Monday, June 30, 2008

The Dissemenation of Our Family History

Periodically, I Google my online identity, Valeehill, to see where it is besides where I've put it myself.

Recently, I was surprised by a huge number of search returns related specifically to my mother's Certificate of Live Birth that I had on my old genealogy site. My mother was born in 1930 and passed away in 1963. I ordered a certified copy of this record from the Hawaii State Department of Vital Records in 2002 and posted it on my site in November 2006.

My first inclination, after reading quite a few of the items yielded in the search, was to remove the document. (I am very protective of the memory of my mother, especially since I have no real memories of her.) I continued reading and did not come upon anything I considered outright disrespectful, so I have left the certificate up for now.

When I made the decision to post documents and photos of my deceased relations, I certainly didn't foresee any of the documents being used in the way that bloggers have chosen to use this one.

I did receive an email from someone on June 13. That person wrote the following: "In honor of your beautiful efforts to uncover the magic of your past that is its people, I wanted to share the following...." Below the single line he had embedded the two certificates from the search linked above.

I was contacted by someone yesterday asking some questions about the certificate and how I would like to be acknowledged in his blog post. This is my first reply from yesterday:

You are the first person to mention that you are using my mother's birth certificate for this unexpected reason. I am not thrilled, to say the least; but it was my decision to share it, even if it was purely for genealogical purposes. This "Decosta COLB," as you refer to it, is the birth certificate of my beloved mother, who died when I was four. I would appreciate any mention of it to be respectful to her memory.
After this person's polite reply and further questions about the document, I wrote:

I don't wish to have any specific reference made to me, but it is mildly upsetting to see the legal affirmation of my mother's birth reduced to "Decosta COLB" all over the Internet. I scanned the document immediately after receiving it in the mail in 2002, so the folds were exaggerated…. I guess I shall continue to be on the lookout for how it is referenced and go from there. My first feeling was to take it down….
So, here is my question. Have any of you fellow genealogists had your work (documents) used in such a way? I do not want political debates or conspiracy theories, but I am curious about how our work is being disseminated on the Internet so I can be more aware.


(*2/22/2011--this post required the updating of an outdated link.)

Lizzie Makes Progress


On Saturday morning Lizzie was fairly energetic for her walk. Her eye was fairly clean that morning as well. She ate the 1/4 cup of Blue food, but left the Natural Choice. (In my experience dogs and cats never eat the old food when transitioning (?) to a new one.) She had nervous episodes, but was quiet for most of the day.

She vomited a small amount of bile at 6:30 p.m. and didn't want to eat her dinner. She ate quite a bit of grass later in the evening and my husband took her out for short walk afterward.

Yesterday morning her eye had little discharge. Because of time constraints her walk was shorter than usual. She came home and ate 3/4 cup of the Blue Adult Lamb & Brown Rice. She spent most of the day sleeping on the sofa, but managed to follow me around the house many times in between napping.

She didn't want to chew on her Gumabone or play with any toys, she just wanted petting. She really likes the Blue food and scarfed her dinner of 3/4 cup in no time.

There was a thunderstorm last night. Outwardly she seemed the most relaxed during a storm since she's been here. She was very alert for the rumbles, but wasn't shaking or trying to hide. Then, at 4:30 a.m. she vomited a small amount of digested food, maybe 1/2 cup.

I took her for her walk this morning very early (before 6:00) and she was ready to go. Chasing squirrels, rabbits, and birds. (Since this journal is to keep track of things important to Lizzie's life I'm mentioning indelicate stuff here.) Her stool this morning was the most normal looking since we've had her! I was concerned that the Natural Choice may be contributing to her digestive upset, so I wanted to get her off of it AND the treats.

Her eye looked great! No obvious discharge at all and she devoured her 3/4 cup of Blue food in no time. She also LOVES the Newman's Own Organic Turkey & Sweet Potato treats. She has the look of "yummy" all over her adorable face when she's eating one (1/2 actually.)

Is her trouble related to the Natural Choice? Or, her nerves? Or, something else? She's eating a diet that contains no by-products, corn, wheat or soy. I have to maintain hope that as she continues to calm down and feel more relaxed that the digestive troubles will affect her as they do the average dog.

When she's relaxed I dare you to find a more relaxed dog. On the other hand, she gets so riled about the littlest things. Calm, is the operative mood when we're with Lizzie. You hear that Lizzie? C-A-L-M

Friday, June 27, 2008

Lizzie Hits the Jackpot

Lizzie did well on her walk this morning. She wasn't as timid as she was yesterday. She ate her breakfast of Natural Choice and brown rice, followed by her Flagyl. I took her for a quick walk right before we left at 9 a.m. She didn't want to go into her ex-pen in the living room, so I picked her up and set her in her bed. I gave her two treats and left. It's hard not saying goodbye, but I'm committed to doing it this way to prevent separation anxiety.

When we arrived home I quietly let her out of the ex-pen and took her outside for a potty break. She trotted to the end of the Flexi-Lead over and over again staring out beyond the yard. I get the feeling that she would run away in a heartbeat, which makes me totally paranoid of her getting loose!

I had so much fun shopping for her today and returned home with:

So far she's really happy with her Gumabone. We took some video of her chewing on it right after giving it to her. If it turns out that she's an avid chewer, rather than an average chewer, I'll get her a Nylabone instead. Safety first, right?

She receives her last Flagyl tablet tonight. I hope the gastroenteritis is gone. I'll start mixing the Blue Buffalo food (1/4 new to 3/4 existing food) in with the Natural Choice next week.

Currently she is napping next to me on the sofa after chewing voraciously on her Gumabone. She seems so relaxed and that makes me so happy!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Lizzie Has a Rough Day


Poor Lizzie had a rough day today. She started out feeling frisky on her walk, but I think she got slightly overheated. We left a little later than usual and it was pretty warm by 8 a.m.

She had been getting calmer about going out the kitchen door, but today reverted back to the way she was when she first arrived. Scared to death!

I took her for a ride in the van twice today, to drop off and pick up my family in town. Lizzie is always looking at the van like she's expecting to go for a ride. I think she feels more comfortable in there than outside.

She was so nervous all day. She kept jumping and trying to retreat from nearly everything. Early this evening she was under the footrest portion of the love seat enough to get bumped when it was being put down. She freaked out and jumped up on the love seat. When she jumped down from there she ran upstairs and tried to hide under the bed. My husband took her back downstairs and put her on the love seat next to him. When my daughter and I got home poor Lizzie was acting more submissive than usual. She was licking and squirming, like she was in trouble. My poor, sweet girl. My heart is breaking over how upset she was.

She's been lying quietly on the bed next to me for quite a while now. I am trying to instill confidence in her and not coddle her to the point that her fears ruin her life. I thought we were making some progress, but after today, I just don't know.

Tomorrow has to be better for her. It just has to be.

And Then There Were None

My last house tiny, ancient, and brave little bunny, Clark, died around 3:00 today. He fought the big fight but finally gave in. He was so incredibly weak. I know I will miss being a bunny mom, but I am relieved that he finally let go of this life and went to his next, where he is with all my other darling buns.

1995 - 26 Jun 2008

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Lizzie Has a Visitor

Lizzie was very perky for her walk this morning. She raced to get up close and personal with so many squirrels that I lost count.

Her eye was quite crusty this morning. It took several cotton balls to clean it out before dosing her with the cyclosporin drops. She ate her breakfast of Natural Choice and a little broth and then took her Flagyl very easily.

I gave Lizzie a soft carrot toy that started out as a toy for the bunnies. She had some good fun with it for a minute or so.

Janice, the woman from whom we adopted Lizzie, came by in the afternoon. We had not met her yet, and were very happy to do so today. Lizzie got so excited that she forgot her manners and jumped onto the couch to get right up in Janice's face. Her excitement reminded me of the phrase, "Happy, happy, joy, joy."

Janice brought us copies of Lizzie's health records and some photographs of her as a puppy.  She was (still is!) soooo cute!

After playing with a couple of squeaky latex toys she vomited some bile. The last time was a week ago. Poor girl! I cooked some more brown rice and mixed that in with her food for dinner. She'll get her 2nd dose of Flagyl in a couple of hours. I am really anxious to change her diet in hopes that it will stop these episodes from occurring any more.

Time to get her settled next to me on the sofa so she can get plenty of petting.

A Walk in the Dark

I'm remaining positive that we'll be able to get Lizzie to go potty quicker when she's taken out at night. I look forward to someday being able to let her out the front door on her Flexi-Lead and having her go pee pee all on her own. As it stands now, one of us must accompany her outside, where those pesky mosquitoes are waiting to feed. Once outside she wants to keep walking in an aimless way. (Where do you want to go, Lizzie?) It would be nice not to have to walk her all over the place for that late night outing.

This morning I was feeling gentle "I need to go outside" vibes from the sweet girl, which meant a short walk a little before 5:00 a.m. At that early hour I was hoping for quiet, so she could concentrate. Instead there were loud trucks and strange noises causing her to shy away from potty duty.

She has such extremes--shying at the littlest thing to sleeping on her back totally relaxed. How about a happy medium more often, Sweet Lizzie?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Mystery of Doors


I believe that in an ideal doggy world there would be no such thing as doors. The doggies would be able to wander from room to room and go in and out of the house without assistance.

My other doggies would lie down on the opposite side of the door and wait for me to return. Lizzie looks longingly at a door after one of us has left through it. Looking at her I feel that she's trying to figure out why her people disappear through these strange openings. Instead of looking frustrated by the barrier she looks terribly sad. When I left for a few minutes earlier this evening she timidly approached the door with me. When I said "stay" she looked so downtrodden. (Major guilt trip.) Sheesh, my husband was home, and I WAS coming back in a few minutes. It didn't matter, she was majorly bummed.

She's lying on the bed next to me: sound asleep with toes twitching. Maybe she's dreaming about a home without doors. Happy dreams, Lizzie!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Bath Time and the Dreaded Vacuum


Lizzie got her first bath yesterday morning. I got everything prepared ahead of time and then took her in. I had the quietest setting on the hand-held shower head and the rubber bath mat down. It wasn't easy keeping her on the mat and in the tub let me tell you. She tried to climb up my arm several times. It took a lot of patience and calm but we made it through without any real catastrophes. I wasn't able to give her the thorough bath I had hoped for, but hopefully as time goes on bath time will become easier. She got quite playful after her bath and later when she was almost dry, she received a thorough grooming. Her coat is even shinier and softer than it was.

When she had dried most of the way she got her collar back on. Only now she was sporting a cute pink heart tag that my husband had gotten for her. She IS a girl and should have a girly tag, right?

I've vacuumed twice since Lizzie's been here. Both times she simply avoids me and that noise making machine. She just hangs out in another room. She hasn't worked up the nerve to check it out when it's off yet, but hopefully that will come soon.

She's learning about permitted sofa time already. I don't want my doggies thinking that they can go up on the sofas whenever they want, so I make a production out of allowing them up. They watch while I put the doggy blanket down, and then I ask them if they want to come up. With Lizzie, since she's so nervous, I decided to only allow her up if she's picked up and put on the blanket. I've noticed several times when she's frightened of something her tendency is to want to jump up on the sofas. I discouraged her easily last night with just a sharp "NO!" and putting my hand up. She spent two hours next to me while I was watching a movie last night. She sure received a lot of petting during that time.

On our walk this morning a little terrier that lives nearby raced through the invisible fence to cause some trouble. Even though he was aggressive Lizzie kept fairly calm (considering he was trying to fight with her!) and I was able to get through to him to cease and desist.

She's so timid, but she seems consolable most of the time. She also seems to feel more secure when she can sit on my feet. She really couldn't be any sweeter!

Monday, June 16, 2008

She CAN Bark!


After nearly 3 days here and not hearing a peep out of her, she actually barked three times today. What do you think caused this momentous eruption? Our fax machine! It beeped and started to print and she let out with three sharp barks, all while backing away. She let out a little chorus of growls and then was quiet again. She was curious enough to come and check out the printed sheets, but dismissed them as uninteresting.

Now, on to what she thinks about the vacuum. She watched me get it out of the closet and gave it a wide berth, while inspecting it. She went into her bed in another room, while I vacuumed the kitchen. Her coat is vastly different from my other doggies. I had to dump the canister twice just for the main floor! I think there is a chance that she'll get used to it, like all my other animals have. At least she didn't get hysterical or aggressive. She simply avoided it. Good girl Lizzie!

Tomorrow brings another unknown...bath time!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Welcome Home Lizzie

We met Lizzie (South Haven's Virginia Woofer) on Friday the 13th. Not being of a suspicious nature the date seemed to have no impact on our making the life altering decision to adopt a dog.

She was let out of the kennel at South Haven Farm that she was sharing with another Corgi named Cowboy. She visited with us briefly before taking off to sniff and explore. She didn't go far but didn't exactly respond to being called to return either. A leash was put on her and she was walked up to the house. She wasn't concerned about the cats or the dog who was wandering about. We hung out on the porch talking for quite awhile. Having animals is a huge responsibility, one I've never taken lightly. Adopting a dog only days after losing my cherished little dog, Tucker, was also affecting my ability to make a decision where Lizzie was concerned. I said, "I don't have things prepared at home." My husband finally said something to the effect of, "If you're not going to make a decision, then I'll make it for you." That was it, the decision was made. Lizzie was coming home with us. I had left Tucker's collar and Flexi-Lead in our vehicle, so I went to get them. The collar, a round leather one that Tuck had for years, is still in fantastic condition. It also had HIS three tags still on it. I felt only a little strange putting it on Lizzie.

We wondered how she traveled in a vehicle. Well, no problem. She settled onto the seat, while my daughter held her leash. She rode home without a peep. (We don't have her traveling harness yet.)

When we arrived home there were things to do—beds to wash and bowls to get ready. I walked her to the "potty spot" telling her to go and praising her like crazy when she went.  (She piddles in little increments in several spots.) After showing her the yard I brought her through the back door and walked her around the house. First the main floor and then my husband took her up to the top floor. She came up too close behind him going up the stairs, almost tripping him. Our basement is very spooky. The steps in particular. Tucker never would go down there on his own, no matter how much he wanted to keep me company. Lizzie balks at the door, backs up, and walks away when the basement door is open.

She took to the plush donut bed that Tucker had for about 10 years. She didn't want to eat her usual dry dog food even when mixed with the food I've been feeding for years. So, Friday she had only a few pieces of kibble.

Friday night she settled into her bed on the floor next to my side of the bed. I appreciate the fact that no matter how much she loves attention, she is gracious when it stops and doesn't pester. We're discouraging her from jumping up (don't all little dogs want to be taller?) and she seems very responsive to the "off" command. She pretty much stayed in her bed all night until early in the morning, when she started walking around. I carried her downstairs where I took her out to go potty.

Saturday morning we went for a short walk. I made the front door the "go potty" exit and the back door, the "go for a walk" or "go for a ride" door. She's frightened of the doors and nervous to go through doorways. She wants company when she goes out to go potty. There is a large dog at the corner house, who always barks. Lizzie was very frightened by her that morning on the way out, but on the way back she went behind the small embankment across the street. I thought she might be thinking "if I can't see the big dog it can't hurt me."

Saturday afternoon we took her with us for a drive that turned into a four hour jaunt. I put the doggy blanket on the seat and put fresh water in the Buddy Bowl and off we went. She handled the trip perfectly! We took her out for potty breaks, but she went back in willingly.

After we got home she made the trip up and down the stairs several times all on her own. We made a huge fuss over this major achievement.

Last night there was a thunderstorm. I had no idea how she'd react to them. I sat down soon after the rumbling started. I could see that she was nervous and when she tried jumping up into the chair with me I gave in and brought her up. She crawled in beside me, resting on the padded arm. With the next loud rumble she pushed her head in behind my back and quietly hid. She stayed that way for several minutes before my husband came into the room and talked to her. She brought her head out to get pets and then kept facing outward. I stayed there with her for nearly an hour. She didn't shake overly much. She didn't make a sound or move much at all. When the storm finally passed I picked her up and put her on the floor. She walked off like everything was absolutely fine.

She slept well with one early morning potty break.

This morning I cleaned and treated her eye and then we went for a walk. She was so much braver today. She even tried chasing a squirrel up a tree. When we got home I fed her some of her new food, which she ate lickety-split.

She followed me about the house while I did chores. She stayed close by while I was in the kitchen, but not under foot. What a good girl!

I put a dose of Frontline Plus on her. She's been chewing on herself just a little. Gotta keep those fleas and ticks off my girl!

Later she ate two more small meals quite quickly. I hope she'll soon realize there is no competition for the food here. She is the only dog after all.

My husband tried walking her out onto the pier and she didn't want any of that. The sound of water lapping was enough of a deterrent. She wanted back in the house pronto!

We're also trying to encourage her to play with the fluffy little ginger man and rope toys. She's good for a few seconds and then walks away. Some dogs just gotta learn to have fun.

I've been using the undercoat rake on her throughout the day. Corgis shed constantly. I've had two black-tri colored dogs in a row and am quite used to dark colored fur swirls. This little girl sheds white fur, which is so short it doesn't exactly swirl. Tomorrow we'll see how she handles the vacuum cleaner. I have a feeling that if she isn't exactly okay with it now, she soon will be. I am a 'vacuumaholic' and with our dark floor and all that white fur...yikes! Be brave little Lizzie girl, I won't let the big, mean vacuum cleaner get you. I promise.

Monday, June 9, 2008

I Will Miss Him Forever

Forget that whole thing about being prepared for the inevitable. 
There is no preparation for him not being here.
Forget that at 17 years of age, he lived much longer than most dogs.
I wanted him to set a world record for the oldest living dog.
Forget that he was just a dog and not a human.
I don’t believe that whole “just” an animal thing.

He may have been discarded by someone else, but he became my treasured, loyal, loving, and adoring best little friend for nearly 15 years.

He's only (?!) been gone for a 5-1/2 hours - I MISS HIM. I AM SAD. I am wondering how long it'll take before I quit expecting him here...there...everywhere!

23 Oct 1991 - 09 Jun 2008

His ashes will join Sydney's when they come home later this week.