Happy “One-Year-Plus-One-Day!!!”

November 2, 2013 | By | Add a Comment


Previously: Happy “Eleven-Months-Plus-One-Day!”; Happy “Ten-Months-Plus-Three-Day!”


A quick summary of Shayna’s status as of November 1, 2013:

Shayna seems to be doing amazingly well.  She overcame the salmonella poisoning (the second incident this year!) that afflicted her for about two weeks, in late September and early October.

Her activity level is amazingly high.  We are doing four to six training sessions per day.  See this video of one session from October 25:

Thank you to all of the donors to Shayna’s Health Fund, who have helped to make this day possible.  Thank you also to our amazing medical team – Dr. Janice Raab, Dr. Anna Paling, and Dr. Kevin Stiffler, whose dedication, kindness and generosity have made all the difference.  And lastly, thanks to my guardian angels, Gloria and Sarah, and all those who have said prayers for Shayna.  Here is a video of one of our long walks through the woods, in which I talk about how incredibly fortunate we are, to have reached “one-year-plus-one-day”:


The significance of “one-year-plus-one-day”

As described here, one year ago, on October 29, 2012, Shayna collapsed, out of the blue.  On October 30, she was diagnosed with a terrible medical condition, and given a lifespan of one day to four months.

For all the obvious reasons, these has been the most difficult, joyous, challenging and spiritually-expanding twelve months of my life.  In my upcoming book, which is now complete, and will be released in mid-late November on Amazon.com, I describe the additional reasons why this has been a particularly challenging time.  Through it all, four thoughts have helped enable me to persevere:

October 11, 2013: Finishing work on Shayna's book, in my intellectual cathedral, the Dome Room atop the Rotunda, designed by Thomas Jefferson.

October 11, 2013: Finishing work on Shayna’s book, in my intellectual cathedral, the Dome Room atop the UVa Rotunda, designed by Thomas Jefferson.  It is considered in architectural circles to be one of the most beautiful rooms in America.

(1) How lucky I am to have met Shayna when I did, in March 2002 (and been smart enough to adopt her on the spot).

(2) How lucky we are that she enjoyed ten years of nearly perfect health, and that we developed the kind of love and trust that we have.

(3) How fortunate we are to have such an amazing medical team – and donors who have generously contributed to to Shayna’s Health Fund.

(4) How incredibly lucky I am to have been given this opportunity, to enjoy so much quality time with the canine love of my life, after she received such an awful diagnosis.

So, on the first of each month since April of this year, I’ve been delivering “Happy (x)-months-plus-one-day!” to each of Shayna’s vets (described below), and soon after, her donors (via email).

A picture taken of us on October 30, 2013 near the Rotunda – where my odyssey to find the “right” first dog for me began, in the late fall of 2001 (described in my upcoming book).  We’re both a bit frazzled, and look it, because we’d been up all night, due to a medical scare (false alarm) – an amazing coincidence, since the last time we were up all night was exactly one year earlier, on October 29, 2012, after she collapsed with her heart condition:

30Oct13 At UVa

Some trivia: on October 31, 2012, after her terrible diagnosis, Shayna was like a new dog – because all the fluid that was in her heart sack, which was preventing her heart from functioning properly, was gone – and she led me on the longest walk we’d been on in years, around the Lawn area at UVa.  See the video here.

So, on October 30, 2013, we went back to the Lawn, and took another walk – and Shayna was intent on making it another long, enjoyable one.  See the video here.

The contents of the cards that each of Shayna’s vets received today:

Here are the “Happy-One-Year-Plus-One-Day” cards that I made and delivered to each of Shayna’s vets, today (written by her):

The cards that were personalized for, and delivered to Dr. Raab, Dr. Paling and Dr. Stiffler today.

The cards that were personalized for, and delivered to Dr. Raab, Dr. Paling and Dr. Stiffler today.


Additional pictures and videos of the past month

One day, we were walking through the woods, when Shayna eyed what appeared to be a little dog walking in a nearby trail. At about 4:15, I clipped the leash on her to investigate, and it turns out that wasn’t a dog – it was Phoebe the cat, who is convinced she’s a dog. You have to see it to believe it.


Shayna with Rosie, the senior who fell in love with her at the Senior Center

This pic was taken on. See more of Shayna and Rosie here.

18Oct13 Rosie at Senior Center

Shayna basking in the sun on October 6 at Panera Bread, where about 50% of my book was written and edited:

06Oct13 Glowing Shayna


Filed in: Shayna's medical condition

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