Saturday, January 31, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Once we all arrived at 4 Paws (the roads were horrible!! It took me an hour just clear the ice off the van) we went around the room and discussed questions or concerns we had from our first night with our dogs. Then we continued with basic obedience.
Blitzen can now stay in a sit or down position with me dropping his leash and walking all around the room. He follows me with his eyes, but will stay. yay!!!
Then we worked really hard on "heal." This is important so he walks with us and doesn't pull or walk ahead of us. He does extremely well with this too.
After lunch we worked on tricks that the dogs can do. We do not want Blitzen to "shake, high five, or give five" because he alerts to seizures by pawing and we don't want this to get confused. But he did roll on command and will learn "play dead" tomorrow.
At break times we have the opportunity to let the dogs off their leashes and run outside. Blitzen loves the snow!!! It is so fun to see the dogs interact.
He is bonding well with Hannah. He checks on her many times a day. He will jump up and lay with her and loves to be stroked. He seems to know that she is "his girl!" This bond will continue to grow every day.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
Also on Wednesday morning, I gave a presentation to the teaching staff at Hannah's school about Blitzen. We discussed ways to prepare their classes that her service dog will be attending school. Everyone was very receptive and ask some great questions! I am very encouraged that the transition will go smoothly.
I am beginning to pack for our trip!!! I cannot believe it is almost time to go. My mom is coming to our house on Sunday and we are leaving on Monday. I want to get settled in to the hotel, so Tuesday morning we won't have to rush to get to 4 Paws. I will try and post if not every day, every other day. Stay tuned!!!
Thursday, January 15, 2009
We got our email today with a picture and description of our new family member!!! Needless to say, we fell in love instantly. He is so handsome; even looks like he smiled for the picture!!! We made a trip to the pet store tonight to get Blitzen some toys and treats...
Blitzen was born December 10, 2006. He is an Australian Shepherd mix. He has 11 brothers and sisters; some of which are in training or already "teamed" up and some were adopted out. I think he is a perfect match and cannot wait to meet him. Hannah is thrilled to finally have a name and face to talk about. Only 11 days until we meet Blitzen..... Incredible.
Oh, by the way...Gary has deployed now and I hadn't talked to him all day but he called right when we were opening the email!! He was able to share in our excitement. If that's not meant to be......
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
The weekend before we went to the hospital, we spent the weekend with daddy at an indoor waterpark. We attended his Call To Duty ceremony and saw him off on Sunday. It was a sad and tearful good-bye. He is now in Oklahoma and will train there until the end of Feb. He will then have a 4 day pass (hopefully be able to come home) and then off to Iraq.
Our attention has shifted today. Any day now, we should be finding out which dog will be Hannah's. It is so exciting to finally know his/her name and what he looks like....We leave for 4 Paws two weeks from yesterday!!! We can hardly wait!!!! more to come later.....
How this journey started....
About two years after she was diagnosed with epilepsy, the doctors noticed that her blood pressure was running high. After many tests, she was diagnosed with hypertension. We still are not sure why, but her cardiologist feels her blood vessels are thicker than normal.
About this same time, we also began looking into why Hannah was such a horrible sleeper. She would thrash, talk, move every which way, during her sleep. The sleep studies revealed that she has alveolar hypoventilation sydrome, which means she has too much carbon dioxide in her system when she sleeps. To help this, she wears a BI-PAP at night. This has been monumental in giving her more effective and quality of sleep.
Every day is a challenge for Hannah and our family as a whole. Blitzen has been an absolutely wonderful addition. She calms herself sometimes just by petting and loving on him. He has been trained in behavior disruptions and will sometimes be able to stop a meltdown from getting out of control.
It has been extra hard on the whole family since daddy is deployed to Iraq. He has been gone since January 09 and will gone until Jan 2010. We get to talk with him by phone and on the web cam; which is nice, but not the same!! Blitzen has helped to make his absence go just a little smoother....