Our Adventure…

Well, friends, I am still alive and fairly well.  I have been having some stomach issues that I have to have an upper endoscopy done for on Wednesday, but hopefully after that I’ll have the cure!  I am getting fairly well adjusted to the new medication for my Schizoaffective Disorder and am completely off of the old one now–hooray!

As some of you know, Mean Irene hit the area we live in.  We decided to take Riley and Chloe and evacuate to the western part of Virginia and went to Shenandoah while we were there.  The dogs did great…Riley only had to bark twice at the hotel, phew!  Chloe wanted to be a part of the social club of all the other evacuee dogs in the hall, so we had to put a nix on that after a few trips outside.  We made it back the day after the storm, safe and sound.  Our house is fine and we had power when we got back.

Here are some pictures from our little adventure:

Don’t know what was so interesting to the left there…

At Shenandoah National Park.  Grandpa and Chloe are in the back left of the picture.

 We hiked part of this trail.
The dogs were glad to be out of the hotel room.

Pretty Riley at the hotel!
Traveling with dogs was exhausting…I hope to not do it again any time soon!
I am walking this year, my 5th year, in NAMI Virginia’s NAMI Walk in Richmond on October 8th.  NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness and has been a great resource for my family and I over the last 5 years.  NAMI provides education programs, support groups, research, funding, information, etc. about all kinds of different mental illnesses ranging from depression to schizophrenia, ADHD to bipolar disorder and OCD.
Some of you have supported me in past years for the NAMI Walk, so if anyone is interested in donating this year, here is the link to my fundraising webpage:  http://www.nami.org/namiwalks11/VIR/ehunt  I am trying to raise a whopping $1,000 this year and am halfway to my goal with 27 days left til the Walk!  Who knows, your doggies may get a little something special from me and Riley or you can donate anonymously if you want to!!  🙂  Thanks!

Out of the Study Cave!!

Whew…  It’s been a few days.  I have been in the microbiology study cave for the last few days.  Luckily I’m 95% done with all my studying so I can take a quick break to update Riley’s blog.

I have no pictures today because of said study cave…

I heard back from Riley’s trainer and it looks like we can start class on Monday night.  It’s a drop-in class, so that’s good because we’ll have to miss once or twice a month because of my NAMI meetings.  This is an advanced class so hopefully we’re advanced enough to join in!  The trainer recommended this class for us, so I’m sure it will be fine.

Riley’s been SOOOO good for me while I’ve been studying.  If I tell her to “go lay down” (I know, grammatically incorrect but I’ve already trained her using that phrase) she’ll settle down near me on the couch or bed.  I did have to finally reward her just a few minutes ago by hitting one of her orange balls outside for her with that old racquetball racket.  Now she’s gonna pant herself to death!

NAMI Walks 2010!

For about 4 years now, I have been involved with a wonderful organization called NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness).  I have psychotic disorder NOS (not otherwise specified…basically they don’t know which one exactly) and it causes me to see and hear things that aren’t really there and I have problems with depression and anxiety.  I am happy to say that now with the correct medication it is in remission.  I got Riley last year when my disorder was bad.  I would see people in my bedroom at night that weren’t really there so I wanted to get a dog that could sleep with me that I could wake up in the night and she would bark if there was really anyone there.  Riley has been my lifeline for the last year and 3 months.

For more information about NAMI, check out their website!  They provide support services for people with mental illness and their families and friends.  1 in 4 people are diagnosed with a mental illness, so this means you likely know someone with a mental illness or may have one yourself.

Every year I participate in NAMI Walks Virginia.  Last year, Riley walked with me!  I don’t think she’s going to be able to walk the 5K with me this year because her hips are starting to bother her again.  😦  Anyway, the walk is held in Richmond on October 9th.  I have $180 left to raise to meet my goal of $500.  I’m not looking for big donations, I’m only looking for $5 to $10 from a bunch of people so one or two people don’t have to donate a large amount.  We can all make a difference.  Check out my fundraising website!  Thanks!

Riley and I walking last year (October 3, 2009)!