Gidget’s Report Card

Gidget's Report Card
Gidget and Dr. Andrea Lanphear

The photo is of Dr. Andrea and Gidget from last year. I wanted to get a photo today, but completely forgot!

At any rate, going to see Dr. Andrea is a joy. Just like the few times we sent to see her last year, I left today with a nugget or two of new information. It always proves to add to my education of life with dogs and their wellness, which I really appreciate. I only wish Dr. Andrea wasn’t two hours from where I live! But the good news is I can keep her updated via email, which I also very much appreciate.

Gidget’s report was good. And Gidget really does get a report card, which I should receive via email in the next day or two. Another reason I love taking Gidget to Dr. Andrea. Today we talked about food, supplements, weening her off one of her herbs, and chiropractic care — all things that are typed up and sent to me in a report card for consideration. 

As I mentioned last year, what I like about seeing Dr. Andrea is that she looks at Gidget as a whole dog – her breed, her environment, her personality, etc. in determining what she feels will benefit Gidget and her special needs. Just like people and what works for one person, may not work for another, the same is true for dogs.

If you live in, or near the Madison, Wisconsin area and are looking for a veterinarian that practices holistic and western medicine, I can’t say enough good about Dr. Andrea. You can check her out on her website here.

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What a Year. Gidget’s Road Trip to Madison Tomorrow.

What a Year. Gidget's Road Trip to Madison Tomorrow.

Last December I vividly recall sitting with my mom at a restaurant for lunch trying to hold it together. It had been a rough year trying to find a way to help Gidget’s seizures. I was beside myself and my nerves frazzled to the core. I just didn’t know if taking care of a special needs pet was right for me anymore. 

Not that I had any plans on finding a new home for Gidget – that never crossed my mind. But I was tired. Very tired. And I questioned if after Gidget is gone someday if I will adopt another special needs dachshund after having three in a row since 2006– and honestly, that was one of the hardest things I’ve had to say in a long, long time. While I’m still not sure about how that will play out when Gidget is gone someday, I’m happy to say that I’m in a better place these days with how I’m feeling and that Gidget is doing well. 

December fifteenth will mark one year for Gidget being seizure free. While it was rocky at the beginning getting her adjusted to potassium bromide with two herb supplements she takes, the last few months have been such a joy to see her quirky, sweet personality come shining through once again. 

Tomorrow we hit the road to Madison, about two hours from home, for a check-up with Dr. Andrea who is trained in Chinese medicine, but also practices some Western modalities. The reason I sought her out was I believed that a holistic approach for Gidget was worth looking into. If I didn’t have to subject Gidget’s small, 10lb body to a heavy dose of medications, I wanted to give that a shot. As it turned out, which I’m also open to, it’s a combination of the two modalities that are helping her, and have kept her free of any seizures to date.

In this year, I’ve also learned more about myself and have opened more to the acceptance of death. While I hope Gidget will be with me for as long as possible, I feel like I’ve come to a new space within myself that will accept what is when the time does come. This in turn, has made each day with Gidget even more enriching, and has definitely deepened our bond.

I also believe that Gidget’s presence in my life and her seizures were in part a reflection of me and some healing I needed to do on a deeper level. Since then, I’ve often witnessed how we are reminders to each other to stay grounded as we can both tend to easily feel off balance if we don’t take time to just be. And really, if I’m off balance, it has become quite evident to me at times that Gidget mirrors that back to me.

So this trip to Madison tomorrow will be a fun road adventure – just me and Miss G, taking in the scenery, and excited to see Dr. Andrea once again.

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Do Curly Girls Have More Fun? Embracing Mine.

Do Curly Girls Have More Fun? Embracing Mine.

Hair. Oh, how at times I’ve been upset with myself that I’ve spent so much time fussing and worrying about mine (and the money I’ve spent!). But I’m happy to report that I’ve gotten better over the years — and even more so most recently as I’ve taken a big leap in accepting what I have.

It all began a few months ago when I found a hairstyle I wanted to try. It was a kind of kinky/curly style and I thought I’d have to get a perm. But the gal, Missy, who styles my hair talked me out of it saying a perm wouldn’t be good for my type of hair. While I really wanted a perm and was disappointed, I did appreciate her honesty and looking out for me.

The next time I went in for a cut, Missy showed me how to work with my hair…and wa la, I have curls. And I’m having so much fun with it!!– especially running into family and friends since I’ve welcomed my curls. Everyone thinks I’ve gotten a perm. When I say, “turns out I have curls” they are in disbelief. “You mean you’ve had curly hair all along and you straightened it?” is the response I’ve been getting often.

I’ve always known I’ve had a bit of a wave to my hair, and while I never had it professionally straightened, I would blow dry it out every other day with a brush and then curl it with a big curling iron. So in all honesty, I never knew my hair could curl like it does. I was too busy fighting to make my hair what I wanted it to be, instead of working with what I already had.

A few weeks ago when I had my hair cut again and Missy brought out my curls again, a gal came into the salon I’d worked with years ago at Kohl’s. She commented on how cute my hair looked and said, “I didn’t realize you had curly hair.” 

“Well, I have a wave in my hair.”

Missy said, “Barb… you have curly hair.”

“I do? Really?” I said, still not really believing it.

And that’s when she told me over 65% of women have curly hair according to a book by Lorraine Massey called Curly Girl: the handbook. 

The thing is, I’d always wanted long, blonde, straight hair. I bought into the belief that this is what is “sexy” and what every man likes. So all this time I struggled with trying to have something I’d never have.

But no more… because quite honestly, I’m having so much fun as a curly girl! And I have to say I agree with my best friend, who says my curls really fit my bubbly personality.

And it truly is more than about my hair as I go below the surface. It’s about accepting another part of myself, about letting go of a belief I bought into, of worrying about “fitting in,” and that I wouldn’t be a “pretty” as defined often by society…. but most of all, it was about my own insecurity.

While my curly hair does not take much effort on my part…and I’m loving it and having so much fun… it’s been the letting go of, and accepting what is, where the true freedom is.

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