Author Archive: kateyskeep

Katey’s Eleventh Birthday


Hello everyone. I want to thank all of you for the support in these last few critical months.

We have a corporate sponsor that has agreed to finance our operational fees, and to Brian at BJC Branding, you have our heart felt appreciation. You are what Cajuns call ‘Good People”.  In a world full of cold digital promises, he is a man of integrity and community, and we could not more fully thank and endorse him as our corporate sponsor in the coming months.

Next?

Happy Birthday to our inspiration and mascot, Kathrine Anne O’Connor.

Eleven years is no small feat for a dog of her breed, much less a dog with Chronic Lupus. The years have flown by too quickly to contemplate, too far into her Autumn as it is for me to accept, and yet….. She still remains my Hero and my Best Friend.

From the early days, when She and I were young and a bit stupid, to the elder years.. a time we were both predicted to not live until, we have remained true.

We still find the meaning of life too sweet, when reflected in each others eyes to give up. If no one has ever been chosen by a dog to be their human, it’s not easy to comprehend.

It was in her third year, that we embarked on the grand adventure. To see all the world REALLY had to offer, in the face of illnesses that we both were told we would likely never survive more than a few months.

In the dead of winter,our dash to Boston was conceived.

The reason that all this came into being, would begin the day I packed everything I valued in my jeep on a wet rainy day in New Orleans, and left it all behind, for something more. Both of us would find help and healthcare in New England, but not before many lessons were learned by us both on who to trust and why. as well as how to be trust worthy and why.

The first time she got out of the Jeep in snow was in Delaware, and she climbed a snow bank to pee. Learning for the first time something that girl dogs who live in the snow understand… when you squat, make sure you don’t do it in a cold bank of ice. She blasted out of that snow like a jack rabbit, looked at her rear end, looked back at me, and quietly walked back to the jeep with a very annoyed gait, head held in high contempt of our new reality.

Now she always takes one look over her shoulder before she settles on the right spot to lower her bum …  a trait she has taught me well. HA!

As the second day of the trip I began to think they were right in saying I would not make the trip and to not attempt it. To drive, so physically devastated, to a place that had highs at the time in the 20’s if it got sunny enough. My body was covered with bleeding  cracks and lesions.  When I slept at the hotel, she sat awake over me. The smell of blood in the air probably too sharp for her to get rest. Perhaps she sensed my pain. I will never truly know. I drove by day and she slept, and by night she stood guard over me.

Later when I began treatments that made me delirious for weeks, I am told she did the same thing, even at times trying to bite anyone that came near me, when I was unconscious or asleep. Someone I lived with in the early days would come in on occasion to check my pulse, ( as in to make sure I still had one), and Katey would leap from the end of the bed, cautiously watching whatever was happening. She left my side only to eat and relieve herself. After a weeks that no one believed I would live through, one day I woke up, and the gambit was to be a success. For now, it would seem, against all odds, with my one true companion by my side, I had risen once more from the ashes, a habit I am now fond of making in life. …lol.

Today, I write, with her in the chair beside me, to wish my faithful companion many many returns of the Birthday.  As the inspiration for the Charity, Katey’s Keep, as well as a documentary film currently being produced, I KNOW that she has no comprehension that any of that matters.

And in THAT lies the beauty of what she is. Inspiration without expectation.

Stubborn that I am, she still has much work to do on a daily basis, and she does it through pain of every step, and WITH dignity of love freely given. When her diagnosis of Lupus came one day, and I learned that dogs with Lupus generally did not live long and suffered greatly, I became terrified yet determined.

Yet the days when I had lost hope and belief in humanity were upon me, and wanted little to do with it, I knew every day I had to wake up to watch over her as she had done for me when I was sick. She became my inspiration for life. To give her what she gave me. The protection of a relentless watchful eye.

Although I could not see a future for myself, I,  like her, refused to see a future when my best friend still had needs that only I could give, unanswered.

Inspiration comes in many forms. Sometimes it is in big ways, when the dedication of one animal to her Human, inspires people I would never dreamed of ever knowing or meeting, to create a charity in her name.

Some days it is in the small ways. when we look out of the window together and I see her joy watching a squirrel tumble through the pear tree out back. I remember that life is spent in the minutes and days between doing “the BIG Stuff”.  To sit and live in the eternal moment and have that eternal moment be joy in the beauty of the world just outside the window.

Together we have crossed the nation six times for various reasons, to celebrate life as we share it through each others eyes and to learn what it means to be responsible both to a bond shared between humans and dogs for tens of thousands of years, and to two living creatures who accept  each other unconditionally, and are dedicated to caring for each other each in our own unique ways.

For Katey and I? The hard part is over. We neither fear nor focus on the end. We exist together in the NOW.

Our ages and our illnesses still persist, but that is what life is really about, anyway. To see that nothing will ever be permanent and to take the joy of the instant, and find strength in it to continue when you think you cannot.

Happy Birthday to Katey, and to Katey’s Keep, and to all those that are like her, and to the human beings they protect and stand by, we gladly share our joy.

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Are you a member of Katey’s Kourt?


Welcome to Katey’s Kourtyard on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/KateysKourtyard!

Katey’s Keep Inc, is an organization whose mission is to find affordable healthcare for companion pets of people who are sick, ellderly or disabled. Our Home Facebook page, Katey’s Keep, is the page we have used to relay developmental and fundraising activities, that will allow us to raise grants and funds to directly pay for veterinary costs of people and pets in health crisis. This is a slower paced page that gives you one or two stories of interest a day and one or dog lover memes, and a weekly update on where we are on fulfilling the goals set forth in our mission statement.

Katey’s Kourtyard is a fast paced page for the avid dog lover, that gives you time sensitive info, on rescues, transports, adopts, and fostering of dogs, ensuring that we have a network of online friends in place should the need ever occur for forever homes to be found for our clients pets who outlive their human companions.

With a bit of fun thrown into the mix. 😉

We pass on Inspiring and fun stories of interest within the Facebook Dog Community,and stories from the pages of dogs who have a page of their own just because they are loved by their humans. : o)

We relay fun stuff such as finding whose offering great deals and coupons for pet supplies, what rescue groups are selling to raise funds for themselves,

You may also see some stuff from our  pet lovers friends who have multiple pet addictions…lol, cat and dog households, and general animal rights awareness pages, and their efforts to educate people on the value of every life on the planet, not just the human ones.

My grandmother was a dog lover, and she loved to tell tales of her pets and her friends who loved their dog as much as her. She had a way of putting it perfectly…. ” you know, Dog people”. 🙂

Be Our Ambassadors!


Our shipment of bracelets has arrived and we need you to be our ambassadors!

Donate

We are currently handing them out in person, and if you have one and want to donate a few bucks to our cause, the link above leads to the page to do that, with a credit or debit card.

Any Donation of any amount will help.

If you contribute  twenty-five dollars or more,  for every five dollars you donate, as our way of saying thank you we will send you a complementary bracelet to wear, or give to your friends. Just make sure you fill out the form after your donation is processed so we know where you want your complimentary bracelets sent.

Thank you for your support and help!



							
						

Thanks for the support! Now on to more growth!


Just a quick note… We have ordered some cause bracelets for sale. These are a great way to spread our message as well as raise a few dollars as we work on the documentary.

You guys have been great! Andy and Mano Both appreciate your patience as we take the time to legally set things up, and to create a charity that is built to last, not raise a few bucks on the side.

Your support is more valuable than you realize!

You can Donate here if you’d like.

We need to raise 250.00 per dog to offer our most basic of services, a full annual check up with all tests. For Food, Flea, tick and heartworm prevention, we estimate another 250.00. We will be filing for grants and accepting private donations to cover the initial dogs that we sponsor, before we agree to cover them.

We are going to be shifting into fundraising mode as we try to find companion pets that need our help.

Thanks again for all your continued support!

Dog leads Elder to safety before Tsunami


 

Amazing story of a woman saved by her dog in Japan during the Tsunami!

http://www.dogheirs.com/tamara/posts/700-shih-tzu-saves-elderly-woman-from-tsunami

as they stepped outside she pulled her owner towards a nearby hill, the opposite direction they usually walk. The two made their way up a pathway at a fast pace, Babu racing ahead. When Akanuma’s lagged behind, Babu would look back, seemingly urging her owner to walk faster. When Akanuma caught up, Babu would bound ahead again, pulling at her leash.

The two continued their push-and-pull until the pair had climbed the hill, a kilometer away from her home, and close to where the evacuation center is located. Just minutes after walking uphill, the tsunami hit the town, torrents of water flattening districts. When Akanuma turned around she could barely believe her eyes. Most of the path she and Babu had walked had been swallowed up by the tsunami and her home, which was located 200 meters (219 yards) away from the sea had been consumed by the wall of muddy water.

 

the positive effects that dogs have on their senior owners can best be described here in this blog…


http://eldercareabcblog.com/amazing-benefits-of-therapy-dogs-in-eldercare/

a great link to an article that explains…

  • Calming presence.  We know that petting dogs consistently lowers our blood pressure and calms our heart rates.  If a person is angry, afraid or distressed, a therapy dog can be the best medicine.
  • Pain relief.  Stroking dogs has been shown to release endorphins that have the potential to block pain!
  • Morale booster. Therapy dogs can help patients let go of their problems for a while, make assisted living facilities feel more like home, and bring back happy memories.
  • Eldercare appropriate social stimulation.  Therapy dogs and their handlers are attention grabbers in the moment, plus they offer something special to talk about later in the day.

Whats happening inside Katey’s Keep: report on organizational progress


good day!

just a few organisational notes, and info on what happening inside Katey’s keep.

The foundation committee has formed the board of corporate officers, and they have appointed interim Co-Directors of the permanent Board of directors until 501(3) (c) papers have been accepted by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The foundation committee is a collection of at large directors that have given input and molded the direction the incorporated charity, katey’s Keep, Inc.,

the directors at large of the formative foundation committee will elect officers of the board of directors from with in itself, and move to discuss and authorize the by-Laws of the corporation. The proposed by-laws will be online on our site, and once confirmed, will be permanently listed and available online with the minutes of each board meeting.

In the interim, we are existing as a proprietary small business, This allows us to open a savings account to pay for the cost of incorporation. Currently the members of the committee are paying for expenses out of personal pocket, You can see  the new  donate page on kateyskeep.com, or click here if you would like to give to the foundation fund to help cover costs of incorporating. This savings account will be rolled over into the official account, once we receive our IRS EIN ID number as a non-profit entity.

When that happens, we will begin an earnest online campaign to raise funds and grants through public and private venues as well as introduce a line of items such as T-shirts, hoodies, glasses, mugs, dog collars and dog bowls. 100 percent of the sale of these items will go to dogs in need or in a fund waiting for dogs in need.

Germano Silveira, Co Director of katey’s Keep foundation committee will continue to film the documentary on the healing relationships between dog owners and their pets. All proceeds from the documentary will go to help dogs in need.

Mr Silveira, the second youngest elected official in the commonwealth of Massachusetts,  current legislative intern in the state capital, and film maker, is one of our greatest assets, and may be looking you up as he composes his documentary on the charity…. You know you you are! 😉

Germano and Andrew will continue to operate as co directors of the committee until the articles are accepted by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and a board of directors meeting confirms them as co-Directors. We will tay engaged and will be active in social media. We will be easy to reach.

Lastly…

Last week, thanks to your likes and shares, we reached one thousand people a day through Facebook and our other social media, such as YouTube and Twitter.

Your invaluable support and belief in our cause has been instrumental in transforming an idea about a charity into a functional model and path that makes differences.

Following us on twitter and liking us on Facebook exposes us to the people you know in a passive positive way.  Every like and share of our page and site furthers our cause. Thanks to Steve, Dale, Mara, Diane and so many more for participating so much with our Facebook page!

You provide us with the kind of PR we cannot buy or afford, and we are Eternally grateful!

Our on-line vision further down the road is to create a kickstarter type of site, to match up dogs, we have identified as in of help with people who want to help them. Donations go directly to the individual dog of your choice. As such, kateyskeep.com is slowly being nudged in that direction.

Thanks for your continued support!

Never Forget the Katrina Dogs


I had decided to Move to Boston for health reasons. I packed up what I could in the Jeep, sold the house, put some things in storage, and hit the road. Before I left I went out and drove around the cemeteries of the city. Facing my own mortality, I was about to go to a strange city, with only my dog and jeep. I needed to feel connected to those from my home that had gone before me, to get the courage to leave.

Less than a year later, Katrina hit, and I know that if I had stayed there, I would have been one of those who had died. My home was within blocks from the 17th street canal levee break. I am simply too immobile, and I would never have left Katey behind.

This video serves as an Homage to the people who were lost to Katrina, the Dogs that were left behind, and the indomitable spirit of New Orleans. Although the New Orleans I knew, no longer exists, New Orleans will reinvent itself as it always has. Fires and floods have burned down the city, but it has always survived and adapted.

 

Un  p’tit  bec

Harvard, Autism, and Service Dogs


Bad News this morning from Harvard. The Boston Globe and AP reported a Freezer malfunction that caused the loss of one-third of their research inventory. Local news outlets are reporting that foul play has not officially been ruled out.

A freezer malfunctioned at a Harvard-affiliated hospital that oversees the world’s largest collection of autistic brain samples, damaging a third of the scientifically precious specimens and casting doubt on whether they can be used in research.

The director of the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center said the loss was “devastating,” particularly in light of the increasing demand for brain samples among scientists searching for the cause of autism and potential treatments.

There are now hosts of organizations springing up who provide service dogs to children with autism, and a simple google search will help you find them in your area. One organisation even exists primarily to breed, train and create dogs that are of the right temperament to be Service Dogs for Children with Autism.

http://www.northstardogs.com/ we list this site, as an example, not as an endorsement of its animal services, as an option for parents of children with autism.

Autismkey.com reported a story in february on a new finding from a research group and the science is clear, that service dogs, (with careful consideration of both the pet’s needs and the needs of each child), reduces cortisol levels which calm the child, reduce emotional outbreaks and MAY lead to less dependency upon drug therapy as an only means of treatment.

The study measured the salivary levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, in 42 children with autism at three different times: before and during the introduction of a service dog to their family, and after a short period during which the dog was removed from their family …  The researchers concluded ‘that the introduction of service dogs translated into reducing cortisol levels and the number of disruptive behavioral incidents in children with ASD

What this loss of tissue samples means to the Harvard researchers in beyond measure .

Dr. Fred Volkmar, an autism researcher and director of the Child Study Center at Yale University, said the damage is even more disheartening given recent advances in autism research.

Some of that research, including autism studies involving stem cells, wasn’t even possible at the time when some of the brains were donated.

“We can’t always know where the science is going to take us,” Volkmar said. “In that respect, it’s a horrible loss. The hope is that at least it’s not a total disaster.”

 

If you or a loved one cares for or about someone with autism, we would urge you to investigate these options, knowing that the science is there.

Dogs calm Children with autism.

Brain Scans Unleash Canine Secrets, Science Daily Reports


What an intriguing project being worked on currently by Emory University researchers, and reported on by the Science daily.

The long argument as to whether dogs perceive time, or depend on circadic rhythms to fuel their uncanny ability to wait where their master once was, or to always show up at the food bowl at the exact same time everyday.

“To the skeptics out there, and the cat people, I would say that dogs are the first domesticated species, going back at least 10,000 years, and by some estimates 30,000 years,” Berns says. “The dog’s brain represents something special about how humans and animals came together. It’s possible that dogs have even affected human evolution. People who took dogs into their homes and villages may have had certain advantages. As much as we made dogs, I think dogs probably made some part of us, too.”

Follow the story at the link

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120504110504.htm

picture above property of science

take a look at the entire article. Tell us what you think.

Interview: Dale and his Pack


I understand You’ve adopted two dogs from a rescue site.. why did you choose to rescue instead of purchase a new pet?

Dale:  Well I chose to rescue because there are so many animals that are in need of help. Lets get the ones out there in the streets into loving homes. 

Gus and Ellie are your adopted companion pets. Gus was definitely a stray, and after being around him, its clear he was a runaway or abandoned, and that he has certain behaviors that he learned from other people. Can you tell us a little bit about that? the challenges AND the rewards?

Dale:  Yes, they are companions and I’m grateful for them. I rely on them as they do me. When Gus was found he had heart worms and had to be put on medicine.

How was he found? 

Dale:  He actually walked up to the other dogs at the peoples house who fostered him….  He walked up so he could say hi to the other dogs.  They got him better because of the other dogs they had as well.

Any thing about his behavior that was unusual?

Dale:  His behaviors are pretty much normal as any other dogs behaviors. If you raise your hand too fast he flinches. If I light a cigarette with a match and I’m not near him, he flinches.

Crossing your legs is hard to do around him because he will  push against your foot and move around …. so he can be scratched. Other dogs?  he loves them in open environments, but walking leashed on the street the same time other people are walking their dogs… he is difficult.

And  Cats ?

Dale: Well sometimes he’s good around them but not always. To answer your earlier question, I guess I would say the challenge keeps me on my toes. Thats the rewarding part… keeps my mind on the task and alert.

I know that he was your second rescue adoption and that Ellie, in fact, was your first. So while you adopted Gus as an adult, You first adopted Ellie as a puppy a year before. What Challenges did Ellie, as a puppy, bring to you as a pet owner.

Dale: The challenges Ellie brought where very small, She was the piddle queen haha. When you came in from being out and would let her out of her cage she was so excited that she just let go…. and little pee spots would be around you as she was jumping and making happy noises.

It was funny actually.

The more difficult part was EVERYTHING made her excited.

So if we were in bed  and played with her sometimes she just would let some drops out.

The house training was easy, though.  We crated her for a while and now she’s house broken.

At first she had some seperation issues but now she seems to be doing better with Gus around.  She needs lessons in manners and a few other things but she’s a great dog

LOL… she has more energy than a nuclear reactor. She’s definitely and active girl!  You have been open with people in your life about the fact that you have an anxiety disorder, that has been an obstacle in your life at times. How has adopting Gus and Ellie helped you with that?

DaleThey make me have to deal with it.

They know when something is wrong and they do their best to try and comfort me. I do my best to let them help me relax and they do. 

People love them and they love people so I end up interacting  with other bipeds myself, which in the long run is better for me. 

Well in closing I want to thank you for volunteering for Katey’s Keep, advising on urban outreach and rescue outreach. I will give you the last word. Can you give us the name of the rescue site that you got your pups from, so that others can know they are a caring quality rescue organisation?

Dale: Sure. Here’s the address of their facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cold-Nose-Coalition/176349659048575

Have a story YOU want to share?  E-Mail us at kateyskeep@gmail.com and we can talk!