There is HOPE for Dogs with Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD). Educate yourself TODAY.

Gidget ivddAs most of you know from following my blog, I’m passionate about spreading a positive message about dogs diagnosed with IVDD. Sadly, many are still being put to sleep. Most often because of lack of education and guardian’s not knowing their options.

Just today, I heard from someone who does rescue work trying to help find homes for these special needs dogs if guardian’s choose to surrender a downed dog if they are unable to care for them. But again, sadly, it does not always turn out that way. For whatever reasons, a guardian may choose putting their IVDD dog to sleep. I’m not here to judge that person who makes that decision.

But I did want to write a post about IVDD once again in hopes it makes it out into the world and helps educate more people that IVDD is not a death sentence. It does not have to be that way.

There is help. There is hope. There are people willing to help you if you find yourself in this situation. Most rescue’s will help guide you. Dodgerslist is an excellent resource to educate yourself about this disease. While there is not a cure, often times with the right information and treatment, these dog’s can walk again. If not, there is always a dog wheelchair that can help them lead a quality life. If cost is an issue there are resources for that as well such as The Frankie Wheelchair Fund, or Red Flyer, The Handicapped Pets Community or doing fund raisers online to help pay for medical costs.

While I truly understand taking care of a special needs pet such as an IVDD dog isn’t meant for everyone, there are others who are willing and able to take care of special needs pets. Rescue’s can often times help you if you choose this avenue.

I continue to also be available by email or phone to talk with someone whose dog has been diagnosed with IVDD. Often times talking with someone who has gone through this helps ease the anxiety and to know what to expect. I’m always happy to spend some time talking with someone going through this.

I’m so grateful for those that do have the courage to say they are unable to care for their IVDD dog and do what they feel is best for their pet by finding them a new home. If not for those people, I’d never have found the love of Joie, or have the love of Gidget. I know many others who care for downed dogs feel the same way. They truly love caring for these dogs.

Please help spread the word that there is hope. Whether you can work through it with guidance with resources I mentioned above, or if you need to find your pet a new home, there are those that really do care and will help.

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Young or Old – We are all a Work in Progress – Horizons 4 Girls

1208780_10201783198614051_2718885650038954779_nAs I mentioned yesterday, I said I would be meeting with Horizons 4 Girls, a nonprofit group in our area mentoring young girls helping them with family life, peer pressure and education expectations, guiding them with personalized assistance in help with their studies and life decisions.

We were an intimate group of three young ladies, as well as the staff of four. This time of year seems to be a challenge with the 14 girls in the group trying to keep up with studies and books needing to be read so it was discussed to possibly have me come back this summer to meet the other girls.

But I enjoyed meeting these three young ladies, who were all unique and beautiful in their own individual ways. It was fascinating to me to find myself sharing my story with them, as if looking in a mirror at my younger self. All the same challenges still exist today, as they did for me when I was becoming a young woman.

At times my heart ached for some of their challenges, such as peer pressure and worrying what others say about them or think about them, or how people perceive them.

Interestingly enough, I had just come from my class I’ve been taking part in the last nine weeks called, “Unwrapping your True Self.” As I talked with the girls, I shared with them that I am in this class right now, continuing to work on who I am and to stand strong in my belief’s. My advice to them as I thought about that is that we never truly arrive, but that we are all a work in progress.

I hope by showing myself as an example of a woman who still needs to pay attention to working on herself often, they will see that none of us are perfect. But if we are willing to keep looking for the light in our own soul, it will lead us down the right paths in our lives.

We discussed everything from body image, worrying what others think of our choices, writing, judgement, following your heart, to Gidget and her disc disease.

As I drove home I found myself admiring these young ladies for having the courage  to be a part of this program, to be there for the help and guidance that will help them be the best that they can be. And as is my wish for all women, my hope is for these young ladies to continue to find the courage to let their inner light shine. They inspired me to keep doing the same.

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Making a Difference. Being Open to New Opportunities.

IMG_2026 gSilly Gidget seems to take her bed with her wherever she goes lately. This weekend she came walking into the kitchen, her bed attached to her back end. Cracks me up every time and I call her “The Queen” when this happens.

The “Queen” and I have a wonderful event this afternoon that I’m looking forward to. When I had Joie, the Horizons 4 Girls non profit group in our area had approached me to bring Joie in and talk with the girls. We had set up a time, but then unfortunately, I had to cancel after Joie died. I just wasn’t up to make the visit after losing her.

Horizons 4 Girls mentors middle and high school girls and this is what it says on their Facebook page:  young women are offered mentoring, study skills / techniques. As family life, peer pressure, and educational expectations become more of a challenge for young women, they are often looking for personalized assistance with their studies and life decisions. The opportunity to explore ever changing career options is made available as part of what Horizons4Girls does. Giving the young women a variety of speakers, presenters and potential role models we help them to develop their own personal goals.

We hadn’t rescheduled, but a few months ago when I ran a special price for my book, “Through Frankie’s Eyes” I received an email from the director that she was interested in purchasing a copy of my book.

After I read her note, I had an idea come over me! I’ve been missing my volunteer work with Frankie and at times wishing I could do something again to make a difference in the way Frankie and I did. But I’ve not really pushed it as I’m not sure what it is exactly that I want to do, while also I’ve been busy working on my new book and projects. Fitting something in weekly right now, may be out of the question.

But getting this note sparked an idea in me. I wrote back and asked the director how many girls are in the group. She wrote back and told me 12 girls. I was so excited as I wrote back to her and said, “I would like to do something that I think will be fun. I’d like to donate a copy of my book to each of the girls. Then why don’t we set up a time in about two months and have our own Book Club discussion around the themes in my book?”

The director wrote back and was so grateful for the idea and the books for the girls. So later this afternoon I’ll be meeting with them. I’m really looking forward to our discussion. It will be sweet to have Gidget along for the ride too to add her own unique, twist to our gathering.

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