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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Guest Blogger Lynn: Always Bring Backup!

My sister lives in a rural community on the west side of Michigan. Occasionally she takes a trip to the big city. She learned a very important lesson during her most recent adventure:

"Thought I would share what happened to me last weekend on my return from Chicago and my Garmin woes.

I was in Chicago with my sister-in-law for her high school reunion and we had a great time. It truly is a fabulous city, but extremely busy with traffic and we were armed with the Garmin (we call ours Lucy). As we were returning on Sunday to Michigan, Lucy wasn't cooperating. She showed us that we were in Lake Michigan, fields, rivers and she couldn't even find the major 8 lane highway I-94 that we were on. She kept on telling us to turn left in 100 ft. (that would have been into the guard rail). All of a sudden we saw a very bad accident that shut down the highway headed the other direction and traffic was literally backed-up for miles. Our turns and toll roads were directly ahead and we were not sure where to go--and Lucy now thinks we are in Wisconsin....wait Indiana...oh no, not Ohio! Armed with only Lucy and a Michigan map we followed the signs to Detroit (at least we new that was in Michigan anyway). About 50 miles later Lucy decided that we had had enough and recalculated; ahhh she found the highway again.

After I got home with sweaty palms I checked and learned that the Satellite had jammed because all the other travelers with GPS's were looking for detours due to the accident.

I will never travel again without additional directions such as Mapquest or the like. One of those big Atlas's would have been a godsend.

Thought I would share and have safe travels.

Lynn T."

When you rely on the "cloud" for all your information, you'd better have some form of backup for when the "cloud" becomes a storm!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

This Little Adie Stays Home

A couple of weeks ago, my brother called me for advise. This, in itself was highly unusual, but the circumstances were unusual, too. His little dog, Adie had woken up one morning paralyzed from her lower back down. He asked me if I'd ever heard of such a thing and was it common in small dogs?

You must understand the heartbreaking part of this story... our family has always encouraged my reluctant, cat-loving brother to get a dog. Many of us thought it would be a great step up from cats, which he'd always found easier to care for, but, you know, cats just don't always "give back" as much demonstrative love as a dog. His kids were always hinting that they wanted a dog, so finally when they were teenagers, he relented.

His daughter researched the type and temperament and size of dog they were looking for, found one on the internet, and then adopted a very cute little Mini-Schnauzer/Shih Tzue mix--AKA a "Shithouzer." They all fell deeply in love with the little one, and dove headfirst into learning all about dog care and training. They took her everywhere with them; especially my brother. He'd take her on the long car rides to California and back when we were dealing with preparing our late father's house for eventual rental. She was a great traveler and seemed to love riding in the truck, long or short trips didn't make a difference.

Now, at 5 years, she was suddenly stricken with paralyzed hindquarters. No one can say definitively why this has happened. There is a herniated disc involved, which has swollen to the point of cutting off nerve connections in the spinal column down to the lower back and legs. Without feelings in her lower extremities, she also can't pee and poo voluntarily, so she wears a doggie diaper and my brother helps her with her business every 6 hours.

At first, my brother thought he was going to be forced to turn to euthanization, but suprisingly, little Adie seems to feel no pain and is adapting well to her situation. She is still on total "crate-rest," but she gets to come out and sit on a pillow on the couch occasionally. Her crate is kept in a little red-wagon, so that she can be wheeled about the house for a change of scenery. She loves to stand in the middle of the yard with her nose in the air, taking in all the deliciously enticing odors of the neighborhood. And she has started chewing enthusiastically on her chewies again; a very good sign that her attitude is changing for the better.

In Addie's case, sh!t definitely happens. But, whatever the outcome, it's apparent to me that this once energetic little pistol is still having a positive effect on her family in so many ways. As my friend and cohort in publishing, Robin Reynolds, has taught me, "...adjusting to change is easier with a great attitude!" Adie is still a big-little bundle of joy for my brother's family, and if you look hard enough you can see past the limp little legs and tail, and see that spark in her eyes that says, "I want to keep on living life to the fullest." I think she will!