October 29, 2009

Adventures with Bella

Well, life with a dog is definitely different than what we are used to! The first week and a bit was hardest. I didn’t know what to do with another body in the house, all day long! But Bella and I are adjusting quite well and David is coming along too. It’s harder when he is at work all day.

Here are a few photos of the past two and a half weeks.


Bella is allowed in three of our five rooms in our apartment, one of them is the bathroom. I refuse to pet her while doing my business, but I don’t object to her being in the bathroom with me. So she often resorts to curling up perfectly on a round rug.


Bella’s insane look when she is begging to be petted. It’s the first look she gave us when we brought her home (actually, it can be worse!). We don’t pet her when she looks at us this way, we wait until she is more calm and not so crazy looking. She often comes to me while I’m at the computer to beg for attention.


Bella came housebroken but not leash trained. We have been working hard with that, especially on the weekends when David is home. Here she is supposed to be behind or beside David, not in front of him, but it’s the beginning of the exercise, so we don’t ask for much.


I let David do the hard work and then I finish up when she is already starting to “get it.”

Hide and Seek

David was playing Hide and Seek with Bella after work one night, but there are not too many places to hide. David climbed in the tub and we thought, “Hey, what a great way to get her used to being by the tub for a future bath!”


Even before we got a dog, I knew I wanted the dog to be able to carry a little back pack for me with my emergency diabetic supplies. Here it is! Bella, all decked out and ready to go! (Sorry for the “red-eye”)


Since Fargo can get rather cold in the winter time, I had been trying to figure out what the best thing would be to do for Bella. A friend heard a trick from someone else for inexpensive dog sweaters. She recommended cutting up a pair of sweat pant legs to get a great fitting tube top type shirt. Her daughter does it for the pit bull she has and the dog loves is. So I hunted the local thrift store for the perfect pants. We love the nice stripe. And Bella doesn’t mind being put into sweaters, etc. I haven’t figured out yet if she prefers it or not, but she doesn’t complain.


One thing Bella does complain about is getting her picture taken. She doesn’t care for the flash, and she is skittish to anything foreign in my hands around her. But she will tolerate it long enough to get a photo or two.

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October 11, 2009

Hello Bella!

Big news of the weekend…. David and I adopted a dog!


Incase you haven’t heard, I’ve been wanting a dog since before we were married, but I don’t think I mentioned it to David until after the ceremony. His first reaction: “We have to talk about this one.”

It’s 5 years later and we have done a lot more talking the past two years. David agreed that when we moved from Ithaca we could get a dog, since we were not allowed to get one while living in the trailer park.

I’ve been stalking the 4luvofdog.com web site looking for the perfect dog ever since David was thinking seriously about moving to Fargo. We have been putting it off until after I got back from Montana. Well, now I’m back!

David and I filled out an application with them before I left, so that when we found the right dog we wouldn’t have to wait and could be first in line.

Yesterday was another Meet and Greet at PetSmart with the 4 Luv dogs, I was planning on meeting one or two there, but wasn’t really excited about them. They were not my ideal of a dog. Then… yesterday morning bright and early, two more dogs were posted and one looked perfect!

Longer story shorter, 4 Luv had the dog at PetSmart for us to meet and she was perfect! Female, under 30 pounds, but just! (apartment rules), over a year old. Not timid, good with other dogs and probably good with children.

When David and I met her she was calm amidst the chaos. (It was a VERY busy week, lots of dogs and lots of people!) She doesn’t walk well on a leash yet, but that was the only bad thing they knew about her.

So, it worked out that last night she came home with us! It’s been less than 24 hours but it feels a lot longer. David and I are learning a LOT. We don’t really know dogs all that well. We have a lot to learn, but we like this dog and are glad to learn with her.

We’ve named her Bella.

Bella tired

(I just brought her for a long walk, she is tired, but she isn’t very active inside anyway. She does love to be close to us and found the perfect spot between our computer desks.)

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October 09, 2009

Montana Trip

Last weekend I drove with a former roommate to Montana to attend another former roommate’s wedding.

It was a bitter-sweet trip, so I thought I’d share pictures instead of a lot of words.


It was a fantastically beautiful drive! I’ve didn’t know that the Painted Canyon is located in west North Dakota. I was staring hard over the steering wheel the whole way through! Sorry I didn’t think to take any photos of it. In Montana we hit our first snow.

Champion Larch

Taking a walk to the Champion Larch tree, over 1000 years old! (We really went for a walk after the wedding Ceremony, but I thought these photos would be nicer to come before the grand event than after.)

Warm Clothes

So, it was a little bit cold. I am definately in layers! I wasn’t really cold the whole weekend, which is nice. I’m glad I brought way more clothes than I needed!

The Bride

The Bride.

We stayed at a camp with log cabins and a beautiful log lodge. There was no heat in most of the cabins and the weather was cold. The lodge was the only community warm building. Needless to say, I was there a lot! Here Allison is staying warm until last minute before heading out for the wedding ceremony.

The Scenery

The campground was located on Seely Lake, MT. A beautiful lake and beautiful hills in the back ground.

Bride's Maids

It was a bit cold, I think I mentioned that. Thankfully the bridesmaids were able to find needed clothing to keep warm while still wearing their chosen dresses. (Deborah M., how do you like the scarf?)

Bridal Walk

Allison as a Fairy Bride.

Van Dyk Women

Grandma VanDyk taking photo of Tricia and Miriam Groenewold-vanDyk.

Bride and Groom

Bride and Groom

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October 08, 2009

Interesting Diabetes Day

I don’t usually write posts about my health. Mostly because it’s rather status quo and not much to report on. Today was such a different/weird day that I thought I would share.

It was a rather ordinary day. I went to Bible study this morning and had a wonderful time! Then ran errands, etc. Just my new regular Thursday.

In the middle of the afternoon I was starting to feel funny. I didn’t want to feel funny, I wanted to go to the fabric store to look at beautiful fabrics, then I had to pick David up from work.

On my way to the fabric store I was getting waves of nausea, not much fun, but couldn’t figure out why. I wasn’t sick. I thought it might have been food poisoning, but I couldn’t think of anything I had ate that would have been bad.

An hour later when I was waiting in the parking lot for David to finish work I thought I wasn’t going to make it home without vomiting. I was feeling so yucky and nauseated. Since I couldn’t think of anything I had eaten that would have caused this, I thought I had better check my sugars. They were over 300!!! (20 mmL for the metric people) I’m very rarely ever that high! Especially when I was sure I took insulin at lunch and thought I might be going low. Well, it was strange enough that I thought I had better check my ketones too. (I carry strips on me for emergencies.)

The test strip jumped from clear to maroon immediately. That means LARGE ketones. For those that don’t know, if ketones are left untreated people go into “diabetic ketoacidosis” which is usually the cause of comas for diabetic. I have never had large ketones before. I’ve had small ketones when I’ve been sick with the flu, that is almost standard, never large ketones.

David got me home as quick as possible and I was trying hard to keep the nausea down. He sent me to bed and I took insulin to counter act the ketones.

I was feeling better and hour and a half later, but on checking my sugars they had barely gone down at all! So I checked ketones too, they were still large! That didn’t make any sense to me. I took Plenty of insulin!

I had also just run out of insulin in my pump (as happens every 2.5-3 days) and went to change my set. When I pulled off the catheter I noticed that it had come apart. That was weird. Then I remembered!

This morning, when I went to the bathroom at Bible study, my thumb caught at the catheter and pulled. It really stung, but that was all. Come to find out at the end of the day that I really pulled it out so that I spent the whole day thinking I was getting insulin when really I was barely getting any, if any!

No wonder my sugars were out of whack and my ketones were large! It takes only 4 hours without insulin to develop ketones.

My diabetic educator told me this could happen. Or something could act up with the pump so that I wasn’t getting the needed insulin. It’s been almost 4 years with the pump and this is the first time I’ve ever had it happen.

Side note: The first thing I learned in the hospital library, the day I was diagnosed, was that before the 1920’s when insulin was discovered, a person diagnosed with diabetes essentially had a 2 year life sentence. With out insulin a person will only live 2 years, if they are “lucky.” Today I understand that just a little bit.

I am so glad I live today where I can have my health taken care of so well. I’ve been diabetic 10 years as of this year. Praise God!

On a lighter note. David and I have been legally married for 6 years now (and two week and two days).

A photo from our “First Wedding”


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