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I believe July has been the busiest month of my entire life and tonight it ends. I am glad to see it go and grateful that I am still upright (barely) as August 1 dawns tomorrow. Except for the 6 days of art classes, the month was overwhelming as I dealt a trip to Chicago to help my brother through surgery until my sister arrived (he is doing well); creating the final issue of Voice including a tribute to Bill; a long day of training for pet therapy (Bentley will be tested on October 21 so that becomes a priority in my life); the sale of my publication, a job that was much bigger (and is still ongoing) than I anticipated. The new owner is perfect for Voice and I have confidence she will grow this coveted publication that I am told by many has become a part of the culture in our valley...Bill and I birthed this and the new owner plans to remain faithful to the mission statement. The past few days I have dealt with 31 gigabytes of files (sorting, labeling for buyer and transferring to flash drives) and about 700 or more emails.

This has been a mixed bag emotionally...another good-bye and a great relief. I told a friend that for two years (since Bill died) I feel as if I have walked around vulnerable, sort of like being without skin to protect my raw being. This sale deepened that feeling but it also released me from the pressure of doing something I no longer wished to do. In another three weeks this task should be 98% behind me and each day between now and then the work involved lessens substantially. A chapter in my life ends. Bill and I started this together and within 6 months of doing so, he became symptomatic to the point of being unable to help with it. It has been with me through all of his sickness and all of my grief...I do not know at this moment if I should have dumped it way back in 2006 or if doing it through all these trying times was good. I will never know. I do know...it is done except for some assist to the new owner for the next issue and then just being available to answer questions.

Now I am on to my "year off", my "retreat," to healing my body, and more. I have crashed physically (no surprise) and will not be visible here for a while...my energy level has dropped significantly-it feels like my body knows it can finally collapse- while physical pain has increased significantly. I will be going through some tests the week of August 13 to see what is going on beside what I would dx as sheer exhaustion and probably a high cortisol level both of which have all but crippled me. The feeling of being lost and raw has also increased for now. I might checkin to read now and then, but for now, I am taking my leave for a while at least.

You all go with me in spirit,

With gratitude and a wish for your peace on this tough path,

Mary

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Thank you Lina and Marty,

When I checked my email this morning, this piece was in it along with your posts. I really like whatever she writes but this is very helpful, I believe.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ashley-davis-bush/grief_b_1721057.html?utm_source=Alert-blogger&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Email%2BNotifications

Peace,

Mary

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Mary,

What a nice link, Oh so true with great facts about our journey...may you find the peace and comfort you deserve...

NATS

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Mary,

What a nice link, Oh so true with great facts about our journey...may you find the peace and comfort you deserve...

NATS

Thank you so much, Mary

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Mary, Good for you. I hope your lack of visibility here is breif because you are so willing to respond in a positive way with so many who post here. Many good wishes to you, Marc

Thank you , Marc. I am uncertain about the future right now. You will remain in my thoughts and prayers, Mary

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Mary,

May August mark a time of new beginnings for you!

What will Bentley's being a service dog entail? Will he still live with you? Will you take him places? What exactly will he be doing? I'm afraid I feel real selfish where my Arlie is concerned, I wouldn't want to share him if it meant him being away from me all that much. He has his work cut out for him with me! :)

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Thank you so much, Kay. I am counting on just starting to heal my body first...whatever that takes...and get my house organized. We moved in and I still have not unpacked boxes in the basement. I also plan to paint a lot. Bentley has to be tested on October 21. he has to meet certain behavioral standards and it actually may take a few tests. One staff person said it took 5 times for her dog. A therapy dog lives with owner. I could never in a million days give up my Bentley. I will be a part of Delta which is an international therapy dog group. Actually therapy dog is not the right title but the right one slips my weary mind. The local chapter is "Dogs on Call" and a friend of mine evaluates. Actually Bill and I helped a few years before we got Bentley...to evaluate. I will take him to hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living initially and Dogs on Call assign a mentor for a few visits to make sure I am comfortable and good. I am with Bentley every minute...in fact at the evaluation, if I let go of the leash for even 4 seconds, I fail the test. That is one of the many rules they have and rightfully so. Another rule is that the dog has to have a bath within 24 hours of a visit which will limit my visits as bathing Bentley is a HUGE job. I have actually never done it. I have a groomer but she is not able to do it more than once a month due to carpal tunnel. Bentley is the only BIG dog she does because she has done him since he was mine. She said Monday when I picked Bentley up that i could use her facility and she would read a book in case I need her. But it is a three hour job. He is a major fur baby. He is show dog stock which means a ton of fur. I eventually would like to take him to our Hospice Centers but I would not start there until he gets the picture as that is too critical a situation to have a dog not behaving perfectly..well close to it. I also have to monitor his energy level. If this gets to be too much for him....we back off. Thanks for asking.

I carry you in my heart, Mary

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Oh, I am SO relieved then! I was afraid you were training him so someone else could have him for their use, I was worried about you...I could never give up Arlie! I needn't worry, my Arlie would never be considered, ha ha! He's a big moose that likes to run and play around the house, and although people would never think twice about a small dog acting like that, they don't accept it in a bigger dog. (I tell him it's size discrimination) :) I'm sure your Bentley will do fine, you must be proud of him!

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I hope he does fine and if not...that is also ok. I will not stress him to do this. I do understand about big dogs. B weighs 75 pounds... :)

Mary

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When I adopted Arlie they told me he was age 2-7 adult and weighed 63 lbs...the next day I took him to the vet and he weighed 79 lbs and the vet said he wasn't a year old yet. Now he's weighing in at 120... (sigh) 50 lbs had been my limit but I'd thought, oh well, what's 13 lbs! Ha!

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When I adopted Arlie they told me he was age 2-7 adult and weighed 63 lbs...the next day I took him to the vet and he weighed 79 lbs and the vet said he wasn't a year old yet. Now he's weighing in at 120... (sigh) 50 lbs had been my limit but I'd thought, oh well, what's 13 lbs! Ha!

120 pounds is a mighty big dog...I hope you enjoy every pound of him. :)

Peace to you, Kay

Mary

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Mary,

Thank you for the kind words you have shared with us all on our journey. I pray that this new chapter in your life brings you the peace and joy you so much deserve. I also hope that you do have moments to drop us all a note to let us know your doing well. Blessings, hope and appreciation.

Anthony

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My dear Mary, will be thinking of you and hoping for ease for you. I hope the testing does not show anything unwanted, other than the exhaustion that you already know about. Will miss your posts for a while, but hopefully it won't be too long. Good luck with Bentley. I do understand about the washing dog problem. Mike and I used to bathe the corgis, but I cannot do it alone, cannot lift the fat little girls into the tub. I take them to a groomer, and although they do ok, it is not as good as we used to do.

Kay, my girls would never be considered for that program either. They are sweet, but not very well mannered (my fault). Their biggest fault is wanting attention, and trying to get it by jumping up. They were better with Mike, but I have always been the pushover. Funny this came up, as I had already made plans to start working on correcting that behavior. Been reading a lot on line, and think the clicker reward program looks reasonable. (I already have a clicker). I think the sit command is what I need to work on (also the come command). They are sweet girls, and would not hurt anyone, but they feel they must jump on you to get you to pet them.It has become very irritating to me,(and I am sure my friends) so hopefully I will succeed. I have decided I must do this, or rethink my decision to have them, and that is not an option.

Mary, peace my friend.

Mary (Queeniemary) in Arkansas

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Mary,

Thank you for the kind words you have shared with us all on our journey. I pray that this new chapter in your life brings you the peace and joy you so much deserve. I also hope that you do have moments to drop us all a note to let us know your doing well. Blessings, hope and appreciation.

Anthony

Anthony,

I am sure I will check in now and then since this group has come to mean a lot to me. I care about what happens to everyone. Thank you for your blessings and kind words. I carry all of you in my heart.

Mary

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120 pounds is a mighty big dog...I hope you enjoy every pound of him. :)

Peace to you, Kay

Mary

Oh, I do! I have so much fun with him! I'm thinking of taking him to the coast Saturday, it's supposed to be really hot so the coast is the place to go!

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I have crashed physically (no surprise) and will not be visible here for a while...my energy level has dropped significantly-it feels like my body knows it can finally collapse- while physical pain has increased significantly. I will be going through some tests the week of August 13 to see what is going on beside what I would dx as sheer exhaustion and probably a high cortisol level both of which have all but crippled me. The feeling of being lost and raw has also increased for now. I might checkin to read now and then, but for now, I am taking my leave for a while at least.

Mary, I do hope you'll let us know what you find out and how you're doing, we care about you! Do take care of yourself...you'll be sorely missed meanwhile.

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Kay, I will be checking in now and then. I care about everyone here and care about what happens. I am taking some time but will be peeking in now and then. I will let everyone know about my health. I forgot I had posted that. I apologize. I will let you know.

Peace

Mary

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My dear Mary, will be thinking of you and hoping for ease for you. I hope the testing does not show anything unwanted, other than the exhaustion that you already know about. Will miss your posts for a while, but hopefully it won't be too long. Good luck with Bentley. I do understand about the washing dog problem. Mike and I used to bathe the corgis, but I cannot do it alone, cannot lift the fat little girls into the tub. I take them to a groomer, and although they do ok, it is not as good as we used to do.

Kay, my girls would never be considered for that program either. They are sweet, but not very well mannered (my fault). Their biggest fault is wanting attention, and trying to get it by jumping up. They were better with Mike, but I have always been the pushover. Funny this came up, as I had already made plans to start working on correcting that behavior. Been reading a lot on line, and think the clicker reward program looks reasonable. (I already have a clicker). I think the sit command is what I need to work on (also the come command). They are sweet girls, and would not hurt anyone, but they feel they must jump on you to get you to pet them.It has become very irritating to me,(and I am sure my friends) so hopefully I will succeed. I have decided I must do this, or rethink my decision to have them, and that is not an option.

Mary, peace my friend.

Mary (Queeniemary) in Arkansas

Dear Mary, I will check in now and then. I will let you know what happens as time goes on.

Yes, washing a hairy dog is not fun. Thank goodness my groomer offered me her equipment and space to wash him when I need to. He is used to it. I dread this part of therapy dog life. :)

Until later,

the other Mary wishes you peace.

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I use bribery on my dog (whatever works!). When I first got him he strained me as I tried to overpower him to get him into the bathtub and keep him there long enough to improve his hygiene. Then I started getting a special treat out and showing it to him, putting it in sight on the bathroom counter and as soon as he's done, he knows he gets it. Now he's so good, when I show him the treat, he runs and jumps in the tub and suffers through the dreaded bath, and actually waits while I towel dry him and doesn't shake until I say it's okay, THEN he gets out and grabs his treat on his way out the door! I'm so glad I trained him while the getting was good because there's no way I could physically overpower him now...the last time I tried he threw me and I landed on a stone face first, breaking my nose and my front tooth-canal. I learned quickly what a foolhardy thing that was to try!

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kayc,

I am just checking my email (as I finish up all this Voice stuff hopefully by Sunday) and this message was in my box as I have them sent to me. I have to say that I laughed out loud...not that you injured your nose and teeth but the picture of it all. Bentley pulled me last summer as I visited a friend who had lamas. I decided to let him smell them...on leash. He spotted them and took off....he was on one of those 25 foot leashes....I finally fell flat on my face before I realized I needed to drop the leash. Once he got to their pen, he did not care at all about the lamas. What we do not do for our pets. I hope I can train Bentley to the bath. He is perfect for the groomer....he leaps up on to the table.

Mary

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