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Hello from Cora
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Forum Posts: 378
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22 January 2013
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16 August 2017 - 6:11 am
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Hi All,

Thought I'd pop in and say hello. Cora is now 5, can you believe it? This summer has been up and down but I think most of the down has been a result of allergies. I'm also going to be exploring some issues around myofascial pain. On the up side, she's still learning new skills. It's amazing that at 5, she keeps picking up new things. One of the skills she recently gained is being able to lick peanut butter off a knife. She's been resistant to taking treats all a long. A lot of that is, I believe, frustration. She could smell it but with the coordination issues, blindness and numbness she would have troubles getting it. This would lead to huge meltdowns. Add in, Floyd sneaking in and stealing it, and being a food guarder, and the negative associations were just too big. But, now, with encouragement she can lick peanut butter off a knife. Why am I working on this? Well, how much easier is a dog to manage if you have a way of rewarding her? I figure both Cora and I can gain from this. Another new gain, is she's starting to like her tummy being rubbed. In fact, she's more accepting of touch all over instead of just her preferred spots (head and stump). 

For those that don't know Cora, something terrible happened to her, either in the womb or at birth. She was brain damaged and her right front leg was deformed. What exactly happened will remain a mystery because she was a stray. Her mama and siblings were rescued and it soon became clear that something was wrong with Cora. A rescue group took her on, but they weren't up for the challenge so I adopted her. As well as the deformed leg, which was amputated, the brain damaged causes her to be completely blind. The brain damage also caused so much other issues. She has weakness on her left side, coordination troubles, issues processing where sound comes from, and and and... she never gives up. She is a stubborn, silly and loving girl. She loves to be outside, goes camping with me, talks back, and finds mayhem. That's the short version anyway. 

Another change, those of you know that Cora wears her harness almost all the time. This summer we've set some heat wave records so she's been running around.... naked!!!! I'm working on a new way of helping her get around. I've actually pondered, if I perfect it, merchandising it. We will see. It still needs some refining. She seems to like being naked better and I think that's part of why she's becoming more touch friendly so I'm going to keep trying to make it work. One of the things that makes it possible is that she's become more accepting of being carried. Sometimes Cora really does need to be helped out and sometimes I need a way of getting her where I need her.  

I'm hoping to be around a bit more, but I'm also insanely busy so who knows.  Anyway, now the fun stuff. Some Cora photos.

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Cora fell asleep with her head in her water bowl during the heat wave. Not a bad strategy

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Yep, anyplace is a good place to sleep

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Cora having a cuddle. She prefers this to being in my lap. (Ignore the goofy guy in the photo)

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Cora seemed to have mixed emotions about being in Floyd's toybox. She was not in a rush to get out, but she also wasn't comfortable for some strange reason. Ha!

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This was our last trip. The whole area was a slope so it was rough on the girl. She tended to slowly go further and further down hill and eventually I'd end up carrying her back up. She insisted on exploring though.

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16 August 2017 - 7:40 am
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Good to see you around! How's your back these days?

I love that she's still growing and learning new skills. And licking peanut butter off of a knife is a great trick to learn!

That's interesting that she's been more receptive to touch lately. Do you think she gets overstimulated by feeling the harness slide around? This is probably not a great idea for summer, but I'm wondering if you've tried the thunderjacket with her? That type of pressure can help with overstimulation, but I'm not sure if that's what's contributing to her frustration. 

She looks like she is fully enjoying life. That picture of her soaking up the sun should relieve anyone's doubts that she's living a full life. What a lucky gal!


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16 August 2017 - 8:56 am
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OOMMDD!!  SOOOOO GOOD TO HEAR FROM YOU AND CORA!!!   And the extra bonus of her beautiful pictures makes it even better!!!   First of all, how are things with your back??   All those challenges over now?  Hope so!!   Topher, what you jave done with Cora continues to astound me!! 🙂   You are soooo tuned into her and so insightful!   Such an incredible intuitive connection. 

YAAAAAAAAAY FOR TAKING PEANUT BUTTER OFF A KNIFE!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂   It adds another layer of joy to sweet Cora and gives you another tool to help her along in this MIRACULOUS journey of hers!!  

Does Cora still use her "wheels"?  Sounds like she's getting along just fine without them!   Sounds like she's  loving being NAKED!!  No wheels, no harness.....a very happy gal!   Although a little rough on you carrying her back up hills!!  Not good for your back! 

Thank You so much for checking  in!   You and Cora are one of the most incredible stories of determination, hope and love we've ever seen!   NOPE, CORA NEVER GIVES UP.....NOR DOES TOPHER!!!   TEAM POWER! 🙂 🙂   

  Lots of love and hugs....and extra peanut butter!!!    And Floyd, you are a master food stealer!!!  

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

The Rainbow Bridge

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16 August 2017 - 9:31 am
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YAAAAAH! It's wonderful to hear from you, thank you for the update. I can't believe she's 5 either. Wow time flies. Cora and you made such an impression here from day one, it's great to hear how things have progressed. She has come such a long way.

New members, take a sec to check out Cora's story from the beginning. You will fall in love with this girl.

So yes, we DO know what a difference it makes to have a dog who is motivated by food. As you know our Wyatt Ray is a handful but his saving grace is 1) his looks! and 2) he will do anything for food! So kudos to you for teaching her the peanut butter trick. Now you can use that in so many different situations. 

Keep us posted on the naked assistance device you come up with, it sounds interesting. Talk to us about that offline if you'd like, we may have some ideas for ya. 

Your last photos didn't post, can we help with those? We would love to see them. the head-in-the-water-bowl made us laugh! Silly girl. By the way, is that goofy guy in the photo you?!

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16 August 2017 - 8:02 pm
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It is so awesome to hear and see how far Cora has come since you both started this journey together.  It is amazing for a dog that some vets said "put down" and that "she would never be normal or do the things she is doing" Cora has proved many many many people wrong.   Everyone please check out Cora's story it is one of courage on both Topher & Cora's parts.  They have survived many obstacles put in their way.  

Thank you for the update & great pictures


Michelle & Angel Sassy


Sassy is a proud member of the Winter Warriors. Live long, & strong Winter Warriors.
07/26/2006 - Sassy earned her wings 08/20/2013

"You aren't doing it TO her, you are doing it FOR her. Give her a chance at life."

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17 August 2017 - 12:08 pm
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Your story is so uplifting and a true love story between you and Cora!  Truly just amazing!  Bless you both and love the pictures of your courageous girl! ❤️❤️

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17 August 2017 - 3:37 pm
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So great to hear from you!  I am so glad that both you and Cora are doing well!

Otis - 106 pound lab/Dane mix, lost his right front leg to osteosarcoma on Febuary 9, 2016.  Four rounds of carboplatin completed in April, 2016.  Lung mets August 25, 2016.  Said goodbye too soon on September 4, 2016.   Lost his adopted sister, Tess, suddenly on October 9, 2016. likely due to hemangiosarcoma.  

Wherever they are, they are together.

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23 August 2017 - 5:58 am
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Awww, thanks everyone. So, to answer all your questions. My back is doing amazingly well considering where I was at. I hShave some back pain and if I'm super tired I limp a bit. That being said, I'm in the best shape I've been in since I was a teen.  Yay!

I think Cora being more receptive to touch is a mix of things. I think some of that is her mellowing with age. It started before I took the halter off, so I know that's not all of it. I do think taking the halter off helped some more. It may be that it sliding around is just one more sensation for her to deal with. I have tried a thundershirt with her at times. The problem is, getting it on her when she most needs it tends to upset her so much that it offsets whatever advantage it gives. Often times though, if she's upset, a good hard hug that is held can calm her down. I've always figured that is having a similar effect to the thundershirt.

She loves hugs and I've taught her what "hug" means. There are times when I say "hug" and she literally falls into my arms. 🙂

Cora stopped using her wheels when my back got really bad. It involved a lot of bending over and chasing after her so it became a no go. I keep meaning to try again, especially now that she's mellowed out. She's pretty damn happy, I'd just like to give her a chance to explore the larger world. The challenge is that she seems to have troubles controlling the wheels. She drives like a blind maniac on drugs. lol

The last two photos that didn't post were from Facebook. hmmm... and now facebook is down. 

oh, and yes, the goofy guy in the picture is me.


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23 August 2017 - 9:26 am
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Knowing how happy you BOTH are is so heartwarming!  Such an unbelievable journey of perseverance and love 🙂

And hearing about how Cora loves hugs.....SOOOOOO.  SWEEEEET! 🙂

HUGS to you both!! 🙂

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Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

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