My Service Dog Beau

Beau is a Border Collie – American Pit Bull Terrier mix.  I say this fairly confidently but in all honesty we have never had him genetically tested so he could be a Standard Poodle – Labrador mix for all we know.  I’m saying this because in reality it doesn’t matter but it is the number one question we get asked.

Did you know any breed and any size dog can be a service animal? Also the only animals qualified to be service animals according to the ADA are miniature horses and dogs! Can you imagine, a miniature horse as a service animal?  I can, those animals are very smart and seriously some Great Danes are just as big.  More fun facts about service animals are that they don’t have to registered, certified or licensed to be a service animal and lots of service animals are owner-trained.  Beau is an owner-trained service dog but I do have a behaviorist and a service dog trainer I work with to properly train Beau.  All the training takes a lot of time, dedication and consistent practice.  One last fun fact about service animals, they do not have to be vested or identified in any way when out in public.  We call it “working naked”.  I rarely work Beau naked because I don’t like the reaction from others when I am in public with him. I do change him into a red bandana that states he’s a service dog when it gets hot here (we are in Texas where it get’s crazy hot) but if he’s not in the bandana, he is in his service dog vest.  It also helps him to realize when he is “on”.  Many people comment on how “calm” he is when we are out but when he is off and at home, he is a nut and full of crazy energy.
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My Love Story

Our Wedding Day circa 1999

*For clarity purposes, when I refer to my “mom” or “dad” I am referring to the loving couple that took me in after my parents finally lost custody.  When I refer to my biological parents, that is how I refer to them, biological.*

I had an arranged marriage.

Hahaha, not really but sort-of.  It’s a running joke that our moms set us up because they were best friends and seemed to be very set on us getting together.

I’d just gotten out of a long relationship which began when I was a freshman in high school so I was not “looking” to date anyone and honestly just wanted to put my focus on my college studies and enjoy my youth before “adulting” became a necessity.

I can remember the first time I laid eyes on my now husband.  It was at church and he was in town visiting his family.  He lived and worked in Oklahoma at the time.  He is the third of four brothers and I knew his other brothers well so I had heard tales of this “other brother” but not yet met him.  I watched him as he was walking down the steps talking to his family outside the church.  He was so handsome that he took my breath away.  I know that sounds dramatic but I’m dead serious.  My mind replays that exact moment in slow motion with a blurred filter only focused on him.

I didn’t actually meet him just yet.  I can’t remember the first time we spoke to each other but I do remember he ended up moving back to Texas and was working for my dad helping him with the landscaping business. I was a nurse’s aide and during the early morning hours and late afternoons we would cross paths at my house as he met my dad for work. Continue reading “My Love Story”

What anxiety looks like for me and a bit about my journey…

IMG_8874Anxiety for me is a large, encompassing mass.  It has many forms for in my life.  A simple trip to the grocery store can turn into a panic attack before I even get out of my car.  A family outing to celebrate a birthday can come to an abrupt end when I have to be escorted out by my husband because I am trembling with fear and unable to walk out on my own.

I can remember the first time my boys (14 & 16 at the time) witnessed one of my panic attacks.  They were mortified and embarrassed because they had no idea why I was all the sudden crying and hyperventilating in the middle of Peter Piper Pizza.  They had just ordered pizza and were ready to sit down and enjoy it when I was paralyzed with a fear I could not explain.  In my head I kept telling myself to chill out and I was okay.  I remember thinking I just needed to get up and go to the bathroom until I could get myself together but I couldn’t move.  I was yelling at my body to respond and it just sat there shaking.  My older brother looked at me and asked me if I was alright but all I could do was shake my head no.  Then my oldest son walked up, took one look at me and knew I was not okay.  He tried to get me to talk to him and all the while in my head I was responding with, “Please help!”.  He could only see the message in my eyes.  He went running for his dad and the mere fact that he left me, even to get help, sent me over the edge into a full blown, hyperventilating, sobbing uncontrollably, panic attack.  Everyone surrounded me wanting to help but that just made my need to escape, to hide, even greater.  Finally my husband was by my side, lifting me out of my seat and pulling me towards the door.  My boys followed and I collapsed just outside the doors into a ball.  I couldn’t breathe.  I couldn’t see because I had my eyes so tightly closed and they refused to open.  Somehow we made it back to the car and I sat there as my sweet, gentle and patient husband buckled me in even though I had my legs pulled up into a ball. Continue reading “What anxiety looks like for me and a bit about my journey…”

A little about me…

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Well let’s start with the fact that I am a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner since that is most likely why you’re here in the first place.

I studied with the Nutritional Therapy Association for a very intensive nine month certification course.  It consisted of 15 modules of study and hours of hands on training.  It was thorough and I learned more there than any of the many nutrition courses I’ve taken in the past.

As a personal trainer for many years I worked with clients that were complaining of ailments like achy knees, backs and/or shoulders.  I believed I could help my clients rid themselves of these nagging pains simply by coaching them through a standard food change in my limited knowledge of nutrition and then have them “work off” the extra weight.  In my mind if they weighed less, then their knees wouldn’t hurt so much because they wouldn’t have to carry the extra weight.

Continue reading “A little about me…”