Waukesha County 2013 Walk to End Alzheimer’s

Wow – healthy walking, wonderful scenery, great people, and fundraising for an important cause – all at the same time!

If you would like to join a group of wonderful people dedicated to ending Alzheimer’s disease, please join the Southeast Wisconsin chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association for a fundraising walk around Frame Park and the Fox River near downtown Waukesha.  The date is Saturday, September 14, 2013.  Registration can be completed online at www.alz.org/sewi or call 414-479-8800 if you need assistance.

Please Support a Benefit in Waukesha on July 15, 2012, for the Owner of “Lexi,” the Service Dog Killed by a Hit and Run Driver

On June 8, 2012, a hit and run driver struck and killed Lexi, a service dog owned by Debbie Schultz.  Thankfully, the alleged driver has been caught.  Debbie is also facing medical issues, but most of all, she has to face the loss of her beloved service dog.  Debbie’s husband bought Lexi for her and then her husband passed away shortly thereafter.  Lexi came to mean the world to Debbie.

Debbie’s sister, Kathy (who owns “Poppin’ on Broadway” in downtown Waukesha) is hosting a benefit at the Montecito Ristorante in downtown Waukesha on JULY 15, 2012 (Sunday) from 1:00 to 7:00 p.m.  Service dogs are welcome!  The address of the restaurant is:  257 W. Broadway in downtown Waukesha.  If you cannot attend, but would like to donate to “The ‘Lexi’ Legacy” Benefit Fund, please send your donation to:  Waukesha State Bank, 151 E. St. Paul Avenue, PO Box 648, Waukesha, WI  53187-0648.

As Kathy says, “Lexi is a hero!”  Please donate to help Debbie with her great loss and to honor Lexi’s memory!

Even though I do not know Debbie personally, I do know why it is important to support her during this difficult time.  My late uncle Roy had a seeing eye dog named “Eli.”  My Uncle Roy received Eli after serving during the Viet Nam war and suffering blindness.  Eli was a huge, beautiful German Shepherd.  Eli meant the world to Uncle Roy, and we all knew it and loved Eli for giving Uncle Roy his life back.  I specifically remember a Christmas family gathering where my young cousins were climbing all over Eli, even opening his huge, imposing jaws to look at Eli’s teeth.  Eli just laid there, patiently tolerating this type of attention.  After Eli died, my uncle was devastated.  We all supported him, but I don’t think any of us really knew how much more support he needed than we gave.  At that time, I do not think that any of us realized the extent of his devastation because Uncle Roy was quiet, a strong and proud military man who did not let his pain show.  As time passed following Eli’s death, my Uncle Roy became more and more reclusive.  He passed away last year after becoming a recluse, rejecting family love and support.  We all loved Uncle Roy, and we all believe that the death of Eli started his decline.  The lesson to be learned is that there is no time better than right now to support Debbie – let her know that we understand what Lexi meant to her, what Lexi truly gave to her, and that we support her during this difficult time.

VA Benefit Changes are on the Way – Stay Tuned

In June, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) announced that changes are being drafted to the laws regarding qualification for the VA pension benefit, commonly called the “Aid & Attendance” benefit.  The Aid and Attendance benefit provides a monthly check to veterans and widow/ers of veterans who have long-term care needs at home, in assisted living, or in skilled nursing care.  Currently, the VA regulations do not impose a look-back period, unlike Medicaid.  Due to an investigation into the sale of annuities by financial advisers and the use of certain trusts by attorneys, the laws are being re-written and will likely impose a look-back similar to Medicaid.  The new laws are scheduled to be released toward the end of 2013.  The Medicaid look-back is currently five years, and it is speculated that the proposed look-back for VA might mirror the 5 year Medicaid period.

Touch Base with an Old Friend!

If you have read some of my posts, you may have figured out that I am a small town farm girl, having grown up among cornfields and farms, surrounded by animals.  When I went away to college, a friend of mine told me about her friends, Cynthia and Jim, who owned a farm near my new college town.  When I arrived at college, I looked up Cynthia and introduced myself.  We became fast friends!  I spent a great deal of time on Cynthia’s farm during my college years.  I rode her big mare all over the countryside.  I made Cynthia and her friends laugh hysterically when they took me to the county racetrack and put me on a racehorse.  I was supposed to circle the racetrack once and stop, but the horse grabbed the bit in its mouth and got away from me.  He kept going … and going … and going … until he tired (I was tired pretty much after the first revolution).  We also visited flea markets, a popular lake, and we explored restaurants.  Cynthia paid me to clean her house so that as a poor college student, I had some spending money.  These were really good times and I remember them fondly!

I called Cynthia a few weeks ago.  She has since divorced and moved to Wyoming.  Unfortunately, she is feeling the effects of severe arthritis.  We had a wonderful talk!  After we hung up, I looked through my photographs and picked out a few pictures I thought she would enjoy because it has been decades since we have seen each other.  I sent her the pictures and a long letter.  She called me after receiving the pictures and the letter.  Her closest friend had died a couple of days before she received the pictures (but after our phone call).  Cynthia said that she felt very alone after her friend died, and that my letter and the photos meant a great deal to her.

Touch base with an old friend!  It will make you smile and warm up an old friend’s heart!  Let me know how it goes!

Retired Military Dogs Need Your Help!

The ASPCA is reporting that military dogs are defined as “equipment” by the US Department of Defense.  According to the ASPCA, this characterization makes it difficult to transport our canine heroes back to the US so that they can be adopted.  Swift action is needed!  Please contact your US senators and urge them to co-sponsor the CANINE MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES ACT, US S.2134.  You can also check the ASPCA website for additional information.