Sunday, October 25, 2009

Chimi Made an International Friend

The Chimi at church stories continue. The FPC Nairobi Mens Choral sang at CCC this morning. A member of the group is a veterinarian in Kenya. The joyful music and vocal calls made Chimi stand up and take notice! Chimi thought the music and dancing qualified as our meet and greet time. He got out in the aile a few times because He wanted to go say "Hello to Friends" across the aile. The pure joy of the praise to the Lord made Chimi wag his tail. I am thankful that Chimi did not try to talk and join the singing!

The Best Picture yet!

This Picture will be part of the CCC 2009 Directory!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Dog or Cats?

Many people ask which I like better dogs or cats. I was born a cat person but I am becoming more and more a Chimi person! (For those of you who have not read really old post I have two cats Plus Chimi!)

Hair – Definitely Dog – the cat hair is fine like dust Chimi hair is more like tumble weed.

Feeding - Definitely Dog - except when Chimi gets into the cat food!

Toys - Definitely Dog – Chimi has eaten most of the cat toys! Except the bird wand

Bedding Definitely Cat – The cats sleep on my bed.

Vet - Definitely Dog – Chimi loves to go the cats would rather die first!

Grooming – Dog and Cat – They take turns. Sissy sits in my lap to be brushed while I groom Chimi!

Poop Scooping – Definitely Dog – Chimi goes outside. No need for a litter box

Affection – Dog and Cats – Each one is an individual creature with personality. Each seeks attention and affection in his and her on way and can be some what jealous at times.
Sissy has actually been known to set off my medic alert system multiple times to get my attention. (No kidding.) She knows I have to come turn it off.

Smarts – Definitely Dog - Chimi has training. Before Chimi, my cats only retrieved toys. Now, they know Chimi is bigger and faster! Like I said, he has eaten most of them.

Dogzilla Chiller!

Because Chimi can not have treats, it has been so hot, and he considers ice a treat, I bought a Dogzilla Chiller bone. You fill it with water and freeze it. When you pop it out, one half is ice the other half is rubber. I was just going to look at it this morning and then give it to him after church. He stood on his hind legs, as tall as me, in begging position! He was not dressed for church yet so I gave it to him and watched him lick and chew on it for about 10 minutes until he ate the ice on one side. I rolled a tennis ball by him and he ignored it! I refilled it and put it back in the freezer for a treat after church!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

1st Year Service Dog Expenses

I itemizes what I spent for Chimi the first year These were my totals
1st Year Service Dog Expenses
Vet Care 448.58
Food and Water 235
Waste Management 116.85
Bedding 138.99
Work Gear 970.83
Grooming tools and supplies 101.12
Health Care Products 132.67
Exercise / Stress management /Toys 126.32
Total 2270.36

More than half of these expense were excessive due to my inexperience and excitement. The cheap baggies used for food servings can be reused as poop bags. The plastic bags are not environmentally green but they are cheaper. Cotton balls and ear solution last longer than the convenient more expensive cleaning pads I bought the leather harness; but, Chimi works best in the one he was trained in.I bought several leashes and head collars before I found one that worked for both me and Chimi. I explained toy expense in the last post. (Even when you find what works it has to be replaced when it breaks.)

Some of the basics like a kennel, water bowls and grooming tools, I will not have to replace for awhile. However I wish I would have gotten to know Chimi better before I bought dog supplies. I bought a regular plastic kennel and a travel bed. However, a soft sided collapsible kennel would have been a better investment for home and travel. I think He would love one of those large cushioned pillow cot like beds. (He and the cats all like to lay on the roll away bed.)

I hope to cut the vet bill in half by giving Chimi Benedrly. The majority of vet cost were allergy related.
I have now created a Chimi section in my monthly budget planning

Monday, June 29, 2009

Dog Toys

I have been given, or bought and tried several dog toy brands and different kinds of dog toys. I have gained some wisdom
1. Cheap toys do not last through one play time. The best toys are worth the expense.
2. Kong and Jolly toys are more durable than Ruff Dog. Chimi does not like Ruff Dog toys much except tugs.
3. Nylobone is best dog bone maker. They do not make Chimi sick (Larger Last longer) Dyno Bones are fun chews.
4. Expensive balls disappear like the mesh teaser with Tennis ball, the orange spiked ball, and the Kong balls. Chimi loved all three
5. Tennis balls are a must favorite toy for Chimi. Hard, medium priced, and less fuzzy last longer.
6. Chimi was given a Monster Tennis Ball that he loves to wrestle with.
7. Chimi’s second string toys are his: large Nylabone and Kong Frisbee that he and I play tug with.
8. Chimi loves stuffed animals but they can only be played with supervised “find” mind game times because he loves to mal and eat them.
9. I have very few cat toys left. Chimi has found and eaten most of them like candy. The cats get paper balls and boxes for toys now. The bird wand stays on top of the refrigerator.

Chimi at Play

One of the things I first noticed during Chimi’s playtime while we were training at KSDS is that he did not interact with the other dogs much. While the other dogs were wrestling he would hold a tennis ball and walk around the boundary of the play area. After several rounds he would stop by his trainer Michele, me and my other classmates to be petted. However he would take off if he thought you were going to take the ball. I was disappointed by this behavior because I liked to throw things and I thought it would be fun to play fetch. Michele reminded me that play time is Chimi’s dog time and it is not about me. She said that he considers fetching work and he did not want to have to give or share when he played.

When we got home I worried at first about Chimi not having other dog playmates. We have had a few. A friend’s Australian Shepherd and some over night stray guest. Chimi likes having other dogs around but he does not like to share his toys or me. The last few times other dogs have been around to play. Chimi dropped his balls at my feet and laid down and wined. I think God knew that I need Chimi to be happy playing alone.

One of the best dog purchases I made this past year was a fifty foot outdoor tie out line and stake. A friend put it next to my apartment in the grassy alley between apartments. Chimi has an outside play routine that goes something like this
1. Run leap and bound around with a sense of freedom on the long lead.
2. Roll in grass.
3. Do laps with ball
4. Be petted
5. Chew grass, bone, (ball)
6. Drink Water
7. Take care of business
8. Play tug with me.
9. Play 2 ball fetch – I learned that if I always kept one ball. He would fetch and trade balls with me.
10. When He is ready to go in he walks toward the front of the apartment and turns to wait for me.
He likes for me to watch more than he really wants me to play. If he could talk human, I would hear "Watch me! Watch me!" If He thinks I am not watching he will tap a ball at me or drop it at my feet. He expects me to play more with him inside than out.

Hot Summer Daze

The heat advisory weather we have had lately has been hard on Chimi. Back in May before it got so hot. I planned the day around the times Chimi and I went outside. We would go out to take care of business. We would go out to get the mail. We would work in the flower bed. We would have a “neighborhood watch” time.
Chimi is quite content to watch people and traffic come and go as he lays in the shade. While Chimi watches I read a magazine or look at a junk mail catalog. Before the heat Chimi also had regular outside play time! But with the heat advisory our outside visits are short, few, and far between. Playtime, is in not out, that makes Chimi feel confined and makes me work harder so he will play.
Chimi’s treats for the heat are ice cubes. If I say “ice cube” he will go sit by the refrigerator and wait. If I throw them, he catches them in air. Filling ice trays is a shaky, messy, and wet task. Before Chimi I did not even use them because I have sensitive teeth. It is worth it to hear Chimi crunch as he chills.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Happy Birthday Megan!

In Honor of your 18th birthday I can now post your picture with Chimi! Thank you for all your help with him. Chimi and I love you. We will miss you. Work the program at Covenant House. Take care of yourself. I am going to post new stuff about Chimi in a few days. Stay in touch. Praying for you.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Dandelion Dust

I need help giving Chimi a bath on a monthly basis so I invite EGR kids over to help. EGR is a phrase one of my old college friends taught me it means Extra Grace Required. In February, my EGR helpers were a bother and sister who are in foster care. The only thing harder than being a kid in foster care is being a foster parent. The Saturday afternoons that the kids come over to help with Chimi the whole family can rest and regroup. I tell the kids that I want them to play long and hard with Chimi so that once he gets his bath he will be ready to go bed. Both the kids and Chimi have a lot of energy!. This particular Saturday, the kids were making wishing blowing the seeds off dandelions. The kids were delighted to discover that Chimi would chase the dandelion dust that they blew into the wind. Your not suppose to tell a wish or it will not come true. It made me think of Karen Kingsburghs book Dandelion Dust about adoption. Healing a broken family and becoming a new whole family requires extra grace. I am thankful that Chimi and I have a part in such a work of love. May it be rooted and established more than just blowing in the wind.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

House Guest

One day I went to a Dr. appointment on the scooter without Chimi. On the way home 3 stray dogs followed me home. One of them was a female black lab mix. When I went in side the dogs seemed to disappear. That afternoon when I walked Chimi out to play this female black lab mix re appeared. At the sight of her Chimi took off for a chase straight into traffic and visiting neighboring apartments with open doors! I had not got the leash on all the way before opening the door. With a little help and a lot of yelling I finally got Chimi back on lead and the black dog was following along. Chimi was delighted to have a play mate. She liked tennis balls as much as he does. I called Animal Control. It was late. they were on police business and they could not come get her until morning. She had a collar and she obeyed sit, down, stay and come commands so I knew she belonged to someone. At first I planned to let her stay outside on Chimi's play time lead but the neighbors were indignant that I now "had two dogs - one outside and one inside. So I brought her in to calm the neigbors and called the apartment manger to inform her that the visiting dog was only staying the night. The cats were as put out as the neighbors. Chimi is a dog they know. We have no more room for a dog they do not know. Animal control came and picked her up the next morning. Her owner had called looking for her. But not before she had chewed through Chimi's retractable lead! I think we Chimi the cats and me were all relieved when she left. Chimi seems to likes being the only dog and playing alone. He does not have to share tennis balls.

The Twilight Zone Skit - Chimi and the Barking Dog Imitator – Another Chimi at Church Story

In February Chimi and I attended the early service for the Learning Center teachers because we are part of the 5th and 6th grade even month teaching team. This is a smaller service and as long as Chimi and me sit in the back distractions are usually not a problem.

Wisdom from Proverbs was the sermon series and this particular Sunday the topic was about how to speak with wisdom. The introduction to the sermon was an original skit written by Dee Alexander the CCC Worship Leader. The Skit was a parody of an episode of the Twilight Zone. In this episode there lived a foolish woman who spoke ill of people. Once she entered the Twilight Zone each time she spoke ill of someone they would fall down dead.

A scene of the skit involved a salesman coming to the door of this foolish, ill speaking woman’s home. As the salesman approached an imaginary dog began to bark. The dog was not real but the sound was! Dee our worship leader was imitating the barking of a dog. It sounded real enough to Chimi that he alerted toward the door with a point and a low growl as Chimi growled. The crowed giggled.

The sweetest part of the story is that Chimi was not the only one who thought the imitation was real, another staff member was in the church office area. When he heard the barking sound he took off running down the hall in search of me because he thought I had fallen and that Chimi was “speaking” to get help.

Dee’s youngest daughter walked up to me and Chimi one Sunday after church and asked, “Why does he wag his tail so much?” I told her that church was a happy place for Chimi and me.

This past Sunday we even made it through big church communion without causing a disruption. When people started getting up and moving closer Chimi got up. I looked at him and said it communion lay back down. He laid right back down with a quite sigh and a swishing tail.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Chimi at Seminary Exstetion Class

These are some of the the guys who paid my travel expenses for traveling to train with Chimi!

Chimi's Night in Bethlehem

Christmas Pictures