Sunday, August 28, 2011

Margaret Faubion Ibison

Maragret Faubion Ibison
Nov 21, 1921 - Aug 10, 2011

   We are sorry to report that Richard's mom passed away on August 10th from bone cancer. She had been in hospice for two months and had received wonderful care and pain relief.

   Margaret loved dogs and had several Chihuahuas in her lifetime. But she also loved both Zane and Parka, as well as our other little Peeka-Boo, Cuzzie.

   We were amazed to see Parka just get into bed with Margaret when she was in hospice and lie quietly next to her t be petted. This gave Mom a lot of comfort and Parka seemed to do it naturally.

   We loved her very much, will miss her spunk and spirit but will continue to be inspired by it.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Parka - ALSO A Therapy Dog

Parka jumped into bed with Richard's mom
and just let mom pet her.

Dear Zane,

Wanted you to know that I, too, can be a therapy dog!

Richard's mother went into hospice for cancer a few weeks ago and we visit her often.

I decided on my own that it was OK to jump into bed with her and snuggle.

She loves it!

So, someday, when I cannot guide Richard anymore, I, too, can have another career as a therapy dog,
just like you . . .  my hero.


Miss Parka

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Hello friends, fans and that handsome dude, Zane,

   Didn't want to wait to let you know I went to the Vet today for a blood test and check up.    All is perfectly normal again! NO liver issues or nothin'! I AM 100% A OKAY!

   Richard and I just got back yesterday from a week in Dallas and Houston where I was, as usual, the main attraction.

   But it was so good to be back home late yesterday afternoon that as soon as I had my dinner, I went right into my cage and laid down on my nice soft pilla and took a nap.

   Well, gotta . . .  there's a nice puddle of warm sunshine coming in the sliding glass door of Richard's office . . . I just LOVE those sun bathes!

Love to all, and especially you, Zane,

Miss Parka

Monday, March 7, 2011

Back in the saddle again . . . and headin' to Texas . . . Again!

   Thought y'all would like to know that I'm doin' right good and am headin' out to Texas today for the week with Richard.

   Am practicin' my Texas drawl for y'all . . . OK, this is HARD! After all, I'm from SEATTLE, people!

   Well, I wanted you to know I am back to my usual high jinks of trying to eat dirt out of mom's potted geraniums (she stuffed crumpled up copy paper in the pots when she caught me - darn!), eating used tissues (if mom misses her bedroom waste basket, I try to scoop one up, but she's so fast she caught me with the tiniest bit of white hanging out of my mouth!) and hanging around in a predatory way while Cuzzie eats so I can "pre-wash" her food bowl if she doesn't finish her food (this is how I get even for when she tries to keep me from coming out of my cage or coming around the corner of the couch in the living room to cuddle with dad!).

   The best sign that I have returned to normal is that my back end is in high gear when mom or dad call me for whatever reason. They nick named me "Miss Wiggle Bottom". How embarrassing!

   I have to go back to the Vet this Saturday for more blood tests to make sure my recovery is complete . . .  piece of cake!

   Oh boy, would I like a piece of cake . . .  I'll see what I can "Hoover" on the airplane!

Lots of Love,

Miss Parka

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Home Sweet Home . . . Hey! Who's been playing with my toys!!??

I'm home 5 minutes and already I can tell . . .
somebody has been messing with my toys!
And I know who!! "Cuzzie . . .! "

OK, this is not very flattering but they had to shave
my belly to do an ultra sound to make sure I
didn't perforate my gut with some dumb thing
I decided it would be really great to eat.
Dad says my belly is as bald as his head!

I have a few other spots that were shaved on my paws
and my upper chest where they were trying
to put intravenous lines into me when I was
dehydrated and needed fluids . . .
plus I had a plasma transfusion, too.
My beautiful coat will grow back . . . eventually.
Until then, I wear these marks as a badge of honor . . .
I defeated death!
    Yes, Miss Wiggle Bottom is home, tail wagging a mile a minute, gnawing on her bone (so Cuzzie doesn't get it!), wanting to play "Kong" with Richard.

   But in a very few minutes, she is resting on her pillow next to Dad's living room chair . . . 

   She would wish you "Good Night" but she's gone . . . zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Defeating death is pretty darn tiring.

Hospital Pix - Parka and Richard

Parka's eyes are closed, too . . . hard to see on a black dog!
Are these two happy or what?!

Richard reassuring Parka that she will be home SOON!

Parka coming home 4 PM today - NO Addison's Disease!

   The Vet just called to sat that Parka is doing EXCEPTIONALLY well and we are to pick her up at 4 Pm today . . .  YEAH!!

   Also great news: she does NOT have Addison's disease!! DOUBLE YEAH!!

   Her blood work is "remarkable" for what she's been through. She still has some diarrhea but nothing spontaneous . . . OK, the carpet guy will not be making any more $$$ off the Faubions for a while. He was here two days in a row last week.

   We will be feeding Parka rice with some added chicken and cooked cooked beef (fat drained) to encourage her appetite which is still sluggish.

   Also, she will be taking more meds to keep the bad bacteria down, and also adding some good bacteria back into her gut.

   I can't say enough good things about the VCA Alameda East Animal Hospital! These vets and vet techs and even the receptionists have treated us with compassion and saved Parka's life.

   We're taking Cuzzie over tomorrow morning to get her checked out, too, and bringing a stool sample today to make sure she wasn't the one giving Parka the tape worm. She's been fiddling with her butt a lot lately. Sorry if that is TMI, but it won't be to dog owners who need to be concerned about butt fiddling!

   I will post a picture of Parka at home later. The Vet thinks she will do even better at home with her family.

   More later . . .

   Claudia in Denver

Friday, February 25, 2011

Parka picture taken at Vet Hospital tonight

Parka & Richard tonight . . . SO glad to see her dad.

   Boy, I am one tired doggie . . . but I pulled through with the help of the wonderful vets and vet techs at the VCA  Alameda East Vet Hospital in Denver.

   I was SO glad to see Dad . . . he came to the hospital straight from the airport. I can tell this has been really tough on him, too . . . getting reports on my condition but not being here to encourage me.

   They tell me I can go home tomorrow. I sure am looking forward to being back on my nice soft pillow next to dad's chair, or next to his side of the bed . . .  even in my cage next to his desk while he works.

   Well, just wanted to let you know I'm going to be OK. Thanks for all the prayers . . . I think God heard them.

Love to all . . .  Miss Parka

Parka has rallied!

Our girl is doing so much better!
   Quick Vet update: Parka has rallied and has even eaten a small amount of food and kept it down. They did an ultra sound on her and could see that her colon was pretty inflamed, her lymph nodes enlarged and that her adrenal glands are smaller than normal. However, that doesn't mean she has Addison's disease. They are testing for that now.

   HOME TOMORROW is the thought . . . WHOOPEE! They will call us in the morning to set up a plan.

   I am leaving for the airport to pick up Richard and we will go to visit her right away. I'm sure that will be great for both of them . . .  and I will love it, too.

   I will ask Miss Parka to give you a message and will post it ASAP.

   Thanks for all the love, support and prayers . . . they have helped to pull her through I'm sure.

Claudia Faubion in Denver

Miss Parka is one sick puppy . . .

Now hear this, Miss Parka . . . you get well!
Dearest Parka,

   I just heard you are in the hospital. Richard told Gary what's going on.

   Gosh . . . you've got everybody worried! What in the h@#! did you eat anyway? I'm sure you are in good hands now but I'm sure all the poking and prodding and blood tests and x-rays aren't any fun.

   Tomorrow night Richard will be able to be with you again and I'm sure that will make you cheer up a bit (him too). Meanwhile, you are getting lots of love from Claudia.

   Here's a picture of me with my birthday gift. But now I'm more worried about you than my birthday or my gift.

   Tell Claudia and Richard to keep us all posted (I'm not on Facebook) on your progress. And remember, Guide Dogs don't get sick leave, so GET BETTER FAST!

   Your pal forever,


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Hey! It's my birthday!!!

This was my party last year . . . Richard and Parka were there!
   Hey guys,  it's Feb. 23 and it's my birthday. . . so where's all my greetings and gifts? I've waited 5 years for today and nobody has given me anything yet (and it's now 2 PM). 

   Seems like as hard as I work that I should at least be getting a bone or something.  Well, Gary and Vicki went out for a while this morning. I sure hope they were able to stop by Petco or Petsmart for a while. 

   FYI: My work schedule at UC-Irvine hospital has changed a bit: not my job assignments but just the days I work. I need transportation to the hospital each week. Gary's teaching schedule has changed for the Spring semester, so now I'll be making my visits on Thursdays instead of Mondays. 

   That is, of course, assuming I get some kind of birthday greetings by midnight tonight!  Otherwise, I'm considering some kind of work slowdown.

   It's been an exciting time for me over the last 5 years.  I graduated from Guide Dog school in San Rafael, lived in Denver for a while working as a seeing eye dog, been all over the USA and have provided "therapy" to hundreds of patients. 

   I'm a member of "Delta Society," a member of the Trauma Intervention Program of Orange County. I look forward to more exciting times. 

   Hopefully soon Jed will be able to join me as soon as he matures and mellows a bit more.

Love,  Zane

Friday, February 11, 2011

My new job . . .

   For those who have been wondering what I am "doing for a living" these days, here I am with one of my favortie people, having a great "conversation" while he undergoes some chemo.
   Sometimes we just gaze into each other's eyes and he gives me good scritches under my chin. He knows I understand.
   Please note: I get my own chair! Abd you can see my ID and special "jacket" that IDs me as a VERY special dog. But we all knew that, right?
   This is just one of my new "theapy dog" responsibilities . . . more to come.

Love, Zane

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Another Zane Update 1/1/11

Well here I am at home learning a new trick.... "roll over". Somehow in my vast training I never learned how to do the "roll over" trick. So last week when I was visiting my pals at the Partial Patient unit at UCI Medical Center Gary and Vicki promised everybody they would teach me how to roll over. Darn...and the treats were coming so easy; now I'll have to work harder for them. Oh well, I guess every good dog should know how to roll over. So far I know: sit, down, stay, come, heel, Smoky Bear, shake, circle, bang, pray and "OK". "OK" is my favorite as that is usually followed by "good boy" and a treat! Most everybody loves my "pray" trick which is pretty easy.

My work responsibilities as a therapy dog have changed a bit. Now I am working in three separate facilities at the hospital. Once a week Gary and Vicki drive me down to the hospital where I spend the first hour with a bunch of great teens. There I get introduced as Gary and Vicki explain my background.... especially my work as a Guide Dog with Richard. I get treats as I go from person to person doing my tricks. Most of the teens have pets of some sort at home and so they just love the opportunity to talk about their pets, and their experiences with them. I get my teeth brushed, my hair brushed, and lots of petting and belly rubs which some times makes me sleepy. At the end of our session we always have what has come to be known as the "group hug". They all get down on the floor and rub me all over looking for what Gary and Vicki call my "sweet spot". When somebody finds it I begin to smile a REAL smile. It feels so good. I love group hugs.

When leave that unit I go to the "infusion center" where patients are getting IV drips of all kinds of stuff to cure various types of cancer. I've come to know a few of the patients pretty well and they now look for me each week. The nurses usually pull up a chair, put a white sheet on it, and let me jump up onto it so I'm at the level of the patients. And you can sure see me against that white sheet!

My last hospital unit is called orthopedics. I think that means bone problems. Seems like many of these patients have had falls and car accidents and such. Again, I get to sit in a chair by their bedsides and get petted a lot. Of course more treats are given as I repeat my tricks.

I hope some of the patients, doctors, and nurses (or anybody I visit) that read this can find the time to send me a quick note. It will make my day to be reminded again of my short but fun visits with you. Richard and his new dog Parka love reading the posts too.

Till later, and Happy New Year!

Dear sweet lovable Zane.