Friday, June 10, 2011

Wow! Time Flies!

Apparently time flies whether you're having fun or not! I've still been struggling with the side effects from the Baclofen which combined with the heat (very unusual in Cleveland but we've already had 3 days with temperatures in the 90s. It looks like it's been hot around the country but it should be in the 60s - 70s in May and early June here. As part of my various disabilities, my body doesn't regulate it's temperature well (or sometimes, it seems, at all) so I can't be outside when it is too hot and I don't deal with extreme changes in temperatures well. Hence, I have struggled with that recently.
Hardy has been going out with me on errands whenever I go and he is gaining confidence and enthusiasm for the job. His default down is lovely when I'm looking at something or we're standing in line although it makes doing sit stays somewhat more challenging. 
Last week was a really big one for my big brown boy! On Wednesday, June 1st, he spent the day at the Ophthalmologist's having the procedure to freeze his errant eye lashes. Again, he doesn't have Entropion, in which the eyelids roll-in. Instead, he has something called Distichiasis - abnormal eye lashes growing out of the oil glands of the eyelids. Often, there are no clinical symptoms but since Hardy has had gunky eyes since he was a puppy we believe his are irritating his eyes. While under a general anesthesia,a procedure called cryoepilation was performed - the abnormal hair follicles were frozen using a liquid nitrogen probe and then the hairs were removed. It appears that the procedure was successful but the vet believes that Hardy reacted to either the gas or anesthesia used because he was throwing ventricular beats every once in a while when he was under. When he was coming out, his heart beat evened out and he recovered uneventfully. Of course, we'll have to figure out what was going on since he will have to be under anesthesia a couple more times in his life, even if he doesn't have any unexpected medical conditions needing surgery. At some point between 18 months and 2+ years, he will be undergoing a neutering and at the same time we will have the orthopedic X-rays done to ensure that his hips and elbows are good. 
Then, on Thursday, June 2, we drove up to Canada for the 4th Dogs in the Park Service Dog Seminar. Although I had some physical difficulties over the weekend, the 3 day seminar was amazing and well worth our trip! There were about 35 people in attendance with many different disabilities and almost as many SDs or SDiTs. Hardy got to practice his public access behavior around other dogs while we attended the various sessions. Both Laurel and Hardy had a difficult time because of my medical problems. At one point, Hardy gave me what was obviously an alert but was something different than I'm used to. Thinking it was for muscle spasms, I took some muscle relaxants but when that didn't stop him, I took pain meds for the rheumatoid. He was still persistently trying to tell me something so I tested my blood sugar to find that it was very high (the overdose of baclofen screws up blood sugar levels). Then it took me a couple hours to realize that the wrong dog had alerted to the blood sugar! Hardy has never learned that particular alert but apparently it's a natural for him as well as it was for Laurel. He and Laurel also got to get into a police car, see it with it's lights on and jump up on the hood to have photos taken! They also had the chance to get into the back of a paramedic's rig - Laurel leaped in and stood with her wagging tail looking at everyone while Hardy took the more conservative approach of climbing up using the step and then laying down. 
There were photos taken of the various adventures and hopefully someone will send some of them to me. In addition, one of the attendees is a professional photographer and took some "studio-type" photos of Laurel and Hardy that I'll be able to share. 
We had an uneventful trip home on Monday and then Sue Alexander & Ann Munsch, President of K9 Helpers (a Canadian non-profit that places psychiatric SDs with people in the Guelph area) arrived on Tuesday to look at Hardy's breeder's kennel (Ridge View Labradors) for a puppy. Neither Laurel nor Hardy were involved with the testing or selection of the puppy (Hardy's half-brother, Widget) but the visit still impacted them because there was another service dog in the house (D'fer) and of course, Widget came to stay with us for a couple days. Both of them got to spend some time with him - Laurel thought we were out of our minds since she had just helped us raise a puppy last summer (Hardy). Hardy enjoyed him (he probably thought it was pretty cool to have another brown boy around who looked so much like him as a young puppy). He even let Widget take his Frisbee away from him! 
Everyone left for Canada this morning so quiet once again reigns at our house (as it turns out, Widget is quite the screamer and of course, he was, in part, selected for his persistence!)

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