Monday, February 23, 2009

Steve Schwarzenegger AKA Steve-Rod AKA The Juice

First, I have to say that I understand there will be some people reading this blog who might hold the belief that dogs are dogs and that is all they are...I agree with that belief for the most part but when it comes to Steve I feel a little different. This dog has been by me throughout some of the lowest points in my life and right there for some of the highest points also. Steve is K-9 Therapy on steroids for me, which leads us to how he's doing...

So here is the update about Steve. He hasn't been doing very well lately, so we took him to the vet. They wanted to watch him for the day so we had to leave him there, which was a little weird. We got a call later that evening with the diagnosis. Doc thinks he has Wobbler's Disease which fits him well. If you want to read on the link you can find out more, but in short it is messed up discs in his neck which makes it hard for his brain to communicate to his back half making him walk drunk. We have him on steroids now and in three short days our pup is back. He can't jump and swim like he used to, but he is motoring around the yard and getting into the trash. He wants to play more and enjoys walks over 5 minutes. We don't really know what the future holds but we're hoping things continue in this direction. When we find out more we'll let you know...but for now enjoy the pics of our dog.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Outdoors With Friends!

Two weekends ago Cassandra and I had the privilege of enjoying the great outdoors with some great friends. We went to Jamestown to climb the first evening and this is the road we came in on...

It had rained recently and the road was so muddy that we had a hard time making it in. Both cars are only two wheel drive so we might have been in some trouble if we would have gotten stuck. We made it pretty far in but made the choice to park short of the end because it only got worse.

This was the crew in the front car... Michael, Emily (AKA Em), Amber, Matt.

This was the crew in the second car...Me, Cass, Steve. Here is the issue, Steve hasn't been doing to well lately (we'll blog more on the in the future) so he really didn't appreciate the extra distance we had to travel. In fact he really couldn't make it at all...

Because it was so muddy Steve wasn't able to stay upright very long and it wasn't 100 yards into our walk he was down for the count. He really just couldn't make it anymore. We couldn't leave him in the car by himself for that long so the only option was to carry him...

He only weighs 65lbs but boy do you feel every one of those pounds when you have to curl him and balance in mud. I carried as long as I could then Michael came and took a turn. We went back and forth until we got him there. Once we were there we found out that to get to the bottom, where we were going to climb, we had to shimmy down a crack and there is no way Steve was doing any shimmying. So we decided to leave him at the top and one person would stay with him and we would rotate dog sitters so everyone could climb. Cass stayed with him first and I climbed first and when I got to the top I traded her places so she could go down and hang out with the crew. Steve is so worth it...

Em, Matt, and Amber at the top...

Cass, Em, and Amber

Matt and I on top. Matt just finished leading this route and I am pulling the rope up so that I can belay Michael from the top and he can top out with the last of our gear.

Michael, the last to climb, has the rest of our gear.


Cass and her baby

Matt and Amber

Like I said earlier Cassandra was the first to dog sit and I was the first to climb. When I got to the top I gave Cassandra her harness and she began to rappel off of the top. As she slipped over the edge the camera slipped out of her hoodie. It fell from the very top! Cass said, "Well if you thought we didn't blog enough before..." It was in its protective case but lets get real we all know the manufacturers didn't design the case with a 40-50 ft drop onto rocks in mind. It could have been a lot worse. There is a dent in the top of the camera and the flash doesn't work but as you can see we can still up load pictures and if we are really really nice to it we can sometimes get a picture out of it. But because the flash is now broken the rest of the story will just be told and not seen.... use your imagination.
We were all on top of the rock and Steve had a long rest so we started out. We made it about 100 yards when Steve quit again. I tried curling him and that didn't go to well because of climbing and being tired. So, I threw him over my shoulders, holding with front paws in my left hand, his back paws in my right hand, and his belly on my neck. That went well for a while but I'm not Hulk so that ended and we weren't at all near the cars. I then remembered I brought my parachute hammock so we laid it out and put a very tired dog inside. Michael took one side and I took the other and Steve just relaxed and enjoyed his escort service to the car.
We were very tired and hungry so we all went to Sonic and had a blast there.
Then we went to a camping spot outside of Cushman Ar. There is a cave there and we had plans to go inside that night and explore for a few hours but we spent a while at Sonic and then had to cut some trees that fell on the road to our camp site. We got there a little later than planned and after camp and firewood were all taken care of we decided it was to late to head into the cave. This was all on Saturday and the group decided to go into the cave early Sunday morning and Cass and I would have loved to do that but we have a really really neat Sunday morning class we love to go to. What we did was go to bed after midnight then get up at 5 and break camp and get on the road. It took us over 2 hours to get home and we had just enough time to get a shower and dressed before church. What a great weekend.

As for the rest of our lives....Cass is still working hard everyday and I'm still buried in books and papers and class and observation hours. Life is good and moving fast. Steve has had some recent complications but he's doing alright and we'll blog more about that later when we know more ourselves. We love you all!!