Category Archives: Dog Day

Doggy school – Dog Day 3

Ok so I don’t have any more pre-written so the rest is going to be from memory.

They came and got me and took me to the instructor’s office. I sat on a chair, and they brought Jayden in. I had tears in my eyes as I waited. They brought him to me and I cliped my leash on him and stroked him. He was just like, yeah whatever, another person blah blah. They gave me his details, yellow male with honey colored ears and a zipper pattern on his nose. Birthdate July 15, 2008 and that’s when I cried, when I realized he was in the womb when I went blind. 62 pounds, 18 inches tall. Wow. Then it was time to heel him back to my room. One of the apprentices helped me find my way and then we were alone. I was supposed to keep the door open so I was pretty quiet talking to him and crying a little. I showed him his fleece and sat cross leged in front of him. I put my hands on his side and he came right up to me and put his head on my shoulder and we just hugged. It was really amazing!

Not long after that, it was time to go to lunch. They came and showed me how to have him sit and lay down next to my chair and to just keep the chair legs on the floor so we don’t get the chair on his feet.

The others came and we all had our dogs and they all conked out next to us hehe. We make a long leash and step on the lease near their head and then drape the leash over our right knee.

I kept reaching over and stroking him. When I was done, I slowly backed the chair up, all the legs on the floor and Jayden yelped and jumped up and I freaked. The room got silent, all humans and dogs making no noise. The trainers sit right behind me so Pete came over and said he’s fine, he’s fine. I felt horrible. Had him less than an hour and he’s already yelping. Ugh. Well I found out later that he puts his paw right behind my chair leg, so I always feel now before backing up.

We went back to our rooms and then heeled the dogs out to relieve. I think Jayden urinated lol. Then we went back and got our harness and loaded on the bus.

They don’t want the dogs laying down on the bus so we had to keep them sitting. Jay kept “melting” wanting to lay down and so they had to show me how to get him to stay sitting. I make sure he’s braced with both my legs and it works best if his back is to me, with his butt kind of under the seat. Then I put my hand under his collar to keep him up if he tries sitting. When he sat for awehile he got a kibble.

We went to the downtown lounge and then harnessed up our dogs for our first walk. I was with Pete. So I learned how to harness him and we went for our first walk. Wow. I can’t even remember the emotions going through my mind. I was concentrating on what we were doing, listening to Pete. It was pretty crazy and amazing and empowering haha! I really don’t remember details about that walk. Maybe it’ll come to be later. Oh I remember feeling the motion of the shoulders like Dave had described on our Juno walks.

After everyone walked, we got back on the bus and by halfway through the ride, Jay was no longer “melting”, yay! Kibble!

We had some time before dinner after returning so I called Gamma and she got misty when I described Jayden. Then I talked to B. Then I think I sat with Jay awhile before dinner. We went to dinner wtih no incident. I felt him before I backed up. He does great in the dining hall.

I think that night there was a lecture on grooming but Pete saw how exhausted I was, so he told me to take the night off and we’d do grooming the next night. So I got to relax and shower and just be with my boy.

In the middle of the night I woke up to a yelp. I sat bolt upright and jumped to him. He was sitting against the wall and his tie down was kind of wrapped around his leg. Not bad, but I think it really scared him. I bent down and unhooked him talking softly and he licked my face and curled back up on the floor. I hooked him again, sat with my hand on him until I was sure he was asleep, then crawled back into bed. Is that how mothers are with babies?

So two yelps the first day. But now I know he’ll let me know when he’s uncomfortable haha!!

So, that was Dog Day. Seems so long ago and it was only Wednesday lol!!

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Filed under Dog Day, Doggy Diaries, doggy school, Gamma, Jayden

Doggy school – Dog Day 2

Ok here is what I wrote while I was waiting. I know this is going out of order, but oh well. And as with the other journal posts I’m leaving in typos so this is exactly how I wrote it.

***

We had a lecture on meeting your dog and then the instructors took their sweet time coming to tak to us. they went around the room and gave everyone theier dog’s names. three no four people were ahead of me and there were some funky names, thats for sure. one guy asked if he could change it and then kept talking. they gave another lady her dog’s name and then they got to me.

you will be receiving a yellow labrador male named Jayden. J-a-y-d-e-n.

Wow! Jay jay, jay, jayden. I kept whispering the name. Jayden. Yellow male. Jayden, wow!

Then it was time to go back to our rooms and wait. So Here I am. Waiting. My door is open, I hear a vacuum, people talking, footsteps. I wonder how long I’ll wait? They are taking me to an instructor’s office to meet Jayden. So I just wait. I’m not calling anyone. I thought about texting Carin or calling friends or family or B but I just want this time to myself, to listen, to write. Jayden. I’m not crying yet. I feel a little misty. Will I cry when I meet him? I just heard an instructor say Gary are you eady? I think they’re starting. Who are they taking? I just heard another classmate say his dog’s name.

Oh man. Jayden. Lala. I hear people. Gootsteps. They pssed my room.

I have my leash around my neck and my treat pouch on. Jayden. Jayden. Jayjay. I wonder who won the pool. I get to go look at that soon. I hear them. They are taking the person across from me. Oh my goodness. I think they are going backwardsd which means I might be next. I need Gatorade. Ok that’s better. So glad I have my computer to write down this moment. I’m not recording it. I don’t want to focus on a stupid iPod when I have a Jayden!

La la la. Hmmm. I wonder who his raisers are. Yellow fur will be good in the sun. Good. Oh it’s gonna be Jayden, Spinelli, Timmy and Fi. Hehehe!

Insert is Jayden. I think I got the most normal name hahaha! I love it! It’s pretty quiet out there now. Quiet quiet. Something rolling. Cleaning people maybe. I hear them coming back. I hear her dog, the woman across from me. I might be next. Yep she’s coming back! Oh dear. Am I next? Am I? Am I? He’s walking away. I hear the lady across from me talking to her dog. Oh goodness. I hear an instructor again.

Ok I heard “do you wanna get the next dog ready?” Is that Jayden? Is it? Nerves. Can’t wait! Oh goodness. Where are they. It’s finally hear. Ok now I feel like I might cry. The lady across from me is crying, softly talking to her dog. My hands are trembling. Lump in throat. tears in my eyes. Jayden, yellow lab male, Jayden. Ok crying now. footsteps.

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Filed under Dog Day, Doggy Diaries, doggy school, Fi, Jayden, misty eyes, Spinelli, Timmy

Doggy school – Dog Day 1

Ok so this is the first thing I wrote on Dog Day. I don’t even remember when I wrote it lol! Some point on Tuesday I think before I got his name. So below is what I wrote.

***

Today is dog day! I can’t believe it’s finally here! I got to work with two dogs in training yesterday, just doing some heeling and obedience, and it was the coolest thing.

I’m all over the place in this journal. I just started this one for today even though I haven’t finished the first one I started writing lol. But I just couldn’t finish that one on Dog Day.

Three people got their dogs last nighty. They are retrains who chose the three week retrain class over the two week one. None of them have dogs from GDB, oh wait no one did, I think, yeah. But the other two didn’t. The other two had in home training through another school, and the one has a german shepard who was just getting way too protective. The other person’s dog started getting a soft esophogus. Not sure why the third person had to retire her dog.

Anyway, so at dinner last night, I’m exausted. We had done lots of Juno work and the work with the two dogs and we also did work in downtown San Rafael and it was actually hot. I didn’t prepare because I didn’t realize we’d be doing a long Juno walk, so I got pretty hot. So we got back and actually had an hour and a half free time before dinner, yay! I talked to B and my dad and uncle and was about to get in the shower when Carin called the room phone, awesome! She put up a blog post for me, letting everyone know I ws safe but had no internet. That morning, Barb called. She’s Carin’s best friend in Canada and I’m staying in her old room hehe! So that was great.

AFter phone calls I got in the shower since after dinner was yoga. So I’m sitting there all exausted and one of my table mates says, I’ve got my dog here!

I think he had been bursting to tell me and the other table mate hehehe! Both of us were shocked; we had no idea there was a dog there. So the guy is like yeah! I just got him an hour ago! He told us his name and that he’s a yellow male and we were so happy for him. Then he told us the other two got their dogs. So then I was all excited. I tured to my table mate and was like, that’s us tomorrow! Gary told me we’ll get the dogs before lunch! Gary is a trainer and he’s really cool.

So I eat and we’re talking and then I wanted to check in with the others who got their dogs so I went over to their tables and they told me about their dogs, a black female and another yellow male. Sweet!!

I went back to the room and Called Carol. I didn’t have a lot of time before yoga but I wanted to say hi. So we talked briefly and then I went down for yoga. I wasn’t going to do it because I was sooot tired but I also don’t want shin splints, and my body was hurting. I had packed my work out clothes for yoga, so I might as well, right?

The retrains had to leave their dogs on tie down for class and one of them was like, I don’t know why I’m doing this, I didn’t want to leave my dog already.

Yoga was fab though. Felt great! Then I had to crawl in to my damn hard bed. It’s awful. So now I’m all sre again. And I never sleep to the alarm. I did a little better last night, but still didn’t sleep well at all.

So now it’s 6:23am and breakfast is in a little under an hour. I guess I should get dressed and then wait. After breakfast I think we’re doing more Juno and then we get our dog before lunch. Insert will have a name soon! Holy crap! Ok, I should be able to write while I’m waiting for them to bring me Insert!!

***

Well cool I had said when I wrote that hahaha!!!

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Filed under Dog Day, Doggy Diaries, doggy school, Insert

Doggy Countdown – 1 week till Dog Day!

When I talked to the trainers last week, it was confirmed that Dog Day will be the Wednesday after I get there, which means one week from today! In one week, Insert will have a name!

So I’m really confused. It’s raining like freaking crazy today and I feel fine. Huh? Ok. See this is what I get for trying to understand MS. Just when I think I know how it works, it surprises me. Alrighty then.

I went and worked out today mostly so I could see my friends at Saavi before I leave. I didn’t go on Monday since I was pulling out of the fatigue, and didn’t want it to set back in. I took it easy today too. I rode the bike for thirty minutes, and then decreased the number of sets in the weight room. Not taking any chances.

I took the iPod in, and on the way there in the van, I started playing with the radio feature. The only thing I don’t like about it is that you have to use the ear buds, as they are the antenna. But, it worked. I had to select my region, which was just “the Americas” lol! Once I did that, the iPod picked up my local stations. I was able to scroll through until I found the country station, yay! Then, you can actually pause the live radio and then rewind or fast forward. Awesome.

I took some video in the gym, mostly for audio. One of the videos was when I was on the bike just talking to Lisa. I purposely had my finger in front of the lense, and one of the sighties said you can see my leg pedaling lol! I have to listen to the video before deciding whether to post it. I took a few others that I won’t be posting because it shows people’s faces. I had to get Glenn being silly, and he was all embarassed hehe!

So it was fun today. I also ran into a friend I haven’t talked to in awhile, so it was nice to chat with him. Fun day!

I had worn my raincoat because we were supposed to get rain today and it didn’t rain until I got home. Lucky! I was talking to Kevin on the phone right after I got home when the rain started. Thanks for waiting, rain!

Kevin is stuck in Virginia, literally stuck in the hotel room. They had gotten a job that was supposed to be a week long in Virginia, then another like month long job in South Carolina. I remember thinking the foreman of the job was stupid for having Kevin drive out there with this weather forcast. Turns out he hasn’t even been able to finish the week long job, and the job in South Carolina got cancelled. And now he’s stuck in a hotel, paying for it, with no money coming in. I feel horrible for him. The only good thing is that he’ll be home a lot earlier than planned, but this means no work. I think he should just scrap the business and work at the golf course. Doesn’t that sound like a good plan? He’s excited though, that he’ll be home when I get back with Insert.

I’m excited too, because Lish and I came up with a new blog header for while I’m at school. So I’ve got that saved and ready to change Sunday night hehe!

All that’s left to do is pack and wash the food container. That’s it! I’m so glad I did some laundry yesterday since it’s all rainy. One more O& M lesson on Friday! Wow!! Can you believe this??? Most of the time I can’t. I think I’ll believe it when I’m in the air. 😉

I’m all rambly and all over the place in this post hahaha! I’m sooo excited!

5 days!!! 5!!!! 5 days!!!!

Oh man I can’t believe I almost forgot this until I was putting my labels on. We weighed me in today and I’ve lost a total of 8 pounds. Doesn’t sound like a lot, but I’ve gained a lot of muscle, so that had to level out so that the fat burning would show on the scale. I tweaked my food a little for the last two weeks and just eat more times a day with less in the portions, and I try to eat as helthy of stuff as I can. Just in the last 2 weeks I lost 3 pounds! And I hardly worked out with that fatigue. So I think the change in the eating has really made a huge difference!

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Filed under apple Inc, cool product, Dog Day, Doggy Countdown, Doggy Diaries, Insert, pooch preparation, proud geek, silly girl, spoons, weather, workouts

Doggy Countdown – Ah, the weekend

How I love the weekend. For someone without a paying job, this is kinda funny. I think most working folk look at people who don’t work as constantly having a weekend. Not so lol. I was really thinking about this a bit ago, as I was getting caught up on 2 days worth of blogs, and really wanting some good time to write. Since as of now, I don’t work, I’ve needed to find other things that make me feel worthwhile, and this blog has become a huge part of that. Not only is it cathartic for me, I have a wonderful record of my life. And, I get to share thoughts, ideas, fears and hopes with my blogger family, and it is just oh so fulfilling. So when I have weeks like this last one, where I’m fatigued and trying to keep up with the daily grind, yes, I in fact have a daily grind lol, I feel like I’m neglecting my blog.

Though I’ve met tons of people, and while I know my readers like to read my posts, this blog is first and foremost, for me. It’s become something I can put my energy to, a goal of sorts. I’ve shared before that weekends are really my time to catch up. I pretty much have a few uninterrupted hours of computer time on weekend mornings whille B is sleeping. During the week I have a pretty set routine of chores, workouts, phone calls, etc. Friday nights, I can’t wait to sleep because it means when I wake up, I get to have quality time with my computer haha! So I just had to explain why I’m so happy it’s Saturday.

We’re going to Gamma’s this afternoon for my Uncle’s birthday. Sunday is usually family day, but luckily it’s today. Tomorrow is Super Bowl, so it would have been ww3 if I had told B we had to go to Gamma’s ahhahaha!

So I want to detail a little more about my lesson with Dave yesterday. For the last 2 Fridays, the weather here has been pretty similar to how it will be in San Rafael. Minus the actual water, it’s been cold and humid. So I’ve been testing my school attire, which is working quite well. When I’m doing anything physical in the cold, it’s hard to dress. If I dress too warmly, I get too hot even when it’s cold. Yesterday I did have to shed the raincoat while coming back home. I suddenly start feeling myself overheat, and that is bad, very bad. Dave carried the coat until we got home where I had left my water outside my door. I collapsed and chugged and we started talking about my fatigue.

I told him I was a little worried about how fatigued I’ve been, and how much the Juno walk tired me. He said he’s not worried. He said the school will be more than accomodating. He said if the trainers have any questions, they can feel free to call him. He told me just make sure, make absolutely sure, to stop when I feel fatigued, to strip off layers when I feel hot. He gave me some good things to say to the trainers. He said he’s not worried too, because once I’ve done something once, I’ve got it. And he would tell the trainers that if they asked. So even with all the fatigue, he still gave me another A++.

Which leads me to the trainer call I couldn’t really elaborate on last night. It was wonderful to talk to them. They informed me that I’ll be chillin at the airport awhile on the 15th haha! They are collecting 8 of us that day, so I’ll have to hang out until everyone gets there, since I’m one of the first to arrive. They said they’d have lunch for me. When I told Lish that yesterday, she said it’s like The Real World lol! Which prompted an idea for the blog header while I’m at school.

Then they were explaining how they’ll find me, and they told me to have my cane out. I said, what if I walk along barking? They said, then the wrong people would pick you up. Hahaha! I started telling them about the fatigue and they said don’t worry, if you have a day where you can’t work, we’re not gonna send you home without your dog. They also said the nurses will probably hover over me haha! I told them what Dave said about me learning stuff once and they sounded impressed and I said, his words, not mine. Didn’t want to sound like I have a big head. So they definitely alleviated any worry about the fatigue issue. They said, we see that your O& M went through our training? I said yes and they were very happy. I still think that Dave is one of the major reasons I was accepted so quickly. They know I have built in support when I get home.

They asked what I like in my dogs. I said I have cats. Oh! Have you ever had dogs? My mom liked pomeranians, but I like bigger dogs. They laughed. I guess I had said something to Don about how I might see the shadow of a black dog, though I don’t remember saying that. I told them yeah, but really I just want the best dog. Obviously a somewhat chill dog that will be cool if I can’t go out for a day, and obviously good house manners, but who doesn’t want that?

They said that first Tuesday it will be Juno work, and I’ll also work with some of the dogs not quite through training yet. Sweet! They want to see how I am with different kinds of dogs, so I’ll be doing some obedience and stuff with some of the dogs still in training. Then, they confirmed that Wednesday will be Dog Day!!!! Yay!!!

There was a lot of laughing on the phone, and I felt so excited through my exaustion. We were all cracking jokes on the speaker phone, so they sound like my kind of people.

So, now I feel like all the major steps have been taken. There are still some things I want to get accomplished this week, which will take some good uninterrupted time on the computer. I want to put my lecture cds on the iPod. I need to do some more practice with the videos, and I really want to get that blog post written about how to do it, in case any other blinks run across this blog and need help.

Obviously I need to pack the smaller stuff that are already ready to go in bags. I’ll try to keep up the tidying around the house. Lish will need to come back so I can show her what we need done with the cats. I’m gonna have B make sure my name is spelled just right on the tickets because it has to match my ID perfectly. Really should have done that right when I first got it. I know it’s the same because that’s how the airline found my reservation, but for peace of mind, I want to double check.

But, I’m pretty much completely ready. I’m just going to take it easy this coming week and make sure I do the things I need to do for myself, like being able to write my posts in a non-rushed manner haha!

I’m thinking tomorrow will be an excellent blog day because it’s Super Bowl, which I’ll only half pay attention to. I used to sit and eat junk food. The game was a great excuse. But I’m not doing that this year.

The countdown is really on!!! Single digits baby!!! 9 days!!!!

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Filed under Dog Day, Doggy Countdown, Doggy Diaries, family, Gamma, Juno walk, Orientation and Mobility, pooch preparation, proud geek, silly girl, spoons, sports, weather

Doggy Countdown – Grooming

Well, I’m sure Insert is getting groomed, and the all important pre-dog day bath is right around the corner, but I’m not talking about dogs getting groomed today.

Actually, it’s me haha! One of the last things on my checklist is getting myself groomed. I’ve been wondering when and how that would happen but wasn’t really stressing about it. Then my friend called this morning and asked if I want to go Friday to get a mani/pedi. Sweet. I told her I need a brow wax and a hair trim too, so she said it’ll be our day of beauty.

I’m not really all that high maintenence when it comes to looks. I usually let my hair air dry and then it’s usually tied back. I don’t do make-up except for special occasions. A few years ago, a friend got me in to eyebrow waxing and I’ve been doing it ever since. I could never pluck because it hurt way too much. So it works well to have someone else quickly inflict the pain and then I’m good for 6 weeks haha!! I also really enjoy pedicures. It feels great and then I don’t have to worry about my toenails for 6 weeks. I finally did have to break down and trim them last week because they were driving me nuts, but it’s really hard to do blind. I rarely get a manicure, but I think I will just so my nails look decent for the trip and so they’re filed nicely. I hate jagged nails and they distract me, so I like having someone else take care of them.

So, I’ll get that checked off the list. I like getting groomed all in one day because then I don’t have to worry about it for awhile. I also then don’t have to do much on a daily basis, since for the most part, I feel I look alright when everything is trimmed and neat.

So, really the last thing to do is call the airline and pick a seat, which I still think is weird. But I have to make arrangements with them anyway to allow B past security. I called the airport since I figured that would be their thing, but nope, it’s the airline. Whatever.

I should be washing all the school clothes today, and then those can get packed. Oh yeah, still need to wash the food container and dog bowls. Keep up with the general maintenence of the house, and I’m good to go.

I gotta finish listening to the lectures too. I mostly listen while I’m eating. Today I listened to the lecture on leaving the dog alone. It’s done by the same guy that is all monotone. He’s like, preparing your guide dog for alone time. Hmmm. Alone time? What’s the dog gonna do? Hmmm. Then he’s like, your guide dog is used to being with people all the time. What a lucky dog. Hahaha!

The lecture on dog encounters almost made me cry. They vividly explain a dog attack and it freaked me out. Then they explain how to call 911 for help. They said 911 won’t think a dog attack is an emergency, so they said to say “I’m blind and I need help. My certified guide dog and I have just been attacked by a dog and we need help.” Then they tell you to demand that the officer write up a report. Scary.

I can’t believe I leave in 2 weeks from Monday. Wow! Time is ticking on by so fast!

16 days!!!

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Filed under Adjustment to blindness, Dog Day, Doggy Countdown, Doggy Diaries, dogs, guide dogs, Insert, pooch preparation, silly girl

doggy Countdown – Emotional

Oh, I’m just a bundle of emotions today. I’m sure there are a lot of factors here, like bad weather all week which leads to bad spoon days, to Aunt Flo not being able to make up her mind when to visit, to the crazy insane warnings we had here last night which led to anxiety and feeling horribly tense which made me wish I could have a drink or twelve to calm my nerves. So it would be expected that I should be feeling pretty raw today haha!

I have to say though, it was really cool last night. I was talking to my friend Erik online, the one I’ve been online frinds with for like 12 years. He’s been trying to help a friend get sober and often asks me questions or just needs to talk to clear his mind. He’s a total normie, watching his friend free fall into his addiction. Well, his friend is finally starting to grasp some hope. So last night I confessed to Erik that I had the urge to drink a few and he said, “My friend had the urge a few days ago and he said the serenity prayer really helped.” Ah! I had forgotten to utilize the serenity prayer. So I told him to tell his friend he just helped me. Sweet.

So on to today. Dave cancelled our lesson due to weather for the first time. I answered the phone and he said, “unless you have flippers, we’re not going out today.” I was kinda disappointed, but relieved at the same time since I’ve felt so lousy this week. I asked if he thought we could do anything inside and he said I had nothing left to learn, that all we need to do is continue to review intersections. So he’ll try and fit me in early in the week if he has a cancellation. And here I was all ready to fill my pockets with Reece’s Peanut Buter cups to reward Juno Dave hahaha!

So I was getting caught up on email and stuff and someone had posted a link to a bunch of audio and video on the GDB website so I checked it out. Enter the water works. I think it’s a raiser who loses it at a graduation and I lost it too. Then they talked with a puppy raiser and I lost it. Then just all the cool interviews and stuff and my heart got so full it burst. I remembered my Mom saying that when she had me, she cried and just kept saying “I don’t have to give her back…”. She had held so many babies and had to give them back, but I was hers. I’ve only met 2 guide dogs, and it was so brief, and they weren’t mine, and I fell in love with them. So I just started thinking about when I get mine, I won’t have to give her back. I keep thinking about dog day and I hope I don’t crush her with my embrace hehe!

Oh, if you’re interested, here is the link to the videos and audio. If the sounds of dogs and such is an emotional sound for you, be prepared.

Wow, typing this is making my arms ache, so I think I’ll wrap up and get back to the couch.

24 days! That’s only 3 weeks! What!? How did that happen???

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Filed under Dog Day, Doggy Countdown, Doggy Diaries, GDB, guide dogs, Juno walk, misty eyes, mom, Orientation and Mobility, puppy raisers, sobriety, spoons, weather

Doggy Countdown – One month till dog day

Dog Day will be February 17 unless they’ve changed things. Dog Day is usually the Wednesday after you get there, right? So if all is the same, one month from today I will have my dog!

Ok, I’m quite literally forcing myself to write right now. We’ve got some kind of storm front moving in, and the pressure change when this happens just about kills me. I felt find this morning, went to Gamma’s and was steadily getting achy sitting at her kitchen table. By the time B picked me up, I was in some pretty decent pain.

And this sucks, because Chupa is in town. She’s leaving Tuesday. So CCR is supposed to reunite tomorrow, but I knew as soon as I started feeling bad, that Carol would be too. I even told B as we stopped at the store, I hope I get to hang out tomorrow, because I’m sure Carol is feeling bad too.

Sure enough, we just talked and when I answered the phone she said “I feel icky”. Joy.

So, we’ll play tomorrow by ear and hope we can hang. It might be raining but we’re not sure.

Had to write since I’m a month out from dog day and well, because I made that darned vow to myself to write daily till I leave. So, now I’m signing off, g’nite 🙂

29 days!!!

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Filed under Dog Day, Doggy Countdown, Doggy Diaries, fellowship, Gamma, spoons, weather