Short post following a long flight: The six-hour flight to Seattle left me stiff and slow-moving. With the help of Sir Thomas, we made our way through the seemingly endless airport, drawing the attention of the usual Dane admirers (to many of whom I needed to point out his working status, point to the vest, and make a point of Please Do Not Pet). One comment I’d not heard before came from a flight attendant (who thoughtfully did not even make eye contact with Thomas,). While in line for the tram to whisk us to baggage claim, she said, “It’s so nice to see a service dog working. A real one. All I see are frauds. So many of them.” That says quite a bit. Sadly. Another post to follow on our happy travels to Whidbey Island.
West Coast Arrival Sir Thomas and I are adjusting to PST the best way we both know how: lots of naps. We’re also getting plenty of fresh air – and it really does feel fresh. We’ve been on quite a few walks here on this western coast. East Coast Departure My husband, son, and adorable rescue mutt (not to say husband and son aren’t adorable, too), left two weeks before I did and drove across the country, Though Thomas wondered where the family had gone, he liked the one-on-one time with only me (and the pet tortoise) in the house. The trip appealed to my sense of adventure, but only for a minute or two. The thought of being crammed in a car for five full days in a row made me shudder. Didn’t put the tortoise through that either – he got Fed Ex’d! Tommy was, of course, stellar in the airport and all through the flight. […]
Look who’s turning five. Among the myriad causes for celebration of such a marvelous event lingers one I’d rather see fizzle. No. Die. And quickly. Sir Thomas’s fifth year among us marks three-and-a-half years of partnering with me. In that time, strangers have been taking our picture. That’s 42 months. Make that 182 weeks. Shall I continue? Okay, in days, we’re talking 1,274. Surely, you say, his handsome face isn’t snapped on someone’s cell phone every day? No. There have been, however, numerous days when more than one click of some unknown camera captures our likeness. Therein lies my issue with the puparazzi. First, it is not our ‘likeness’ that is being captured. Second, consider that word capture. Our images adorn the digital photo albums of people’s vacations (tourist camera-at-ready stroll-by shots), individual’s wow-ya collections (the stop-and-comment crowd who must show their neighbor, brother-in-law, dentist’s sister’s uncle) who pull out […]
I’m packing up a folder full of schedules and notes on all that I plan to partake in at the World Parkinson Congress (WPC) next week. Sir Thomas’s toenails are trimmed (he knows something’s up) and I located and even used the iron before adding a couple of blouses to the suitcase. I can’t help but feel as though I’m off to attend a giant wedding. Like with a modern event where the bride and groom have shared equally in the planning, patients and practitioners of this event have both contributed to the preparations. And, when guests arrive, we aren’t relegated to sit on one side or another. This multi-day gathering encourages intermingling among all those related to Parkinson’s disease (PD), from individuals living with it to researchers seeking to strike it from our lives. There are speeches, toasts, even dancing, and the fully-stocked program is the buffet table of tasty […]
It can be a tough go living with this ridiculous disease, no doubt about it. Yet, I can look back with gratitude. For when the going got tough, I got going. On vacation. With a bunch of guys. Andy Pre-Parkinson’s vacations with my husband routinely involved bicycles. We strapped on the panniers and rode circuits dotted with B&Bs, each a day’s distance apart. Whether rolling across England or New England, we’d wake to the aroma of bacon and coffee, load up, enjoy the scenery, fresh air and exercise before the next inn. It all added up to: Ride, rest and repeat. Alas, there was a down side: pets couldn’t come along. Oh, and one other: heavy rain. When the dark cloud of a Parkinson’s diagnosis tried to rain on my cycling getaways, Andy, thankfully, was quite flexible. Rather than touring the perimeter, we settled in and, […]
In the fall, ECare Diary, an online site for caregivers, interviewed me on the role service dogs for people with movement disorders. (Click here for the interview.) Following up, a listener asked what may seem a simple question: What’s involved in taking care of a service dog. The answer, which in some ways is never fully complete because a great deal depends on the dog, was far too involved to answer in a few short sentences. I was invited as a guest blogger to post my answer, and here it is: Taking Care of Each Other .
If you have a service dog and want to continue to have your access rights backed by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), you’d best phone your Representative in Congress. Today. The ADA grants access to all Americans. Movie theater, bank, café, laundromat: all Americans can enter. The “ADA Education and Reform Act” (H.R. 620) places business interests ahead of all Americans. ‘Reform’ means change toward improvement. The ADA is good, no change needed as it provides equal access. This reform bill, however, is not. It will re-form access requirements. Disabled and can’t get access to a public place? Write a letter of complaint. That’s a change, alright. Don’t let it happen. Please call your rep and ask that this bill be stopped from ever becoming law. Ask that it be stopped from even going to the full House for a vote (the House Judiciary Committee meets Thursday morning). […]