Category Archives: Aaron

DIY Comfort Vest For Your Dog

Yes, we’ve all seen ads for the pricey “dog shirts” that are sold to help dogs deal with anxiety caused by separation from their owners, thunderstorms, fireworks, etc. I love my dogs to pieces, but I’m not plunking down that sort of money when I can DIY it for much less.

Got an ACE bandage? Preferably an older one? Safety pin? You’re ready!

Here’s Boss, our rescue dog. He has lots of issues. He evidently flunked out of drug-and-bomb-dog training in Tennessee and hit hard times soon thereafter. We adopted him when he was between foster homes after seeing only a blurry pic of him sitting on command. He caught a ride with my eldest on his way home from college for Christmas Break his Freshman year, and we’ve spoiled him rotten ever since. I haven’t ironed a shirt for my husband in years, but I starch and iron Boss’s bandannas. #justsayin Here he is before a storm moves in:

This is the perfect time to wrap him. Or just before dusk around Independence Day. Here’s how he looks fully wrapped:

Doesn’t he model well? He’s so picky, though! I wanted a nice picture in the backyard, but he insisted on the loveseat in my office. He does look nice in that lighting, though. Pardon the sheet. He was shedding.

I used a full-length non-adhesive Ace bandage for Boss, and he’s about eighty pounds. Cut the wrap and use Fray-Check (available at all craft and fabric stores) if you have dogs that need shorter wraps. It needs to be snug, but not tight. Think “hug”, ’cause that’s what they need. This is essentially a full-body constant hug. Hmm, I may need one myself.

I can probably talk Boss into a video if necessary, but I’m gonna try to walk you through this. (If you need a video please comment and I’ll bribe him.)

Put the center of the bandage roll in the center of your dog’s chest.  Bring it up on both sides and cross at the withers (equivalent of between shoulder blades for humans). Wrap down again, crossing under belly and bringing up to attach ends above rump. *For male dogs, make sure NOT to cover penis with bandage.*

Why do you need this? Because many (OK, most) people don’t celebrate Independence Day. They celebrate Fourth of July with a drunken BBQ on their day off work and fireworks for a full two weeks, annoying the hell out of their neighbors who have to get up at 3 a.m., traumatizing all the dogs in the area (except my Saminda, who thinks it’s a tribute to her chocolate lab beauty), and probably doing horrific things to any PTSD sufferers in the neighborhood.

Last year I called my local police and claimed to have a PTSD sufferer in my household (truly, don’t know WHAT poor Boss has been through) and asked if they could at least enforce the 10 p.m. noise ordinance. Her answer? “We can’t do anything unless people are shooting fireworks AT each other.” My #StMatthews taxes are being SO well-spent.

Oh, and BTW, the whole “Fourth of July” thing is random. The Declaration of Independence was voted in on July 2nd, 1776, but there were riots in New York before it was finally approved on July 9th. By August 2nd most delegates had signed. Just fodder if you want to educate the rednecks on the next street over.

Angie and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad . . . Couple of Weeks

 

It’s kinda funny. I put this title in my Drafts box with a few reminders about a doc visit gone wrong when the car I’d borrowed died as I coasted into a parking space, but I couldn’t get the doors to open. I climbed out the driver’s side window (SUV, mind you) and ended up with enough road rash to impress a cycling enthusiast. I got cleaned and patched up by the office staff, had my visit, then called to ask my husband or son to come get me. I sat on a concrete floor against a wall, watching out the window of the office building, for two hours. It was a crappy day, but no one’s fault. That was months ago.

The last couple of weeks have been tough. Not even anything I can get my head around yet, but these are some of the quotes and images from Pinterest that I think explain it best.

(Many thanks to Mrs. Welches. Another of my Pinterest quotes is from her as well, as you’ll see). I need to hunt her down online and thank her for her words. They speak to my soul.

 

Yeah, I had dreams. Just plans, really. Nothing outrageous. But my body says, “No flippin’ way, lady!”

 

I’m fat because even sitting upright is painful. And my surgeon gets upset because I’m not getting all the protein I need. But I’m just really never hungry. (Except after seeing a DQ biscuits-and-gravy commercial – but I rarely watch TV). But I know for a fact people look at me and think, “fat.”

 

Yeah, I REALLY do.

 

I don’t even like me most of the time.

 

Sad, but true.

But my youngest is at the beach, putting his toes in the sand and having all the fun a 19yo can possibly have (with his best friend Adam and his family, of course!) and my eldest is awaiting the arrival of his second child, comfortable in the knowledge that Emma’s Grandma is there to take care of her (and grand-dog Tabby) when this baby boy decides to arrive. My boys are happy, and that’s no small thing. It’s a HUGE thing, and for that I’m incredibly grateful. The next couple of weeks are going to be wonderful!

 

Why Does a Stranger Get to Control My Life?

This is as close as I could find to a representation of my last disability hearing:

People who have applied for disability and not been approved at the two earlier stages end up with a hearing. There is a door at the back where the possibly-disabled and their attorney enter. The seats closest to them are where they sit, as if disability of any kind was contagious. There is a stenographer to my left on the square of tables, and a disability occupations adjudicator at the table to my attorney’s right. Directly in front of me is a dais. Once everyone is settled in the judge will enter from a door directly opposite the one I walked through. In his or her black robes, of course. My judge this time is male, and I suspect is the same judge I had last time.

So before a word has been spoken the stage is set. The judge, formally dressed, sitting higher than anyone else. The stenographer and adjudicator sitting close to, but lower than the judge and at an angle toward him. My attorney sits beside me. He doesn’t know me at all, even though we’ve been through a hearing together before and everyone insists he’s great. He was assigned to me by Allsup, a company I’ll be happy to pay since THEY jumped through all the hoops for me. If you need someone, call and mention my name. I think I should have frequent flyer points to share or something.They have a 97% success rate!

My judge has a documented 38%  approval on disability cases, which I found out yesterday. The adjudicator guy will do most of the talking. He’ll list all the jobs I could do full-time, since I clearly can’t return to Nursing. Pretty much I sit there and they talk about me between themselves. This time I’ll stand and tell my own story. No one in that room knows me or my family or what we’ve been through.

If they did they’d all give me gentle hugs, tell me I was in their prayers, and approve me for disability all the way back to the start date of 2009. My children, too, since my pain screwed up both of their lives, plus Michael’s. I don’t think they give compensation to spouses, but he deserves something for all he’s endured.

My hearing is Tuesday (the 14th) at 10 a.m. I would be incredibly thankful if my friends could pray for me, send some positive energy, or just think about me that morning, please. I’d appreciate it SO much! Even if I’ve been a bitch to you lately (as I have to most of those closest to me) just think back to the good times we’ve had and think fondly of me, even if it’s only a minute or two.

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