggy tail once the head is through because it feels good I am sure. If I find out the technology in it won't be ruined by cutting it, I may re-design the neck in it so it's easier to get on. A small is more designed for a Cocker Spaniel not a Border Collie so the neck circumference is not the best. Now that he has filled out more, I am seriously considering getting him a medium. Boy it's been wonderful to have it though- especially with the heat today and the reduction in cooling from having no trees out front.

I sat here all afternoon in my cooling vest and Thane in his swamp cooler. He spent the rest of the day either sleeping or playing with me- both of us were comfortable  so I guess that is really all that really matters huh?

12 August 2011

My Silly Dog

I thought I should pull myself away from my mountain of housing re-cert paperwork and share something fun about Thane.

Thane has never been a dog with gusto confidence when it comes to getting his ball out of tight spots. Met was a lot this way and in time he developed major confidence in this so I had/ have no doubts with Thane. Thane's seems to be impacted by taking meds also. It does not seem to impact his work in public and when its necessary he will definitely retrieve things for me that are harder to get at, but there's always been this side to him and probably always will be to some extent.

There is one thing that I find absolutely silly, hilarious, create your own adjective for the scenario if you want after reading about it.

I live in an apartment set up (or at least in many ways set up) for a person in a wheelchair. They definitely thought that all people in wheelchairs have someone else cook and bake for them, but that's a whole other topic. Instead of a bath tub we have a large roll in shower. It sort of slopes to the drain so as to not flood the bathroom. As a result of this slope, Thane's ball always seems to find its way down to the drain.

I wash and hang my laundry in this shower so often times there are those *close confines* that Thane is not so comfortable with. By morning when I am removing the clothes from the line, there can be anywhere from one to five balls down at the drain level of the shower because someone would run get one from *toys* when he lost a ball rather than asking me to *encourage* him past the laundry, fan, and other paraphenalia.

Each morning after I have put the laundry away, Thane comes to retrieve the balls for me. Most dogs would walk down there, retrieve the ball in their mouth and bring it to you- right? Not Thane. From the very first time I had him go down into the shower to get a ball for us, I had to hold back my laughter. Thane is a very long dog, twenty-seven inches collar to base of tail. He walks down into the shower part way, stretches as far as possible, then nudges the ball to roll towards him. He does this all the way to the edge where the shower meets up with the bathroom linoleum flooring. At this point, he whips around and proudly produces the ball in my hand. It is so hilarious. Try as I might to train him to actually retrieve the ball at the drain position and walk back to me with his ball in his mouth- it just aint ever happening! This is the only toy he treats this way, the only place its treated this way and its just downright fun to experience.

You might ask why I find this fun, silly, hilarious- oh its because it is different than Met. It is different than any other dog I have ever read about. It is just a part of who he is and well- that makes it special in my book.

03 August 2011

Keeping Busy

The weather has been beautiful here in the Pacific Northwest FINALLY! Though I'd love to say we have been kicking up the dust behind our wheels and paws, we've been keeping busy in other ways. Taking some time to catch up on tasks left by the wayside from busy life requirements.

I've actually caught up on laundry, had the opportunity to make a new brace that was desperately needed, even washing and repairing some of the gear we use that we don't have extras of. In my spare moments, I am busy learning everything I can about Lyme and in turn, educating others about the importance of testing.

We may not be out in the glorious weather every day in the way we have been most years, but I am for sure enjoying the beauty of the sun beating down, the dry weather that I am able to do most of my solo trips in and frankly actually enjoying taking the time to tick check, massage, and stroke Thane in ways that busy life just never allowed for in the past.

You know how it is. You get caught up in the busy chores and errands of your life and forget to take time to actually enjoy the moments you have together. Though this isn't exactly the kind of thing I would wish on anyone, sometimes it takes these kinds of events to force us to stand still and appreciate just what we have.

I enjoy the little memory building moments- Thane dancing about with his zogoflex frib- my funny clown