August 29, 2013

Hats Off to Creative Thinking

When relatives visited recently, we spent one sunny afternoon wandering through our small town. My sister-in-law and I donned our big straw hats and joined the family stroll. With Tommy by my side, we meandered along the cobblestone walks lined with shops and cafes. As usual, Tommy drew interest along the way, about his size, his elegance, his size, his calm demeanor, his size. Various picnickers, other dog walkers, people on park benches said something as we passed. Once we stepped onto the boardwalk, my son declared, “‘Is that a horse?’ is definitely the most popular.” He’d been counting the comments. “Second is ‘You could put a saddle on him.'” Fifteen minutes into our walk and he’d noted as many equine references. Six more as he was telling us about it. He continued his tally as the rest of us all paused to gaze out at the boats. The breeze picked […]
August 19, 2013

Vacation Surprise

Routines rule. When a schedule runs as planned, a sense of control washes over the daily shifts-and- takes of Parkinson’s. I feel as though I’m in charge: Me, alpha; you, disease. Sir Thomas likes his routines, too. Same food, same time and no surprises (particularly of the projectile kind).  He gets a regular walk. I’m consistent with the vocab I use when he’s working. I feel as though I’m in charge. Me, alpha; you, service dog. Vacations disrupt routines. With one fast approaching, I prepared for the changes afoot – well, four feet, actually. Plus one giant head.  With his schedule in flux, I figured I’d establish a holiday routine. It will help ease the transition from being home. His and mine.  By weaving the same-old, same-old habits into the day – meds at regular intervals (mine), outdoor breaks at the expected times (his), standard exercise and meals as usual […]
July 6, 2013

Tale of Two Soldiers (and a Service Dog)

In the tiny Buddhist country of Bhutan, dogs are the sacred cow. Not only can dogs return in future reincarnations as humans, they also serve humans in the afterlife by leading them to their reincarnations. With a beacon on their tails, dogs light the way for humans to to follow into their next life. Follow the light. Follow the dog. Follow to a new life. The tail of the service dog in this Tale of Two Soldiers twinkled right here in the present life, leading a war veteran to a new life.