Aging Gracefully: Caring For Dogs With Degenerative Myelopathy and Other Mobility Impairments

As our dogs age, a common scenario is the loss of mobility. Often the hind legs begin to deteriorate first, due to disease, injury or simply because our friend is getting on in years. The front legs can also begin to lose their ability over time as well.

All the while the dog frequently remains otherwise healthy and alert.

Our Pembroke Welsh Corgi Guido brought us to exactly that situation as he developed and progressed through degenerative myelopathy.

If you’re looking ahead to a time where your canine pal may suffer from partial or major mobility issues, here are some tips we picked up along our journey.

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Leo J. Notenboom

A number of people have expressed sadness at my father’s passing.

And yes, it is definitely sad to lose your father at any age.

But this is a case worthy also of happiness and celebration. My father lead a rich, long life. He died as peacefully as we could have hoped for, and in the company of loved ones.

I choose to celebrate his life. I choose to feel a deep gratitude for the gifts I’ve received from him. I choose to remember not only most the recent years but the years he truly was my father and the stories of what came before.

I choose to be happy and thankful.

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Half Century Mark

50 years ago today, 9 months after a snowstorm hit the greater Victoria, B.C. area (or so I’ve been told), I showed up.

It’s been quite the ride, so far.

An interesting thing to watch as you age are your beliefs and opinions. Some solidify (into concrete, if my father is any indication), and others meld and morph and turn into things you never would be predicted at an earlier age.

I think they call it growth. But I could be wrong. Or you may not agree. Whatever.

So, using this half-century mark as an excuse, I thought I’d jot down a few things…

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The One Big Thing – In Your Way?

I was having a conversation with a friend the other day about what was
coming next for her web site. She has a new site design. The design itself is
ready to go, and I’d say that the “important stuff” has been moved into it, but
not everything. A bunch of older content hasn’t yet been moved. On top of that
the older content needs updating as it’s moved into the new design.

So she’s been waiting to release the new website design until more (all?) of
the old content has been revised and moved. And of course, that’s just an
overwhelming amount of work – all those pages. It’s a big deal.

So naturally, since it’s such a daunting task, it’s not happening. Smile

My response? Just do it.

No, not the old content migration. That is an overwhelming

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Those “Other” Questions

Today’s the fourth anniversary of Ask Leo!,
and that means it’s time to collect up some of the questions that you didn’t
see me answer. You’ll soon see why. We’ve got quite the bumper crop this

As always, every question is a real question I’ve received via Ask Leo!
within the last year, presented exactly as I got it (except that any
potentially identifying information will have been removed). Each “answer” is
the answer that I’d be oh-so-tempted to give…

[Warning: there may be “bad words” in some of the
questions. Y’all been warned.]


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Cleaning out a desk drawer I stumbled onto one of these:

Intel MCS-86 Assembly Language Reference Guide

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DirecTV Take 1. Take 2. Take …

As I mentioned elsewhere,
my 11 year old big screen TV decided it was tired, and wasn’t going work
any more. That, of course, accelerated my HDTV education and upgrade

My replacement HDTV is on

But as I mentioned to Kathy, this is a slippery slope. Programming.
Audio. Recording. Etc.

And so I found myself on the phone to DirecTV to upgrade our programming
to their HDTV package with their HDTV DVR. No problem, they said. They’d
be happy to take more of my money. No surprise really.

We scheduled an appointment for the upgrade, which includes a new
(bigger) dish and the DVR. I made note to the representative to make sure
to mention that a 30 foot ladder was going to be required, as the
existing dish was at the peak of one end of our house. No problem, they

And here the enumeration begins by visit and technician contact… (you
know it’s bad when a numbered list is the right approach)

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Geek Wars – Home Wiring Division

Inspired by a post by a former
colleague of mine I decided to grab the Canon (camera that is) and throw my
volley into the “show us your geek” competition.

This is what’s tacked up on a wall in a room in my basement:

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Empty Office & Clean Desk

We’re having all of the woodwork in our home re-varnished. The time came
for my office, which from the following picure you can see is mostly woodwork.
We took advantage of having to empry the walls and bookshelves to go one step
further and empty the office and move the carpet to a different room so it could
be cleaned as well.

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Finished: Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451 is one of those books I thought I’d read. I’m a Sci-Fi fan,
and ate up a lot of the “masters” of Sci-Fi years ago. I started with Arthur C.
Clarke (Childhood’s End was
my first Sci-Fi read, what a way to start!), and quickly ran through most of
the works of Heinlein, Asimov, and others, including, I thought, Ray

Apparently not.

My only thought is that perhaps I got sidetracked by the weirdness that is
Something Wicked
This Way Comes, and set Mr. Bradbury aside.

Fast forward some [mumble] years, and I find a reference to
451 in the always popular and thought provoking This Is True weekly email.

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On War

The typeface was smaller than I expected.

But then it would have to be.

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Getting Older

Today’s my birthday.

No big deal, really. Life’s actually too busy to pay much attention to it. It’s not
one of the “milestone” birthdays or anything – that’s next year. And for the most part, most of the time
“on the inside” I feel about half my age.

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Selling Dolls

I’ve tried to explain this enough times that I decided just to write it up
once and (literally) for all.

We opened my wife’s doll shop in 1994. This month marks the completion of
our 12th year.

This month also marks the end of our current lease. That’s a decision point
– knowing this, last year we started asking ourselves: stay, move, go
internet-only or close down completely? The internet has changed the landscape
of doll selling fairly dramatically in recent years, and the expenses
associated with running an actual retail store don’t quite make sense in
comparison to the revenue generated by in-store sales. Internet sales were
“carrying” the business.

If we were going to be profitable , we needed to reduce expenses. Next to
inventory, which is kinda necessary, rent and payroll were tops on the list.
The status quo wasn’t going to cut it.

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Another year of odd ones

Today marks the third anniversary of Ask Leo! – more on that in tomorrow’s

But as I’ve done twice before, here’s this year’s sampling of some of the
funny, odd or not-so-technical questions I’ve received in the last year on
Ask Leo!.

Note: As always, all questions are absolutely real,
exactly as they come in – complete and unedited.

The “answers” here are what I wish I could reply with. (I typically do not
respond to these types of questions at all.)

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Too many hats

I wear too many hats and carry too many business cards. One possible solution: I guess you could call it my “disambiguation page”.


I keep having to apologise to people for taking to long, going dark, and
just generally being so over committed that everything is suffering.

I decided to enumerate all the “things” that are, and have been, going on in life lately – not as an excuse,
more as explanation:

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When your conference room has only 6 power outlets for over 35 laptops, the power octopus or “powerpus” is born: That’s only the most obvious part of the electrical mayhem. Among other things, we had a squid hanging from the wall too. Why two of the power outlets were 8′ off the ground is beyond … Read more

Public Key

Really geeky, but for those that might be interested in same, and to the degree that I understand its usage, here’s my GnuPG public key. Using GPG it can be used to validate messages or data that I “sign”, or encrypt messages such that only I can decrypt them.

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Finished: The World is Flat

I have mixed feelings after reading TWiF. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s
an excellent book, and as you’ll see in a moment, I believe it’s an important

The problem, if that’s what you want to call it, is that it didn’t really
challenge me. I pretty much agree with everything that the author is saying. I
found myself thinking, “yep, yer right” over and over again.

The premise of the book is simply that due to our advancements in technology
– most notably the internet – the world is getting effectively “flatter”. More
people in more diverse regions of the planet are being empowered to
collaborate, and compete, in the global market.

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