March 1, 2015

Dames with Danes in High School

In a recent New York Times article, Oliver Sacks reflects on his diagnosis of an incurable disease (in his case, cancer). Though, as he notes, he still has plenty to live for at 80, he recognizes that there is a younger generation to whom the world now belongs. He writes: “I rejoice when I meet gifted young people — even the one who biopsied and diagnosed my metastases. I feel the future is in good hands.”        Lynne (and Willow) and I (and Sir Thomas) recently met with some of those gifted young people in Greg West’s classroom at Masconomet High School in Topsfield, Massachusetts. Greg’s curriculum covers Comprehensive Health, EMT Training and Introduction to Medicine. In high school. We were impressed. Even more impressive were the students themselves. Curious, courteous and thoughtful, they listened, they questioned, they observed. We presented on service dogs, their roles, ADA regulations, access rights […]
February 28, 2015


It’s been a decade living with Parkinson’s and the days before PD are tough to recall. I don’t much like admitting to that because it shows either my age, my waning memory, or that, throughout my days, symptoms are seeping into more moments than not. It’s been three years, five months and sixteen days since Sir Thomas came home and it’s impossible to recall life without him. I don’t mind admitting to that because he’s my sidekick, my four-legged cane, my mobility partner, my handsome-though-slobbery link to independence. It’s eighteen months away and Sir Thomas and I are already planning on attending the 2016 World Parkinson Congress  In the meantime, as a WPC Blogger Partner, I’m sharing stories, information and resources on PD life with a service dog. I don’t much mind because,  throughout my days, his presence has seeped joy into more moments than not. [contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form] WPC Blogger […]
February 24, 2015

Handling It

New Englanders tend toward a handle-it-on-our-own, we’ll-find-a-way-through hardiness that holds self-reliance on a pedestal as high as our current snow banks. Slam us with endless snowfall? We have shovels. More record wind chills? Throw another log on the fire. A gimpy leg and balance issues make it difficult to drive a snow blower or wield an axe. No problem, I’d planned a way to handle it earlier this winter: Confirm driveway clearing service: √ Check generator: √ Add “Chop Wood” to Honey-Do List Praise Sir Thomas each time he: Slogs through parking lot slush without concern √ Stands in ridiculously cold temperatures while I fumble with gloves to open the door √ Woofs only once at the mailman (who delivers to our door each time the mailbox gets decapitated by the plow) Last week, while my son was at school and my husband away on business, the power went out. […]
February 10, 2015

The “I” in Parkinson’s

    The other morning, I woke up wishing someone else would be me for the day, even for a few hours. I changed my mind when I realized that the person being me would get Sir Thomas for that time. Even for a few hours — even if he’s snoozing for those few hours — I couldn’t do that. I’d be salt without pepper, a hug but no kiss, action minus reaction, a lone sock. Thomas and I come as a set, work as a team, operate as one unit. With a my service dog, the “I” in Parkinson’s isn’t singled out. It’s added to par. Good days and crappy ones, pairing with my service dog brings each day above average.