Adventures as a Recent College Grad Living with Chronic Illness and Training a Service Dog

Sunday, October 26, 2014

A More Formal Introduction- Polly!

If you happened to miss my Facebook announcement... everybody- Meet Polly!

Polly, Polly Pocket, Ms. P, Ms. Piggy, Peanut, Polly-wolly- All names that this smart little girl will respond to :)

If you didn't guess from the picture, she's a Black Labrador Retriever. She's now 10 months old. Her paws are still huge, but she's going to be on the very small side for a Labrador as she's only about 20" tall, and currently 60 lbs. 

As some of you may know- I haven't had the best luck in the past 2 years when it comes to being a dog owner. The first dog that I adopted all "on my own" was an Australian Shepherd (Blue Heeler). Despite doing what I thought at the time was enough research, and going with the thought of him needing exercise would make me get out and exercise (I wasn't using a wheelchair at this point). Needless to say, we weren't a good match. Through a friend I was able to connect with a great rescue group and he found the absolute best home with a young guy and they go hiking and spend days at the lake swimming. 

After Charlie found his home for life- a far better one than I could give him- I got Kety. Not going to write a lot, because it still hurts badly and am even tearing up writing this. Shortly after I got her she was diagnosed with Progressive Retinal Atrophy and within months was 80% blind. I had to return her to the agency that I had gotten her from- I didn't have a choice despite crying for days. I'll still always love my Kety-Choo. <3

After Kety came Max. I'm glad to report that he's doing really well and loves his family as much as they love him. Picture's from an update from just the other day. Forgive the zombie eyes :) I don't think he's missed a meal since he joined their family either ;)

After all of that heartbreak- I could just go on and on about how great Polly has been. I can't believe that I have only had her 2 months. She's such a part of my life, it's as if she's been here forever. We've been focusing on lots and lots of socialization- other people, all sizes of dogs, little kids, and been going on lots of "field trips" to Petsmart, PetSense, and even to work on Fridays. Next post we'll wow you all with just how smart she really is and all of the stuff she's already learned! But for now- Enjoy the pictures :)

^ At the Office                                                 ^ Soccer Games!

^ Howl-oween Costume Contest!

Sunday, October 12, 2014


So, I kind of explained what chronic illness I had in my last post. 
So here's to my witty attempt to break down that really big word!

Nope- not quite.

DYS- loosely meaning something's screwed up. Or, as Google so eloquently put it when I looked it up- "bad; difficult"

AUTO- short for Autonomic- the part of everybody's nervous system that is supposed to automatically control stuff like your heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate, and digestion. Sorry Volkswagen, it's got nothing to do with a car. 

NOM- another part of Autonomic, I could have put them together- but if I hadn't separated them, how would I have gotten to use a video of Cookie Monster in a blog post?! 

IA- who knew these two little vowels put together at the end of some big fancy word means abnormal condition/disease?!

And there you have it folks- Dysautonomia. As far as how the heck to pronounce it- I have heard even doctors say it two different ways:

(the more common way to say it)

(the way I was told by my first specialist)

Chances are, if you can pronounce either one, or just have the faintest (haha) grasp of what it is if you ever hear someone else talk about it- Be Warned- that person is likely to get very excited that someone they know actually has heard of what they're going through.