Socialization outing

Whew, big day for Grimm.  He made his first trip to Lowe’s today.  Luckily Grimm came home from his breeder already house trained so we’ve been able to focus mostly on basic obedience.  He has been picking up his training very quickly and he is a very polite and eager to please little guy.  With most of his shots now completed I want to take advantage of his easy going temperament to work on socialization and training outings in pet friendly locations.


Nothing too big or stressful.  We are also still working on getting him used to riding in the car and liking it.  Which is going very well now.  So a nice walk around Lowe’s with a few stops to do some basic obedience work and then exit before he become overwhelmed is right where we need to be.  He did phenomenal.  He isn’t walking in perfect heel or doing anything super fancy but he was happy, bright, and able to follow commands.  Just what I wanted to see.  I hope to continue to move forward at his pace.

Having a visit

It is important to experience new people and dogs.  Luckily our friends Alexandria and her wonderful Service Dog Trophy were able to come by and visit us on 8-15.  We had a super fun visit, even though half the pack is pretty nutty.  Blue enjoyed the visit, she has really started loving new people and even new dogs as she has gotten older.  Grimm was sad he couldn’t accompany us all out for dinner.  Not anywhere near ready for restaurants yet little man.  But he sure did enjoy chasing Trophy around the house and a quick training fun time with Alexandria.  Lots of good times for the Grimm.  We need to plan more play dates for him to keep him sharp.

First Grooming

Well, after a week of settling in Grimm got his first official poodle groom.  Would you look at that, he has a face.  He looked like a mud monster for a while there.  This is just the first of many grooms in little man’s future.  Can’t say he loved it but I think he will live.  He also had a trip to the vet for another round of shots (he is now almost finished with shots and his rabies is done).  He weighs in at 20lbs at 14weeks.  We’ll see how he grows.

A dark puppy arrives

After a great deal of thought, and contacting many breeders, I decided that best decision for now as to go with a well bred Standard Poodle puppy.  Grimm joined our home at 13weeks old on August 5th (his birthday is May 2nd 2017).  He has settled in well, even Poppy tolerates him pretty well.  His father is 80lbs, but he may never be large enough to do mobility work for me.  I am fine with that as he is smart and has a wonderful temperament which means he should be great for all of the other tasks I need.  Right now, after everything, I need steady.  Grimm is steady.


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.