"Do Good" Opportunities, Human Interest News, In the News, Uncategorized

His Last Valentines: 104 Year Old Vet Asks For Cards, Letters

Hi Angels–

Sorry I haven’t written lately.  I had a little accident that has taken me the better part of a month to recover from.  I will be just fine.

Blog.Major.Bill.White.USMC.Retired.2020.104 yrs old

I recently was made aware of a 104 year old retired Marine, whose wish is to receive Valentine’s Day cards from everyone–and everywhere.  This may very well be his last Valentine’s day.  He wants to add them to his memory collection of his life–right next to his Purple Heart medal, that he was awarded after leading Marines under heavy Japanese fire during the battle of Iwo Jima, in World War II.

Operation Valentine

ATTN: Hold for Major Bill White, USMC (Ret)

The Oaks at Inglewood

6725 Inglewood Ave.

Stockton, CA 95207


It may be nice to write your name and city, state inside the card–and if you can, just a little note of appreciation and/or encouragement.

Doing good is simple sometimes.  You can write on a piece of paper, have your kids make cards, buy a 97 cents card or a $8 card–it just matters that you do something.

I believe that when an opportunity to help someone crosses our path, it is our duty to act.  Some blessing opportunities are more difficult than others.  This one, however, is an easy one.

When I spoke to the assisted living facility today, an attendant told me that another resident had this idea to cheer up retired Major White.  I hope that you, too, will take part in this humane effort that qualifies as magnificent.

Thank you for listening and for caring.  Especially for caring.

Please share this post–let’s see if we can reach people all over the world.  Valentine’s Day has no boundaries of any sort.  God bless you.




Little Junie, my love, keeps a protective paw on her bone while she naps on her Kuranda-like bed!  Yesterday, she found the toy box on her own while I was working on helping a soldier in trouble in Wisconsin (more to come on this).  She had about twenty toys out all over the place–it was like a “toy party.”  (I had to clean up the toy shreds off of her bone when she woke up–she loves to “kill” the toys and take out the squeakers! Thankfully, during the “toy party” she just played with most of them.


"Do Good" Opportunities, Uncategorized

Giving Back: A True Thanks-giving

Every day I wake up, I silently ask God to place a soul in my path who needs help-animal or human.  It is an absolute blessing to be able to do something good–from the tiniest thing to the magnificent–to help another.

Every holiday, I try to plan an extra special way to help a family, a shelter, a homeless group, vets, dogs, cats, turtles…a project or task much bigger than my every day blessings.  This year, having a very full “plate,” I was feeling a little guilty for not planning something special at Thanksgiving time but I thought that God would understand since I have Someone to care for and many dogs with very special needs to watch over.  God, however, had other plans…

Years ago, when Someone was acting odd and getting sick, I took him to approximately 15-20 doctors, hospitals, therapists, psychiatrists, neurologists and on and on.  No one could figure out exactly what was wrong so I was told to put him into therapy (he tried), leave him, institutionalize him, etc.  I had known him for so long as a cheery, giving, the most thoughtful, kind human being I had ever met that in my gut, I knew something else was wrong.  Then, one nurse practitioner met with Someone many times and confirmed what I was feeling.  Something was very wrong–but it was not psychiatric!

Saving him from a life of being sedated and confined to an institution, this nurse helped arrange visits to advanced healthcare and up the ladder we went until, after five brain scans, a diagnosis was made: Lewy Body Dementia.  I didn’t know what that was–but I certainly do now–with medications and behavior management, Someone can live at home and not be medicated and warehoused into a “corner.” We owed that special nurse our lives really.

The week before Thanksgiving, I received a call that this nurse, who had moved out of state, was going to be in Houston for a visit.  She was staying with a friend but would love to see us–and of course, we would love to see her!  She met us at the big medical center downtown where Someone had an appointment and we spent about four hours together catching up but vowed to see each other again soon on a social visit.

Within days, as I was just sitting in The Rose Chapel at the hospital praying and lighting candles for all of our angels both animal and human, on earth and in heaven–this nurse was the last candle that I lit one for when my phone rang.  The friend she was staying with told me that she was missing for almost an entire day! Her cell phones had been left on her bedside (turned out they needed charging so she left them since she was just going to get a coffee at Starbucks) and there was no way to find out where she was.  Since she was recovering from an accident from the previous year, her friend was worried that she was lost or had been mugged or worse and filed a missing person’s report and was driving the streets of their area to see if she was hurt.

Sitting in the chapel and praying, gave me complete clarity of thought and a calmness that helped so much.  I immediately began calling hospitals and emergency rooms.  This nurse was such a responsible person that there was no way she would just wander off without telling someone.  Something had happened to her.  I called her son who was having great anxiety being so far away and had him work on his laptop and text me the numbers of the area hospitals–as fast as he could send them, I was calling them.  On the third call, we located her!  Everyone breathed a sigh of relief–but the relief would turn into great concern after finding out what had happened.

The nurse had been in an accident and was taken to the ER by ambulance after a bystander called the emergency number.  She wound up fracturing her pelvis, fracturing the long bone of her arm that attaches to the shoulder joint, and so many other bruises and bumps and cuts that I think it will take months to recover in the hospital and then rehab.  She cannot walk, cannot even sit up in bed and just screams out in agony if moved despite lots of pain meds. She cannot even feed herself.

So, this Thanksgiving,  I knew what God had in mind!  I made sure the dogs had an early dinner, got Someone ready and headed for the hospital–with a stop to pick up two turkey dinners for Someone–and his nurse!  (That is all I could get approved–all of the restaurants were out of turkey that week!)  I enjoyed a soda at the hospital and it was as good as any vegetarian holiday dinner that I could have ordered!

We arrived at the hospital with dinner, pumpkin pie (which was included) and brought along whipped cream and jellied cranberry sauce (a special request).  I had to stop myself from gasping when I saw our vibrant nurse–just shattered and more than physically.  I would have hugged her but I didn’t know where to even touch her–it was that serious a situation.

Someone took out the Christmas lights that we brought for the occasion and strung them along her bed.  (We were told that they couldn’t stay past this one visit.)  I cleaned up the room, made room for both of their dinners and hand-fed our angel nurse her dinner little by little.  (Someone brought a cool bag to put any left-overs on ice so she could have lunch or dinner the next day which was very thoughtful and needed.)

After dinner, I turned out the lights and by Christmas lights only, I gave her a bath by hand, brushed out her hair from the accident, changed her linens…well, tried to help however I could. It was slow going because of her fractures and pain level but I thanked God the entire time I was there that I/we could be of service on this day of thanks.  This was a true Thanks-giving.  (Many more hospital visits to come…)

We got home after 3 AM, and thanked God again for the gift cards that our angels send because we ordered eggs and ham to mix into the dogs kibble when we got home.  We also thanked God for all of the angels who pray for help, send things for the dogs and just care in general.  Without you, we could not do so much to help so many.

Days later, we are still helping our precious nurse and will continue to do so as long as need be.  Yes, it is a big job–but with God’s help and lots of prayers, she will recover enough to walk again.  Her life is literally on the line right now so without the help of her friend who she was staying with and us, she would not make it (her family has not come down yet) so thank you for your patience, for your prayers and your help with the dogs.

God is so much bigger than us. While we are used to saying HE, God is beyond words–God is really all LOVE–the source of it, the power behind it, all of it.  God is conscious though–while He is the source of the love we have for each other or for our animals, He is much more than that.  HE hears our prayers–and apparently He not only knew that I was feeling bad about not having planned to help anyone this Thanksgiving more than I already do but HE also heard the nurse’s prayers–or she would not have even made it to the hospital to eat Thanksgiving Dinner!

Cherish every minute of your lives–and of the time you have with your loved ones. You never know when things will change or when God will call…too many times to count now, I have seen this with my own eyes both with animals and with people so please, don’t rush through your day unconsciously but thoughtfully–and always try to do good, to show love in anyway possible.  It matters.  Even the tiniest thing matters.

Sending all of our love and best wishes to everyone–I will write a dog story soon. I have the pictures formatted and ready to post with the different surprises you have been sending in to help the Rescue Ranch dogs!  (firststop-laststop.com)  There is a wish list on the website or you can just send gift cards for anywhere–especially needed are Burger King, Wendy’s, McDonald’s, generic Visa cards, Petsmart, Petco, or any others that you are not using, we will find a way to use them to help the special needs dogs at the RR!

If you would like to send an e-card (amazon credits are very much needed right now) or to send a credit to use for their medicines via paypal, please use: a.rescue.volunteer@gmail.com

If you would like to mail a card or gift card, please send to:

Rescue Ranch

4057 Riley Fuzzel Road

Unit 500-130

Spring, TX  77386



Thank you so very much for caring.

We are extremely grateful and extremely blessed that you are in our lives.


Love and Hugs from the Herd Always-



To see the special pic I took one day sitting in The Rose Chapel, if you receive this post via email, please click on the link at the bottom of your email text.  The featured pics on my blog do not go to the email subscribers for some unknown reason!

"Do Good" Opportunities, Human Interest News, Lewy Body Dementia, Spiritual, Uncategorized

God Grant Serenity…


“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

I have had a very difficult time sitting down to write.  Not because I don’t have so many things to write about or to say but because I have too many things to write about and to say!  Where do I begin…??

Several angels have written to me asking how I am doing and why they haven’t heard from me lately so I thought that I would post to this blog to let you know that I am still standing and that being overwhelmed is the understatement of the century.

As you know, I am not only trying to help Someone with a bizarre, progressive and terminal neurologic disease, Lewy Body Dementia, all while having been sick for more than a year with a hole in my small intestine–most likely caused by the acid released from holding in lots and lots–did I say lots–of stress!  (Yes, I am now acutely aware that stress can kill you so exercise and relax as often as you can so it doesn’t get to this level!)

In addition, while not the stressful part, I have lots of special needs dogs who call the Rescue Ranch their home–and require lots of resources and time and attention.  The stressful part is trying every month to figure out how their needs are going to be met since Someone can’t work anymore and is on disability, we are now living on 30% of what our income was when we started the RR–and angel help has dropped dramatically due to lack of exposure, I think.  I just can’t do it all, including writing regularly, and as a very responsible person, it bothers me that I can’t juggle all of these things right now.

I was supposed to have the first surgery this past Wednesday, endoscopic–(the docs are trying to do it by going down my throat into my intestines first trying to avoid open surgery from the outside/in which is a big deal) to repair the damage with lots of tools where my stomach and small intestine link up but after the stunning unexpected loss of a significantly close family member on Monday morning (not Someone), my guts were too swollen inside from crying for them to operate so it has been rescheduled to this coming week.  In the meantime, I am limited to a liquid diet of Boost Breeze (a nutritional drink with protein that is thin like juice), applesauce and ice cream.  After more than a year of being sick, I am still hopeful that getting better is just around the corner!  (I keep putting off the surgeon who wants to operate on my abdominal mass until after I can at least eat again!)

Meanwhile, Someone is getting worse.  Staying up all night, he has full-on feasts at 4 AM (the docs are finding me locks for the frig and cabinets) and then he wants to go wander the neighborhood for exercise afterward–and have me go with him–and then takes the dogs out for playtime before dawn…well it all has me exhausted.  No matter what, my alarm goes off at 6:50 AM every day,  which is hours before Someone is even ready to settle down so I can start my day.

Now, by noon, he is able to lay down but in his wake, he leaves the kitchen as if there were a New Year’s Eve party (minus the alcohol), hoards every bit of cardboard possible and candy and sweet things (they are hidden in the den, in the office, in the laundry room, etc.) and he fights to keep it all from being recycled or thrown out, all while calling professionals and writing checks/getting them in the mail on those 4-5 AM outings or while I am napping–which are being returned NSF–gulp–and causing just plain havoc that I have to spend hours daily trying to straighten things out just about every other day.  He sounds credible on the phone but he doesn’t understand what he is doing. I feel like all I am doing is fixing problems and cleaning up after Someone.  The messes and screw-ups, though, are getting bigger.  It is time to lock up the phones and the computer.

The problem is that every major incident causes that acid to run through my body (yes, when it is this bad, you can actually feel a stress hormone being released, triggering the acid and eating through your guts) making me more and more sick. (In fact, for over a year, I kept two ice packs on the spot that blew open last year, trying to quell the pain and postpone whatever was happening. I didn’t have time to get it fixed, whatever it was–and now look what has happened!)

The doctors (his and mine) have been encouraging me to consider permanent placement of Someone or at least temporary placement for a few months while I get better. No stress=no acid release=my guts being able to heal. But, it is not covered by insurance and so unless we have the assets to do that (we don’t), or I surrender the RR and his disability which would leave me and the dogs virtually homeless, I have to either take care of Someone or find a relative who can/will (there are no volunteers to help in any way despite his extended family.  Since he’s gotten sick, other than one visit from his half-sister, I just hear “crickets” when I even ask for a show of caring like an email or a card).

Realizing that I am no longer the super human that I tried to be, I have to nap when he rests and force myself to get up to do both dog, house and property maintainance and I have a list a foot long of my own Honey Do’s.  I am not a plumber nor a lot of things so they are going to require professionals although I sure am doing my best to try to learn.

The RR angel fund has one regular gift of $15 each month. Then…one angel sends a box of Rattle Ball treats monthly; another sends big cans of food and peanut butter bones; another sends gift cards for Someone (and special surprises for him) and the RR Herd as she is able; another collects things with her mother and drops off different size food tubs that I’ve been freezing for treats in the 110 degree plus heat, blankets, toys, and odds ‘n ends that we need as she can monthly-ish; one gives amazon credits when she can; one sends the much needed little dog food tubs and includes special treats for Someone (all who do this just touches my heart), and occasionally, a gift card or prayer card or special religious very special something or an extra surprise for the dogs finds its way to me.  I am so grateful for all of this help, I truly am.

That said, it costs $800 month to feed the dogs and $600 for their medicines and medical supplies and $300 for bones (I try to make them myself as I can) and and and.  I refuse to give up on these animals when they have less than a year to five years left most likely (special needs animals have shorter live spans) but having more–and more regular– angel help, sure would take some of this stress away. The overall debt is crushing and the constant hoping that help will come is a source of unconscious stress. Hopefully by next May–give or take a month or two–I can make some permanent changes or get well enough to figure out a way to pick up a work-from-home income or be strong enough to move.  I know that right now, I can concentrate for five or ten minutes at a time–imagining eight hours of concentration time seems like a dream from way back when and now impossible!

I had to laugh last night when I took a good look at what I personally own.  I have been trying to organize to be ready to pack and get the RR ready in case I need to put it on the market next spring.  I have been making bags of donated personal stuff to give to a shelter and a section of stuff (like furniture and some wedding presents, etc.) that I may have to sell on consignment or give away to angels and realized that I haven’t bought any shoes for myself in over 15 years and that aside from some pajamas, I haven’t bought anything new to wear either in all that time!  I have always made the needs of the dogs and now those of Someone a priority and myself last.  I don’t feel bad about it, I just thought it was kind of interesting!  I don’t even have any vices that I waste money on!  Sustaining and preserving life has always been more important to me my entire life than money or possessions and when I really took inventory last night, it was clear that I am living/have lived what I believe.

Well, enough for now.  We are alive and as fine as can be.  All prayers are welcome and very much appreciated. In turn, every time I am at the hospital, we light candles for you–and that is a very special place in which, I am sure, God hears prayers.  I try to look above the immediate circumstances and just firmly believe that God has brought us here and so He will bring us through it!  He can move the heart of one, some or many to help or to pray or to find ways to make a difference in any of our lives.  Remember, every act of caring and compassion counts, no matter the size.  It is all about intention.  He can also send a miracle, a benefactor, heal us, any one of a thousand things to change a situation.  It is my/our job to remain optimistic and faithful.

In the meantime, have a wonderful Labor Day!  If you happen to be in Florida, please be safe and if you find yourself in trouble, please let me know if there is any way that we can help.  Keep your pets with you and be emphatic (and unwavering) about your pet’s safety.  They depend on you to safeguard their lives which is an awesome responsibility and one that you morally must honor and if you can’t, you must find someone who can.

Sending lots of love and always Hugs from the Herd!



Cubby.RR.Anniver.cake.2019.a.jpg - 1

Cubby when it was his turn to eat some of the RR 2019 (12 year!) Anniversary Cake…

Cubby.RR.Anniver.cake.2019.b.jpg - 1

Sweet Cubby AFTER having his turn at the cake!  He was happy–and even had to have a run with his favorite toy before sitting down for this pic!

Cubby and his brothers were abandoned by a rescue group at the RR–and we were never able to get them adopted so they found their forever home.

All (any) e-credits or cards please send to: a.rescue.volunteer@gmail.com

Mailing address:

Rescue Ranch

4057 Riley Fuzzel Road

Ste. 500-130

Spring, TX  77386


Immediate needs:

Stuffed Twist Peanut Butter bones  (as many as possible)

Wish List Wet Foods (three sizes needed: 10 oz, 3.5 oz and 2.5 oz)

Visa/MC Gift Cards (can use for medicine, food, etc.)

Amazon gc’s or e-cards

Burger King, McDonald’s, Wendy’s gift cards or e-cards

Any gift cards to HEB, Kroger’s, etc.

…and IF you are not using a gift card of any sort, please let us put it to good use!


Thank you for caring. Especially for caring!!










"Do Good" Opportunities, Uncategorized

RR Herd: Please Help Fill Our ‘Tank’

Hi Angels!

Preparing for a long, difficult summer, these are some specific things we really need at the Rescue Ranch.  Of course, “Everything Dog” is always welcome but these things are favorites or special requests or things that the dogs just can’t “live” without! (Dingo Ringos, too! from petmountain.com)


Amazon, Chewy.com, petmountain.com have the best prices–highlighted boxes are best deals/prices on amazon. (Be careful on amazon when choosing an option–some of the vendors offer bundles that cost considerably more if you don’t do the math ahead of time.)  The prices below are the best options.

1. Treats (some beloved examples)

Healthy Hide Good ‘n’ Fun Triple Flavor Wings 


Good ‘n’ Fun Triple Flavor Kabobs


Smart Bones Stuffed Twistz (Pork/Beef and Peanut Butter)


Peanut Butter filled Sticks


Knot Bones

(Good ‘n’ Fun or flavored knot bones (Petco or Petsmart) or Rawhide large rolls (Sam’s Club) at least Four inches to 8 inches/12 “big dog” bones needed each time.)



2.  Gift Cards/e-credits: Burger King, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, generic Visa (helps with medications and vet bills), amazon.com e-credits, HEB, Petsmart and Petco–and any gift cards that you are not using–we’ll find a way to use them to benefit the RR dogs! (Note: Even if you have used part of one, just write the balance on the back or tape a piece of paper on it with the remaining balance.)

There is also a GoFundMe associated with this page on which gifts can be used on medication or whatever the dogs need.


Please care and help as you can.  Your life will be better for it.

Blessing others is actually an opportunity to bless our own lives.


Not matter how hard life has become, we made a promise that the dogs at the RR will always have a home until God calls.  While we can’t take in any other dogs right now except for a temporary hold or if found to find their owners, we still have our hands full.

Maybe sometime in the future,  I’ll be able to take in mama dogs again needing to birth their pups (as long as the vet or rescue signs a contract to take them back when they are weaned!) or some animals that need hospice or help transitioning but I right now I need to take a break from taking in new dogs while I take care of Someone. I still help other dogs and their people by consulting on cases all over the country–gratis.  Helping animals to me is a profound honor.

Thanks for caring. Especially for caring.



1. Anything e-  including amazon credit and online gift card credits should go to: a.rescue.volunteer@gmail.com


2. Mail and packages go to:

Rescue Ranch

4057 Riley Fuzzel Road

Suite 500-130

Spring, TX  77386

Note: Chewy and other vendors do not include any notice of who sent the RR a surprise.  Please send a separate email–and don’t be embarrassed please–to let us know that you are the angel who is blessing the dogs.  Please email: a.rescue.volunteer@gmail.com



For more on Father Leo Clifford OFM’s (1922-2012) series “Reflections,” you can see his ten minute very simple but profound spiritual insights on YouTube or you can buy one or more of his books or DVD’s on amazon.

“An Angel came to visit a petulant child of God. ‘When must I stop giving?’ he asked. The Angel said, ‘Living is Giving and Giving is Living. You must keep giving as long as God is giving to you.” *

Fr. Leo Clifford, OFM

(*Parapharased due to a slow transcriptionist–me!)

James.RR.Anniv.2019.a.jpg - 1

Happy, beautiful, James, brother of Gracie, is showing off his beautiful reflective collar that his Angel sponsored.  Both he and Gracie are difficult to see at night and so both were graced with them–but in different colors!

Gracie.new.Chai.collar.2019.jpg - 1

Half the size of Jamesie, Someone calls Miss Gracie a perpetual motion machine!  It is almost impossible to get a pic of her standing still and as dusk approaches, it is getting harder to even get even a clear-ish pic of her in motion!

This week, in an effect to put ointment on her ear (it looked like she may have a little cut), she rolled over and to my dismay, she has a large hard mammary swelling.  She is on antibiotics to see if it is an infection and if it doesn’t respond, it will need to be biopsied  Please put her on your prayer list.  I will write more about Gracie’s story separately once I have more information.



Angel Cloud Photo Credit: Danny Ferraro, Montgomery, TX



Recent Stories (refresh the link if your links haven’t been activated yet)

The Two Uh-Ohs

RR Herd Talk: Quick, Frozen Dog Treats

Temporarily Traumatized: You Must Be Your Own Advocate




"Do Good" Opportunities, Autobiography, Just Gotta Laugh, Lewy Body Dementia, Uncategorized

Still Belly Laughing Years Later

Note: Always click on the link in your email to read my stories.    You may even get more details than in the story in your Inbox. After I publish, for some reason, I can proof-read better.  

I need to scan the pics that were sent to us after the fact by Someone’s half-brother, G, about this incident but I am going to skip that for now. They would interfere with my telling of the story–the whole story–if my readers just skipped to the “end.”

(For readers just joining, “Someone” is my significant other, who would prefer to remain nameless because he is kinda embarrassed that he has an early-onset brain disease.)*

Years ago, when those little bags full of tiny greeting card glitter inserts came out, in the shape of hearts or snowmen, pumpkins or shamrocks, G’s wife was obsessed with them. Every greeting card, letter, holiday card, even presents that she sent to anyone had a generous handful of them enclosed.

At first, it was a pretty, occassional inclusion, we thought. But as time went on and they became more problematic than pretty. When we’d open a letter, a package, a set of printed photos, they would fall out all over the floor, into the dogs’ fur, our clothes, get into the carpet, in the tile cracks and more.  We’d have to clean them up and instead of enjoying her letter, we’d spend each time cleaning up “her” mess.  The more this happened, the more frustrated we became.

I couldn’t imagine how much this was costing G’s wife!  Each package was about $5 in the card section of the store and she was doing this often. I wrote to her and asked her to please keep those lovely surprises for other people, but she would not listen.  We continued to be bombarded by more and more designer glitter.

One Thanksgiving, before Someone was sick, about twenty of us were all at a relative’s home and after dinner, the men were sitting around talking in the den.  Grandma (Gma) nearing 90 and I just happened to be there, too, babysitting some of the younger cousins while others were clearing the table for dessert.

“Are you getting that glitter (c**p) in your cards and letters from G’s wife?” Someone asked the table.  “Ugh.” said one.  “OMG,”said another.  “It is the worst, ” said Gma. “We’ve asked her to stop it but she thinks it’s funny,” said one of the other wives walking by.  The wheels began turning in Someone’s brain that very night.  It had to stop.

We drove home and Someone began planning and brainstorming about how to get the message across to G and his wife that the entire family despised her glitter “surprises.” It was no longer pretty or cute but kind of naughty-not-nice, especially after people asked repeatedly for the behaviour to stop.)

Someone began assembling parts for his masterpiece of masterpieces.  Whenever he did something, he always did it to succeed and to be the best that he could.  (To this day, when ever we want to laugh or even bring up glitter, we laugh for a very long time.)

The wheels were turning.  He bought several of those beginner magic cans of peanuts with the coiled snake in it (he wanted the “snakes”;  five POUNDS of fine, multi-color glitter;  a bunch of other parts that would assemble into the prettiest Christmas present that G and his wife could not resist opening and mailed it mixed in with their regular presents. I can’t remember exactly how it was assembled but it was complex and ingenious and totally harmless.

On Christmas morning, we got up early and just sat at home drinking hot cocoa and playing with the dogs and waited for the phone to ring.  We weren’t sure if it was going to work or if sending it through the mail would upset the glitter launcher. The suspense was a nail-biter.  Then about 11 AM, the call came.  G and his wife weren’t mad but they were certainly shocked. It was so unexpected that they were belly laughing with us, too–but I could tell that G’s wife wasn’t totally thrilled especially about the aftermath.

They told us what happened.  The pics they sent were of the rug and the cats and their hair, sofa…  I remember hearing that it was even inside their socks!.

Sitting on their shag carpeting, G opened that Christmas present–with his two long-haired cats right by his side–and his wife on the chair right next to him (with very long, curly hair). When G pulled open the top of the box, pounds and pounds of fine glitter went up in the air and came down ALL over the room!  It was in their hair, in the cats’ fur (not in their eyes and they did not inhale it–it was clear that they had ducked and the glitter was just down their backs–then they happily rolled in it so it was then all over their tummies), deeply embedded (for a long time) in the shag carpeting, in their clothes, furniture, more.  It was one of THE best brother-to-brother gags I have ever seen and Someone was the mastermind behind it all.

Needless to say, we never once got another card with the little glitter snowflakes or hearts or whatever in them again.  Neither did anyone else in the entire family!  (They all thanked Someone once the story and pics got around the family.)  I think the message was received more than loud and clear with no harm done.

We still continued to vacation all together and visit and talk regularly–until Someone got sick.  Gma, Someone’s biggest fan, passed away at 95, just before Someone’s official diagnosis.

As for the rest of the family, all but our first “Someone is sick” call, all calls now go unanswered; my email requests for them to just send a card to keep in touch–to spend time with each other before there are regrets–now fall on deaf ears (not uncommon in these situations).

There will never be another gag like that.  Someone ended on a high note–which will keep us still belly laughing for years to come!

Make lots of good memories while you can.  They will carry you far!

Sending love and hugs from the Herd and their people!





IF you want to help me continue my “mission” caring for special needs animals, and there are lots of them at the Rescue Ranch, please help in any way you can.  Thank you!


How to Help

Send Prayers are always welcome and much appreciated.
E-anything–from email to much needed amazon credits and gift cards–from generic Visa to fast-food restaurants, like McD’s, Burger King, Taco Bell (yes some dogs will only eat cheese and or chicken something or other from there), please use: a.rescue.volunteer@gmail.com (or the mail)
Mailing address: Rescue Ranch, 4057 Riley Fuzzel Road, Ste. 500-130, Spring, TX  77386
Rescue Ranch website: http://www.firststop-laststop.com  (I will update the site/blog after I am done with this project. I will let you know when I am posting there again–probably mid-March.)
*For more information on Lewy Body Dementia (or Disorder as Someone prefers that I refer to it in public, especially if I have to explain his behavior or deficits in a store), please go to lbda.org
To Adopt, Rescue, Foster, Volunteer to help any type of animal imaginable (practically), please start at petfinder.com and type in your zip come and animal you would like to help.
Big Ady Ada collected all of the big dog Dingo bones–
we always had to redistribute them when she wasn’t looking!
“If you become silent after your laughter, one day you will hear God also laughing, you will hear the whole existence laughing — trees and stones and stars with you.” — Osho
PS  The delay in sending out the insurance Retroactive Reinstatement tome last week, is working to our advantage.  The other two doctors’ letters will be in, I thought of something I missed, and some more articles that I could include to further explain what happened.  Hopefully mid-week, it will be in Fed Ex.  I am still trying to be laser-focused until I have the Fed Ex receipt in my hand!
DON’T FORGET TO SIGN UP FOR EMAIL NOTIFICATION OF NEW STORIES/BLOG POSTS! Just go to the top of this page and click on the black section with the white lines–a menu will open!
Send an amazon e-card to use to help the special needs rescue dogs at the Rescue Ranch! Just click on this link and use the email: a.rescue.volunteer@gmail.com for the To/Delivery address.  Thank you for caring.  Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0145WHYKC/gcrnsts/?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=ur2&tag=rescranc-20&linkId=I2QOVRMWZNQYBADR
PLEASE Do Your Amazon Shopping Through MY DOG RESCUE LINK ON AMAZON…everything stays private to you and is processed by amazon, just a small percentage (usually 2-4) goes to my animal rescue organization, the Rescue Ranch.  Thank you!  Link to start shopping: https://tinyurl.com/AmazonforRescueRanch    (Please bookmark it or keep it handy to use all the time!)
"Do Good" Opportunities, Autobiography, Just Gotta Laugh, Uncategorized

It’s Always Something

Thankfully, this past week, I had listened to a Deepak Chopra show on PBS about the spiritual laws of the universe.  (I keep the screen off on the TV and listen to the sound while I work.  While I don’t agree with everything he says, I love to consider all different points of view.) I remember him saying that everything happens as it is supposed to and that we are to only live in the present–not carrying anything from the past or expecting anything from the future.  “Food for thought, ” I thought as I mulled it over.  His three or four hour lecture was fresh in my mind.

I have been working all week on a project that was over 400 pages and needed to be Fed Ex’d PDQ.  I kept reading it and reworking it–about eight times–to cut out any repetitive sentences, thoughts, or even paragraphs and got it down to 265 pages.  That would cut down on the copying charges, the weight of the Fed Ex and the time that someone else’s tired eyes is going to have to read it!

With three hours to spare, it was time to leave to copy it and send it out.  Four of six doctors had responded with letters that I needed and records to support what I was writing about. The others I asked couldn’t do them until next week but I really needed to get this in today–or so I thought.  (I told Someone to get dressed and to get in the car at least a few hours in advance.  I took five to actually get him sitting in a seat.)  “Oh,” I said, “I need a credit card.”  The machines are now automated.  You can’t just pay cash at the counter after making copies.  “I’ll get it,” Someone said.  “Great.  Then, let’s go,” I said.

We drove there and I got everything set across the counter, Exhibit by Exhibit, to copy. Someone kept putting the card in the “reader” and it kept coming back.  “I don’t know why it keeps rejecting the card.”  “Let me see it, ” I said.  It was the correct bank card. Then Someone said, “It is a 2018 card.  The new one doesn’t come until the summer so it should work.” Oh.

My Someone has Lewy Body Dementia.  It is not a disease with a steady decline so you kind of know what to expect day to day.  LBD changes hour by hour, day to day.  While physically weaker, some times, Someone is “himself.”  Other times, there are clear signs that something is wrong–some things I will not talk about until he is no longer with us.  I don’t want him to lose his dignity but know that no one could ever prepare for this disease.  It is a mind-bender.

Well, we took the document and the card and headed home.  There is nothing you can say in this situation other than, “Well, I’ll get the right card and we’ll come back tomorrow.”  Now, I know I need to watch for another level of impairment.  I know I would have destroyed the old card and double-checked it before I left to go out.  How he found an old card I will never know.

On the way home, headed for McDonald’s for doggie burgers, Deepak Chopra’s voice was telling me that everything is as it is supposed to be.  Let nothing upset you.  Expect nothing.  Thankfully, I don’t get upset easily so other than a little extra stomach acid rumbling around,  it doesn’t matter.

“Tomorrow is another day,” my mother used to always remind me.  Maybe there is something I forgot to include.  Maybe one of the doctor’s who didn’t get included will send their letter earlier than next week.  Maybe maybe maybe.

It will take a couple of hours now to feed the dogs who won’t eat dog food or can’t eat dog food but not having the burgers, would mean I’d be up all night into the morning. Taking care of special needs dogs is so outside the normal “pet,” or even fostering, experience. They feel like eating–or drinking–one day and then not the next.  I have to have all types of things available for them to eat–sometimes, they only want my cheese sandwich or my cheese pizza–then I have a juice box for dinner!

When you get frustrated, just remember to stay in the moment.  Things are going the way they are supposed to. Let go and just go with what is happening. (I sure pray lots of prayers, most that I learned way back when and read prayer cards for reinforcement and at the same time, too, as I’ve been told, to praise–say, “Thank You,” for all things, even those that haven’t happened yet instead of begging for things yet to come–or not. Even the hard things, the things you wish weren’t, the things you are glad about.  All things.

“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)


IF you want to help me continue my “mission” caring for special needs animals, and there are lots of them at the Rescue Ranch, please help in any way you can.  Thank you!

You can:

Send Prayers are always welcome and much appreciated.
E-anything–from email to much needed amazon credits and gift cards–from generic Visa to fast-food restaurants, please use: a.rescue.volunteer@gmail.com (or the mail)
Mailing address: Rescue Ranch, 4057 Riley Fuzzel Road, Ste. 500-130, Spring, TX  77386
Rescue Ranch website: http://www.firststop-laststop.com  (I will update the site/blog after I am done with this project. I will let you know when I am posting there again–probably mid-March.)


“Giving connects two people, the giver and the receiver, and this connection gives birth to a new sense of belonging.” ― Deepak Chopra



“If you could really see that tree over there,” Merlin said, “you would be so astounded that you’d fall over.”
“Really? But why?” asked Arthur. “It’s just a tree.”
“No,” Merlin said, “It’s just a tree in your mind. To another mind it is an expression of infinite spirit and beauty. In God’s mind it is a dear child, sweeter than anything you can imagine.”







"Do Good" Opportunities, In the News, Lewy Body Dementia, RR Dog Stories, Spiritual, Uncategorized

Thank you, Alex Trebek: Your Life Makes a Difference

While I’ve been “holed up” writing the tome of all tomes to get my Someone’s Medicare restored, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on a lot of deep subjects.  

I set aside two weeks to write a complex Reinstatement Medicare appeal and to gather all of the medical documentation from hospitals and ask doctors to write letters to explain what happens with his illness. Someone has a terminal neurodegenerative disease (brain) and used the wrong words to try to get something accomplished. Instead his intent was misunderstood and Social Security cancelled his health insurance (retroactively) for one year (on top of it all) instead of cancelling the excessive monthly surcharge retroactively for one year. (Someone was right about the surcharge being wrong, BTW).  The cascade of people who were paid–and now have been unpaid–is staggering and will take more months to straighten out…

In those two weeks set aside for my writing, two dogs became critical, and then became terminal–and my two weeks of isolation to work became a month now. I take whatever time is needed to help them transition. In those moments, nothing else matters but life and death.

First, my beloved baby Charlee passed in my arms. After he was buried, brave, sweet Pasha took a turn for the worst and headed to heaven. She was just buried.  She spent nearly a week laying on my bed and in the last days, she just wanted to lay on top of me, her head on my heart.  Life is just suspended for me in those days–those precious days–and in talking and singing to the animals soon to pass, I get to reflect on a lot of life and after life issues.


Never lost on me is how precious life is and our time together.  In literally the space of a breath, one passes on to the Great Beyond–and while I truly believe that there will be a joyous reunion some day, the time between now and then is at first sad because we miss our loved ones who have passed on. But then, realizing that the sick are well again, that the paralyzed can walk and run again, that the elderly are young again–that we are restored to our best whenever that was–and free of our broken bodies–makes missing them a little easier to bear and in fact, always makes me able to smile through my tears.

So today, when I heard that Alex Trebek, the long-time host of the television program, ‘Jeopardy!’, has been diagnosed with Stage Four Pancreatic Cancer, I winced. It is one of the worst diagnoses to hear–right up there with a Glioblastoma brain tumor or or or.  He will be in my prayers.  I pray that he has a strong faith or finds faith. Faith will carry you over and past all the fear and pain–if you can just keep “looking up.”

Mr. Trebek has a wife and grown children who will help him now but he will have to pass on alone–but not in fear.  Never fear.

What I have seen, having been with so many passing animals as a rescuer and caretaker of special needs animals–and some people who were my friends and family or even neighbors–is that we are alone for less than a millisecond, for when we leave our bodies, all of our loved ones are within ten feet or less of our bodies. (Yes) We can see them before we pass, just waiting to welcome us and show us what our life after life will be–and it is all Love and all about Love–as our spirits separate from the body.  If you have lived a good life, good in the meaning of trying not to do bad, no one should be scared to pass on.**

Alex Trebek and ‘Jeopardy!’ have a special place in our lives.  Someone used to watch the show with his family growing up–both at his grandparents’ home and at his parents’. Now, slowly slipping into a terminal case of early-onset Lewy Body dementia, the one daily and very conscious thing that he still wants to do consistently is to watch ‘Jeopardy!’  He wants me to sit with him and we answer the questions out loud–whether we are right or wrong, it doesn’t matter–and we laugh at some of the answers we both can blurt out!

What matters is that we are doing something together, that we are playing a game that requires Someone to use his brain (and memory), and I know that six times a week, that the memory of sitting and “playing” Jeopardy on those days with Someone will eventually become a precious memory for me. They will give me something to smile about through my tears, long after Someone either is no longer able to consciously engage with me or on his own journey to the Great Beyond.

Thank you, Mr. Trebek, for making a difference in our lives.  It may seem like you are just hosting a TV show, but to us, you are helping us through a difficult time in many ways.  I will always be grateful.  You will always be a “smile” in our lives.  You have made a difference with yours and that’s what really counts in the end.

And for those of you going through a life after life journey, too, there is a simple but profound song that I play on my laptop sometimes when I am writing.  It makes me cry but it also makes me think. We all should be living like we are dying every day–for tomorrow–even the next hour or minute–is not guaranteed.  I can testify to that many times over from what I have seen in my own life. Life can be over in the next second. Don’t let that be lost on you, please.

Sent with much love and prayers–



Live Like You Were Dying   (song)
To Listen to the song on Youtube:
He said
“I was in my early forties
With a lot of life before me
And a moment came that stopped me on a dime

I spent most of the next days
Looking at the x-rays
Talkin’ ’bout the options
And talkin’ ’bout sweet time”

I asked him
“When it sank in
That this might really be the real end
How’s it hit you
When you get that kind of news?
Man, what’d you do?”
He said
“I went skydiving
I went Rocky Mountain climbing
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fumanchu
And I loved deeper
And I spoke sweeter
And I gave forgiveness I’d been denying”
And he said
“Someday I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dying”
He said
“I was finally the husband
That most of the time I wasn’t
And I became a friend a friend would like to have
And all of a sudden going fishin’
Wasn’t such an imposition
And I went three times that year I lost my dad
I finally read the Good Book, and I
Took a good, long, hard look
At what I’d do if I could do it all again

And then
I went skydiving
I went Rocky Mountain climbing
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fumanchu
And I loved deeper
And I spoke sweeter
And I gave forgiveness I’d been denying”

And he said
“Someday I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dying

Like tomorrow was a gift
And you’ve got eternity
To think about
What you’d do with it
What could you do with it
What did I do with it?
What would I do with it?
I went Rocky mountain climbing
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fumanchu
And I loved deeper
And I spoke sweeter
And I watched an eagle as it was flying”

And he said
“Someday I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dying
To live like you were dying
To live like you were dying”
Songwriters: Craig Michael Wiseman / James Timothy Nichols / Tim Nichols
Live Like You Were Dying lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Round Hill Music Big Loud Songs, BMG Rights Management
Please sign up to get my latest posts in your Inbox.  Just click on the Black box/white lines at the very top of this blog to open the Menu and you will see the sign up box.  It is easy!
For anyone who would like to help my efforts caring for many special needs dogs who have no where else to go, the Rescue Ranch Herd as they are called, please help any way you can:
Prayers are always welcome and much appreciated.
E-anything–from email to much needed amazon credits and gift cards–from generic Visa to fast-food restaurants, please use: a.rescue.volunteer@gmail.com (or the mail)
Mailing address: Rescue Ranch, 4057 Riley Fuzzel Road, Ste. 500-130, Spring, TX  77386
Rescue Ranch website: http://www.firststop-laststop.com  (I will update the site/blog after I am done with this project. I will let you know when Charlee and Pasha’s stories are there.)
PS  Does anyone have a selfie stick they are not using for an Android?  Someone has a new fascination of taking selfies of himself and of sleeping/cuddling dogs.  He is struggling to extend his now-starting to-tremor-hands far enough away from his face.
Note: I am on the last couple of days before I can submit this Medicare document, so please forgive my complete “withdrawal”–from living practically!  Next week, I will be able to respond to emails, send Thank You’s, etc.  Just know that while I may be using all of my energy to finish this document–it is so intense that I can’t distract myself.  I need to be laser-focused.  Know that you are never far from my thoughts, prayers and always in my heart.  Truly.
**For those of you who are wondering what to do if you haven’t lived a “good” life, I believe that it is never too late to turn your life around.  It is all about Intention–even if you have done things that you are not proud of or that hurt someone no matter how long ago, doing things now that are “good” or kind or compassionate–and really do them with loving intent to do good–will turn things around, and cancel out in a sense, what was done in the past.
Of course, making amends with the person you actually hurt or did wrong against, would be the best but planting seeds of good–small, medium or big–will make a difference and turn things around. And if you fall down again, get up again and keep doing good! In the very end, you will be asked to judge yourself–I believe, in front of God–and the peace of knowing that you have nothing to fear at that time, is priceless.
For more on Lewy Body Dementia (early-onset means you get sick before you are elderly), please go to: lbda.org the Lewy Body Dementia Association.
"Do Good" Opportunities, Autobiography, Lewy Body Dementia, Uncategorized

The Age of Why

I am trying, with everything that I am, to be disciplined enough with laser focus, to complete and submit Someone’s Medicare (health insurance for the disabled) Reinstatement Request–that he accidentally cancelled repeating the wrong words (about an issue that he was correct in questioning)–a symptom of his progressing Lewy Body Dementia or as he likes to say, “Disorder.”  It is early-onset–which means Someone is not elderly but which also means that it is faster to progress and fiercer as it does.

Because Medicare was retroactively cancelled, all $108,000 from 2018, of Someone’s medical bills, are outstanding–and he is not covered yet for 2019.  If that were not causing me to feel the pressure of it all, his very large inguinal hernia mesh surgery #2 is having major complications and he may need hernia surgery #3, so I have to get this tome done sooner than later.  Over 450 pages and adding doctor letters, articles, medical records, an exhibit list and a narrative that is a challenge to compile even for the brightest and well-rested. (In this process, learning that general anesthesia is a complicating factor for this disease has been worrisome.)

Frayed and exhausted, I am a week past my self-imposed deadline. While legally there is no deadline, the consequences of not getting this done are great so every hour of every day that goes by pains me. During the time that I set aside to do this difficult task–no doctors, no appointments, no shopping, nothing was going to interfere–when two beloved dogs went from critically ill to nearing the end of time.  I put everything aside and care for them as tenderly as possible, turning them, washing them, syringing liquids into them, changing their linens…more.  One very ill dog is difficult, two at a time means give it all to God because it is not possible to manage everything without supernatural help and support. (Nothing is impossible with Him, I keep reminding myself as I say often, every day, “God. Help.”)

Someone gets upset when “his” dogs “time is up.”  He starts to act out behaviourally–agitation, argumentative and now, asking, “Why?” over every single thing that has to go on all day and all night.  I know that it is just a mixed up brain that instead of crying like I might do or being able to turn it over to God like he used to do in the past, knowing that (as we believe) that there is life after life and he will see them again, his brain is misfiring more than normal.  I have learned to handle the rough stuff but the asking “Why” here, there and everywhere is beyond me right now.

Today, I had to wash a red blanket that was dirty.  Someone wanted to put it in the wash and pour bleach all over it and turn the washer on.  “You can’t pour bleach on colors, “I said. “Why?”  “Well, it will ruin the color.  It will have a big bleach spot and then the red color will be a different color when it’s done.”  “Why?”  “Well,” I said as I kept trying to satisfy the ‘Why’s,’ “the material will be weaker and will probably get a hole in it if you just pour straight bleach on it anyway.  Besides, you are not allowed to handle bleach. Why are we even having this conversation?”

“Why can’t I handle bleach…” and round and round we went until a light dawned over my head.  This is a new phase of the always progressing Lewy Body that I am going to call the “Age of Why.”  It is like this with anything, anywhere, all the time.  I realized today that I am dealing with a two year old in a way–a 240 lb one albeit–who comes in and out of reality a few hours at a time each day, several times each day.

Some how, I need to stop giving in to the katrillion questions and find another solution.  I tried, “Because I said so,” but that didn’t work.  I tried, “Because it is a rule.” Sometimes that works.  Exasperated, occasionally I find myself not handling things as well as I’d like.

At 11 PM, I gave Someone 20 minutes to get into bed. (I feel like I am managing a child and not a 50-something man.) If he would just lay down, I could concentrate and work on his Medicare stuff.  I can tell it is going to be at least another two hours before he stops shuffling around and finding reasons to stay up all night like going through things that I threw out in the trash, lest I threw out a treasure (they each hoard particular things) or letting the dogs out in the middle of the night to play (and bark), giving them snacks and bones so they think it is “activation time” instead of sleepy time.

A year ago this May, I wound up with an ulcer in my small intestine that ate through to a blood vessel and I nearly died.  “Cut down on stress,” the docs all said.  I am feeling that pain again in my belly–just occasionally but it is distinctly there–the one that started a few months before I found myself in the ER.

Thanks for letting me share a little bit.  Maybe now I can get back to writing a very important six page narrative that goes on top of everything I have assembled.  I’d appreciate it greatly if you’d send up a prayer for the wings of angels to carry it to the people who can overturn what happened.  God willing, in a month or two, it will be reversed and I can call all of these angry physicians and surgical centers, etc. and have them resubmit their bills for payment. No one really understands what it is like to live with a disease like this until and unless you have–especially when it comes to money.  It is a daily mind-bender for me but that doesn’t matter.

In the meantime, the phones are under lock and key now–no calls are answered or made without me knowing to whom and for what reason. It is so difficult to start doing things like this to your adult significant other, who you have lived with for so long, but I have learned a lesson that I won’t soon forget. Someone sounds very credible and “normal” but really does not understand anything but the basics…

…like giving love and being kind to the dogs, helping the homeless and less fortunate (yes there is an amazing social awareness still in tact), worrying about homeless animals who may not have found a Rescue Ranch, and praying for our angels–by name–each night–which is extremely sweet and has a very innocent element about it. He knows who is helping, who sends prayer cards, who dropped off lots of doggy stuff at the mail, who sent Pasha a stuffed Bunny, “so she would never be without ‘her’ Bunny” and more.  He doesn’t know my name–or at least doesn’t use it anymore–but he does know yours–and he asks God to bless you daily.  (When I hear him praying, I stop whatever I am doing to lift my hand in agreement.)

Thank you for caring. Especially for caring.

Sending love and always, Hugs from Our Herd!

PS  All feedback/ideas on how to handle the “Why’s” is very much welcome!


Angels, please know that your help and prayers are still needed even though I set aside this time to do the Medicare Reinstatement and to take care of Charlee and Pasha.  I will write next week–I just have got to get this document submitted and then let God take over!

Please don’t forget about us!

In the meantime, if anyone wants to send prayers, gift cards, fast food gift cards, a generic Visa, greeting cards (Someone LOVES them) I would be so very grateful.  I am beside myself, just walking in pure faith, that everyone’s needs will be met each week.

For instance, tonight, because of your kindnesses, I was able to just crumble Whopper patties and some real McBacon and add no-salt green beans and some Chinese-restaurant rice (they only charge me $1 per large container) and dinner was done! (Kibble added, too, for the bigger dogs who don’t have mouth-issues.) In addition to the stove and oven being locked down and silverware now consisting of plastic spoons (and one paring knife I have hidden away for cutting up veggies), it is a lack-of-time issue in addition to a safety issue when I plan to cook or why I can’t.

Mailing address:  Rescue Ranch, 4057 Riley Fuzzel Road, Ste. 500-130, Spring, TX  77386

Anything e- goes to: a.rescue.volunteer@gmail.com  (amazon credits, email, etc.)

Photo: Bunny (L) and Pasha in their doggie carts playing with sweetie pie, Junie.  (This was taken before Pasha developed cancer.)

Helpful Links:

Lewy Body Dementia Association: lbda.org

To Adopt, Foster, Rescue, Volunteer to help many types of animals: Petfinder.org

The Rescue Ranch website: firststop-laststop.com  (Next week, I will write more about Charlee and Pasha there).


“We could never learn to be brave and patient, if there was only joy in the world.”  

Helen Keller


Please click on the Menu–the black box with white lines–at the top of the page and sign up for email blog posts.  If you would share this blog on social media, to reach those who may be interested in our lives or who may be in the same situation and needing a life-line and/or to know that someone out there cares, please pass on this blog URL: Icantbreathe.blog   Thank you much.

"Do Good" Opportunities, Autobiography, Lewy Body Dementia, Uncategorized

The Garage Door Incident

I have decided that God must have a sense of humor–at least I hope so because life with Lewy Body Dementia in it has some twists and turns that just cannot be anticipated or even understood.  This week’s/or better said, is this particular challenge was not a mind-bender, and the injury not life-threatening thankfully, but the compilation of so many things that a caregiver has to deal with in this situation is simply overwhelming. Not even the strongest of us make it out of this experience without serious battle scars (emotional, mental, more) if we have the resources to even hang on.


It was supposed to be the simple running of an errand.  I got Someone in the car, backed out of the garage and pressed the button on the garage remote to close it.  Ready to get the mail, happy to get some fresh air and to get something to bring home for dinner for Someone and the dogs (many), my “alert button” was on low until I heard a very loud noise from INSIDE the garage. We hadn’t even left the driveway.

My first thought was that some industrial shelving that line the inside walls of the garage must have fallen over but how I wondered.  Other than that, I would think of nothing that heavy or that could even fall from anywhere in the garage that would be loud enough to make my heart skip a beat–outside–and to make the dogs act like there was a burglar inside (I could hear them all in a panic, ready to protect the Rescue Ranch.)

I left Someone in the car (it was off), taking the keys to get inside, and went right into the garage. Everything was in order much to my surprise. Silence. Not a thing had been moved or had fallen.  I ran through the possible sources of the noise that I heard. I heard it outside and it definitely came from the garage, but nothing qualified.  The water heater, which had just been replaced last year thanks to an angel, sat proud and shiny in its corner.  The shelving was all standing and not a thing was on the floor.  “Well, I’ll be…” I thought to myself still trying to figure it out.  I couldn’t leave until I figured out what was wrong.

Someone Was Outside Alone

Talking to me through the garage door, Someone was out of the car (my anything-can-happen radar was now activated) and banging on the other side of the door, asking me what the noise had been.  “I can’t figure it out.  Everything seems OK,” I yelled.  “Look all around.  Something broke,” he hollered through the insulated door.  On an off-chance, I looked up.  The giant two foot long screw that turns the double-garage door opener had snapped in two.  A light bulb moment.

“Hang on,” I said.  “It looks like the screw that opens the door has snapped. Let me see if there is an emergency release that I can open the door with.”  Someone with LBD doesn’t like to be alone or out of sight of his caregiver.  Seconds is too long…

“Uh-Oh”–That Famous Word

He panicked, I think, over the minute that it might take me to try to open the door and began trying to lift the door from the outside–using the little handle that just turns the deadbolt lock.  “Uh-oh…” I heard outside. “Nuts,” I thought.

Well, any caregiver who hears those words, especially when dealing with the dementias, I am certain has their gut clench up and their adrenaline ramp up in less than five seconds flat.  You never know if you are dealing with something simple that just needs to be fixed or something major.  It is constant and ongoing.

“Ummm, there is blood dripping all over my pants and on the concrete,” Someone said. “I think the door handle is in lots of pieces, too.”  My heart, oh my heart.  “OK, hang on, I am on my way out.  I can’t figure out how to open the door so I will come out of the house door.”

I ran to get a clean towel on my way out.  I had no idea what I was going to find but I was prepared to go to the ER.  I am always prepared it seems.  When I got outside, the blood was all over the place.  It had gone under the door, on the driveway, it was all over Someone’s clothes.  It was dark out so I told him to hold still while I wrapped his hand up to put pressure on whatever had happened and grabbed his elbow and “ran” him into my bathroom which has become first-aid central.

Fingers Injured

I flipped the light on and carefully unwrapped the towel.  “I don’t feel any pain,” he said. “You will later,” I said.  I have noticed that LBD causes either a lack of sensitivity to pain or an exaggeration of pain.  An injury like this would have had me crying–while a muscle spasm in his arm will have Someone needing to have all types of first aid and attention for hours.  It just doesn’t make any sense to me anymore.  I just accept that.

When the garage door handle snapped into three pieces, one piece sliced a nasty diagonal across the inside of Someone’s hand.  “I guess I shouldn’t have used all of my weight to try to pull the door up with that handle,” he said. (Yep.)

After washing away the blood and getting the bleeding to stop, I said, “I don’t think you need stitches.  I think I have everything we need to fix this.”  He asked me to individually lift up each of the (many) skin flaps in the slashes to examine them to see if pieces of the garage door got under them.  Dementia-thinking but if it was needed, I would have. “I rinsed it out really well and when I put the sterilizer and ointment on with the bandages, it will get the stuff into each nook and cranny. OK?” I said.  (If I used proper names of the things I was using, I would have had to explain each thing and argue why each thing was necessary.)

He patiently stood there as I did what I had to do.  He started to object to how I was placing bandages that were “restricting” (yep) the way his fingers moved but in those moments, you have to just take complete control and be emphatic.  There is no wiggle-room for dementia stuff (he has an odd case of OCD) when the situation is serious.

Knowing that the bandages would be wet with any one of a dozen substances within five minutes, I decided to put a nitrile glove over them. That has kept them dry until each changing time.  His wounds are looking pretty good but I have to constantly watch that a glove is still on.  If not, it will require an immediate first aid station visit.

Thank God

I went outside with a gallon of water to rinse off the blood.  Seeing what was there and evaluating what had happened was upsetting but I would learn that we averted an even bigger emergency thankfully.  When I called the garage door company to come fix the door, they told me that we were lucky that we couldn’t figure out how to open it–because it would have/could have fallen off the track–and onto us! (Whew.)  Thank God.  I say that a lot these days.

Thanks for listening and for caring. Especially for caring.


Just a Thought

If you have anyone in your life/who crosses your path even, who is struggling to take care of someone with a serious illness or is suffering from a serious illness themselves, please try to support them in any way you can for as long as they need it.  Please don’t forget about them in a month–it may take a few years.  Be grateful that you are well and able and blessed and stick it out with them for the duration.

Ways you can help caregivers or the seriously ill:

*Send them prayers, prayer cards, anything to build their faith and to hold them steady (calls and emails aren’t always possible to respond to but mail can be opened any time of the night or day).

*Drop off meals or supplies (leave on their door-step) and text that they are there (doorbells disturb the sick or wake them up so try not to use it).

*Send gift cards to local or national restaurants or send generic visa or gift cards that they can use as needed.  Maybe include a brochure or two from local delivery services (a lot are free now) and menus from the restaurants.

*Send a gift card or e-credit to amazon or a local (to their zip code) grocery store.  Let them order online what they know that they really need instead of trying to guess.

*Volunteer–or hire someone–to cut their lawn, trim the trees, shovel the snow–or just do it.  You’d be surprised how much is neglected outside just because they are trying to take care of what is going on–inside!  If you feel like you need permission, text them and say that you’d like to gift them a blessing.  No one will refuse a blessing.

*Offer to relieve them of errands or caregiving–maybe during nap time–or text that you are going to the store, do they need anything–and text when you leave it at the front door.  One of the biggest resources caregivers lack (beside funds) is time.  They don’t have time to stand and talk for an hour–their loved one probably needs a bath or meds or dinner.

*Bring over flowers (leave at the door and text that they are there), send small surprises, little things that let the caregiver know that they are still important and still a person.  They don’t “need” validation but when you are caring for someone who is terminally ill, you don’t have someone to tell you that you matter or even to say, “yum” for the warm dinner or get any positive feedback whatsoever.  They forget what life before the illness was like. Every resource they have is going into the care and well-being of the ill person and they neglect themselves and their needs.  Find a way to remind them who they are.

*Please don’t abandon them, most of all.  Many caregivers find that their “friends” and family “turn and run” when illness strikes.  It is hard to watch a loved one decline, I guess.

In our lives, we had some wonderful “couples” friends, who had common interests like animal rescue and faith-based activities and volunteering but when Someone began repeating sentences six times in a row during a normal conversation (we didn’t know what was wrong)–and sometimes in frustration, his agitation came through in his voice. They pretty much all disappeared socially, although I do know in an absolute emergency that I could call on them.  My girlfriends, however, and some Rescue Ranch angels, have stuck it out and are keeping us alive–and keeping me sane!

…and, know that whoever you are helping are thanking you in their prayers and with their tears and as they use or eat or look at whatever you sent.  Don’t help for the praise or the thanks–that is unspoken but not forgotten.  Do it because it is the right thing to do and you will get the blessings in your life somewhere, some how–it is a spiritual law.  If you get a thank you, know that it is really special because time is so precious and they have little left to give but of themselves.


Helping This Blog/Our Herd of Special Needs Dogs and Someone

IF you would like to help me continue this blog, you can give on my online fundraiser or mail something or send prayers.  All are gratefully accepted and appreciated.

Online: https://www.gofundme.com/gofundmecomicantbreatheblogfeb2019

To Send an E-Card/E-Anything: icantbreatheblog@gmail.com

To Mail:  Rescue Ranch, 4057 Riley Fuzzel Road, Ste. 500-130, Spring, TX  77386

Prayers as simple as a good thought, a wish, a blessing, a rosary…all work, I believe.  It is the intention that counts.

Grateful. Always grateful.


Have You Read About When Lewy Body Dementia Entered Our Lives?



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"Do Good" Opportunities, Animal Health, Lewy Body Dementia, RR Dog Herd Stories, RR Dog Stories, Uncategorized

Superbowl Sunday: Starts with a Sob, Ends with a Laugh

The game was on and it was time to take a break!  The dogs were all fed and had just gone out, Taco Bell was our dinner (and doubled as our “game snacks”), thanks to finding our very last Taco Bell gift card (thankfully, sent by an angel).  I was intending on making chips and onion dip and veggies and ranch dip as Someone requested but well, time these days, time is more precious than eating.

Two dogs have become critical in the past few days–which begins to take a lot of time and energy away from everything else.  Charlee Barlee–the center quarterback in the above pic with his now angel-friends Chula and Penny–a black and tan Min Pin–has right side congestive heart failure.  That causes water retention in their tummy (his becomes rock hard between treatments) and the water begins to cause respiratory issues.

In addition to two heart meds and an antibiotic, I use epsom salt gel or solution to soak his tummy which causes the water to leach out of the tissue into his urine, relieving some of the tummy pressure.  Rubbing the tissue also helps move the water out.  Also, a no salt diet is paramount.  That means cooking everything since finding ‘no salt anything’ commercially prepared is nearly impossible to find.

Pasha Dasha, the other dog in early distress, had a skin tag on her rear area.  It was just something that we had to keep clean and watch.  Suddenly Friday night, it was as round and swollen as a bursting plum!  Until she can see a doggie dermatologist early this week, I have been washing “the plum” in Hibaclens, rinsing it with Povidone Iodine and slathering it in Neosporin.  The idea is to keep it as clean and covered as possible so it doesn’t get infected.  I am hoping that the specialist can remove it with a cauterizing loop and a local anesthetic.  Being nearly fifteen years old, Pasha is not a candidate for general anesthesia surgery.   (I am concerned about this sudden change in its size which could be something much more serious now.)

As if caring for Charlee and Pasha’s extra needs wasn’t enough today, Someone managed to accidentally get his healthcare cancelled.  (I am going to have to lock up the phones soon. The docs think they already should have been put away.)  Sigh.

Almost a year ago, someone picked up the phone and was correct in his understanding and concern that he was being charged over double what he should have been for Medicare but he mixed up his words.  While intending to ask that the extra premium be cancelled and retroactively refunded, Medicare processed it that he wanted to cancel Part B Medicare (OMG).  Not only did he get it cancelled but they did it retroactively–leaving over $108,000 in 2018 medical bills now being rejected and sent to me to pay in full.

I just found out about all of this recently when bills from his end-of-the-year surgery began to bounce back as not paid. This is just an example of constant problem-solving of lliving with someone with Lewy Body.  Sometimes big issues like this one, sometimes many smaller ones arise but there is hardly a day when you just can relax and have a normal day. You are always trying to prevent things from happening or having to band-aid those you didn’t expect.

After sobbing for about three hours this morning about the magnitude of this issue, I knew deep inside that there is no one coming to the rescue and I just have to pull up my “big girl pants” as my mother used to say and fix the situation myself with a little help (a lot of help) from Above. During those three hours,  I talked to God a lot. Without my faith, I would not be able to handle this or many situations in my lifetime.  I kept hearing, “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?” a famous quote.  And so, I will succeed, God willing!

Eventually, after letting the Chihuahua twins–little tiny Chippie and Sissy–make me laugh and kiss my tears away, I was able to pick up my laptop and begin the lengthy, many-day process of writing what will be tantamount to a thirty page thesis with supporting documents about why this was not intentional, how Lewy Body affects people, and requesting that his Medicare be restored retroactively.  His doctor also wrote a letter for me to include for which I am grateful.  (Please say a prayer that my words reach someone at Medicare who has mercy on us.)

In Texas, to protect your home from creditors, there is a homestead declaration.  That said, in this situation, I think that you have to have lived in the home over 4,100 days. We are OK on that front, thankfully, but for a year now, I have been sorting out closets and clothes, etc. etc. etc. in order to downsize and intending to move near a ‘locked memory care facility’ in case, or for when, I can no longer physically help Someone.  My thought is that at least we would live near enough to visit often (hopefully I can alternate dogs visiting, too) and make sure proper care is given. (I am supposed to be touring these facilities but I can’t bring myself emotionally to do that just yet.)

Now, with these medical bills hanging over our head, until Medicare is fixed (God hear our prayers), we cannot move or risk putting the house in jeopardy. Plus, Someone’s doctor thinks now that I should not move at all until and unless Someone goes into a care facility first so as not to confuse him.   Interim moving tends to speed up the progression of this illness and shortens their life span.  Bins and boxes all over the place need to be organized and put away for the time being, I guess.

Well, the Superbowl started and I put the computer down to eat my bean and extra cheese nachos and to watch the beginning of game  Normally, I would happily watch the entire game since every year we’ve been together, we make this a “date” of sorts–this, the World Series play-offs and the Kentucky Derby.  But, after being up so early and getting so emotionally and physically drained, after dinner, I brushed my teeth and when I sat down again, I just passed out during the second quarter.  I even missed the half-time show!

I woke up when the news came on wondering what quarter the game was in.  I was so disappointed that I lost that time together but Someone didn’t even notice–or notice that I had not shared the cinnamon sticks slated for dessert.  He said he just figured that I ate them all (and was happy that I had enjoyed them.) LOL.

Thank you for stopping by and for caring.  Especially for caring.


If you are a caregiver dealing with someone who has any of the dementias or a serious illness, please reach out to others for support. Find online support groups, support groups at your local hospitals or even private groups or ask friends and family to step up to the plate and help you.  The caregiver is the person who actually takes the brunt of these illnesses and is devastated physically, mentally, emotionally and financially so please take care of yourselves first and foremost.  Maybe start here to find resources: https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-ab&q=caregiver+support


If you are thinking of adding a wonderful animal to your life, please adopt an animal in need–and rescue a life.  There are special groups for each breed of dog and cat, even hamsters, chickens, horses, snakes and more.  They have newborns to seniors, animals in good health to special needs.  The animals only have a limited time to find a forever home or they are being killed or “euthanized” in ways you don’t want to have nightmares about so I will spare the details but please try to adopt one–or two–or add another one to your family. https://www.petfinder.com/


“Do not let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God; but trust also in me.” Jesus Christ


Please become an angel and help me to care for the Rescue Ranch special needs dogs (they have a safe place until God calls their name) and now, finish caring for my special needs Someone.  On call 24/7, it is not possible to do anything else.  Thank you for blessing us–for in blessing someone else, you are really blessing your own life.  Think about it!

Link to help: https://www.gofundme.com/gofundmecomicantbreatheblogfeb2019


“Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” Proverbs 11:25


Sending prayers…Helen, the mother of one of our angels (helpers), passed away in the past few days.  She had a long life and was ready to go, to move on to a new phase. Please say a prayer for her family and for so many others who lost a loved one, for it is hardest on those left behind.

Those who have passed, are instantly surrounded by love and are not in any pain of any kind but are filled with understanding, optimism and happiness.  I believe that we will see them again and it will be a joyous reunion.  Looking forward to that day helps me smile through my tears.