A long road

There are many posts I would like to be making right now.  I never got a chance to post about our trip to Houston (we had a great time, my first convention in a wheelchair was bittersweet).  I was supposed to be posting Yarrow’s triumphant homecoming, ready to take on the world as partners.  Unfortunately that is not what this post will be either.


Yarrow has been home from board and train almost a month.  Long enough for the full magnitude of her issues to become apparent.  We are still waiting on a few more vet tests but the long term behavioral effects are all to clear; our future is not.  I’ve spoken with two trainers, one who met her while she was still at K9 Assisted Independence, one who evaluated her shortly after her return home.  One says wash her, she will never be stable.  The other says she may be able to rebuild.  They both agree she will never be as calm or confident as she was before her stay.  I have one more trainer to meet with.  One more opinion.  I know I could get a million opinions and it wouldn’t make this any easier.  I know what I would tell me if she weren’t my dog.  But she is my dog.  She is my dog and it is my fault she was ruined.


Our next few months will be difficult.  Full of hard work and hard decisions.  I don’t know what is going to happen next.  I do know this isn’t the way our story was supposed to unfold.



It has come to our attention that the persons known as Patricia Melton and Amanda Yera with the organization K9 Assisted Independence, are currently contacting people to solicit her training services.

These individuals are under investigation for fraud, animal abuse/neglect, and other illegal activities involving dog training and boarding. Patricia is privately messaging people to offer her services and has done so within the last day or so. Please avoid this person’s solicitations.

If either party contacts you, inform Hedy Starr, Olivia Miller, or Kelly Morris. If you already have a financial loss or claim against either individual, contact Kelli Birch for information on how to file a claim. All of the above individuals are available on Facebook.


A warning, a painful post to type

I have been quiet for a while.  Truly I have something I need to share that is weighing very heavily on me, something I didn’t want to have to type.    I had shared previously about sending Yarrow to K9 Assisted Independence for Board and Train, to work on some PA skills.  This is a program run by someone I thought I knew and trusted, someone I believed to be my friend.  Unfortunately I was wrong.  I have raised puppies for Patricia M. Melton and Amanda Yera.  Have communicated with them and done transport for them.  I did trust them.  I do not know how I missed what was going on under the surface.


Yarrow returned to me from her 2 month board and train on May 14th.  I will never know what happened at the K9 Assisted Independence facility in Blum Tx.  What I do know is that training did not.  My sweet girl was thin (though she was lucky to escape the starvation many of the other dogs endured), with poor coat.  She had large scabs around her neck and was missing her collar.  Patricia Melton informed me Yarrow and her dogs had “played rough” and the collar tore, she would replace it.  She is now nervous with women, head shy, fearful of strange places.  I do not know if she will overcome these things.  She has been assessed and the outlook is hopeful, but there is a great deal of work ahead of us.  Things we shouldn’t need to do.  She may never be comfortable working in public.  These people I trusted lied to me and abused my dog.


Patricia M. Melton and Amanda Yera are under investigation for fraud and animal abuse.  Patricia M. Melton has been contacting people and soliciting training clients.  Please be careful.

Puppy Progress

Whew, been so busy sort of forgot about updating.  So it has been a month and we are all adjusting.  Moppet is very different than my last few puppies.  A dog who actually wants to please people, crazy.  She is energetic, and demanding, but biddable.  We struggle a bit with settling into a routine.  She sure does love to fetch.


I miss Yarrow like part of me.  Can’t wait for her to be home.   We go to Comic-palooza in Mid-May for another Derby Bout (because it is all about Derby here).  The girls are going to stay at K9AI for the weekend and we should be picking Yarrow up then.  Sounds like she will be ready, and her two months will be officially up.  Not sure if Mops will be coming back with us or not.  I am sure she will be assessed while she is there, and I have a couple of concerns we need to discuss as far as her future is concerned.  We’ll see.  Until then we will just keep working on basics and socialization.


Yarrow has been away a week.  So what is going on in Yarrow’s world?  Well she is working on confidence building.  She is in the middle of a fear stage and so she is working on getting through that.  After a lot of talk with her trainer (who I trust 1000%, yes the extra zero is on purpose) Yarrow will be staying an extra month for more training.  That is a long time for us to be apart, hard for me particularly, but she needs this if I want her to be able to work and I do.  So here we are.


So what is going on here while Yarrow is gone?  Well I decided (got talked into…) puppy raise for the program my trainer runs.  Today we drove out to pick up the puppy who will be staying with us.

Meet Lemon (I call her Moppet).  She is a “Berner-Doodle” or mix of Standard Poodle and Bernese Mountain Dog.  She was donated to the program by a wonderful breeder because she has such an excellent temperament.  She actually is the runt of her litter but temperament is the most important.  She is 18weeks old, already vaccinated, and ready for socialization and basic training.


We started out with a bath and intro to grooming (the things you have to learn as a doodle).  She took it all like a champ, with lots of treats.  Now she is sleeping comfortably under the rocker.  Hoping for a quiet night but I’m not counting on it.

Stay tuned for updates on Yarrow, and our foster girl here.

Mardi Gras

What better way to celebrate, and get some training in, than at a local Mardi Gras parade and carnival?  Terror’s Roller Derby Team participated in the parade again this year.  I was definitely not able to skate or walk the parade but Yarrow and helped out at the booth handing out flyers and talking about Derby.


Yarrow mostly laid on her mat like a good girl while we watched the booth.  We had a couple of snaffoos.  There was a gentleman who would not take “no” for a answer when asking about petting (the public really needs to learn about service dog etiquette) and she had some puppy moments with a team mates dog who looks a lot like Freyja, but hey, she is still a puppy.  It was a very active and stimulating environment for her so there was a lot to take in.  Walking around, or should I say rolling around, was a little intense for her.  A little boy rushed us with his light saber and glow sticks and that was a little much for both of us (nearly made me jump out of the chair).  She decided blocking the chair so I couldn’t go was the best move LOL.  But we got a lot of compliments on her behavior.  A Police Officer stopped me to tell me what a wonderful dog she is, he just couldn’t stop saying how great of a partner I have.  Made me really happy.  We watched Tim in a Crawfish eating contest.  Yarrow was a little put out he didn’t share with her (and he totally could have, he didn’t even win… poor puppy).  I got to eat a crawfish stuffed baked potato which was excellent.  I also experienced how people treat you in a wheelchair.  It is different, very much like you are a child.  Still we had a great time.  I don’t know what the future holds, either for me, or for Yarrow.  But I am hopeful.

Celiac Plexus Block

Being a Spoonie my life is pretty full of medical appointments and procedures.  Last year I was diagnosed with MALS (Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome or Celiac Ligament Syndrome).  The recommended treatment for this is a rather invasive abdominal surgery (6inch incision from my rib cage to my belly button).  I do have a rather complicated medical history and my cardiologist is loathe to recommend surgery.  As a final test I was sent for a Celiac Plexus Block, to see if my pain abated at all.


It is a relatively simple outpatient procedure, performed in a surgical center under general anesthesia (Zebras don’t react well to numbing agents).  During my procedure I also had Sacroilliac injections as my SI joints are loose and deteriorated.  The goal there was similar, pain relief.  My block was performed on February 14th, Valentines Day.


If the block worked I should have been able to eat pain free for at least a day, maybe even a few weeks.  The block did not work in my case, I had the same gastric pain as I’ve always had.  Further confirmation that surgery is not a good choice for me.  Good news and bad news I suppose.  Unfortunately the SI injections caused a nerve reaction in my hips and I have had an increase in pain since the procedure.  I have been working with my PT in an attempt to resolve the damage and regain mobility.  Lesson learned.  In the meantime I have been spending a good deal more time in the wheelchair.