Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A glimpse into the Future

Lately I’ve been thinking about what I will do once I have graduated from my university program. Originally I had thought that I would go and get a Master’s in Sociology, but that plan has changed to massage therapy college. I had always thrown the two different ideas around, but as my second last semester draws to an end, I really think I want to do something different. Sociology has been a fantastic program. I have learned so much and value my experience, but if I go into Sociology as a career, I will be stuck behind a desk for the rest of my life and this thought just isn’t satisfying. Last week I spoke to another blind person who is nearly finished her RMT diploma. She had a lot of valuable things to say and just talking to her got me excited about the prospects of becoming an RMT myself. I’ve even recently thought about adding a second part to my practice-dog massage. I could open up a practice for humans and then add the dog part on after I get a good client base. I wonder if there would be a market for dog massage, but there are dog chiropractors, so perhaps there would be. I also just phoned a practising blind massage therapist and left a voice mal for him. He has taught classes at a massage school and said that he would be willing to speak to me about his experiences. I think actually talking to people in the field has been helpful for me. It’s helped me to decide that this actually what I want to do because for a while I was all stressed out trying to decide. I have also come to the conclusion that if massage therapy doesn’t work out for me ten years down the road, then I can always go back to Sociology and get that Master’s. The number of mature students is increasing, so I see no problem with this. Besides, I am in Sociology, we’re meant to question the norm and break social rules. lol

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A Much Happier Me

Today I am not feeling as overwhelmed as I was when I wrote that entry last night. I have pretty much finished the research for one of the papers that is due this week, so that helps. Also, one of my friends and I went to the dog park today. It was cold, but the sun was shining and it was just so refreshing to get out there and walk around. Jetta loved it too. She ran so fast and played with other dogs as well. We met so many different breeds of dogs too-it was pretty cool. There was even a little black lab puppy who was in training to be a service dog. I think I gave his foster mom hope that everything would turn out because she was worried that he had too much energy. I told her Jetta was almost seven and still crazy, so not to worry about energy levels. There are people out there who need high energy dogs as well as low energy ones. There were three Basset Hounds, a few labs of varying colour, a husky mix of sorts, a Rottweiler mix, a golden retriever mix pup, a bull dog pup and many many more. I couldn’t believe how busy the place actually was. Usually when Jetta and I have gone there aren’t many other dogs present, but I guess because the sun was finally out and it was Sunday there were more dogs and handlers there. I was impressed that Jetta decided to run with a few of them. Usually she just goes around mowing the grass, but today she was galloping this way and that and prancing around. She seems to be in a good mood now. And yes, my dog has moods. She is tired out though. She laid on the couch beside me after we got home while I read some more research articles. It was really good to just get out of the house, forget all of this essay stuff and bitch about silly insignificant things. I mean, we talked about important things as well, but it was relaxed and we had a few good laughs. She brought her black lab Raven as well and although he's almost nine, he made a good go of running about with the other dogs too. It's also nice to talk to her because she's in sociology with me and understands a lot of the stuff that I spew out. Most people are uncomfortable with some of my thought processes because they challenge normative assumption, but she's great because we can just rant away at each other and it makes sense. We hardly know one another and because of our Soc background, we're able to talk about a lot of things that most people would feel weird talking about. I mean we ranted away about vaginas! lol By the time we loaded the dogs up in the car, they were both worn out and a bit muddy, but extremely happy wuffers.
I gave her some of the Christmas cookies Brooke and I baked on Friday for the dogs. They are peanut butter and black current and the others are beef and garlic. The peanut butter ones are even in Christmas shapes like snowmen and Christmas trees. We had a good time. I hope her three boys-Midas, Wuggy and Raven (I may have spelled Wuggy wrong) -like them. :) They deserve Christmas treats too!
Anyway, all in all it was a lot of fun and I think it was good for Jetta to be able to do “dog” things instead of just working. I didn’t even bring her harness and I think that made her happy.

Jumbled Thoughts

I sit here in front of my keyboard with the urge to write stuff down, but I don't really know what to write down. It's just random scrambled craziness sloshing around in my head and I don't even know where to start. I'm not sure there is even anything to write about. There is not just one thing that has happened to me recently that I feel the need to go on about.
So, here it goes...whatever comes out I guess.
I feel restless-I think it's partially due to homesickness. It's that time of year where I am ready to go home. I want Christmas to be here. I want snow and Christmas trees and carols.
But, before any of that can happen-I have to write three papers...three poorly formulated papers I might add; present one huge presentation and go to s swim competition that I probably can't afford. We have these mandatory swim meets that we have to pay for out of own pockets, which was fine when I was federally funded, but I have lost that funding and I don't know where I am going to get the money from. The meet offers the opportunity to make the time standards to get that funding back, but that is huge pressure. I am frustrated because I have won my country 2 silver and 2 gold medals at the Para Pan-Am games in Brazil this summer and it wasn't enough to get the financial support I need.
I owe my roommates money because they have been buying groceries. If it weren't for them I'm not sure I would be able to eat.
Jetta seems to be slowing down-I think she sense my stress and plus it's winter, but I get frustrated with her faster. I don't mean to. It's not her fault that I am dealing with all of this crap from the swimming world. Sometimes I feel like she wants to retire. I think she is sick of going to the pool and to classes and nowhere else, but I don't have time or energy to go anywhere else. I try to take her for walks-just the two of us, but sometimes after a really hard practice I just don't have the energy.
The essays are scaring me because I have no motivation to write them at all. I just want this school year over so I can graduate and get out of here. I have had enough of sociology for now. It's a really heavy topic and after talking about the world's inevitable end gets tiresome after a while. The problem is these papers have to be done so I can actually graduate.
Back to the money thing-I have no money to get my parents Christmas presents. I know they don't expect anything, but I want to give them something. I love giving people presents. I love their reactions and I just think, not necessarily the price tag, but the thought I put into the gift make it more special. Maybe I'll have to be creative and come up with something.
And then there's next year. Will make the Paralympic team? Will I perform well at the Games if I do make the team? How will find a place to live in a new city when I am in China?
Not to mention, the head coach of Swim Canada's disabled swim team has finally said that he thinks that I am the same as the other completely male swimmer on the team. The man is an idiot. The other swimmer lives at home, gets driven to practice, has his dad tap and coach him, has his mom and dad take of his meals and other such things. I am here, paying my own rent, finding my own tappers/coaches, paying for everything on my own. It's no wonder I swim slower than he does. I have to expend more energy in more areas than he has to. It's disgusting! The head coach also thinks it's stupid that I got Jetta one year instead of going to a World championship. Um, hello! If it weren't for Jetta I wouldn't get to the pool now. I had to make a decision. It was a difficult decision, but I did what I thought would beneficial in the long term. He just doesn't get it. He doesn't try to get it. He makes assumptions and doesn’t' bother to get to know his athletes or care about what they have to say or how their lives are lived. We all come from different backgrounds and have different life experiences. I come from a low socio-economic background, my parents don't have money to give to me for swimming. The other swimmer comes from a higher socio-economic background-his father is a doctor for fuck sakes! He has more resources at his disposal if he ever needed them.
I don’t' know what else to say. I can't find words strong enough to explain my anger and frustration at the coach. He is so ignorant an he has no excuse. He has been coaching the Swimmers' with a disability swim team for fat least four years now...a little more than that. He's never showed empathy toward me. he has never told me that I am a good swimmer-he just harps on what I do wrong all of the time. I'm sick of it. I have thought about quitting so often lately, but if I do then he wins...but then if I make the team and do well, he gets all of the credit and still wins. It's a huge game for him. He makes me so angry I become inarticulate. That pisses me off even more.
I think I am done now...I will go to bed now and try to sleep.

Monday, November 12, 2007

A Tasty treat

I just thought I would share...
There is a girl in my class, and I won't name her here because I have not asked her if I can name her, but she works at a pet store as well as going to school. She is a huge dog person just like me and she often comes over and brings treats for Jetta. There is a certain kind made by Natural Choice that Jetta has totally fallen in love with. I am going to put the URL up in this post and you can copy and paste it into your web browser and see if your wuffers enjoy it as much as Jetta. They are a wet food in a can, but they are a dessert-there is pumpkin crumble, carrot cake and such things. I try not to give them to Jetta all of the time of course, but every once in a while they are a good meal supplement or even just a treat.

So happy searching and I hope your dogs will be just as excited as Jetta. :)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

A Scary Trip

As everyone knows, Jetta will be turning seven in about a month. She is still a very high energy dog and loves to work and play just as much as when I first got her-she just listens a bit better now. But with old age comes strange growths on your older body and on Wednesday, I had to take Jetta to get two such weird bumps checked out.
They were both small, but as a concerned mommy I felt it necessary to make sure that there was not anything to worry about. So off to the vet we went.
Upon arriving, Jetta was weighed and I was informed that she weighs 51 pounds-two pounds lighter than when I first got her. I had been trying to get her to lose weight because somehow in the summer, she gained an extra six pounds and I wanted them off of her. The vet told me to up her food intake a bit since her weight loss program had worked and she was now almost too light. (My previous vet told me that I would not be able to get Jetta to lose the weight because she was middle age now and that I should place her on weight management food. Yeah screw that buddy. I managed to get her to lose the weight just by working her more and decreasing her food just a little bit. I am just not comfortable putting my working dog on diet food if it can be helped). The vet did a complete examination, as it was our first visit to this vet. She was very gentle and extremely thorough. She was not condescending at all and this particular vet charges half price for service dogs. The atmosphere was much friendlier than the other vet as well, so I was happy with my switch.
After taking Jetta's temperature, heart beat, and checking eyes and ears, the vet felt the bumps and said she would take a sample from each. The first, which was located just behind Jetta's left shoulder was a cyst and disappeared as soon as the vet squeezed it and drew fluid out of it. The second is on Jetta's right back leg. It is very small, but feels different from the first. The vet did an analysis of the contents she got from the needle and has come to the hesitant conclusion that it is just a cyst as well. She told me to watch it and make sure it doesn't get any bigger or that fur doesn't fall off of it, or that Jetta doesn't start biting at it. This particular lump has been on Jetta's leg since the middle of August, to my knowledge, and none of these symptoms have surfaced yet. The vet said this in itself is a positive sign. If it does become sore or bigger then I have to take Jetta in to get it removed and then it will be sent off to a pathologist for analysis. I'm pretty sure it's just a cyst thingy, but it's still scary to think that your girl may have something wrong with her. That said, it's been three days and there still have not been any changes and she's just as energetic as ever. She still walks very quickly when we're working so I don't think it's bothering her at all. Sometimes don't you wish your little guys could just talk? Then I would know if it was hurting or itching her. On a positive note, the vet was very impressed at the shape that I keep Jetta in and was very happy with her overall health, which is very nice to hear. :)
So here’s to your health little girl. 