I've been so immersed in dog issues as of late, that it seems like I've had no life outside of my pets to report here. To some extent that is true. Taking care of Cosmos, especially in his last weeks, was a 24/7 job, and the loss still brings me to agonized tears when I think about it. I miss that boy terribly; he was so incredibly quirky and loving and I can't imagine ever finding a love like that again.
Lucy is delightful, Lucy is terrible, Lucy is a fantastic addition to my home, and I know that I am going to love her wildly too. She's weird enough and trouble enough to fit my preferred criteria, and the fact that I swooped in and saved her life at the very last moment adds to her charm. I do have to admit, though, feeling a little bit of discomfort with her. All of my dogs have been beautiful in my eyes, but I've never had a dog that could be considered classically beautiful before. Lucy is beyond gorgeous by any standard, even that of complete strangers. It's obvious that she must have a pedigree that's quite impressive if only we knew it, and that if she had papers and if I was so inclined, she could have been shown in confirmation competitions successfully. Of course, I've done dog shows and horse shows in the past and have absolutely no interest in going down that path again. But the idea of having a dog so stunningly beautiful that she stops people in their tracks (even my vet) is something new to me.
Sunny's Senior Dog Check came back very good with the exception of his eyes. He is almost completely blind now, and I have to be very careful to watch out for him during our walks. If I don't warn him about curbs and stairs and uneven pavement, he will fall over them. On the other hand, he has quickly learned the implication of the word "stair" and is rarely tumbling now. I have reported before how he knows numbers and how to count... that skill is standing us in good stead now as he has come to realize that if I repeat the word "stair" three times, that there are three stairs to negotiate. He is facing an eye biopsy surgery... there is a suspicious lump on one of his eyes that may just be a weird pigment thing, but potentially could be malignant melanoma. We need to get to the bottom of it early, and have it taken care of if necessary. Worst case scenario, he will lose an eye, but since he is 100% blind in the eye in question anyway, the issue is simply cosmetic and I don't think he cares. I don't. What I do care about is that he has suddenly gotten an interest in life again and is walking up to 2 miles a day again. He looks years younger than just a few weeks ago. I also care that his blood work from his physical came back and Dr. Florio stated that if she didn't know that he was somewhere in the neighborhood of 11 to 12 years, she would have thought the blood came from a dog of between 6 and 7. Bottom line, assuming we deal with the eye issue quickly, I am not immediately staring down the barrel of another dog death. I can't tell you what a relief that is.
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Last weekend, I had the honor of filming a segment for Richard Simmons to be used in the Infomercial for Sweating to the Oldies 5! To have been asked was not only an honor, but quite a surprise as I did not audition for the video itself, and if I had auditioned, I doubt I would have been chosen as the only repeat cast members from earlier videos he used were those that appeared in the original Sweatin' tapes. Additionally, my health is such that I don't think I would have physically held up under the pressure of rehearsals and taping. But the good folks at Time Life asked Richard if he had any long term success stories in his classroom that would be willing to speak to the benefits of his program, and I was an obvious choice. Despite my issue of small weight gain this year, I have kept off an incredible amount of weight and changed not only my eating habits but my entire life to the extent that if you didn't know me from before, you'd never believe I was the same woman. I owe Richard for his part in this transformation... it was huge, I owe the universe as it was not just Richard who helped me with this change. Anything I can do to get the word out not only about Richard's program - it works! - but the value of losing weight is very important to me.
Oh, but do I ever owe Sharon Klindworth of Macy's Fashion Square (Sherman Oaks, CA) who is my Personal Shopper as well as an extraordinary woman. She's the one who helped dress me for this filming as well as on other important events in my life. I will fully admit that shopping is still a horrible experience for me. I have never gotten over trying to find clothing at close to 400 pounds, and I still don't understand how normal sized clothing works. When left to my own devices, I find items of apparel that don't serve me well, don't make me look that good, and usually don't last very long either. But when I entrust the job to Sharon, allowing her to "dress me like a Barbie Doll," I come out looking good, and I know it. And if I didn't know it on my own, I got the external validation from Richard that I needed. When I walked into the room where we were filming (he hadn't seen me on set up until that point), he took one look at me and stated low and reverently "Holy crap!" I think that means he liked what he saw - lol!
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Ethan turned 14 last weekend. I was in charge of making his cake. Trust me, the irony of going directly from a weight loss / maintenance interview with Richard Simmons to my kitchen to bake this: was not lost on me. But that's the thing about Richard's program; it allows for a multitude of lifestyle options, and it allows us to live and be successful at the same time. I think that's why it worked so well for me. I never felt restricted in my food choices; I never was forbidden to partake in cake or whatever. I just learned how to moderate my choices to fit my ultimate goal.