You know that old trees just grow stronger/And old rivers grow wilder every day/old people just grow lonesome/Waiting for someone to say, “hello in there, hello.” John Prine
Hello, dear readers! I feel like it has been 283416 days since my last blog post. But, you know, pandemic. Unrest. Life at home.
I figured it might be time for you to get to know our family a little bit (again, or for the first time).
I’m Cathrine. I am the gal behind the computer or iPad for most of the blog posts. I started this blog in 2016 (WOW, time flies) as a way to educate others about Sam and his experience with his canine companion, Memphis.
When I am not blogging, I work as a Perkins Career Coordinator at John A. Logan College. Perkins is a federal education program that invests in education in all 50 states (awesome!) and improves career and technical education programs. I work with some pretty amazing people and students (and love it, even if it is remote work sometimes). I also teach a College 101 course and sometimes English composition.
Sam is inspiration for the blog. He is my best friend and partner in crime. Sam is an army veteran and was diagnosed with PTSD (among other things) from his time in the military. He served for twelve years before being medically retired. If you speak to Sam about his service he will often say “that’s not the way I wanted to go out.” In 2015, we had a not-so-great family vacation where we saw first hand the damage PTSD was doing to our family unit. It was hard to navigate and there was not enough help that I could provide Sam. That is when we decided a service dog might be a good idea/thought/process.
Sam currently works at the Marion (IL) VA where he is a Peer Counselor (and a mighty good one). He would probably shrug this off, but I say he gives back by helping other veterans on a daily basis.
Our home is filled with three children and three dogs.
Our oldest human kid is Kirsten, or K. She will be a senior in high school (GASP) this year. While we are hopeful for all the senior experiences, we know we may have to adjust and adapt with COVID. She will continue her education and softball career at Southeastern Illinois College (SIC) in Harrisburg.
She is a great big sister.
Next is Caden, or C. He will be in seventh grade. I am not sure how that is possible, but here we are. C recently started playing the trombone, complete with the “Sad Trombone” (womp, womp, womp) He is a great brother to his sister and younger brother and will make a really great Dad one day.
Caden is also a great joke-teller. He may have a real future in stand-up one day.
Our tiniest human is Oliver, or O (full name: Edward Oliver James). He is our rainbow baby and miracle. He entered the world on his own terms, six weeks early. He changes daily and makes us laugh (and sometimes cry). Our little family is complete with this fella.
Oliver has all of us (*mom*) wrapped around his little fingers.
Our three dogs…
Before Memphis, Sam had a little rescue dog, Kip, and I had Archie, our Cavalier King Charles. These two were just as spoiled as our human children (and still are, although Kip is a toy hoarder). These dogs were our “guard dogs,” alerting us to intruders or just people in general.
Back in the day, I was the dog whisperer with my handy dandy blanket pictured below.
And, finally, the dog of the hour, the dog of the blog, Memphis.
Memphis loves his family, but most of all, he loves his favorite human, Sam. They were meant for one another. Memphis not only saved Sam, but in a way, he saved us all.
During a pandemic you think about a lot, and I mean A LOT of things. I compare my brain to a computer with multiple tabs open at once. I tend to write or make notes of something (bookmark or save a story, etc.) that I think will make for a good read or a good blog post…and man alive, have I had some time to do that.
I hope to get back to writing on the regular again very soon. We are preparing for a new adjustment of hybrid and remote learning and working again once the fall semester begins…so stay tuned.
But, for now. Hello, again. It is nice to have you on our journey.